Best jobs for saving the world

9 of 20
9. Recreation Therapist

best jobs, jobs helping others, recreation therapist
Median pay: $42,300
Top pay: $53,500
10-year job growth: 15%
Total jobs: 20,000
The job: Recreation therapists get people with disabilities, injuries or illnesses to engage with the world again through art, music and sports. They work in private, commercial, clinical or community settings. The job requires creativity and persistence, but it's gratifying when you see people move away from what they lost and focus on the abilities they do have. Says Shawna Hill, a recreation therapist who works with veterans: "To see empowerment in the individual is what keeps you going."

How to switch: You need an undergraduate degree with coursework in therapeutic recreation. Certification, which involves a knowledge-based written exam and completion of supervised work experience, will make you a more attractive candidate. Learn more at

Quality of life ratings:
Personal satisfaction Benefit to society Low stress Flexibility

Subscribe to Money Magazine
Do Recreation Therapists have great jobs, or what?
From the November 2011 issue
Notes: All pay data from 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:, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and MONEY research
Using Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts for 7,000 titles, MONEY and compensation experts 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

Comments? E-mail the editors
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.