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41. Art therapist 🎨

Average Salary: $61,101

Mix art and psychology together, and you get art therapy. After earning a master’s degree, an art therapist can work in schools, psychiatric hospitals and veterans’ associations to help people express their emotions through art.

Unfortunately, there are not many job opportunities in this field, especially since many states don’t recognize art therapy as a licensed practice.

Mother and child draw a picture paints, art lesson
Oleksandr Nagaiets / Shutterstock
Art therapy helps people express their emotions through art.

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40. Engineer

Average Salary: $74,000+

Engineers come in many varieties, but the one thing they all have in common is that they work to solve problems in their respective industries.

Salaries vary, too. The median annual pay for an agricultural engineer is $74,345, a civil engineer makes $94,490, and a typical aerospace engineer (who helps test rockets and satellites) earns $122,970.

39. Romance novelist

Average Salary: $43,409

Writing over-the-top romance novels can seem like a fun and lucrative way to earn a living — especially considering that Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L. James has a net worth of $150 million.

But incomes for writers can vary drastically. Many emerging romance novelists have opted to self-publish e-books rather than find a traditional publisher. On Amazon, e-book authors earn anywhere from $10,000 to more than $1 million a year.

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38. Cruise ship entertainer

Average Salary (singers): $57,321

Working on a cruise ship sounds like a never-ending vacation. Entertainers get to go ashore when the ship is in port, so they enjoy a unique travel experience – along with free room and board.

Dancers, magicians, comedians, musicians and other cruise performers attend rehearsals during the day, and perform for a few hours at night. Contracts usually last for three to six months, and the pay is between $1,500 and $2,500 per week.

37. Food scientist

Average Salary: $77,135

In a series of films co-produced by Disney Consumer Products called, A Day in the Life of a Food Scientist, taste creators are shown brainstorming new food products and conducting flavor tests.

As fun as that may sound, it can also be serious work. The majority of jobs in this field involve experimenting with crops and testing chemical additives in food.

36. Fire chief 👨‍🚒

Average Salary: $77,050

Firefighters put their lives at risk to save people and property, and a fire chief has a tremendous responsibility, supervising fire crews and firefighting operations. The work is gratifying – and can be fun. Wouldn't you love to ride a fire truck?

In some states, like New Jersey, a fire chief can make way more than average: upwards of $96,800 a year.

Being a fire chief is a fun job that pays well
Tyler Olson / Shutterstock
A fire chief supervises fire crews and firefighting operations.

35. Music therapist

Average Salary: $59,917

Similar to an art therapist, a music therapist can find work in schools, retirement centers and mental health facilities. They can help kids and adults express themselves and reduce stress through music.

34. Lighting designer

Average Salary: $69,073

Have you ever admired the fancy light show at a concert and wondered how you could get that job?

Lighting designers usually need stage-lighting experience at schools and/or in community theater before they can move up to careers in cities with higher-paying job opportunities.

33. Audio engineer

Average Salary: $86,391

Mic check! These are the experts who make sure everything sounds right in sports arenas, theaters, recording studios, and for TV and movies.

As with most jobs related to the entertainment industry, opportunities are far more common in major cities.

32. Magician

Average Salary: $48,959

Few magicians achieve celebrity status and conjure up huge salaries, but it’s still possible to make a decent living performing street magic and booking private parties.

The pay for a magician doing private events ranges from $175 to $350 per hour, according to CostHelper.

31. LEGO designer

Average Salary: $64,510

Who wouldn’t want to get paid to play with LEGO sets all day? The brand designers envision larger-than life statues and art installations involving thousands of individual little pieces.

Many LEGO designers have backgrounds in industrial design, carpentry and architecture.

hand building up a wall by stacking up lego.
graja / Shutterstock
Some people make a good living building stuff out of Legos.

30. Zookeeper

Average Salary: Up to $40,307

Becoming a zookeeper may be the closest you’ll ever get to exotic animals such as lions, tigers and elephants.

Keep in mind that zoo animals require care 24/7, which means zookeepers often work nights, weekends and holidays.

29. Personal trainer

Average Salary: $52,833

If you love fitness and love the idea of pushing people around (for their own good, of course!), becoming a personal trainer can be a great career.

Obviously, personal trainers to the stars earn a lot more than the median. The top 10% of trainers earn $73,000 a year on up, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

28. Stunt performer

Average Salary: $69,422

Behind every action movie star is a fearless stunt double.

Rather than getting paid by the hour, stunt performers often receive a flat fee for the days when they are needed on set. A stunt person earns at least $1,005 per day, according to the Screen Actors Guild.

