15 of the Most Fun High-Paying Jobs You Won’t Believe Actually Exist
For some, rolling out of bed each morning requires a lot of mind games and internal persuasion. Most of us don’t necessarily scurry off in a hurry to go sit at a desk all day at a job that’s just too … well, work-y. Experts insist that if we find a job we love, we’ll never work a day in our lives. But securing a high-paying job that’s also entertaining and exciting is easier said than done.
The words fun and work aren’t usually synonymous with each other — unless you land one of these positions. Here are 15 high-paying jobs you’ll never get tired of commuting to each morning. And they actually exist.
1. Professional line stander
- Up to $1,000 per week
The best businesses start when people solve a problem for others. A man in New York created SOLD Inc. by doing just that. He offers to wait in long, boring lines for people too busy to do it themselves. Want those front row concert tickets? How about the new iPhone? There’s a guy for that. Professional line standers can make up to $1,000 a week, according to a Business Insider interview with the company’s owner.
Next: A high-paying job with a sweet view
- $90,890 per year on average
Volcanologists split their time between the lab and the great outdoors studying dangerously active volcanoes. Therefore, your office could be a tropical Hawaiian island one day and Iceland the next. You’ll need a post-graduate qualification in volcanology (yes, that’s a real certification), but the extra schooling is worth it because geoscientists earn a median annual salary of $89,780 according to BLS. Other reputable sources list a volcanologist’s annual salary closer to $91,000 per year.
Next: You can thank the marijuana industry for this next job
3. Edibles chef
- $50,000 to $100,000 per year
The marijuana industry is creating countless new high-paying jobs for Americans needing a career change. One of those new careers involves creating marijuana-infused recipes for consumption. The business is just as competitive, and lucrative, as you might expect considering how many states have recently adopted new legalization laws. These professionals can earn up to $100,000 per year to create legal pot cookies, coffees, brownies, candy, and more.
Next: How forgiving are your taste buds?
4. Dog food taster
- $37,550 per year on average
There are plenty of animal and food scientists out there. But there are also those who make their niche ensuring dog food is both nutritious and tasty. And yes, your method for testing is exactly what you think it would be. If your skills extend beyond taste and texture, you could make up to $77,000 as a technical director developing new dog food recipes and advising on regulatory matters.
Next: A high-paying animal profession that requires no taste testing
5. Pet psychologist
- $90,000 per year on average
Pet psychologists, or animal behaviorists, earn a lucrative annual salary working one-on-one with animals in their environment. Think of it as a veterinarian without the gory surgeries and hysterical human owners. Still, an advanced degree is required to help owners with ornery pets and pinpoint ways to squelch such behaviors. If you’re really brave, you could move beyond cats and dogs and into wild animal behavior therapy.
Next: An under-the-sea job
6. Professional mermaid
- $300 per hour
A childhood obsession could turn into a profitable career if you play your cards right. Full-timers, like these professional underwater mermaid creatures from Montreal, charge upwards of $300 an hour to entertain party guests and train other hopeful mermaids. Others join the elite Weeki Wachi brigade after completing a three-month training program and travel the country educating and entertaining viewers about water safety and conservation.
Next: A dream job for most
7. Bed tester
- Up to $63,590 per year.
Crawling out of bed to get to work is not a problem for bed-testers — mostly because they’re already in it. In 2009, a student was paid over $1,100 to sleep in designer beds for one month. Others are hired by department stores on a permanent basis to research products as a “tester” and help consumers choose the best bed. Luckily, the most effective testing method involves actually snuggling into the bed and trying it out for yourself.
Next: See how your voice can make you rich
8. Voice over worker
- $62,000 per year on average
Talk is definitely not cheap. And those with the gift of gab can pocket the big bucks as a voice-over worker. The hourly rate for voice-over work varies drastically — anywhere from $16 to $300, but the national average salary is a comfortable $62,000 according to PayScale. It’s clear people are willing to pay top dollar for someone else’s singsong-y voice. Redd Horrocks tells Business Insider that she makes over $9,000 a month consistently by recording audio books, voicemails, and narration videos for her clients on Fiverr.
Next: A job that’s not for the faint of heart
9. Crime scene cleaner
- Upwards of $75,000
CSI-obsessed people might jump at the chance to earn big bucks cleaning up crime scenes, albeit under unfortunate circumstances. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists hazardous materials removal workers at $40,640 per year, but if you deal with the more dangerous biohazard fluids, annual pay could reach six-figures. Is the six-figure salary worth it? We’ll let you decide. But we can say with utmost certainty that this is no cookie-cutter office job.
Next: A crazy fun job that’s also slightly dangerous
10. Snake milker
- $1,000 per gram of venom
Why be a standard zoologist when you can be a snake milker instead? These highly specialized workers extract lethal venom from snakes to be used in research or to create anti-venom treatments for those bitten by snakes. The BLS cites a median annual salary of $60,520, but Business Insider found that just one gram of venom can sell for $1,000, making this job quite lucrative.
Next: Working with a slightly less dangerous animal
11. Horse exerciser
- $54,492 per year
Owning horses and living the “barn life” is not a glamorous one for the average American. Emerge yourself in the horse-racing industry, however, and things become more profitable. Those who are tasked with exercising the four-legged racer can accrue a hefty $54,000 annual salary just for overseeing basic horse care and conditioning.
Next: You can thank your grandma for this next job
12. Bingo manager
- $61,637 per year on average
Bingo managers are part of the lucrative casino industry. Working in a casino requires a lot more oversight than the local community center sessions, but the gist remains the same. This means you can make more than the average American earns each year simply running successful bingo nights. What’s more, this high-paying job doesn’t require a bachelor’s degree, making it a surprisingly savvy career choice for those with a high school diploma.
Next: Hefty commissions are standard in this non-traditional profession
13. Bounty hunter
- 10% to 20% of the bond
If police work, private investigations, or military service is a bit too far-fetched for your tastes, then bounty hunter work may be better suited for your needs. There are only about 15,000 bail bondsmen, or bounty hunters, in the country according to Professional Bail Agents of the United States, but they all have high earning potential. Those who successfully track down criminals with back payments often receive 10 to 20% of the bond itself.
Next: A bounty a bit more rewarding
14. Airplane repo
- 6% to 10% of the plane’s value
Like bounty hunters, airplane repossession workers stand to earn a sizable commission for every airplane they locate, usually about 6% to 10% of the plane’s resale price. This means a plane worth $900,000 could reap a $90,000 payday for you. Banks often hire these employees to repossess a plane when payments are overdue. And clearly, there’s a growing market for this industry. Just look at Discovery Channels newest TV series, Airplane Repo.
Next: Legal hacking
15. Ethical hacker
- $115,832 per year on average
Certified Ethical Hackers (CEHs) make great money hacking into computer systems legally. With this special certification, you can make up to nearly $116,000 per year as a penetration tester or IT security specialist, according to Indeed.com findings. This job is likely super enthralling, as you get to spend your days outsmarting black-hat hackers for a rewarding six-figure salary.
Follow Lauren on Twitter @la_hamer.
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!