When you were young and people asked you, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I’m sure many of you, like me, answered something like an astronaut or an architect. Well, if you were particularly oblivious to reality, like many people are, you may have chosen a career from the movies. Even though our chances of attaining a fictional career is probably still more likely than becoming a real-life astronaut, fictional careers are unattainable, sadly. But what if those fictional careers were real? Which would be the best? Which would have the most competition?
Well, in the world of make-believe, we have the ability to answer “what-ifs?”. In my most humble opinion, the careers on this list would be infinitely better than any careers in reality. They each would make every day such a pleasure to wake up for. Not only that, they would be meaningful. You would be meaningful. Your work would very likely make an impact on the world, not that you don’t already. Sure, it’s very possible that the brilliant customer service you just laid down will set in motion events that could save the world some time in the near future. But these careers have a direct and palpable impact on the fate of the world, and if they don’t, they are just so awesome that everyone would be super envious of you. Let’s check them out; 16 of the craziest careers from sci-fi movies, and by crazy, I of course mean awesome.
16. Factory Worker – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
You might say that this job title is basically being an Oompa-Loompa. Yep. You’d be right. Now, originally the Oompa-Loompas were African tribesman that were brought over by Willy to work in his factory, but, it turned out that was the most racist thing ever, so Roald Dahl changed them to the knee-high little guys with golden hair. But you can look however you want to look if you work there. You just need to believe in yourself, or something like that. You get chocolate, bubble gum and candy of all shapes and sizes. If you can put up with a skosh of madness from either Wilder-Willy or Depp-Willy, you’ve got nothing else to worry about. Resist the temptations in the factory, don’t be a down-right spoiled brat, and you’ll get through it all right. I’m pretty sure those other kids died though, so it’s best to tread lightly just in case.
15. Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes Employee – Harry Potter
This is the shop that the Weasley brothers started. Yeah, you can visit it at Universal Studios in Diagon Alley, but the magic doesn’t translate as well in real life as it does the movies. You know, because magic isn’t real and all. But, for the purposes of this list, it is, and I like to imagine that as an employee you would get to use magic full-time. No professors around to berate you for using an improper spell technique, no learning, just dabbling and pranks, love potions, pygmy puffs and U-No-Poos. Plus, if you’re really good at your job, you can make some of these fun little magical objects and practical jokes. Don’t worry if you’re not a Weasley, it’s probably better that you’re not. That way those no-good Malfoys can’t make fun of you about being poor.
14. Smuggler – Star Wars
I’ll start with a little shoutout to my other space smugglers from Serenity, but the big one is Han Solo and Chewie (and Lando). The real draw here is getting to fly through the universe with no real responsibility. Money may be tight in some spots, but it seems that as long as you can do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, you’ll do all right. Han’s big problem was he always got caught in lies and wild plots, but the universe is such a big place, it seems pretty easy to avoid the law. If you’re ever being chased, just use your best moves to evade them, like listing lazily to the left. Plus, we all know they can’t shoot. There’s a freedom to being a smuggler, as well as a fame which can make you a star or attract bounty hunters from all over. But c’mon, let’s be real. Who wouldn’t want to fly around the universe living dangerously? It seems like half the universe is bad and the other half is good and both sides need smugglers, so you’ll always be in work.
13. Avatar Operator – Avatar
Essentially you get the strength, agility and freedom of a Na’vi with invincibility. You die? Just get another avatar. It would be so much fun to go through everyday without fear of hurting yourself or worse. Plus, the world of Pandora is a pretty amazing place, so you get to travel there and enjoy the scenery while you’re flying around getting friendly with the locals. There’s a small hang up that requires you to exploit the land and natural resources of the natives, but that never stopped anyone before. But, let’s assume you’re one of the good guys. Pretend you’re in that little outpost with Jake and Sigourney Weaver, helping the good people or Na’vi of Pandora. Then you get your cake and eat it too.
