Mark Twain once said “find a job you love doing and you will never have to work a day in your life”. The same can be said about getting a tattoo on your face, but for the sake of this article we’ll be sticking with Mr. Twain’s maxim. Unfortunately, in the current economic climate, many of us can’t afford to leisurely research various jobs and hobbies we find one we enjoy. In order to support ourselves and those who depend on us, we must take whatever sort of employment is offered to us, whether we want to do the job or not. This can often lead to a feeling of futility and a sense of feeling trapped, but accepting a job which isn’t particularly exhilarating does not mean you’re stuck in that role for the rest of your life. Yes, you must keep your mind on the job while on the clock, but the evening can be dedicated to searching for a job which will give you a greater sense of purpose.
The likelihood is you already have a job in mind. Most of us have a dream job which we have been salivating at the thought of since the age of five or so. But if you are yet to find something that you can see yourself doing for decades on end, allow us to guide you with this list of some of the world’s most fulfilling jobs. Of course, this topic is a little subjective and most fulfilling does not always equate to highest paying, but there is bound to be something here which appeals to you.
Let’s get started.
1. Elementary School Teacher
When you saw the title “Most Fulfilling Jobs”, this is probably the job you thought of, even if it isn't something you particularly want to do. This is because elementary school teaching is constantly lauded as one of humanity’s most noble pursuits as it gives you a chance to shape the minds of the future. Some might recoil in horror at the idea of trying to control a room full of screaming children, but there is no shortage of people who would find a great deal of joy in elementary school teaching. If you fall into the latter group, there are some things you’re going need before you can get to work. For starters, an aspiring elementary school teacher must obtain a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. An elementary school teacher must be equipped to teach a number of subjects, so you should be prepared to be bombarded with information during your course.
Elementary teacher salaries rise and fall depending on a number of factors, but a recent graduate working their first full-time position can expect to earn in or around $35,000 a year, with benefits.
2. High School Teaching
If you like the idea of preparing young minds for the big bad world but don’t want to dedicate your working life to disorderly children, you may prefer high school teaching to elementary school teaching. While elementary school teachers are tasked with developing the minds of the future, high school teachers carry the added burden of developing personalities, as most adolescents begin to figure out just who they are during their time in high school.
Those planning to pursue high school teaching are required to obtain a bachelor's degree in secondary education. They must also study, in detail, the particular subject or subjects which they wish to teach. Many high school teachers choose to study multiple subjects in order to increase their chances of scoring a job once they graduate.The average salary of a high school teacher is a little over $47,000 a year. However, this can rise and fall depending on experience and success.
3. Fashion Designer
A couple of decades ago, anybody who said they wanted to be a fashion designer would have been laughed out of the employment office and, indeed, their dreams. But thanks to the rise of the internet, aspiring fashionistas have greater exposure than ever before and are limited by nothing other than their own creativity. While you don’t necessarily need a degree to become a fashion designer, you can make the journey to your dream job a little bit easier by completing a bachelor's degree in fashion design. Much of this course will focus on building your portfolio, which is basically a collection of drawings and designs you can show to potential employers once you complete your education.
There is no set salary for a fashion designer, which can be both a gift and a curse. Wannabe fashion designers should be prepared to spend at least a period of time struggling to make ends meet, but those who have the right combination of talent and luck could be millionaires by the time they turn forty.
4. Crime Scene Investigator
Crime scene investigation is quite the jump from fashion design, but it is no less fulfilling. A lot of people fall in love with the idea of becoming a crime scene investigator after watching shows like CSI and Criminal Minds. It probably isn’t a good idea to base your career choices on what you see on TV, but if you have a genuine passion for keeping people safe and taking dangerous criminals off the streets, we say go for it.
The road to becoming a crime scene investigator can be a little bumpy, and some in the know would recommend spending some time as a regular old police officer first. But if you don’t want to wait, there are some colleges and universities which offer a crime scene investigation course of two years. Once you complete that course, you should pursue a bachelor’s degree in forensic science. It is likely that much of your work from the initial course will carry over to your bachelor’s course and help you capture your degree sooner.Crime scene investigators in the real world don’t make quite as much money as those who portray crime scene investigators on television, but they don’t struggle to pay the bills. Just a couple of years ago, the average salary for a crime scene investigator was $55,660. Those who manage to score particularly high paying roles in the industry can expect to earn close to six figures annually.
Hank Moody likened being a writer to having homework every day for the rest of your life. He wasn’t far off, but he did say that while sitting in a $100,000 apartment, strumming a $15,000 electric guitar. As with most jobs in the arts, there is no clear path to becoming a successful writer. If you want to be on the safe side and get some sort of a degree under your belt before you hit your keyboard, there a couple of courses available. You could seek out a simple creative writing course, which you can find in multiple colleges and night schools; there are even a number of reputable ones online. You could also study English in order to familiarize yourself with the language and the masters of it. This will give you a number of fallback careers should you be unable to sell that novel.
