18 meaningful jobs that pay very well

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It seems like there are only two options when it comes to choosing a career: We can either pursue a meaningful job and make next to nothing, or we can pull in a pretty penny working insanely long hours in an uninspiring, high-pressure role.

But we've got some good news for you: There's a third option.

According to a report from PayScale, there are plenty of jobs out there that offer both a fat paycheck and satisfying work.

PayScale, the creator of the world's largest database of individual compensation profiles, containing more than 40 million today, asked 374,000 workers: "Does your job make the world a better place?"

After analyzing job meaning for 454 jobs from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), PayScale then examined median pay, job satisfaction, job stress, and typical education level for each occupation, and compiled its list of the Most and Least Meaningful Jobs in America.

Katie Bardaro, PayScale's vice president of data analytics, says workers in these meaningful jobs are "typically driven by an interest to better society and by philanthropic initiatives, rather than purely money or subject matter interest."

We sifted through PayScale's list and found the highest-paying jobs (median pay of $65,000 or more) in which at least 85% of employees called the profession "meaningful."

The following 18 jobs are ranked by median pay, from lowest to highest:

Firefighting gear

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18. First-line supervisor/manager of fire fighting and prevention workers

Median pay: $65,600

85% of employees say this job is meaningful.



cheerful elementary school teacher and student high five in classroom

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17. Speech-language pathologist

Median pay: $65,700

90% of employees say this job is meaningful.



Toxocara canis embryonated egg with larva

16. Epidemiologist

Median pay: $69,000

91% of employees say this job is meaningful.



Shot of the back of a police officer's jacket with the word police written across the back

15. Manager of police and detectives

Median pay: $69,200

90% of employees say this job is meaningful.



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14. Audiologist

Median pay: $69,500

88% of employees say this job is meaningful.



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13. Radiation therapist

Median pay: $70,200

93% of employees say this job is meaningful.



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12. Veterinarian

Median pay: $70,600

85% of employees say this job is meaningful.



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11. Physical therapist

Median pay: $73,400

90% of employees say this job is meaningful.


Teacher and students (9-13) in school corridor (focus on teacher)
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10. Elementary/secondary education administrator

Median pay: $76,700

98% of employees say this job is meaningful.



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9. Health diagnosing and treating practitioners (all other)

Median pay: $91,200

87% of employees say this job is meaningful.


Eye Doctor with young patientgetty

8. Optometrist

Median pay: $102,000

86% of employees say this job is meaningful.



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7. Dentist

Median pay: $129,000

86% of employees say this job is meaningful.



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6. Pediatrician

Median pay: $149,000

88% of employees say this job is meaningful.


GP conducting appointment with patient in surgery.
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5. Family and general practitioner

Median pay: $165,000

90% of employees say this job is meaningful.


middle aged male therapist consulting female patient in office
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4. Psychiatrist

Median pay: $197,000

92% of employees say this job is meaningful.



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3. All other physicians and surgeons

Median pay: $225,000

89% of employees say this job is meaningful.

anesthesiologist performing tracheal intubation in operation room
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2. Anesthesiologist

Median pay: $273,000

91% of employees say this job is meaningful.

Doctors of the emergency room
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1. Surgeon

Median pay: $304,000

96% of employees say this job is meaningful.

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18 meaningful jobs that pay very well

Police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers

Stress tolerance: 98.5

Average annual salary (2014): $39,410

Photo Credit: Alamy

Nurse anesthetists

Stress tolerance: 98.2

Average annual salary (2014): $158,900

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Telephone operators

Stress tolerance: 98.2

Average annual salary (2014): $39,350

Photo Credit: Shutterstock 

Dancers

Stress tolerance: 97.0

Average annual salary (2014): N/A

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Obstetricians and gynecologists

Stress tolerance: 96.5

Average annual salary (2014): $214,750

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Surgeons

Stress tolerance: 96.2

Average annual salary (2014): $240,440

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers

Stress tolerance: 95.2

Average annual salary (2014): $131,760 

Photo Credit: Getty Images 

Healthcare social workers

Stress tolerance: 95.0

Average annual salary (2014): $53,590 

Photo Credit: Getty Images 

Phlebotomists

Stress tolerance: 95.0

Average annual salary (2014): $31,890

Photo Credit: Getty Images 

Broadcast news analysts

Stress tolerance: 94.7

Average annual salary (2014): $84,380

Photo Credit: Getty Images 

Education administrators, preschool and childcare center/program

Stress tolerance: 94.2

Average annual salary (2014): $52,190

Photo Credit: Getty Images 

Mental health counselors

Stress tolerance: 94.2

Average annual salary (2014): $43,990

Photo Credit: Getty Images 

First-line supervisors of police and detectives

Stress tolerance: 94.0

Average annual salary (2014): $84,260

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Food and tobacco roasting, baking, and drying machine operators and tenders

Stress tolerance: 94.0

Average annual salary (2014): $29,410

Photo Credit: Getty Images 

General internist

Stress tolerance: 94.0

Average annual salary (2014): $190,530

Photo Credit: Getty Images 

Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists

Stress tolerance: 94.0

Average annual salary (2014): $53,360

Photo Credit: AP

Chief executives

Stress tolerance: 93.8

Average annual salary (2014): $180,700

Photo Credit: AP

Costume attendants

Stress tolerance: 93.5

Average annual salary (2014): $50,270

Photo Credit: Getty Images 

Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses

Stress tolerance: 93.5

Average annual salary (2014): $43,420

Photo Credit: Getty Images 

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons

Stress tolerance: 93.5

Average annual salary (2014): $219,600

Photo Credit: Getty Images 

Child, family, and school social workers

Stress tolerance: 93.3

Average annual salary (2014): $46,180

Photo Credit: Getty Images 

Correspondence clerks

Stress tolerance: 93.3

Average annual salary (2014): $36,240

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Funeral service managers

Stress tolerance: 93.3

Average annual salary (2014): $81,080

Photo Credit: Alamy

Nurse midwives

Stress tolerance: 93.3

Average annual salary (2014): $97,700

Photo Credit: AP

Psychiatric aides

Stress tolerance: 93.3

Average annual salary (2014): $28,430

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Respiratory therapists

Stress tolerance: 93.3

Average annual salary (2014): $58,490

Photo Credit: AP

Umpires, referees, and other sports officials

Stress tolerance: 93.3

Average annual salary (2014): $33,400

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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