Service Oriented Careers

Do you feel a sense of duty to serve your country or community? A service-oriented career might be just what you're looking for! Whether you're interested in serving locally, nationally, or internationally, there are great options available to you. Below, you’ll get a small sample of what’s available, but it will be enough to get you started exploring these exciting careers. Read on to learn more about how you can pursue a rewarding and fulfilling path that allows you to help others. 

Benefits of a Service-Oriented Career Path 

There are many benefits to enlisting in service-oriented organizations directly out of high school. These include: 

  • Skills development: Service-oriented careers provide opportunities to learn new skills, such as language proficiency, leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving. 
  • Career opportunities: Service-oriented careers offer a wide range of career opportunities, from healthcare and engineering to teaching and law enforcement. 
  • Education and training: Many service-oriented organizations offer education and training opportunities, including on-the-job training, certification programs, and education benefits. 
  • Personal growth: Service-oriented careers can provide opportunities for personal growth and self-discovery, as well as the satisfaction of making a positive impact on the world. 

Service oriented careers are not for everyone, and nearly all will have an application and selection process and/or training you’ll need to complete, but the payoff will be well worth the effort. Check out the options below to get a sense of the benefits and requirements of some popular service-oriented career pathways.  

Common Service Oriented Careers

Peace Corps

In more than 60 countries, Peace Corps Volunteers are putting their purpose, passion, and skills to work in partnership with welcoming host communities – growing, teaching, learning, and making change together. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, you will live and work alongside community members on locally prioritized projects, receiving a stipend and other support as you immerse yourself in a new culture. You’ll build relationships, exchange knowledge, and help transform lives for generations. 

The program is open to U.S. citizens over the age of 18 who have a desire to serve their country and the world. Volunteers commit to two years of service (+ 3 months training) and receive benefits such as language and cultural training, medical and dental care, and a living stipend.  


AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs that engage Americans in service to their communities addressing critical needs like education, disaster relief, community building, poverty, and environmental stewardship. AmeriCorps members serve in a variety of settings, such as schools, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies. AmeriCorps members receive a living stipend and an education award that can be used to pay for college or other educational expenses. Members can serve full-time or part-time and can choose between short- and long-term programs. AmeriCorps is a great option for those who want to gain professional skills, make a positive impact in their community, and earn money for education, including trade schools. 

The U.S. Military

Joining the military is another option for those interested in a service-oriented career. The military offers a wide variety of career paths and specialties, including healthcare, engineering, and technology. Members receive training and education benefits, as well as a steady income and opportunities for advancement. Both active duty and military reserves require a commitment of at least four years. Active duty is a full-time commitment, while reservists are only required to report for duty one weekend a month and two weeks each summer. Both options may involve deployments overseas. Contact your local recruiter to learn more about the options the U.S. military holds for you.  

Other Service Oriented Careers

There are also many other service-oriented options that do not necessarily require a college degree, like working for the National Park Service, emergency medical services, and firefighting to name a few. 


Firefighters protect people and property from fires and other emergencies. Many fire departments offer on-the-job training and certification programs. 

Law Enforcement

Police officers and other law enforcement personnel protect the public and enforce laws. Many law enforcement agencies offer on-the-job training and certification programs.

Emergency Medical Services

Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics provide medical care in emergency situations. Many EMT and paramedic programs require only a high school diploma or equivalent. 


Conservation workers protect and manage natural resources, such as forests, parks, and wildlife. Many conservation jobs offer on-the-job training and certification programs.

Preparing for a Service-Oriented Career

While each organization has different requirements, there are several things you can do in high school to prepare yourself for a service-oriented career. These include: 

  • Volunteer in your community: Seek out opportunities to volunteer in your community, such as working at a food bank, cleaning up a park, or tutoring younger students. These experiences can help you develop valuable skills such as teamwork, communication, and problem-solving. Participating in these activities can help you network and will also show service-focused organizations that you have a history of serving your community and can help you stand out if there is a competitive selection process. 
  • Build your skills: Take classes that will help you develop skills relevant to your chosen service-oriented career. For example, if you are interested in healthcare, take biology and anatomy classes. If you are interested in environmental stewardship, take classes in ecology and conservation. 
  • Stay active and fit: Many service-oriented careers require physical fitness, so it is important to stay active and fit. Join a sports team or take up a fitness hobby such as hiking or yoga. If the start of your career is also the adventure of a lifetime, you’re going to want to be feeling your best and functioning at peak performance.   

As you can see, service-oriented careers cover a huge selection of fields and specialties, so you’re sure to find something that fits with your goals. Use the information above as a starting point and dive into your own research to discover a rewarding career where you can make the biggest impact on the issues you care about.