12. Jaegar Pilot – Pacific Rim
If you were like me and played Rock’em Sock’em Robots, you’ve already mastered the art of being a Jaegar Pilot. Get inside, control a robot and smash things. There is nothing more to it, I don’t care what the movie says. There is almost nothing in the world that can stop you, except for giant alien animals called Kaiju, but, since aliens don’t exist, you have nothing to worry about. Cross lakes, crush buildings, go wherever you want to go. You are basically a Megazord from Power Rangers. Seriously though, think about it. Pacific Rim is essentially the adult version of Power Rangers.
11. Pre-Time Cop – Minority Report
Not to be confused with Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Timecop, a pre-time cop has the power and ability to arrest people before they actually commit a crime, sort of similar to the power that police have now in real life, but they don’t even have to frame you. Well now that I’ve been put on a list, let’s get back to this one. There’s more to a pre-time cop than just the power of arresting people and making the world a better place, though, it’s the future and there are some real wicked gadgets, weapons and vehicles you get access to as well. But really it’s about the rush of stopping a person prior to committing a crime. It’s the equivalent of being a defender in basketball blocking the rim on the final shot. Except in this case someone is probably going to die. There might be a bit more pressure in being a pre-time cop, but I stand by my analogy.
10. Pirate – Pirates of the Caribbean
The law can’t touch you and you basically just drink, sing songs and fight all day long. It’s like being Irish without the red hair. There’s a ton of gold coins involved, too. Sure, technically you’re stealing, but who wasn’t in the pirate days. And I’m talking about Johnny Depp-style pirates, none of this ugly red boat Captain Phillips stuff. More rum, yo-ho-ho-ing and dreadlocks than anything else. Who wouldn’t want to go sailing with a few friends on the open seas, following treasure maps all day and calling people you like “me hearty.” Now that is a life.
9. Archeologist – Indiana Jones
“Just hold on a second mister,” you say. “An archeologist is a very real occupation.” You’re right. You might be able to get the title of archeologist in real life, but you’ll never actually do anything nearly as exciting as Indy does, not by a long shot. I watched the Indy flicks religiously growing up. So much so that I decided I would become an archeologist. You know what I found out. All the cool stuff has already been discovered. Basically what I’m trying to say is to give up on your dreams, all you aspiring archeologists. You’ll never be like Indy. But, if you could, oh man what a treat. Solving age old mysteries, stopping those treacherous Nazis and having many other exciting adventures. The best thing about an Indy-style archaeologist is that every strange old thing has an amazing mysterious power and meaning. In real life, it’s always got a perfectly reasonable explanation. In Indiana Jones, it might just be aliens.
8. Video Game Character – Wreck-It Ralph
You might wonder how you could become a video game character. But this isn’t for real, so stop trying to jam your logic down my throat. In Wreck-It Ralph we learned that the video game world has an entire economy and employment infrastructure. You could be a background character in a lesser game and even that would be sweet. The movie makes it seem like their jobs are similar to ours, just a pawn playing a role, but that’s a crock. Their world looks way cooler than ours. Sure, being a minion or a henchman who gets killed over and over again would not be very cool, but this is our dream, we’re the stars, not the minions. Well, no, I’m the star, but you’re my best friend and I wouldn’t steer us wrong.
7. Extractor – Inception
This one would be so cool. You’re like the James Bond of the dream world. Extracting secrets, telling lies, going undercover, all in a world that doesn’t follow the rules of reality. You get to explore the dreams of anyone you can get near to in real life. Inception doesn’t tell the whole story though, all the people in the movie were rich people. Do rich people even dream? What about, their regular lives? What could be more gratifying than real life when you use scrunched up fivers as insulation. If I were an extractor, I would go into the dreams of the poor and unfortunate and really live large. We dream… I mean, they probably dream of the craziest stuff, like dragons and magic and things, basically a Game of Thrones episode without Little Finger, that little puke.
