Wake up at 6:30 a.m. (ish), get ready for work, drive to work in traffic, work from 8 to 5, check your email and social media throughout the day, get off work, drive home in traffic, get home, relax and have some dinner, go to bed and do it all over again. Many refer to this as the grind.
Of course, there may be some variation in the grind for some of you, who drop children off at school or childcare, work from home, or maybe some of you enjoy a morning run, but overall, most of us have similar patterns.
Eighty-three percent of the employed population over the age of 15 works weekdays, and 34 percent have to work at least one weekend day, according to Labor Statistics. Adults between the ages of 25 and 54 (with children) spend over one-third of each of these days (8.8 hours) on work and work-related activities.
For some of us, the work portion of our day is exciting. We love our jobs, and we feel a sense of accomplishment, appreciation, even thrill from taking on a work project and seeing it through to its completion. For others, work is laborious, frustrating, and mind-numbing. The thing that gets some of us through each day is the thought of it being over, and of course, the need for a paycheck.
Whether we hate our careers or love them, there are always those jobs we see and think to ourselves, “Wow, that would be a really cool job to have.” These are the types of jobs included on this list (which is not in any particular order). The responsibilities and duties that come along with some of the jobs on this list sound almost too good to be true.
1. Product Tester
The average household spent around $51,000 during the most recently reported year. Sure, we bought houses, cars, and paid bills, but we also spent a great deal of money on products.
All of the clothing, electronics, and even food that we buy goes through extensive testing before it’s sold to us. Product testers test all sorts of food items, ranging from chocolate to beer, and also entertainment items, like video games and smartphones. Reports indicate that some people are even being paid for testing water slides.
What type of pay are you looking at for this type of job? Glassdoor reports the salary of a product tester at anywhere between $10 per hour for a lower-level contract position, to upwards of $60,000 annually for a full-time position.
2. Zombie/Corpse Model
Most of us have watched a show like The Walking Dead or True Blood, where zombies, vampires, or corpses are a large part of the show’s plot. Horror movies, whether box office smashes or ‘B’ flicks, use corpses and zombies to add that extra element of fear for the audience. Reality series like SyFy’s FaceOff show the actual process, where a model is made up into a creature, right there in front of us.
It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it. Many of those zombies, vampires, and corpses are actual paid models or extras who work pretty long days. An ABC News report found that a day of filming on the set of The Walking Dead can range from 12 to 16 hours.
The pay for these jobs varies substantially based on the type of project. The BLS reports a model’s salary at less than $10 per hour (around $19,000 annually) and Salary.com estimates the median salary for a TV extra at around $32,000 per year.
3. Restaurant Critic
While watching the Travel Network, you may wonder what it would be like to have food connoisseur Adam Richman’s job (from Man Vs. Food). Going from restaurant to restaurant, providing your opinion of whether you think the food is delicious — or maybe just average.
While the work of most restaurant critics is not so highly publicized, many do publish their opinions online or in print publications. Many of these critics are educated journalists, who have a specialized knowledge in the food industry. Indeed reports a food critic’s salary at $47,000, but pay depends on the publication the critic works for, location, and other factors.
4. Ice Cream Flavor Guru
“Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Gurus make tempting your tastebuds their business. They spend their days and nights tasting the best food in the world, then they mix, blend, chop, whip and taste, taste, taste until they come up with an unmatched batch of pure ice cream euphoria,” reads the Ben & Jerry’s website.
Sound like a dream job? These gurus (who are actually a group made up of food scientists, research and development professionals, and chefs) have highly-coveted jobs and they look pretty happy performing them.
5. Traveling Writer
Ever wonder what it would be like to travel around the world? Many travel writers do just that, and then they write about each of their destinations. They share things to do, places to go sightseeing, the best nightlife, restaurants, and information about the local culture. Usually after reading the words of a travel writer, you get an idea of places you’d want to visit.
The pay for a travel writer depends largely on who he or she is writing for, but it can range from anywhere between $10 to $1,000 for an average-length piece, according to the Chicago Tribune.