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Changing Careers

Top Careers in Caring and National Average Salaries

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

Last Updated June 29, 2021

Guide Overview

What are careers in caring?Careers in caring

Guide Overview

What's needed to have a career in caring?

Careers in caring are a good option for people who are naturally compassionate and empathetic. These careers give them the opportunity to earn a living while also making a difference. While some people may choose to volunteer to help others, some may be able to turn their passion into a career. We'll discuss a few of the top careers in caring and the specific steps you can take to work toward each.

What are careers in caring?

Careers in caring are jobs that allow you to use compassion and empathy to earn a wage. These are careers that require specific skills, as well as a passion to help others. Some of these jobs allow people to use their knowledge of certain topics, like medicine or law, to help those in need. Careers in caring often require the development of certain soft and hard skills, like communication and problem-solving skills, as well as technical skills in the specific career industry.

Careers in caring

Some careers allow you to turn your passion into a position that earns income. Here are a few caring careers that you may enjoy:

Childcare worker

Average base pay: $30,000 per year

Childcare workers usually work in a daycare center, providing direct care to children. They may be involved in feeding, facilitating nap times, changing diapers, or entertaining children in their care. They may help older children with their homework in after-school programs. Child care workers may also be involved in helping children develop cognitively and emotionally.

Becoming a childcare worker typically requires a minimum of a high school diploma. However, some may require child care workers have a bachelor’s degree. Depending on where you work and in what position, you may need additional training or certifications in childcare. Some employers may also require safety training, including CPR and First Aid.


Average base pay: $30,001 per year

A nanny cares for children. They may work in a daycare setting or for a family. They may help with tasks like helping children dress for school, feeding them meals, helping them with homework, and ensuring they go to bed on time. Some nannies may also be responsible for taking children to school and other extracurricular activities.

Becoming a nanny will usually require some experience working with children. Because employers can be private, the specific requirements may vary from person to person. Some formal training with children may be required, as well as safety certifications, like CPR and First Aid. Some parents may require nannies to successfully pass a background check too.


Average base pay: $38,216 per year

A counselor is involved in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions. Counselors can also work in specializations, including addiction, family and marriage, grief and loss, and chronic pain control. Counselors use different techniques to identify irrational patterns of thought or coping mechanisms while working with clients of all ages. They may also work in a school or employment setting.

Counselors must complete four years of undergraduate education followed by a master’s program. Some states require counselors to have a Ph.D., but others allow master’s counselors to work with supervision.


Average base pay: $42,579 per year

A teacher plans and teaches educational lessons to students of all ages. Teachers are also responsible for managing their classrooms and helping individual students overcome challenges. They may specialize in specific industries, including English, mathematics, languages, or history. They may also choose to work with younger children, teaching a wide range of subjects. Teachers can work with pre-school and kindergarten ages, or they can work in a traditional school with elementary, middle, or high school students. Some teachers may choose to pursue education beyond secondary education and become college professors.

Becoming a teacher requires at least a bachelor’s degree in education. During college, aspiring teachers will learn both in the classroom through traditional instruction, as well as through hands-on experiences in the classroom. They may be required to complete an internship as a teaching assistant. Once all educational requirements are complete, they will need to complete the licensing exam for their state.

Learn more: How to Earn More as a Teacher

Social worker

Average base pay: $49,450 per year

Social workers are also involved in the mental health and wellbeing of their clients, but they often work more in the field. They may make home visits, evaluating the safety of children or seniors. They may also be involved in diagnosing and treating common mental health disorders. Social workers may also make recommendations to the court regarding child custody or foster parents.

To become a social worker, a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in social work is needed. However, many employers require that social workers be licensed, which requires the completion of a master’s program. During their coursework to earn a master’s degree in social work, students will learn theories of mental health and have the opportunity to work with clients in the field.


Average base pay: $60,000 per year

A realtor helps people buy and sell real estate. They may work with buyers in finding the right home and completing a purchase agreement. They may also work with sellers, completing comparative analyses to determine the listing price. Either way, they will be a part of facilitating the final deal by managing buyers, sellers, title companies, and appraisers.

Becoming a realtor requires the completion of a pre-licensing course. This course and the minimum number of hours varies, depending on the state. Upon completion of the course, the aspiring realtor is eligible to take the state licensing test. From here, they will need to sign up with a brokerage and then join a realtor’s association board.

Registered nurse

Average base pay: $65,870 per year

Registered nurses manage patients and their caregiving needs. They may help physicians with administering treatments or medications. They may also complete assessments to learn more about a patient’s symptoms. Registered nurses may oversee other healthcare staff members, like certified nursing assistants or medical assistants, and they are often actively involved in the care and treatment plans of patients.

Becoming a registered nurse requires, at a minimum, an associate’s degree in nursing. However, many people choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree. Once all educational requirements are complete, aspiring nurses will need to successfully complete the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBC). This makes aspiring nurses eligible for certification with their state.

Learn more: How Do I Know If I Want to Be a Nurse?


Average base pay: $107,549 per year

A lawyer works with clients who are dealing with legal difficulties. They may use their legal knowledge to represent plaintiffs who have been injured or defendants who are dealing with criminal charges. A lawyer may also work in other areas of law, including family or business law. They will prepare documents, file cases with the local court, review contracts, and guide clients on how to proceed.

Becoming a lawyer requires a bachelor’s degree followed by completion of law school. Admission into law school requires a good score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Upon completion of law school, aspiring lawyers will need to take the bar exam in their state. After passing this test, they can work as a lawyer.


Average base pay: $143,698 per year

A physician is directly involved in diagnosing and treating medical conditions. They are in a position to help patients treat their symptoms. They may be involved in diagnostic tests or administering medicine. They can also specialize in specific industries that interest them the most, including neurological, surgical, dermatology, or family medicine.

Becoming a physician requires four years of undergraduate education followed by a minimum of four years of medical school. Students will also need to successfully complete the Medical College Admission Test. After completing all educational requirements, aspiring physicians will need to complete internships and a residency in their area of interest. They will also need to successfully complete the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). They may also need to become board-certified.


Average base pay: $214,546 per year

A psychiatrist works in a medical setting, focusing on mental health. They may be involved in assessing and diagnosing common mental health conditions. They will also prescribe medications and track the progress of clients. Psychiatrists often work closely with other health care team members in the recovery of a patient, including counselors, physicians, and social workers. A psychiatrist may work in an inpatient hospital setting or with outpatient clients.

Becoming a psychiatrist first requires the completion of a bachelor’s degree and then entrance into medical school. This requires a good score on the Medical College Entrance Exam (MCAT). During medical school, an aspiring psychiatrist will complete many of the same classes and training as a traditional physician. However, as they seek an internship and residency, they will work in a hospital or mental health care facility setting. Upon completion, a psychiatrist will need to become certified with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and become state-certified.

Each of these careers gives you the opportunity to help others. Whether you are helping others navigate legal issues or figure out mental health concerns, these jobs for caring personalities allow you to make a difference.

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