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  1. Blog
  2. Applying
  3. February 16, 2021

30 Fun Jobs That Pay Well

All work and some play

Lego characters sitting inside a computer keyboard
Photo courtesy of James Pond

For many working Americans, the “perfect” job is the right balance of pay and interest. We want to feel engaged and inspired by what we do, but also recognized and appreciated with monetary reward (on top of benefits that support work-life balance).

Despite the belief that you have to take a major pay cut to do what you love, fun jobs don’t have to be low-paying. In fact, these 30 exciting jobs can earn you quite a nice living and you won’t hate going to work every day. 

Definitions of a “good” salary vary widely depending on who you ask and where (we break it down here), but the median household income in the U.S. was $68,703 in 2019. These 30 jobs all have an average salary above $50,000.

Read more: The Dream Job Isn’t a Myth, but It’s Not as Dreamy as It Appears

1. Toy designer

Average salary: $87,923

Harness your creative spirit to concoct original toys that will inspire little ones. This fun profession is never dull when you have new projects to work on and the payoff is worth all the effort.

2. Romance writer

Average salary: $63,200

Writers of all kinds have an average salary of $63,200, but the top 10 percent of that pool makes more than $122,450. Romance novels top the list of best-selling genres, so prolific novelists who focus on this category can bring in a lot of dough.

3. Brewmaster

Average salary: $59,432

Working with beer for a living? Yes, please. The brewmaster position has gained lots of traction in recent years as the microbrewery has taken over cities large and small across the U.S. People with a passion for creating and drinking can also bring home a nice paycheck.

4. Astronaut

Average salary: $105,164

Many a childhood dream had involved traveling to space and viewing Earth in the background, as small as a snow globe. While becoming an astronaut requires many years of schooling and training, it pays in the six figures and may eventually land you on the moon.

5. Astronomer

Average salary: $122,220

While we’re talking about the universe, an astronomer is another fun gig that pays well. Work with space full time (or engage in related research) and make six figures. You typically need a Ph.D. in astronomy to get paid this much to stargaze.

6. Food scientist

Average salary: $65,160

Food and agricultural scientists engage in research to try to improve food products and work with creative concoctions and flavors. Entry-level jobs in this field typically require a bachelor’s degree, and the demand for these positions is set to increase in the next decade.

Read more: 13 Fun Jobs Someone Will Actually Pay You For

7. Art therapist

Average salary: $55,900 

Art therapists help people of all ages deal with mental or physical illness with this unique form of therapy. They guide people through creating art, which helps them focus and relax.

8. Fashion stylist

Average salary: $51,867

If you have an eye for fashion and love helping other people look their best, becoming a fashion stylist will put you in your element. These professionals make a decent living, and if you eventually get to the celebrity-stylist level, you’re looking at six figures.

9. Food critic

Average salary: $50,004

It’s easy to dream about landing a job as a paid food critic, being catered to at high-end restaurants and writing up all of your opinions for publication. The salary can vary widely, but if you live in a bigger city you can make close to $100k per year.

10. Stunt person

Average salary: $70,000

Love taking risks? Want to get paid to do it? Stunt people make an extremely good living for the dangerous but exciting work they do in Hollywood and elsewhere.

11. Detective

Average salary: $62,896

The life of a detective may not always be as high stakes as seen on TV crime dramas, but the work is interesting and requires excellent problem-solving skills. Detectives can be paid up into the six figures, so their commitment to justice pays off. 

12. Professional video gamer

Average salary: $60,000

What could be more fun than getting paid to play video games? Yes, some lucky individuals actually make this their career. As with other jobs in entertainment, you can expect big rewards for putting all you have into winning, and some make up to $15,000 per month.

13. Ethical computer hacker

Average salary: $82,263

Hackers aren’t all bad. You can actually hack into systems legally for a living by becoming a certified ethical hacker. You can help organizations find weaknesses in their security systems by using schemes and techniques that are usually malicious.

