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  1. Blog
  2. Applying
  3. February 16, 2021 (Updated October 3, 2022)

30 Fun Jobs That Pay Well

All work and some play

fun jobs that pay well image
Photo courtesy of James Pond

Make money and have fun at work? Yes, please...

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 can indeed pay well. In fact, these 30 fun, well-paying jobs can earn you quite a nice living and you won't hate going to work every day. 

Definitions of what a "well-paying job" is vary widely depending on who you ask and where you work (we break down what's considered a "good" salary here), but the median household income in the U.S. was $70,784 in 2021. These 30 fun jobs all have an average salary above $50,000 a year. 

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

Fun jobs that pay well and let you be creative

1. Toy designer

Average salary: $73,911

Kicking off the fun jobs: toys! Harness your creative spirit to make original toys that will inspire little ones. This fun profession is never dull when you constantly have new projects to work on – and the payoff is worth all the effort.

2. Romance writer

Average salary: $69,510

Writers of all kinds have an average salary of $69,510, but the top 10 percent of that pool makes more than $133,580. 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. Fashion stylist

Average salary: $54,428

Possibly the coolest job that pays well on this list… 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. It’s creative, it’s fun, it lets you travel and meet a lot of people. These professionals make a decent living, and if you eventually get to the celebrity-stylist level, you’re looking at six figures.

4. Fashion designer

Average salary: $77,450

Except for the most dramatic episodes of Project Runway, 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)

5. Voice actor

Average salary: $81,052

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. And, you can usually work from your home, in comfy clothes, if you have the right equipment. 

Fun jobs that pay well for food and drink lovers

6. Brewmaster

Average salary: $50,026

Working with beer for a living, and getting paid well? I’m there. The cool 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.

7. Winemaker

Average salary: $63,314

Find yourself admiring a good bottle of red, or the crispness of that white? This fun job will pay you to make what you enjoy. Winemakers may take on tasks related to growing and harvesting the grapes, maintaining the plans, and making the wine itself. If you appreciate wine and love chemistry and the logistics involved in making a quality product, you can get paid well to put that all together.  

8. Food critic

Average salary: $54,168

Anyone else remember the opening scene of My Best Friend’s Wedding, when a whole restaurant staff waited with bated breath for Julia Roberts’ character to comment on the entrée? It’s easy to dream about landing a cool job as a paid food critic, being catered to at high-end restaurants and writing all of your opinions for publication. The good news it can pay well, too. The salary can vary widely, but if you live in a bigger city you can make close to $100k per year.

9. Food scientist

Average salary: $74,160

This is a cool way for science lovers to apply chemistry and biology to something many of us love: food. Food and agricultural scientists engage in research to try to improve food products and work with creative concoctions and flavors. They also test food to see if it meets health guidelines – a very important role. 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. 

10. Food stylist

Average salary: $70,494

Those commercials that make your mouth water, and the magazine covers that make you want to suddenly start baking – food stylists are the magic behind them. 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. Not only will you get paid well; you’ll also learn all the secrets behind what makes the food look so good. 

Fun jobs that pay well for science and tech smarties

11. Astronaut

Average salary: $120,824

Get paid to make your childhood dream come true! Remember being a kid and thinking about floating in space, viewing Earth in the background, as small as a snow globe? While becoming an astronaut requires many years of schooling and training, it’s definitely a well-paying job with salaries in the six figures. Plus, it may eventually land you on the moon. 

12. Astronomer

Average salary: $147,450

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

13. Marine biologist

Average salary: $61,238

Another cool science job that pays well, 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.

14. Geologist

Average salary: $67,624

This fun job can pay really well, into the six figures. 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. It’s a dream for any science “nerds” who want to learn as much as they can about the earth and why it does what it does. 

15. Landscape architect

Average salary: $95,800

What a great job for someone who likes nature and building! 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.

16. Ethical computer hacker

Average salary: $82,966

Another rapidly growing area of tech is cybersecurity, which makes “etchical” hacking a much-needed job. 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, and make good money doing it.

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

17. Audio engineer

Average salary: $58,817

Did you know you can get paid very well being the sound person? A great interview, concert, or live show can be ruined if the sound isn’t just right. Audio engineers work on mixing and recording sound effects and music for a variety of outlets, from movies to concerts to video games. It’s a cool job if you like the technical parts of broadcasting and also want to be close to the entertainment. 

Fun jobs that pay well and help people

18. Art therapist

Average salary: $55,900 

Art therapy has the rep of being one of the most “fun jobs” in the therapy world, while also letting you help people. Art therapy, just as it sounds, lets you combine the in-depth research involved in being a licensed therapist with an artist’s creativity. Art therapists help people of all ages deal with mental or physical illness. They guide people through creating all kinds of art, which helps them focus and relax. As for the salary, there’s a lot of opportunity; the top 10 percent in the field made an average of $96,160 in 2020. 

19. Music therapist

Average salary: $59,489

Another fun “combo” job that helps people while paying a good salary, music therapists combine their musical talents with psychology. They give patients the tools to find outlets for anxiety, anger, stress, rehabilitation, and more, whether at hospitals, mental health agencies, nursing homes, or daycare facilities.

20. Dietician

Average salary: $61,650

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

21. Librarian

Average salary: $61,190

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

Fun jobs that pay well for social butterflies

22. Social media manager

Average salary: $53,085

Talk about creative puzzle solving… This fun job pays you well to represent a company or personality, crack those platform algorithms to get a lot of eyeballs, and always be up-to-date on the most popular new social media trends. 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?

23. 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. It’s all the stuff that has to happen to pull off a seamless, amazing show – so the responsibility is high and the payoff huge

24. Cruise director

Average salary: $58,531

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. If you like control and people-pleasing – and running around cruise ships – this is for you. 

Fun jobs that pay well to solve puzzles, take risks, or be smooth

25. Detective

Average salary: $64,855

Do you like piecing together clues, and being stealthy? 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. 

26. Magician

Average salary: $61,814

Here’s another fun job that pays you to possibly live out a childhood dream. 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. 

27. 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. Esports has been one of the fastest-growing industries in the past few years. 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.

28. 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. The more experience you have and more you’re willing to do, you can get paid in the six figures. And, you’ll never say your job is boring. 

29. Crossword puzzle writer

Average salary: $73,690

If you love doing the Sunday crossword puzzle, did you know you could get paid to make them up? This creative, fun, well-paying job always gives you something new to learn. (And you’ll have all the answers, while the rest of us fight off the urge to look ‘em up…)

30. Mystery shopper

Average salary: $50,028

Can you act natural while being observant and detail-focused? 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 well to shop. The dream.

Read more: The 20 Best Companies for Salary Satisfaction, As Rated By the Women Who Work There

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