Does Your Job Make the World a Better Place?

For those of us who aren’t saving babies or curing cancer on a daily basis, the question “Does your job make the world a better place?” isn’t easy to answer. Reports show that more than half of Americans aren’t satisfied at work, let alone pleased about their social impact. In a new report, PayScale set out to determine who does, in fact, think their job is meaningful and how much those lucky few are paid. Not surprisingly, brain and heart surgeons are among the most confident of their ability to improve the world (and also the highest-paid), but the hidden job fulfillment of water treatment plant operators should not be overlooked.

McCann is a contributing graphics editor for Bloomberg Businessweek. Follow her on Twitter @atmccann.

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