Not everyone has to work in an office. For those who are trapped in the dull droll of a 9-to-5 workday, there may be a way out. These ten jobs will get your heart stirring: any of them could be a dream come true, but you can make a living off of them, too. From eating chocolate to building Legos to sleeping, it seems these days that almost anything can be a career. That is, if you’re willing to work hard at it. Whether you’re just starting your career or planning to change gears, the dream job you’re looking for could very well be out there. Here are ten choices that will send your pulse racing.
10. Chocolate Tester
It does sound too good to be true. Most of us would love to spend our whole lives eating chocolate, but as a chocolate tester you can do this virtually guilt-free, because you’re being paid for it. And it’s no small salary, either: chocolate testers can make up to $70,000 a year for inspecting chocolate. Although the job does involve more than just tasting delicious chocolate – testers must also observe the smell and overall appearance – the prospect of getting paid to be around chocolate all day is a job we can’t help but envy.
9. Lego Sculptor
Ever seen those huge Lego statues in the stores? Well, someone made them, and chances are they’ve made a career out of it, too. The competition to become a Lego sculptor is apparently fierce – there are only a few dozen, at most, in the whole world – but that doesn’t stop us from sighing in envy. Lego sculptors make models and help create sets for the toy company, and although they don’t have total freedom over what they build, I don’t think there’s anyone who can say that the idea of building awesome sculptures out of Legos all day doesn’t sound totally sweet.
8. Island Caretaker
Is it possible to make vacation into a full-time job? As an island caretaker, this dream could be a reality. Ben Southall from Britain was hired to promote an Australian island by living there for six months and filming his adventures. It wasn’t all fun and games though (although, to be honest, most of it was): after being stung by a poisonous jellyfish, the man had a harrowing 24-hour brush with death. However, a jellyfish sting while snorkeling on a tropical island isn’t enough to rule out being an island caretaker as quite probably the best job ever.
7. Professional Sleeper
Many of us get up in the morning wishing we were still asleep. For some people, though, waking up is not a requirement – but sleeping is. There are a few different ways to get paid to sleep – mostly by participating in university studies. However, mattress testing is also a career. Somebody needs to make sure mattresses are comfortable enough to sell. The average salary is $60,000, which isn’t too shabby for just laying on mattresses.
6. Submarine Cook
Cooking is an attractive enough career, but for those who don’t get the creepers about being in a submarine for several months at a time, the job of submarine cook might just be perfect – especially considering the pay. That’s right, a cook with six years of experience can rack up a $200,000 salary just by doing virtually the same work as a regular chef, but underwater. This is because submarine chefs can get a $50,000 bonus just for showing up to work – that’s how important the job is for the navy. If only Spongebob had learned about submarines.
5. Ethical Hacker
Not many of us are computer hackers, but for those who are, there might actually be a salary involved in breaking the rules. Often, companies will hire someone to try to hack into their IT systems, to make sure it’s not so easy for the bad guys. The pay can be up to $80,000, too. Often, people who are hired as “ethical hackers” were doing it maliciously before, but tech companies hired them to turn their penchant for evil into a force for good. At least, that’s one way to think of it.
4. Professional Snuggler
If you’ve ever sat on the couch eating Cheerios and watching Friends reruns and wished you had someone to cuddle with, the good news is that now you can. Or you can make $60 an hour doing it for someone else. The snuggling industry has yet to boom, and it has been criticized as a form of prostitution, but the truth is that it’s strictly non-sexual. Jacqueline, founder of “The Snuggery,” says that she created the company because “Americans distinctly lack non-sexual touch.” If you agree, or you simply like the idea of being paid to cuddle, this might be the job for you.
3. Furniture Tester
Like mattress testers, furniture testers are essentially paid to sit on comfy things. Furniture testers often work on a freelance basis, lounging on chairs and writing reports about their comfort, look, and feel. Companies like Lazy Boy even hire full-time furniture testers, because they’re so committed to making sure everyone wants to spend a day lounging about in their product. There’s no question: if you’re a self-described “couch potato,” or if the idea of being paid to sit around appeals to you, furniture testing is definitely something to look into.
2. Golf Ball Diver
As it turns out, millions upon millions of golf balls are lost in the waters of posh golf courses every year. Diving for these precious lost balls can net a profit of up to $100,000 a year – depending on how many you catch. If you love diving, this may be the job for you, but it can be very difficult. Often the water is murky and there’s no telling what creatures are lurking beneath the surface – often it is alligators and poisonous snakes. However, there’s no question that diving for golf balls is a more lucrative (and interesting) career than regular diving.
1. Personal Shopper
For those who are constantly worrying about maxing out their credit cards after a trip to the mall, there might be a solution for you: a career as a personal shopper. Turn your eye for fashion into a paycheck by building a clientele of people who just don’t have time to shop and who turn to you for service and advice. If you consider yourself an expert on the stores in your area and you have to bite your lip and turn your head every time you see a juicy sale, you should consider turning your expensive passion into a profitable career.
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