Best jobs for saving the world

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6. Environmental Engineer

best jobs, jobs helping others, environmental engineer
Median pay: $81,200
Top pay: $113,000
10-year job growth: 31%
Total jobs: 50,000
The job: Finding ways to make the planet a better place to live in is all in a day's work for environmental engineers. These problem solvers address challenges like waste disposal and air and water pollution. They also work to repair areas damaged by development or natural disasters. If you relish the challenge of coming up with environmentally sound solutions to real-world problems, this is a job for you. As world population growth spurs more concerns about the impact of human activity on the environment, this profession will be in high demand.

How to switch: Being eco-conscious isn't enough. You need an undergraduate engineering degree, and in many cases, a master's. Find out more from the American Academy of Environmental Engineers at aaee.net.

Quality of life ratings:
Personal satisfaction Benefit to society Low stress Flexibility
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Do Environmental Engineers have great jobs, or what?
From the November 2011 issue
Notes: All pay data from PayScale.com. Median pay is for an experienced worker (at least two to seven years in the field). Top pay represents the 90th percentile. Job growth is estimated for 2008-18. Total current employment level is estimated number of people working in each specific job.

Sources: PayScale.com, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and MONEY research
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Using Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts for 7,000 titles, MONEY and compensation experts PayScale.com identified jobs requiring a bachelor's degree that have strong growth prospects, and eliminated any with fewer than 10,000 positions nationwide, plus those requiring advanced degrees that take more than three years. More

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