Making a living through the written word is no easy task. In fact, you will likely find yourself couch surfing and borrowing money from your parents, but it will all be worth it when you put the final word in the final chapter of your first bestseller.
6. Civil Engineer
Civil engineering covers a variety of areas. Broadly speaking, a civil engineer will work on the design and construction of buildings, tunnels, dams, and pretty much anything else which needs to be built to ensure the continued development of civilization. However, almost all civil engineers work exclusively in one chosen category, such as transportation engineering, which deals with the upkeep of streets, highways, and transportation systems.
To become a civil engineer, you must first obtain a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or the specialty area in which you plan to work. Furthermore, all civil engineers must have a professional engineer (PE) license. Usually, a bachelor’s degree will be all you need to get your PE, but it is sometimes necessary to obtain a degree from an ABET accredited program as well.Owing to the unshakeable sense of responsibility a civil engineer will inevitably carry, it can be a pretty stressful job. However, many civil engineers are spurred on by the idea of creating something which will last long after they are gone. And if the pressures of constructing towering buildings for humans to live and work in becomes too much, you will always have a $50,00 + annual salary to comfort you.
The priesthood as a career has a bit of a bad reputation and, to be perfectly honest, that isn’t totally unjustified. However, the Catholic Church has made a commendable effort to right the wrongs of the past in recent years and has taken quite a progressive stance on a number of issues. To become a priest in the Catholic faith, you must first obtain a bachelor's degree in a related area such as philosophy or religion. Once you have your bachelor’s degree in the bag, you will be sent to a seminary, which is where the spiritual part of your study begins. Seminary study generally lasts for four years and gives candidates the opportunity to carry out “practice” masses in order to gain experience and master the alter.
In Catholicism, all priests must take a vow of poverty, so it’s a profession to be avoided if you are concerned with worldly possessions. However, the lack of material goods is more than made up for in the spiritual fulfillment one feels through their duties.
This is a pretty broad job description. Most people who are not involved in music imagine private jets, adoring fans, and screeching solos by leather-clad glam rock guitarists when they think of paid musicians. They are also quick to laugh at those who want to pursue music as a career for being “unrealistic”. However, you don’t need to be a world famous rock star in order to make a living as a musician. Many musicians make a nice chunk of change working in backing bands or as session musicians. A session musician plies their trade in a studio, playing on the recordings of more established names.
Other musicians carve out a nice life for themselves by teaching their particular instrument. You don’t need any degree or qualifications to teach an instrument, but it is a good idea to complete your grades in whatever musical instrument you want to teach (this is particularly beneficial for piano teachers).If you want the promise of a regular salary but don’t want to give up on music as a career, you should consider becoming a music teacher in a high school. To become a high school music teacher, you must have a bachelor’s degree in music. Your bachelor’s degree music course will focus primarily on music theory, so if you’re all about the actual playing of instruments, this may not be the best position for you.A high school music teacher can expect to earn a typical high school teacher salary. A session or touring musician will earn differing amounts depending on the instrument they play and whom they are working with. The earnings of an independent music teacher are limited only by the amount of students he or she can take on.
If you are the creative type but aren’t particularly enthused by the idea of sitting in a room and writing books for the rest of your life, you may be drawn to a career as a filmmaker. Much like writing, there is no set path to success as a filmmaker. College isn’t a necessity. In fact, many of the all-time greats never even went to college. Charlie Chaplin, considered by many to be the first great filmmaker, never even completed his elementary education. However, if you do feel the need to complete a college course before venturing into the world of film making, there are many colleges and universities around the world which offer suitable courses for an aspiring filmmaker. A bachelor’s degree in film and television, for example, should give you all the tools to get from “scene one” to “fade out”.As with any creative job, there is no set salary for a filmmaker. You could find yourself struggling to make ends meet for the rest of your life, but you could also strike lucky and become a multi-millionaire before you’re thirty.
6. Film Critic
If you like the idea of working in film but aren’t exactly creative, perhaps you should consider a career as a film critic. Critics are generally seen as perpetual pessimists who butcher others for daring to dream, but most film critics are just film buffs who get paid to talk about a medium that they have loved since childhood.
There are a variety of avenues to becoming a film critic, but most aspiring film critics would benefit from spending some time in college. A bachelor’s degree in English will help you gain a command over the language and make it possible for you to find other work in journalism if you can’t find an opening for a film critic. A bachelor’s degree in film and television will give you a greater knowledge of the medium and will also equip you with everything you need to produce your own film should you someday decide to put your money where your mouth is.
Speaking of money, a film critic can expect to earn a more than decent living if he or she manages to score a job with a reputable website, newspaper, or magazine. In fact, as recent as 2013, the average salary for a film critic was $82,000.
