Many people often associate a high-paying career with more stress. But is that always the case? While many positions with high salaries are going to be stressful, there are a number of fun jobs that pay well. Even better, many of them utilize some pretty unusual skills, some of which you may have.
Read on to learn about how to secure these unique, high-paying positions.
15 Fun Jobs That Pay Well
The jobs on this list have some lofty requirements in some cases. Some expect you to have a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in a certain field, while others may require years of experience in something obscure, like racing. But, each of these opportunities can lead to a rewarding career with a high annual salary.
1. Food Critic
Average salary: $49,000
Skills needed: Strong writing skills, and a degree in English or journalism is helpful.
If you like food and have a knack for writing, the role of food critic could be a dream job for you. As a food critic, you’ll review meals at restaurants for local papers and magazines, and possibly even make appearances on television.
While this role doesn’t technically require a bachelor’s degree, a background in English or journalism as well as formal experience in the culinary arts can help give you authority.
2. Video Game Designer
Average salary: $63,000
Skills needed: Programming or coding skills, plus a background in design.
The life of a video game designer is not for the faint of heart, as the job requires extensive knowledge of various coding languages, working knowledge in graphic design principles, and long hours. But for those that are passionate about gaming and love creative fields, this can be an exciting career path that’s only going to get larger as time goes on.
A formal education in coding and programming isn’t required, but it can help you find an entry-level job. There are also free courses you can take online to learn programming and coding. These courses can help you get your foot in the door and can be a great way to test the waters without wasting thousands on a college program you dislike.
3. Graphic Designer
Average salary: $44,000
Skills needed: Artistic ability and knowledge of various design programs.
The role of a graphic designer is a big one that spans many industries and types of work. If you’re creative and don’t mind working at a computer for long hours, you could make a great graphic designer. Designers can do anything from creating visuals for websites, to composing engaging social media ads, to working on video games — just to name a few of the different types of work that are available.
While the role of graphic designer requires significant artistic ability, it also requires someone who’s tech-oriented and comfortable learning numerous design programs. A formal education isn’t required, but hands-on experience with design software is a must.
4. Software Developer
Average salary: $70,000
Skills needed: Knowledge of programming platforms and coding languages.
The life of a software developer is not a low-stress one, but it is exciting and fast paced. As a software developer, you get to create scripts, programs, and applications for computers. This involves long days of using your creativity to develop original ideas and a penchant for teamwork, as you’ll be working closely with coders. While the days are long and intense, this job does deliver the satisfaction of seeing your hard work come to life when the final product is done.
The occasional software developer job won’t ask for a college education, but most jobs will require a bachelor’s degree in computer science or software engineering. Most importantly, you’ll need to have a working knowledge of programming languages, be comfortable leading a team, and understand the computer systems being used by the company you’re applying for.
5. Personal Shopper
Average salary: $39,000
Skills needed: A sharp eye for fashion trends with great people skills.
Do you love shopping and helping people? If you’re always giving your friends outfit recommendations and your Instagram feed is full of designers and stylists, the personal shopping profession could be your calling.
As a personal shopper, you’d help people at a certain store or with a certain brand find the products that match their tastes. This requires no formal education, but an in-depth knowledge of the products you’re working with, as well as great people skills and intuition. This job does often involve working in a retail space, so expect a fast-paced work environment that requires some hustle on your part. This role also requires extensive fashion knowledge, meaning you need to stay on top of trends, understand what looks good on people, and be able to adapt to different stores on the fly.
Personal shopping is already a niche role, but requires further specialization out of the gate. Typically, personal shoppers will choose an area, like middle-aged women or businessmen. This allows them to understand fashion specifically for that group. To become even more marketable, you can also consider enrolling in a fashion course, like those offered by the State University of New York.
Once you have a solid foundational knowledge of fashion, you can either work in retail and offer your services for free to interested parties, or start helping friends and families with shopping for the right outfit. As your clientele and experience grows, you can start heavily marketing your services online.
There are also select retail outlets that hire personal shoppers, like Nordstrom. These jobs can be difficult to come by, but it’s still worth searching in your area for any personal shopper roles. If there aren’t any, think about working as a retail specialist at a store you’re passionate about. This will allow you to get an intimate knowledge of the clothing they offer, give you an opportunity to network and meet customers, and slowly build up your experience.
6. Dog Walker
Average salary: $55,000
Skills needed: People skills and being comfortable around dogs.
For those that love dogs and the outdoors, few jobs are going to be more perfect than that of dog walker. And in many cases, this is a job that allows you to be your own boss.
As a dog walker, you would be responsible for walking the dogs of people who are on vacation, at work, or simply busy. This job requires no formal education — only a love for animals and great people skills. Work doesn’t get much more fun than being paid to walk our furry canine friends. In the past this job required running personal ads, but now services like Rover can enable you to quickly find clients.
7. Interior Designer
Average salary: $48,000
Skills needed: A bachelor’s or master’s degree in design is helpful, and an artistic eye is a must.
For those with an artistic eye and a love for beautifying their surroundings, interior design is a natural fit.
If you work as an interior designer, you’ll be responsible for helping people and businesses renovate their homes and workplaces. This requires extensive knowledge of design, what looks good, and what is currently in style. Because of this, a degree in interior design can be especially helpful and give you more authority.
Average salary: $59,000
Skills needed: Knowledge of fermentation and blending, as well as general agricultural knowledge.
