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5 Great Careers for Empathetic People

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Having empathy is a good personality trait that can be beneficial in various careers. Empathetic people are sensitive to other people’s emotions and usually behave with compassion and kindness. If you have strong empathy, then you are likely to gain a sense of purpose and satisfaction for doing a job that helps others. Doing a meaningful job can give you a sense of purpose and help you gain more enjoyment from your working life. With that in mind, here are five great careers for empathetic people.

1. Nurse

Training to become a nurse can be an excellent career choice for someone who has an empathetic and compassionate attitude. Having strong empathy allows nurses to understand and meet their patients more effectively. Empathetic people also tend to be natural caregivers, which makes nursing an ideal career. Nurses tend to get a great sense of satisfaction from providing medical care and helping people in their time of need. The career outlook for nurses is also extremely good, and there is a huge demand for skilled nurses. For that reason, registered nurses enjoy many great job perks such as high salaries, good working conditions, and plenty of advancement opportunities. According to Nursing License Map, registered nurses earn an average of $75,000 per year, while nurse practitioners can expect to earn upwards of $110,000. 

The typical route to becoming a registered nurse involves completing a four-year nursing degree and clinical placements before applying for a license to practice. Many registered nurses go on to earn additional qualifications to improve their earning potential and job prospects. For instance, a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) can prepare nurses for senior nursing positions. Fortunately, many MSN programs have no GRE required and can be completed online via distance learning. An additional perk of learning online is that you can continue to do the job you love. Providing your skills as a nurse while you gain other knowledge can benefit you and those you are treating, as they can have access to the best nurses even as you focus on your career. 

2. Social workers 

Most social workers are empathetic by nature as they need the ability to understand someone else’s situation and offer the best support. Having strong empathy skills also helps social workers build trusting relationships with their clients. Social workers help people overcome challenges such as divorce, family trauma, and substance abuse. They connect individuals, families, and groups with services that will improve their health and overall quality of life. Being able to demonstrate empathy is a key attribute of an effective social worker, and many professionals complete empathy training to enhance their skills. Most social workers become qualified by completing a bachelor’s degree in social work or a related subject such as sociology or psychology. Social workers must then apply for a license in the state where they wish to practice. Once qualified, social workers can specialize in their chosen field, such as family social work or substance abuse social work. Some social working roles require an advanced degree, e.g., clinical social workers typically have to earn an MA in social work before they can apply for licensure. 

3. Teacher

According to experts at understood.org, “using empathy in the classroom can help educators better understand and support their students.” Being empathetic towards students can also help teachers connect with their students on a more meaningful level and encourage a stronger work ethic in the classroom. Empathetic teachers are also better suited to support students with additional needs. For instance, special education teachers support students who have a wide range of disabilities and learning difficulties. Working in special education can be extremely rewarding, and teachers make a positive impact on their students every day. Teachers also act as role models and play a crucial role in shaping the next generation of learners. To become a special education teacher, you must first complete a state-approved teaching degree and then apply for licensure. Many special education teachers also enroll in a master’s degree specializing in special education. 

4. Police officer

The role of a police officer is to protect the public by maintaining law and order. Police officers have a diverse range of responsibilities that may include making arrests, conducting investigations, responding to emergencies, and interviewing suspects. Research has found that empathy can help police offices conduct their duties more effectively. According to scholar.com; “training police offices to be more empathetic can improve community reactions to their efforts and increase trust and confidence in the police.” When police offices show empathy, they will find it easier to communicate with members of the public. They will also have a better understanding of criminal behavior and improve the effectiveness of their rehabilitation efforts. For that reason, a person with strong empathy can make a great police officer. Police officers must graduate from a police training academy to become qualified. Most facilities only require a high school diploma or GED. That said, many police offices choose to earn a bachelor’s degree or another higher qualification to improve their future job prospects. 

5. Psychologist

Psychologists help people overcome emotional issues using a variety of techniques such as therapy and medication. They work with people suffering from a broad range of mental health disorders, including depression, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress, and addiction. The role of a psychologist is to listen to a person’s problems and then design a treatment plan to help them overcome their issues and lead a healthier and happier life. Psychologists need to have empathy so that they can understand their patients’ emotional struggles and offer encouragement and support. Empathetic people tend to have people’s best interests at heart, which helps them become effective therapists. Licensed psychologists work in various work settings, including hospitals, private clinics, and social services. Take a look at this guide on how to become a psychologist

Final thoughts 

People with strong empathy tend to gravitate towards careers that help people and make a positive impact. If you have an empathetic attitude, then you are likely to find meaningful work more rewarding and fulfilling. Above are some ideal careers for empathetic people. These roles offer the opportunity to help people in need, make a positive impact in society, and maintain high job satisfaction. 

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