7. Special Education Teacher
Elementary and high school teaching are no doubt noble and fulfilling pursuits, but there is arguably no more admirable career in education than special education teaching. A special education teacher works with those who are inhibited by a learning difficulty or disability. They focus on forming a program which plays to the disadvantage individual’s strengths.In order to become a professional education teacher, you must first obtain a bachelor’s degree in special education. Some states may require you to have a master’s degree before you can seek employment as a special education teacher, but in most cases a bachelor’s degree will be enough. During your course, you will study a number of teaching methods intended to help disabled students gain a better grasp of difficult subjects such as math, science, and English. Like all salaries in education, the salary of a special education teacher will rise and fall. A recent study found that the average salary for a special education in teacher in the United States was $56,800. The lowest ten percent earned less than $38,000 while the top ten percent earned upwards of $90,000.
8. Police Officer
A little earlier on we touched on joining the police force with the end goal of becoming a crime scene investigator. But what about those who just want to don a blue shirt and golden badge and spend their career out on the streets, protecting the citizens of America? What must they do to achieve their dream?There aren’t a whole lot of requirements to become a police officer in the United States, which is a little bit worrying but nonetheless a major advantage if you are trying to get involved in the police department. In most states, candidates must be an American citizen and possess a valid driving license. A clean criminal record is also usually required.
If you meet all the necessary requirements, you will be permitted to sit an entrance exam. Those who manage to get a passing grade on that exam will be entered into the police academy, which is where they receive the bulk of their training. Once you graduate the police academy, you will be an official police officer and free to work towards promotions as you keep the streets safe.
9. Computer Game Programmer
The vast majority of jobs featured on this list have been viable career options for decades. However, this is one which has only become a mainstream dream over the past ten years or so. Computer game programming can be a pretty stressful job and requires a lot of planning and attention to detail. However, those who spent their childhoods and teenage years indulging in video games will likely find a great deal of joy in developing the next video game blockbuster.Because the video game industry is still in its infancy, the path to a successful career as a computer game programmer is a little bit unclear. Most major gaming studios require their computer game programmers to have a strong understanding of mathematics and a bachelor’s degree in a related area, such as computer science or computer engineering.
Once you have completed college - and perhaps while you are still studying - you should begin to build a portfolio to showcase your work to potential employers. A good portfolio will include a number of short games created by the candidate which can be played from beginning to end while maintaining a cohesive story.Video games are more popular than ever before and the industry seems set for continued growth over the next couple of years, so a computer game programmer hired by a reputable gaming studio should expect to earn close to six figures a year. The median salary for a computer game programmer in 2015 was just under $80,000.
There is a misconception that stand-up comedy is an endeavor undertaken only by the most miserable members of society. To the contrary, most stand-up comics will tell you that they do what they do because they find fulfillment and joy in making others laugh.To be successful in comedy, you don’t need to sell out Madison Square Garden like Louis C.K or be on television every night like Jimmy Fallon. It isn’t even that important that you be funny. Yes, being funny is nothing but a plus when you work in comedy, but it is more important that you be too stubborn to admit defeat. Many very funny people try to get involved in comedy but give up after one or two bad gigs. To carve out a successful career in the comedy industry, you must be able to roll with the punches and power through the laugh less minutes on stage. Those who establish themselves as reliable acts who can carry on regardless of the circumstances are far more likely to be booked by club owners than those who are hilarious when things are going well but throw a fit when something goes wrong.
A stand-up comic who never makes a TV appearance but is regularly booked to perform across the United States can expect to make upwards of $50,000 a year. Those who can manipulate social media and score advertisers and sponsors will earn substantially more. A stand-up comic who builds a large enough following to sell out sizable theatres throughout the country will find themselves earning six figures annually, while stadium comics will rapidly build a net worth of several million.
11. Registered Nurse
There are hundreds of possible jobs for those interested in a career in medicine, but few medical professionals have as hectic a schedule as registered nurses. A registered nurse is trained to work in a variety of places and can ply his or her trade in a hospital, a school, or a care home, to name a few locations. Registered nurses are often on their feet for hours at a time and many find themselves putting in twelve hour days in order to ensure their patients get the help they need. It is a stressful and often thankless job, yet they do it anyway as there are few things more fulfilling than using your life to save and enrich the lives of others. The most common path to becoming a registered nurse in the United States of America is to first obtain an associate’s degree in nursing. While this will give you everything you need to work as a registered nurse, it is not uncommon for some to go on to complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Once you have graduated from your program, you must sit the National Council Licensure Examination - Registered Nurse to obtain your license.
Because the work of a registered nurse can vary, there is no set salary. However, an entry level registered nurse can expect to earn in or around $68,000 a year. While the heavy workload or a registered nurse may put some people off, it is a major advantage when it comes to building a nest egg. Many experienced registered nurses have reported saving a significant amount of money for no other reason than they just don’t have time to spend it.