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Meaningful jobs that make a difference

by Chloe Baird
Posted: April 28, 2021

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Can my job help change the world for the better?

It’s a big question. And it’s one a lot of people think about when looking for work or planning their career.

Making a living wage is important. But what if you could get a job that pays well that also helps you make a positive impact on your community?

Once you begin thinking about the impact some jobs have on the community at large, you’ll realise that there are more than a few options out there when it comes to jobs that make a difference.  

When you think about jobs that make a difference, what’s the first career you think of? Nurse? Firefighter? Social Worker? These are all career paths that make a significant impact on our communities and jobs which directly help people in need. But there are also other options out there for job seekers who want their career to be both meaningful and rewarding.

We’ve put together a list of some of the most rewarding and meaningful jobs in Australia in some of the most employable industries right now. What kind of job can you imagine yourself in? Read on to discover your next career path.

Patient and doctor

Which jobs make a difference?

Do you want a career that can help make a positive impact on the world? Here are eight jobs you can pursue that can help make a difference.

1. Youth Worker

As a Youth Worker, you’ll be helping young people with their development and helping to safeguard at-risk individuals.

By gaining the trust of your young clients, you’ll work to support them through life’s challenges: whether they’re trying to cope with grief, drug addiction, alcoholism, mental health issues or financial problems. They could also be struggling with issues like homelessness or domestic violence. You’ll become a trusted advocate and will be responsible for identifying problems and raising issues through the right channels so young people can get the help they need.

Make a positive impact in the lives of young people and study the CHC50413 Diploma of Youth Work.

2. Nurse or Nursing Assistant

Did you know that nursing is the most trusted profession in the world? Nurses are patient advocates, and a big part of their role is not only about caring for patients but also providing them comfort and support. And in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve become a source of hope and inspiration.

Joining the growing healthcare industry and becoming a Nurse or Nursing Assistant is a great choice for people who want a job that can make a positive impact on peoples’ lives. Each day will be different, and you’ll be working alongside other health professionals to give care to injured or sick patients.

Begin your career in the rapidly expanding healthcare industry by studying the HLT54115 Diploma of Nursing at OC’s South Australia or Western Australia campuses.

3. Animal Care Attendant

In the financial year of 2019-20, the RSPCA accepted 112,530 animals into their shelters and adoption centres. Fortunately, a huge percentage of these animals were able to find their forever homes.

The RSPCA and other animal welfare groups in Australia do incredible work advocating for animal welfare and helping surrendered and rescued animals find loving homes. If you love animals and want a job that can help make a difference, you could consider working in a shelter as an Animal Care Attendant or as an Animal Welfare Inspector.

Yes, the job can be tough. But every day you’ll be working towards an incredibly important cause, promoting the welfare of animals in Australia and helping to educate people about responsible pet ownership.

Get your start as an Animal Care Attendant by studying the ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies.

4. Aged Care Support Worker

As Australia’s ageing population continues to grow, there is more demand than ever for Aged Care Support Workers. Seek actually lists Aged and Disabled Carer as the third most in-demand job in Australia.

Some older Australians manage to live independently in their own home but still need help with little tasks around the house. Some people need to move into an aged care facility if they can no longer live at home. Whatever their situation, elderly Australians need care and support in many different ways, whether it’s simply help getting household tasks done, help with personal care, or just having a friendly chat with someone.

You can take the first step towards a rewarding career in a much-needed industry by studying the CHC43015 Certificate IV in Ageing Support.

5. Data Scientist

Wait, how can working as a Data Scientist make a positive impact on the world?

Data Scientists are in very high demand right now, as their specialised skill set can help organisations make informed decisions that can benefit the business. Data Scientists do this by collecting big data, analysing it and implementing machine learning algorithms to predict future outcomes.

But it’s not just big businesses who can benefit from the skills and knowledge of Data Scientists – educational institutes, charity organisations and scientific agencies can also benefit. For example, data science can be used to determine which learners need help in specific areas. This would mean that students would be getting more focused help in areas that needed it, improving their learning experience. Data science is also currently being used in Australia to help predict bushfires, which can help save lives.

Are you passionate about numbers as well as improving the world around you? Get started in a meaningful career in data science with the Certified Data Professional course.

6. Early Childhood Educator

Early Childhood Educators help children with their development in the very early stages of their lives. Early childhood education usually refers to teaching children from birth up to eight years old. These young minds are at their most impressionable, which means they need an Educator who can help them develop them mentally, emotionally and sometimes physically.  

As an Early Childhood Educator, you can make a positive impact on the lives of young children by creating well-rounded curricula that can help them develop in all key areas. You’ll be helping to give the next generation of Australians the best possible head-start in life.

Start an exciting, fun-filled and rewarding career as an Early Childhood Educator with the CHC50113 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care.

Class of children

7. Mental Health Worker

There is a growing need for Mental Health Workers in Australia. As more people become aware of the need to look after their mental health, Mental Health Workers are in high demand. A recent report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found that there had been an increase in the need for mental health services, with a 15% increase in the number of services delivered during 2020 compared to the same report period in 2019.

A Mental Health Worker’s primary role is to support and help people living with mental illness, substance abuse and other social problems. If you want to make a real and lasting positive impact on the lives of people doing it tough, then working as a Mental Health Worker could be a great choice for you.

Study the CHC43315 Certificate IV in Mental Health and find out how your work in this sector can make a meaningful difference in the community.

8. Occupational Therapist

Occupational Therapists work closely with clients who are living with a disability or are recovering from injury or illness. They walk with people of all different abilities and ages, from young kids to elderly people.

Occupational Therapists help their clients to learn how to perform necessary, everyday tasks that can help them to become more independent. They can also help clients on the road to recovery if they’re looking to return to work or want to join in on social activities.

Sometimes, OTs will introduce the use of assistive devices, such as wheelchairs, walking aids and self-care aids. They’ll work to help their clients learn how to make the best use of these devices in their everyday lives so they can get back to doing the things they love.

As you can see, OTs have a very important role to play when it comes to helping improve the quality of life for people.

Get started in occupational therapy with the HLT43015 Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance (Occupational Therapy).

How can I find a meaningful job that makes a difference?

If you’re trying to find a job that can offer you a decent wage as well as personal satisfaction, then you can start by working out what you’re passionate about and how you’d like to contribute to your community.

Do you care strongly about the rights of older Australians? Do you love animals and feel passionate about their welfare and protection? Do you have a great rapport with kids and want to do your bit to help vulnerable children? Look at your passions, strengths and weaknesses and then try and find a career path that aligns with your values.

Whatever kind of career you’re looking to follow, a VET qualification could help you reach your goals.

OC offers a number of nationally recognised VET certificates and diplomas across a wide range of areas, including childcare, aged care and health.  

We also offer a 7 day free trial across many of our courses, which could help you discover which course is right for you and get you started on the road towards a successful and fulfilling career that makes a difference.

Take a look at our extensive list of VET qualifications today and discover your passion.

Everything can happen.


Chloe Baird

Chloe is an Open Colleges alumnus who now works full time for OC as a Content and Copywriting Specialist. She is passionate about encouraging others to pursue their goals through education.

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