Jobs that meets the world’s needs don’t have to pay a pittance–good news for the growing number of professionals who want to take home competitive compensation for doing work that makes a positive difference.

To determine which jobs provide healthy salaries alongside a sense of purpose, compensation data site PayScale asked workers in 482 jobs from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) to provide compensation data and determine whether their work makes the world a better place.

The resulting list is comprised of occupations in which at least 70% of workers derive a high sense of meaning from their work.

While many jobs from which respondents take great meaning are among the lowest paid occupations, a handful of professions deliver salaries in the high five- and six-figures and a sense of contribution.

The annual pay referenced here includes salary or hourly wage as well as bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, and other cash earnings, but excludes equity, retirement benefits, and non-cash benefits.

Yet again, the field with the strongest representation at the intersection of pay and purpose is medical practitioners. Surgeon remains atop the list, with 98% of the field deriving strong meaning from their work and those with titles like general surgeon, neurosurgeon, and orthopedic surgeon bringing home a median annual salary of $306,600.

Anesthesiologists, Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Internists, and Psychiatrists continue to trade off ranks each year, but as a group still round out the top five. Chief Executives remain the sole non-healthcare profession to breach the top 10, with a solid three quarters reporting the feeling that their work makes the world a better place. Median annual salary for these professionals is $128,500.

Jobs like Dentist, Pharmacist, and Optometrist all appear here as well, though occupations from other industries become more common further down the list. Ninety-four percent of Elementary and Secondary School Administrators feel their work, which yields a median annual salary of $77,200, is deeply meaningful.


To view the full list of The 25 Most Meaningful Jobs That Pay Well, click here.