27. Brewmaster 🍻

Average Salary: Up to $50,343

Brewmasters make beer for a living, but don't think they get sloshed every day. Their job responsibilities include cleaning the equipment, testing new recipes and traveling to events on weekends.

a brewmaster expert checks the quality of the freshly tapped beer from wooden barrels formerly used for flavur the wine or beer.
HQuality / Shutterstock
Brewmasters make a living making beer.

26. Fashion designer

Average Salary: $74,157

Designing clothes, meeting high-pressure deadlines and fixing a hem on a model about to walk the runway are just a few things that fashion designers do routinely.

The field is highly competitive, and most opportunities are in big cities. Or on Project Runway.

25. Homicide detective

Average Salary: $74,679

If you’re a crime junkie and hate the idea of anyone literally getting away with murder, you might dream of cracking cases as a homicide detective.

The pay for a criminal investigator varies dramatically, depending on the location. The median salary can range from $42,000 a year in the lowest-paying places all the way up to more than $130,000 at the top.

24. Winemaker

Average Salary: $89,666

Making great-tasting wine can be complicated and requires a lot of knowledge in food science and chemistry. Some winemakers work for a large winery, while others decide to buy a vineyard and venture out on their own.

While the average salary for a winemaker is around $86,000 a year, those at the high end earn in the neighborhood of $132,000, according to Glassdoor. Salut!

More: Invest in wine with Vinovest

23. Concert promoter

Average Salary: $39,627

A concert promoter works with band managers to book concert venues and advertise upcoming shows.

Major perks of the job include scoring free concert tickets – and being able to boast, "I'm with the band!"

22. Airline pilot

Average Salary: $88,101

Being a pilot looks so cool and glamorous in the movies, doesn't it?

Learning how to fly a commercial airplane takes a lot of time and expensive training. Once you get past that stage you’ll be working in high-pressure situations. Being a pilot can also mean working a lot of nights and holidays away from home. But the high salaries can make it all worth it!

The cockpit of modern jet airplane. Aircraft flies above the city landscape and river. Pilots at work.
Skycolors / Shutterstock
Flying a commercial airplane is a stressful job that requires years of training.

21. Dog walker

Average Salary: $32,918

If you really love dogs, walking them could be a dream job – although it’s probably only a part-time one.

Dog walkers typically charge anywhere from $25 to walk one dog for 30 minutes to up to $35 for a 60-minute walk ($5 more if services requested on weekends or holidays), according to Angie's. If the owner has additional dogs, those cost up to $10 each per walk.

20. Landscape architect

Average Salary: $97,500

Landscape architects use trees, lawns, flowers and other vegetation to create stunning natural surroundings.

These outdoorsy types design outdoor spaces for parks, businesses and private homes.

19. Event planner

Average Salary: $60,759

Event planners are the highly-organized types who put together corporate meetings, conventions and more – and make sure that everything runs smoothly.

The job can involve travel and the occasional long night. But the reward is that feeling of satisfaction when — despite all the people involved and the many moving parts — the event goes off glitch-free.

18. Park ranger

Average Salary: $41,682

Park rangers serve and protect what are often called "the pride of America": the national parks.

Part-time rangers typically make around $15 per hour, and full-time rangers can make wildly broad salaries ranging from $22,000 to $83,000, according to ZipRecruiter.

17. Astronaut 👩‍🚀

Average Salary:$65,140

How's this for an out-of-this-world career path? The money can be astronomical, too!

According to NASA, the starting salary for an astronaut is $65,140. The pay can go up to $100,701 a year with time and experience.

16. Graphic designer

Average Salary: $55,650

Graphic designers use their artistic talents, computer technology and more traditional forms of media (such as painting and drawing) to create illustrations for advertising, book covers, websites and more.

Most graphic designers work for corporations, though one in five are self-employed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

High angle view of an artist drawing something on graphic tablet at the office
ESB Professional / Shutterstock
Graphic designers use a variety of media to create illustrations for advertising, book covers, websites and more.

15. Video game designer

Average Salary: $71,185

If you love playing video games, you’ve probably imagined how incredibly awesome it would be to design them for a living.

It takes more than passion to land one of these jobs, though. Often you need a degree in game design, game development or computer science.

More: How to make money playing video games

14. Toy creator

Salary: $59,176

Want to be one of Santa's elves? Inventing new toys is a job where you can make kids happy and keep feeling like a kid yourself.

13. Cruise director

Average Salary: Up to $88,119

Volleyball tournaments, trivia contests, cooking classes, bingo, storytime for the kids, happy hours for the adults – cruise schedules are jammed with activities! A strong leader is needed to organize and oversee all of the events.

A cruise director makes anywhere from around $38,000 a year to more than $120,000, according to Payscale.com.

