Few of us ended up in the jobs we dreamed of as children. I wanted to be a marine biologist. My best friend in elementary school wanted to be a dump truck. Dreams don’t always come true. If you’re feeling a little existential angst in your current position, maybe consider a career shift into one of these super cool jobs in which you can make more money.
Paradise Island Caretaker. $60K/yr + Free Accomodations. Island caretakers look after the property of people who own private islands while they’re away. Responsibilities may include gardening, carpentry, and renovation. Working well independently and enjoying solitude are both requirements.
Video Game Tester. $48K/yr. Testers play through new games and provide feedback to designers. Candidates must know how to find software glitches and test for bugs. Working well as part of a team helps, and good communication to give accurate feedback to developers.
Ethical Hacker. $120K/yr. Also called Penetration Testers. People in this position purposefully try to penetrate networks and systems to find and fix any weak points. Frequently, they provide training to a company, to increase security awareness. It’s a growing field for people willing to work for the man.
Crossword Puzzle Writer. $40K/yr. Most crossword puzzle writers work freelance, with publications paying per puzzle. The New York Times pays up to $1000 for a Sunday crossword, but consider how long it may take to complete a puzzle of that caliber.
Stunt Person. $120K/yr. Often people confuse this job with that of a Stunt Double. Productions hire doubles to step in for an actor who can’t perform a task. Stunt People are actors in their own right, hired to do the action in a movie. It requires dedication because, as with all acting, there’s a fair amount of rejection.
Disney Face Character. $11/hr. Acting as a Disney character is a labor of love, as the pay is the same for being a barista. Disney parks conduct auditions based on the height of the actors. Once hired, actors must play over one character, including inside the big fur-suits. Job seekers are only allowed one audition per year.
Race Engineer. $100K/yr. These members of race crews analyze the data from the racetrack to improve both a vehicle and driver’s performance. They may also get hands on by managing vehicle mechanics and test schedules. This job requires a degree in engineering.
Greensman. $83K/yr. These individuals design and arrange all greenery on movie sets. They provide care for plant life and common landscaping materials like sand and rocks. They work as a part of the art department and must know about film and horticulture.
Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Guru. $50K/yr. Also called “creamologists,” these are the people responsible for coming up with new can’t-resist flavors for ice cream companies. The job requires a lot of secrecy and staying on top of current trends. Although a lot of the names are from customer write-ins, it’s the guru’s job to come up with the winning combination of flavors.
Netflix Tagger. $70K/yr. This job requires employees to binge watch TV and tag it with accurate metadata so Netflix subscribers can find content that they’re looking for. People working in this position describe it as similar to being a librarian. They must accurately place content within a broader context, just with tags instead of the Dewey Decimal system. They also need to make sure that a line of titles looks good on Netflix while customers browse.