14. Audio engineer

Average salary: $51,774

Did you know you can earn a great living being the sound person? Audio engineers work on mixing and recording sound effects and music for a variety of outlets, from movies to concerts to video games.

15. Winemaker

Average salary: $60,553

If wine is your drink of choice, you could bring in a pretty penny making it. Winemakers may take on tasks related to growing and harvesting the grapes, maintaining the plans, and making the wine itself.

16. Magician

Average salary: $54,071

Keep people guessing and flex your creative muscle by becoming a professional magician. Some magicians in the U.S. make over $100,000 to awe and inspire crowds of all ages.

17. Landscape architect

Average salary: $91,500

If you have an eye for outdoor landscapes, start laying the blueprints for a lucrative career. This is a fun and rewarding job where you get to plan out parks, gardens, and other public spaces.

18. Social media manager

Average salary: $51,423

Interacting on social media platforms can be exciting, and the job of social media manager allows creatives to design engaging visuals and well-written posts to help brands build their online presence.

Read more: What Does a Social Media Manager Do?

19. Librarian

Average salary: $59,500

For many book lovers, there’s nothing more romantic than spending all day organizing a library. When you pursue this career path, you can make good money while being surrounded by your favorite books all day.

20. Food stylist

Average salary: $70,000

Food stylists are usually creative types who get to set up yummy treats for photographs or other staged displays. A variety of companies hire these stylists who may be contract workers.

21. Music therapist

Average salary: $56,836

Music therapists combine their musical talents with psychology. They help patients of all kinds find outlets for anxiety, anger, stress, rehabilitation, and more, whether at hospitals, mental health agencies, nursing homes, or daycare facilities.

22. Fashion designer

Average salary: $73,790

Designing clothes doesn’t sound like a bad way to make a buck. Many designers have a bachelor’s degree and have a strong creative drive. They need to know what’s happening in the industry and have killer networking skills. 

Read more: 7 Ways to Schmooze Your Network (the Right Way)

23. Geologist

Average salary: $72,636

Another interesting career path that pays well is geology. Geologists get to get dirty for work, studying rocks and researching materials of the earth, trying to find out important information about its history and patterns.

24. Crossword puzzle writer

Average salary: $70,903

If you love doing the Sunday crossword puzzle, did you know you could get paid to make them up? This creative job always gives you something new to learn.

25. Concert promoter

Average salary: $78,600

Concert promoters are fairly new professional positions. Music lovers get to help plan and create musical shows and often juggle a lot of the behind-the-scenes responsibilities. 

26. Cruise director

Average salary: $63,185

Cruise directors wear many hats, managing everything from guests to entertainment to events on a cruise ship. This job can be a fun way to meet new people and travel around the world while getting paid to do it.

27. Voice actor

Average salary: $76,297

Some people just have that special voice that can soothe or excite audiences. Voice actors can make over $200,000 per year, and it is a highly sought-after profession for actors and journalists.

28. Marine biologist

Average salary: $66,214

Marine biologists study ocean wildlife, including underwater plants, animals, organisms, and ecosystems. Many marine biologists have a Ph.D. and conduct research, in addition to hanging out with the animals they’re studying.

29. Dietician

Average salary: $61,270

If you are passionate about helping people, consider a career as a dietician or nutritionist. These individuals help people manage their health and wellness and advise how to develop a nutritious meal plan. 

30. Mystery shopper

Average salary: $51,533

Mystery shoppers are sent to stores and organizations to report on the level of customer service or compliance the company is exhibiting. These professionals basically get paid to shop. The dream.

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Photo of Meredith Boe

Meredith Boe

Contributor

Meredith Boe is a writer, editor, and grant writer, and a regular contributor to InHerSight. Her writing focuses on working women, self-employment, small businesses, finance, and legal, in addition to her literary criticism, poetry, and creative prose. She holds a master's degree in writing and publishing from DePaul University, and her bylines include the GoDaddy Garage, The Chicago Reader, and the Chicago Review of Books.

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