12. Professional athlete

Average Salary: $53,829

Remember, that salary figure is only the median, and we’re not necessarily talking about the Lebron James’ of the world. Celebrity athletes are among the richest people in the world, thanks to multimillion-dollar contracts and hefty endorsement deals with big-name brands such as Nike and Adidas.

At the other end of the scale are Olympic athletes, who can sometimes earn less than $15,000 a year, according to Forbes.

11. Ethical computer hacker

Average Salary: $105,331

Hackers have a reputation for being the bad guys, but computer programmers can actually use their powers for good – as ethical hackers.

Companies hire these information security analysts to reveal weak points in website security, to keep out the other kind of hacker.

It consultant working with servers
Kjetil Kolbjornsrud / Shutterstock
Information security analysts help protect companies from hackers.

10. Wardrobe stylist

Average Salary: Up to $33,080

Choosing the perfect outfit for someone could be a dream job for fashion lovers. Retail stores hire stylists to dress mannequins and create window displays, while self-employed personal stylists hustle to find new clients in big cities.

It takes experience to make six figures working as a celebrity stylist, but everyone’s gotta start somewhere. Pay ranges from around $23,000 to nearly $110,000 a year, reports PayScale.com.

9. Personal shopper

Average Salary: Up to $32,281

In the high-pressure corporate world, or in celebrity circles, people can be so busy they have no time to do their own shopping. So, they hire a personal shopper, or a "corporate concierge," to do it for them.

This is a great job if you love to shop – and love the idea of spending someone else's money. Personal shoppers typically make between $30,000 and $60,000 a year.

More: Love shopping online? Save more money with the Capital One Shopping browser extension

8. Marine biologist

Average Salary: $43,911

Do you love snorkeling? Do you go to the beach not to sit in the sun, but in hopes you'll spot a dolphin? Studying and caring for marine mammals and other aquatic creatures on a daily basis makes this job the perfect catch for many.

To become a marine biologist, you'll need at least a bachelor's degree. A masters may be needed to move up to investigative or scientific work.

7. Mystery shopper 🛍️

Pays, on average, $706 per week

Like personal shoppers, mystery shoppers go on buying trips with other people's money — though in this case, the goal is to rate the store's customer service, cleanliness and more.

Often, these gigs are only part-time. But JobMonkey says salaried professional mystery shoppers can earn anywhere from $40,000 to $70,000 per year.

6. Interior designer

Average Salary: $66,607

If you’re a fan of those home makeover shows on HGTV, you've probably spent some time daydreaming about what life would be like as an interior designer.

The job isn't just about choosing fabulous window treatments and furnishings, though. It also involves understanding building codes and inspection regulations.

designer choice  wooden material sample for  modern house
RomanR / Shutterstock
An interior designer chooses wall colors and furnishings — and must understand building codes.

5. Chocolatier

Average Salary: $32,668

Working with chocolate for a living? Where can we sign up? A chocolatier is a professional chef who specializes in making amazing chocolates.

While the median salary for a confectioner may not seem all that sweet, chocolatiers working for Godiva reportedly earn up to $100,000 a year.

4. Supercar driving instructor

Average Salary: $120,000

If you love an adrenaline rush, you can’t get much better than a career as a driving instructor for "supercars” like Ferraris. Owners pay experts to teach them how to drive their luxury, high-performance cars in the best (and baddest) way possible.

Pay information is difficult to track, though a former NASCAR driver turned Ferrari instructor once indicated he earned up to $120,000 per year.

3. Restaurant critic

Average Salary: $54,475

This job gets five stars if you love to eat (who doesn't?), love to write and love to share your opinions.

If you make a name for yourself as a restaurant critic, those at the top of their game can make as much as $92,461 a year, according to Glassdoor.

2. Professional video gamer

Average Salary: 56,202

Yes, it is possible to play video games for a living! Professional gamers play in front of live audiences on video platforms, including YouTube and Twitch.tv, and they participate in eSport competitions. Although the average salary may look a little tame, the big names can make six figures annually.

According to Business Insider, more than 100 gamers earned $100,000 or more in prize money in 2014.

1. Voice actor

Average Salary: $80,736

Voiceover artists bring cartoon characters to life, narrate audio books and record voice tracks for commercials. Many voice actors do the work from the comfort of their own home studios.

As with all acting careers, you must be prepared to audition for gigs. More experience (and connections) can lead to higher pay. Voice actors can earn anywhere from $300 to $500 per hour.

Woman Recording Audiobook. Audio Recording Studio Theme. Caucasian Voice Talent.
welcomia / Shutterstock
Many voice actors do the work from the comfort of their own home studios.


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Shannon Quinn Freelance Contributor

Shannon Quinn was formerly a freelance contributor to Moneywise. Quinn is an entrepreneur and writer from the Philadelphia area.


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