6. Scarer – Monsters, Inc.
Before monsters started collecting laughter, it was screams they were after. To get those screams, there needed to be qualified Scarers. Now this is job that would be great. Even if it sounds a little weird to want to jump in and scare the daylights out of a kid, just imagine how fun it would be, and there’d be no consequences. When I tried it out at my local park, the parents of these little rugrats were not impressed, yelling and cursing at me. Not sure why. It’s not like it’s going to haunt them. It’s not like adults are ever affected by a traumatic event from their childhood that they never could quite overcome. That’s ridiculous. So you pop into a kid’s room at night, give them a good fright, and be on your way, there’s nothing more to it. It doesn’t matter anymore. That job’s been eliminated because we’ve become too sensitive.
5. Blade Runner – Blade Runner
This one is a bit dangerous because replicants are mean mama jamas, but even still, a really cool gig with a ton of power attached to it. You get to interrogate and fight androids. You get some pretty cool weaponry, get to live in Blade Runner Los Angeles, 2019, and you might even be a replicant yourself, maybe, but there will be a debate about that. Wait a second. This is the third time that a Harrison Ford job has made the list. Basically just being anything he’s done is a career people wish they had. Except that one time he played that cowboy in Cowboys & Aliens, nobody, and I mean nobody, would want anything more to do with that movie. Either way, a Blade Runner. Yeah, you got it.
4. Park Ranger – Jurassic Park
There appears to be a large turnover with these guys, but assuming that a catastrophe doesn’t happen when you’re working, it would be the greatest job ever. You get to drive around in a jeep all day, look at dinosaurs, give tours, train velociraptors to be your personal army, like this is seriously an amazing gig. I’m not sure if all those jobs would be available to you, but since dinosaurs don’t exist anymore, let’s continue to suspend our disbelief a little longer. If a dinosaur ever got out, you’ve got to run and do it quickly because it’s obvious you’re going to be the first one to go. But, when everything is calm, it’s like working at the world’s greatest zoo. Sign me up.
3. Companion – Doctor Who
Now don’t give me all that crap about this not being a movie. I’ve seen several Doctor Who movies. “But, but, it’s not a career,” you cry. It is. I’ve seen many a companion get money from the Doctor. That’s payment for their services. My dream career must include flying. Check. Aliens. Check. Time Travel. Check. Saving the universe (not really on my list, but it fits with the Doctor Who theme so we’re going with it). Check. Maybe a few of the companions throughout the history of Doctor Who have perished, or had their memories wiped, or had their lives ruined, but for the most part they’ve done okay. And really, all that is a small price to pay for being able to travel with the Doctor. Except for death I guess. But the other stuff is a small price to pay. God I love Doctor Who.
2. Ghostbuster – Ghostbusters
You’re the one to call in the so many situations. Today it’d probably be text or email, but same difference. Fighting ghosts and demons, creating damage without worry and saving the world like a true hero. You get a really cool outfit, some hilarious coworkers and you get to slide down a fireman’s pole. Outside of the imposing threat of being killed by what you’re hunting, there’s really only the fear of crossing the streams from your proton guns. Even though Winston says that he doesn’t make much as an apprentice, it’s safe to assume that once the crew saved New York City a few times, they probably hit it big. Plus, I’m sure there are perks we aren’t recognizing. Inside knowledge of hidden treasures, exploitation of the grieving, and you’ve got the market cornered. You’d be rich! Rich I say!
1. Man (or Woman) in Black – MIB
A black suit with a black pair of Ray Bans on, walk in shadow, move in silence, guard against extra-terrestrial violence, those are your job duties as told to us by the greatest rapper alive, the one and only Mr. William Smith. Your business card would probably read “Galaxy Defender”, below your title proper, which would be pretty neat to say out loud, right? Sure, your boss Tommy Lee Jones may be the grumpiest old man that ever lived, but the weapons, the responsibility, the gadgets and the power. Boy, oh boy, what I wouldn’t give for a neuralyzer. Actually, I would probably be a terrible MIB. No doubt about it.