Looking for a Meaningful Job? These Are Your Best Options

Now we know which jobs will make you the most money on average — but will they make you happy in the long term?

For young college grads looking for their first job, money is certainly a big worry, with the average student leaving school in 2013 with $29,000 in debt. But as research has shown, more Millennials are more concerned with emotional fulfillment and social responsibility than with the immediate benefits of a big signing bonus, and balancing social impact with a comfortable income is increasingly becoming the goal for many new grads.

According to a survey by PayScale, finding that sweet spot of high-impact, high-paying jobs is incredibly difficult. Only few professions make it to the top of the quadrant, mostly in the medical field: surgeons, anesthesiologists, OB/GYNs, psychiatrists, etc. On the opposite side of the spectrum are the low-income jobs in the service sector that leave workers feeling unfulfilled, such as fast-food cooks, cashiers and cafeteria workers.

Somewhere in the middle is where most people find themselves, and many people end up trading one benefit for the other: While credit authorizers and information system managers make six-figure salaries, only half of them believe that their job has meaning; on the other hand, clergy members, firefighters and child care professionals have a lower income, but they find their work to be meaningful.

So unless you're planning on entering the medical profession, it's pretty difficult trying to find a fulfilling job that also pays you a lot of money — but for a younger, socially conscious generation, it might not be too much of a problem.

Check out the full graph below (click here for the interactive version):


How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Eileen Shim

Eileen is a writer living in New York. She studied comparative literature and international studies at Yale University, and enjoys writing about the intersection of culture and politics.

MORE FROM

'Pizzagate' shooter gets 4-year prison sentence, lawyers urged judge to deter vigilantism

Welch stormed a Washington, D.C., pizza place and shot off a firearm because of the internet.

American Health Care Act by the numbers: What to know about Senate Republicans' secret health plan

After drafting the ACA repeal and replace plan behind closed doors, the AHCA is out — and Senate Republican leaders are hoping to vote on it in a week.

9 photos of Tropical Storm Cindy and its aftermath on the Gulf Coast

National Weather Service forecasters estimate up to 10 inches of rainfall fell in areas between southern Louisiana and the Florida panhandle.

Watch Elizabeth Warren school lawmakers on what Planned Parenthood actually does

"I am sick of coming down to the Senate floor to explain to Republicans what Planned Parenthood does."

Federal court clears path for Mississippi's LGBTQ religious objection laws

One outlet called HB 1523 the "nation's worst anti-gay bill."

These secret wartime tunnels were hidden beneath London for 100 years. Here’s what’s inside.

The passages were once used to shuffle 4 million letters a day.

'Pizzagate' shooter gets 4-year prison sentence, lawyers urged judge to deter vigilantism

Welch stormed a Washington, D.C., pizza place and shot off a firearm because of the internet.

American Health Care Act by the numbers: What to know about Senate Republicans' secret health plan

After drafting the ACA repeal and replace plan behind closed doors, the AHCA is out — and Senate Republican leaders are hoping to vote on it in a week.

9 photos of Tropical Storm Cindy and its aftermath on the Gulf Coast

National Weather Service forecasters estimate up to 10 inches of rainfall fell in areas between southern Louisiana and the Florida panhandle.

Watch Elizabeth Warren school lawmakers on what Planned Parenthood actually does

"I am sick of coming down to the Senate floor to explain to Republicans what Planned Parenthood does."

Federal court clears path for Mississippi's LGBTQ religious objection laws

One outlet called HB 1523 the "nation's worst anti-gay bill."

These secret wartime tunnels were hidden beneath London for 100 years. Here’s what’s inside.

The passages were once used to shuffle 4 million letters a day.