Disclosure: Human Rights Careers may be compensated by course providers.

10 Rewarding Social Justice Jobs That Make a Real Difference

Social justice is all about achieving equality within a society and between all peoples. That definition encompasses a lot of areas, such as healthcare, criminal law, legislative law, the environment, families, and more. If you want to make an impact on the world and making it a better place, you are interested in social justice. What careers or jobs let you pursue social justice in a real way? Here are ten examples:

Social worker

Social work is a broad profession, but at its core, it’s a job that’s about serving people in need. Social workers look at different angles of a problem their clients face and provide assistance in the form of counseling, education, and more. A wide variety of organizations need social workers, like schools, hospitals, corporations, and prisons. Depending on your passions, you specialize in a type of social work. The most recognizable type of social worker is probably a child-and-family social worker, though there are others. Every social worker maintains close communication and relationships with their community, and aims to make things better.

Urban planner

Urban and city planners are responsible for figuring out how land should be used. They write plans and implement programs for public institutions like libraries and schools. Where does social justice fit into these planning? Urban planners are considered with things like housing, transportation, and the environment. When viewed through a social justice lens, urban planners are essentially responsible for strengthening the community. That can mean setting up programs that provide opportunities for people, creating more green spaces for a healthier environment, and dealing with many cities’ growing need for more affordable housing.

Community health worker

Health and wellness is a matter of social justice because many people struggle with being under-insured or without any insurance at all. They aren’t aware of what resources are out there. That’s where a community health worker comes in. They can help individuals and communities by collecting health data, figuring out a plan of action to improve wellness, and more. When people have good health, every other area of their lives improves, too.

Mental health worker/psychiatric technician

Mental health is just as important as physical health. Unfortunately, many people live with mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and more. A mental health worker, also known as a psychiatric technician, usually work under an RA on a team. They provide services like monitoring patients and helping with care. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this field is expected to grow by 5% through 2024.

Social justice specialist/consultant

A social justice specialist is an expert on issues relevant to social justice like race and gender discrimination. Like a regular consultant, they are often brought in to corporations or non-profits to educate and train people working there. The specialist may also be responsible for creating policies.

NGO program officer

Non-government organizations (NGOs) are privately-funded orgs with specific goals. Examples of social justice NGOs include the NAACP and the Innocence Project, which fights against wrongful convictions. NGOs need program officers with a wide range of skills, depending on the specific program. Work could include marketing, fundraising, planning, and more.

About the author


Emmaline Soken-Huberty

Emmaline Soken-Huberty is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon. She started to become interested in human rights while attending college, eventually getting a concentration in human rights and humanitarianism. LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, and climate change are of special concern to her. In her spare time, she can be found reading or enjoying Oregon’s natural beauty with her husband and dog.