Jobs That Sound Like Fun (But Aren’t)

If you have to work all day, you may as well have fun doing it. And while many jobs sound routine and mundane, others seem like a lot of fun. As a result, people often look wistfully at some occupations and wish they had the opportunity to work in these professions.

For example, working with such celebrities as actors and directors is always seen as a fun job, perhaps because they’re famous and they live more exciting -- and certainly more fabulous -- lifestyles than the average person. In fact, the only thing better than working with celebrities is a job where you are the celebrity, and everyone caters to you.

Also, jobs that allow workers to be their own bosses and set their own work schedules are also viewed as fun occupations, especially when these jobs involve role-playing, disguises and stealthily following others. And for those who like to snoop in the affairs of other people, these jobs allow them to legally do so.

On the other hand, some jobs are considered fun because they allow adults to act like kids again, and who wouldn’t want to do that all day long, especially while getting paid? Also, since being on vacation is fun, having a job where you’re perpetually on vacation is obviously viewed as the ultimate fun job.

But some of these jobs are deceptively fun, because the level of pleasure is tempered by other not-so-fun factors. For example, one of the jobs has a high level of responsibility and pressure, while another job presents a relatively high level of physical danger. One misstep or mistake can result in injuries ranging from mild to life-threatening.

Some of the other jobs may seem like fun at first, but they involve a lot of sitting or standing around and waiting for the excitement to begin.

5 Pyrotechnician

Average Hourly Wage: $30 To $60

Pyrotechnicians create explosions, such as car and building denotations on TV and movie sets. They also create fireworks displays at concerts and other live events. While it may sound like fun to be the person who makes things go “boom,” pyro techs have to make sure that explosions and fireworks operate safely. It’s a dangerous job, especially since it’s also the pyro tech’s job to troubleshoot the loaded device in the event that it doesn’t explode as planned.

In addition, explosions and fireworks are quite expensive, so there’s a lot of pressure on pryo techs to achieve success on the first try. Training programs are offered through the Pyrotechnics Guild International and also as college courses.

4 Model

Average Annual Salary: $18,750

What could be more exciting than working as a model? As the center of attention, models may be on the cover of magazines, in catalogs or online ads, or on TV commercials. They may also model at fashion shows, trades shows, and conventions. In addition, they have expert stylists fussing over them and doing their hair and makeup.

On the downside, models must stand or sit for hours at a time while they’re being made up and while they’re waiting to begin work. Also, many models work on a part-time basis and need to be available on short notice. And they frequently have long periods of time in which they don’t have any modeling assignments.

In addition, most models must adhere to strict weight requirements and maintain a certain physical appearance. A formal education is not required to pursue a career as a model.

3 Private Detective

Average Annual Salary: $45,740

At first glance, private detectives seam to have a nice gig. Some are self-employed, while others work with law enforcement agencies. However, they are not bound by all of the rigid rules governing regular detectives. Private detectives sometimes wear disguises while conducting surveillance on their subjects, and they use binoculars, video recording devices and GPS tracking systems.

However, they frequently work irregular hours and sometimes spend long periods of surveillance time standing or sitting. And depending on the type of work they’re doing, they may be required to stay outdoors in inclement weather. Many private detectives have prior experience in law enforcement or the military.

2 Cruise Ship Captain

Average Annual Salary: $66,150

What could be more fun than being the captain of your own ship? You get to sail to exotic locales, meet a variety of passengers, and eat the most delicious food in the world, while basking in the sun’s splendor. However, it’s not all fun and games. Cruise ship captains are responsibility for the safety of passengers, crews and everyone else on board the ship.

Captains also have to be sure that the vessel is traveling at a safe speed and that it is operated in accordance to maritime procedures and regulations. In addition, cruise ship captains have to deal with pirates, hijackers and stowaways.

The educational requirement is usually a bachelor’s degree from a merchant marine academy, or three to four years of deckhand experience, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

1 Grip

Average Annual Salary: $45,156

Grips work on movie sets, surrounded by TV and movie stars, directors and producers. They’re in the thick of the action, and play a major role in the successful filming of movies and TV shows. Who wouldn’t want to do that for a living?

Dolly grips handle the placement of cameras. Construction grips build and breakdown sets. Key grips handle the budgets for grip equipment. Best boy grips determine which grips are needed where and when.

Life as a grip may sound like fun, but there’s a lot of heavy lifting. For example, camera dollies weigh several hundred pounds and are dozens of feet high. Grips also work irregular hours. They may work 15 to 18 hours one day, while scenes are being shot and reshot. Then, they not work again for several days until it is time to move equipment again. There is no educational requirement to be a grip, although some grips have a degree in film.

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