6 Careers That Offer More Than a Steady Paycheck

When the time comes for career planning, you may want to consider jobs that provide something extra

By Greg Scott Neuman
Posted 2011

Career Planning Tips- Consider Job Satisfaction in Your Thought Process
Career Planning Tips- Consider Job Satisfaction in Your Thought Process

Finding the right career means different things to different people. Many are primarily concerned with earning enough money, and, beyond that, hope to get benefits like medical insurance and a retirement account. And rightly so; your paycheck has to be able to cover your bills, and considerations such as healthcare are very important.

But there are others aspects to career planning as well. What if you have to be creative in order to enjoy your work? What if helping others is more important to you than how much money you make? What if you’d rather have long-term job security than a 401k plan? Finding the right career for you may involve concerns such as these.

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Here are six fields that offer something not found in most blue- and white-collar jobs:


1. Web design. Web designers create websites for individuals, businesses and other organizations. The field itself is sometimes referred to as web development or interactive graphic design. To enter this profession you should be competent with HTML at minimum, and experience with other languages and frameworks (such as .NET and PHP) is a big plus. Web design offers you a wide range of artistic opportunities, from creating and manipulating static images to working with videos, slide shows, animations and other dynamic media. Once you have enough experience, you may be responsible for developing and implementing the overall design of client websites.

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2. Copywriting. Copywriters create written content for a variety of media: advertising, news articles, video scripts, websites and more. To enter this field you should be technically proficient with written English and be able to communicate complex ideas with eloquence and precision. Search engine optimization (SEO) skills can be a big benefit if you plan to write website copy. Depending on the type of organization you work for and the type of work you do, you might hold a title such as reporter or marketing copywriter. With enough experience you may advance into editorial and/or management positions.

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3. Social Work. Social workers help people solve a variety of difficulties, including family, financial, personal and relationship problems. To enter this profession you should have a strong sense of empathy for others and genuine desire to help those in need. The work may consist of conducting interviews to determine needs, distributing financial help and other resources, and periodically contacting clients for reassessment. Once you have enough experience and the proper education (usually a master’s degree) you can advance into clinical or management positions.

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4. Counseling. Counselors help people resolve career, educational, emotional, family and mental health problems. There are many different disciplines in this field, usually described professionally according to where they work and who they assist. There are family counselors, marriage counselors, school counselors, substance abuse counselors and many others. These professions are almost universally education-intensive because counselors deal directly with the well-being of others. A master’s degree is required to enter many counseling specialties, and doctorates are recommended for those who want to advance into research or teaching positions.

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Job Security

5. Nursing. Registered nurses (RNs) are the backbone of nursing practice, filling over 2.5 million jobs in the U.S. It is also one of the fastest-growing healthcare professions in the country; the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data projects that employment in the field will grow by 22% through 2018. To enter this field you should be able to function well in emergencies, and have a genuine interest in helping the sick and injured. Many registered nurses enter the profession with an associate’s degree, but if you want to advance later in your career a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) is usually necessary.

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6. Network Administration. Network administrators maintain linked computer systems for businesses, educational institutions, government departments and other organizations. They keep such networks running smoothly and protect them from accidents and cyber security threats. This is one of the most in-demand careers in the nation; the BLS estimates that the number of jobs for network systems and data communications analysts will increase by 53% through 2018. To enter this field you should have a thorough knowledge of computers and how they operate in networks. Advancement typically comes with experience, but attaining a master’s degree can certainly help.

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