9 Careers That Pay More Than You Think

There’s a saying, “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” While it may be idealistic, there could be some truth to the notion that if you have a job you love, you’ll never feel like you’re putting in an actual workday. For most, going to work day after day can definitely feel like a chore. It’s worse if you don’t like your job or don’t get a decent pay check in return. Although even the most glamorous job could feel mundane after a while, there are some careers out there that are actually quite fun and are less likely to constantly drag you down.

When it comes to work, money is obviously a big deal. You could have a fun job, but how great is it in the long run if it doesn’t pay well? Luckily, there are some careers that manage to be both exciting and pay well. These unique jobs might be about as close as you can get to not “working” a day in your life.

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9 Sommelier – $50,000 annual salary


If you like travel, food and wine, a career as a sommelier might just be a dream job. A sommelier, which is a French term for a “cellar master” or “steward of wine,” is a wine expert who recommends the ideal wine to customers and restaurants. They create wine lists or a wine menu and may personally be on hand at a fine restaurant to recommend wines that suit a restaurant customer’s tastes and price range. Sommeliers spend time traveling the world in order to become experts on different wine regions. They must be very astute and able to describe the different regions, vineyards and vintages of wines from all over. Furthermore, since many sommeliers work for restaurants, they must taste various gourmet dishes in order to decide on the optimal pairings between the food and wine. (The sacrifices they make for their work, right?) Sommeliers may end up writing about wines for magazines as well, or teach classes on wine tasting. Best of all, as per www1.salary.com, a sommelier makes a comfortable living, around $50,000 a year.

8 Pastry Chef - $20,000-$100,000+ 

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Pastry chefs dream up new culinary treats on a daily basis, creating delicious works of art with doughs, frostings and fillings. Although being a pastry chef or baker can involve long hours and no time off on holidays and weekends when baked goods are in high demand, it is no doubt a rewarding job: after all, who doesn’t love being served pastries, cakes and pies? The income of a pastry chef can vary based on location, skills and education level, but most sources suggest an average pastry chef can earn anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000 a year, and even well into the 6-figures if a talented pastry chef works for a more exclusive restaurant or business.

7 Magician - $49,000

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Being a magician is definitely a niche career. There isn’t exactly a university degree for the job, nor a straightforward path into that line of work, but a magician who is talented and knows how to keep an audience engaged could earn a good living. A magician can become high in demand to perform at kids’ birthday parties, corporate events and other kinds of shows and parties. If a magician finds full time work, their average salary could be as high as $49,000, according to www.allstarjobs.com. Even part-time magicians will enjoy making some decent cash on the side: they can command as much as one or two thousand dollars per appearance at an event or party.

6 Winemaker or viticulturist - $50-66,000

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For those who enjoy spending time outdoors, are science nerds and love sipping wine, a career as a winemaker couldn’t be a better fit. Winemaking, or enology, is the science of making wine from fruit. Winemaking has been called an “art” and at the same time is a great career for science geeks. The practice truly fuses both art and science, requiring knowledge of the fruit fermentation process plus the art of turning the wine into the perfect-tasting beverage. A winemaker should also have an interest in agriculture, since normally they have a hands-on role in caring for the plants and harvest. A similar career is a viticulturist, or the person who oversees the grapes themselves. Winemakers might work in well-established wineries, or they could buy a vineyard and open their very own winery. As far as salaries are concerned, there are a lot of factors involved: an average salary for enologists is around $50,000 and the salary of a viticulturist is around $66,000 as per a survey from www.jobs-salary.com.

5 Food taster - $58,000

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Ever wonder why all that processed food in the supermarket is so delicious? Well, one of the reasons is companies do their research and are always sure to clear new products with a professional team of food tasters. Food tasters go to work and, quite literally, sit down and taste things. Every major food-producing corporation needs a team of tasters, from ice cream companies to cereal makers. Best of all, the salary is high: a taster can earn as much as $58,000 according to a survey provided by www.indeed.com. You can make an even higher salary as a pet food taster. Yes - that's right. Professional tasters are even hired to taste food that is intended for pets, although it's debatable as to whether that is a fun job.

4 Meeting, wedding or event planner - $57,000

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If someone loves to do different things every day and hates being bored, being a meeting, wedding or event planner will definitely put their creativity, business skills and interpersonal skills to work. Being an event planner could be a high stress job, but on the other hand, there’s definitely not going to be a dull moment. Plus, the reward at the end of a job well done is seeing happy customers at a successful party or event. The pay isn’t bad either: the median salary is $57,2000 and a really talented event planner with the right clientele could command a salary into the six figures according to www1.salary.com.

3 Software engineer/video game designer/video game tester – up to $100,000

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Anyone who has an appreciation for technology and loves playing video games should seriously consider getting paid to actually make the games. It seems almost too good to be true: getting up every day to go to work and either dreaming up virtual worlds or programming them in order to make them into reality (of sorts). If someone lacks the technical skills to design or engineer a video game, they could always get a job as a video game tester and literally play video games all day. All three jobs pay well, and software engineers or video game designers could easily earn a six-figure salary.

2 Cruise ship entertainer - $1,800-7000 a month

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Many musicians and actors struggle as “starving artists.” By this comparison, a talented cruise ship entertainer has it made. Cruise ship entertainers, who often come from backgrounds in theatre, music, dance and the arts, are responsible for the entertainment of passengers. Although they need to be enthusiastic, extroverted, and of course very social, they are paid quite well. A cruise director, who is responsible for onboard entertainment and involves administrative tasks as well as entertainment, can earn anywhere from $4000 to $7,000 a month. Entry level entertainers, who do anything from chatting with customers to dancing, performing onstage, or calling bingo numbers can earn anywhere from $1,800 to $2,300 a month with room, board and scenery included as per a survey from www.cruiselinesjobs.com.

1 Personal shopper - $20-40 an hour

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Shopping can be a very expensive hobby, but personal shoppers have learned how to turn their eye for great buys into a career. Imagine getting lists of things every day to go out and buy, or helping out customers who don’t know how to pick out their own clothes, gifts or furniture. This kind of job is a breeze for anyone who has spent their life shopping until they drop. The pitfalls of the job might be picky customers, crowded stores around the holidays and long lines, but in general, shopping at stores day after day probably feels more like play than work. The salaries for a personal shopper can vary, ranging from around $20-$40 an hour.

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