If you’re patient, love wine, and aren’t afraid to get involved with the delicate process of fermentation, you could be a great winemaker.
Winemakers are responsible for selecting varieties of grapes (and, in some cases, for growing them), fermenting them, blending them, and ultimately creating wine. The process requires extensive knowledge of fermentation and grape varieties, making an agricultural background a big plus. While there’s no formal education required, this is a role where some heavy homework ahead of time can go a long way, as fermentation and winemaking require expertise.
Average salary: $49,000
Skills needed: Extensive knowledge of wine, strong background in hospitality and service.
If you enjoy drinking wine and sharing that joy with others, and you have a restaurant background, perhaps you should jump onto the rewarding path to becoming a sommelier.
As a sommelier, you would work at a winery or restaurant and help customers find the right wine for their palate. You would also help people pair wines with the food they’re ordering, and even work with the chef to create wine pairings that go with the entrees being served.
Becoming a sommelier requires experience in the restaurant or hospitality field. If you already have server experience under your belt, you can pursue a sommelier position by working your way up at a restaurant. Certification is not technically required, but it can give you a leg up on the competition. Any sommelier hopeful would benefit from pursuing certification. Classes are offered through wine or culinary organizations, or even through community colleges.
Your hospitality experience and knowledge of wine could mean that you will soon be on your way to having your favorite beverage be your career.
Note: The Master Sommelier certification is notoriously rigorous and not required to start working as a sommelier. There are only 172 Master Sommeliers in the United States. Only consider this path once you’ve been working in the wine industry for years.
10. Marine Biologist
Average salary: $52,000
Skills needed: Excellent research skills with a strong background in math, chemistry, and statistics.
Marine biologists play an important role in the science community and humanity’s understanding of the world we live in. For those with a love for ocean life and a drive to understand what makes creatures tick, the life of a marine biologist can be a rewarding one.
Marine biologists spend their days studying sea life, as well as the environments in which sea creatures live. This can involve expeditions, dives, and long nights in laboratories. A degree in biology or biochemistry is a must for this field, as an extensive knowledge of science is needed to begin this profession.
11. Ferrari Driving Instructor
Average salary: $120,000+
Skills needed: Professional racing experience.
This isn’t the most practical job on this list, but it’s certainly a fun one that can pay very well for someone with the right experience.
A professional Ferrari driving instructor helps people learn to drive Ferrari sports cars, generally on a closed course. This job doesn’t have any hard and fast requirements, but those who have found success with this role often have prior experience as a professional race car driver. This makes the role a rather niche one, but it’s fun nonetheless.
12. Ethical Hacker
Average salary: $85,000
Skills needed: Extensive computer and cybersecurity skills.
The best locks are those that have been extensively tested. Ethical hackers test the digital locks that keep us all safe across the internet.
If you’re incredibly knowledgeable about computers and have a great understanding of cybersecurity, you could possibly be an ethical hacker. Ethical hackers are often hired by software developers or security firms, and tasked with intentionally breaking into software. This is done to find security loopholes and close them, ensuring the final product is safer for consumers.
No formal education is necessarily required, but you will need to be prepared to showcase your skills and understanding of hacking and cybersecurity.
13. Park Ranger
Average salary: $39,000
Skills needed: Knowledge of the outdoors and wildlife, plus people skills.
Do you love being outside in nature? Does the thought of helping others enjoy nature excite you? If you can answer “yes” to both of these questions, you might just make a great park ranger.
Park rangers are responsible for helping maintain the beauty of parks around the country, as well as ensuring visitors are safe. This requires comfort with the outdoors and knowledge about wildlife. Your day can range from calm and relaxing, to having to help remove venomous snakes, to assisting in the evacuation of an injured camper.
No college degree is required for this role, but any education pertaining to wildlife can come in handy.
Average salary: $50,000
Skills needed: Great writing skills and digital marketing knowledge.
Everyone is passionate about something. Blogging is a fun job that pays well after you put in some time and strategy.
Bloggers regularly write articles covering a topic of interest, and can make money through sponsored posts, ads, merchandise, and even paid appearances once they’re popular enough. Blogging does take time however, so don’t expect to make money overnight with this role.
One of the biggest perks to blogging is its accessibility. For as low as $3 a month with Bluehost, you can start a blog right now and begin writing. And while no prior experience or education is required for blogging, it does help if you’re a great writer.
15. Cruise Ship Employee
Average salary: $28,000
Skills needed: People skills and prior serving skills are a plus.
Cruise ship companies require a lot of help to get passengers from Point A to Point B. There are a number of cruise ship employee spots, many of which require little to no experience to get into. Because of this, there is a large salary gap, with most positions paying in the $20,000s, and only a select few positions being around $100,000.
If you love being on the water and helping people have a great time, the life of a cruise ship employee can be a sun-filled way to make a living. Those with prior serving experience can likely find a spot working in the bar or restaurant aboard the ship, while others can help with housekeeping and other positions.
Finding Your Fun Fit
Finding fun jobs that pay well might feel like a long shot, but there’s a big chance you have some of the skills required to land at least one of the jobs on this list. If not, you can always take online courses and see if you’re interested in any of the skills required for the above positions. And you can always make a fun living by working from home, which can be very profitable, too.
There are limitless opportunities out there. Do some digging, think about what excites you and where your skills lie, and don’t give up until you find a job that’s fun and pays well. In the meantime, you can always pick up a fun part-time job on the weekend to keep things interesting.