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Five Rewarding Jobs That Make A Difference
One of the ultimate goals, when you’re choosing a career, is to work in an industry that somehow makes a difference; whether you’re passionate about improving peoples lives, conserving the earth or you have a burning desire to save the world, there’s a job out there for you.
If you’re not the type to rush into a burning building or report from a war zone, don’t worry – you don’t have to be a superhero to make an impact.
We’ve got five fantastic jobs that will leave you feeling great about how you earn your wages as well as helpful tips on how to best to get into the industries.
If you have a passion for nature and want to save the world, conservation could be the career for you. Climate change, air pollution, deforestation, and endangered species are just a few of the many current threats to our planet, and anyone working in conservation would be helping to battle against them.
There are several different career paths within conservation work; you could find yourself working with animals, plants, wildlife, or natural resources, and the role can take you all around the world.
Anyone wanting to work within conservation and ecology will absolutely need to have a Bachelors degree in either a scientific discipline such as biology and chemistry or a more specialized environmental subject.
Work experience also looks great on your CV, so consider volunteering for a non-profit organization such as the American Conservation Experience; in exchange for food and accommodation, participants work for six or more weeks to help with ecological restoration projects.
The main role of an occupational therapist is to look at patients lives and find ways to improve their days. They work with a huge range of people, from those who are recovering from a major injury to anyone who is suffering mental illness and elderly people who might need to learn to adapt to the limitations of aging and diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Typically, they help with changes to work and home environments, devise strategies to help people manage everyday tasks differently, and advise on the use of the equipment and specialized living aides.
The route into occupational therapy is lengthy, and requires several years of study; you’ll need a Bachelors degree in a related area such as biology or physiology, and then preferably a masters degree which includes a period of work experience. To help your chances of employment, you could also consider becoming certified by taking an exam provided by the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapists.
Public Safety Officer
The role of a public safety officer is to provide community support and to aid the emergency services such as fire and rescue, law enforcement, and animal control from behind the scenes.
They can often be found responding to emergency calls, regulating traffic, controlling crowds, attending the scene of a crime in progress and administering first aid, amongst many other duties – they’re basically the hidden heroes at any natural or man-made disaster.
While anyone wishing to work as a public safety officer doesn’t need to have any formal qualifications, it certainly doesn’t hurt to complete a Bachelor degree program in criminology or other related fields – and you could also consider furthering your studies with a public safety master degree online or at a local college; click here to learn more.
A more important issue is your fitness level; anyone wishing to work in public safety needs to be able to run continuously for several hundred yards, lift heavy objects and scale fences, so it’s imperative that you’re in a great physical condition when you apply for the role.
Special Education Teacher
Special education teachers work in elementary, middle, and secondary schools across the US, to provide education as well as support to children and young people with extra needs. Their students will generally have issues with cognition, behavior, and sensory processing, or may have mental health needs, learning difficulties like dyslexia or conditions such as autism.
As well as all the usual teaching tasks, anyone working in special education will need to adapt their lessons to meet the specific needs of their pupils; this can mean using specialist equipment, providing sensory material and teaching Braille or lip reading to those who might need it.
In addition, a special education teacher will also need to work with a team of outside professionals, such as social workers, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, and educational psychologists.
To work in this field, you might not need to complete a masters degree, but you’ll definitely need to work towards a Bachelors degree in special education; amongst other things, you’ll learn vital information about special education policies that you wouldn’t pick up on a normal teaching degree.
You’ll also need to complete an internship, or spend a significant amount of time working in a special education classroom setting where you can employ your new skills, and then apply for your teaching license.
Paramedics, firefighters, and law enforcement officers are usually the first on the scene when there’s been a crime, accident or natural disaster, and are often known as the first responders.
911 dispatchers are the first responders and are frequently the heroes behind the scenes. They’re the first point of contact for anyone in danger or distress, and their skills save lives every day.
hey receive and prioritize emergency calls, provide life-saving medical instructions via the telephone, and are responsible for ensuring the correct emergency service reaches the situation by the fastest and safest method possible.
To work in this field, firstly you need ensure that you’re the right person for the job; it’s paramount that a 911 dispatcher can remain calm under pressure, and they need to be able to think quickly – so if you’re someone who tends to panic in a crisis, this might not be the role for you.
The minimum requirements to work as a 911 dispatcher are to be eighteen years of age and have earned your high school diploma, and although it’s not always necessary, a valid drivers license is sometimes listed as a stipulation in some roles, so it’s something to think about.