32 Fun Jobs That Pay Well
Who wants a boring nine-to-five office job? Certainly not you. And that's likely why you are searching for fun jobs that pay well. The reality is that work does not have to be boring. You don't have to simply work to live and bring home a paycheck. So with people like you in mind, we wrote this article to list 32 fun job possibilities for those who want more than just work. You could find a fun and fulfilling career idea that helps you avoid the stress that can result from job dissatisfaction.
Along with a quick summary of the top 10 fun jobs that pay well, you can also check out the complete list of 32 fun, high-paying jobs. Scroll through the entire list or jump to the categories that speak to your interests. As an added bonus, many of the fun jobs featured below are practical too, and some are expecting high job growth. That makes it more realistic for you to actually land a job that you will love. After all, being a waterslide tester would certainly be fun, but, realistically, how many waterslide testers does the world need?
(Unless otherwise noted: Average annual salary estimates are from May 2015.1 And job growth is for the 2014-2024 period.2)
Top 10 Fun Jobs That Pay Well
Below, we have highlighted ten of the most fun and best-paying jobs out there. Some of them could rank as ultimate cool careers, and others are fun but a little more realistic to achieve. (Think Ferrari driving instructor vs. video game designer.) By going after one of the careers listed here, you could discover the truth behind the saying, "If you enjoy what you do, then you will never work a day in your life!"
1. Private Island Caretaker
- Fun factors—Soak up the sun, go on adventures, and pretend that it's your very own island.
- Annual salary—Up to $100,0003
- Fun factors—Make great money hacking into computer systems, legally. And take pride in knowing that you have the upper hand over black-hat hackers.
- Average annual salary—$93,250
3. Ferrari Driving Instructor
- Fun factors—Drive Ferraris. For a living.
- Average annual salary—$89,8164
- Fun factors—Be one of the creators behind the next hot video game to hit the market. And you might even be able to model characters and scenes based on the people and places in your own life.
- Average annual salary—$83,410
5. Toy Designer
- Fun factors—Forget being a "real" adult and spend your days playing with toys. Let your imagination run free and create cool and innovative toys that appeal to today's kids.
- Average annual salary—$71,0005
6. Hollywood Stunt Person
- Fun factors—Pretend to be a famous actor or actress and perform jaw-dropping, possibly death-defying, stunts that will, at the very least, make for some great dinner conversation.
- Average annual salary—$70,0006
- Fun factors—Get paid to use your sharp wit and wisdom to produce thought-provoking and memorable one-liners that appeal to the masses.
- Average annual salary—$69,130
- Fun factors—Achieve your dreams of joining the racing circuit, enjoy the thrill of racing events around the country, and get to know professional NASCAR drivers on a first-name basis.
- Entry-level annual salary—$45,000 to $65,0007
9. Food Critic
- Fun factors—Dine for free at some of the best restaurants out there, have servers and chefs give it their all to ensure that you love them, and impress others with your culinary knowledge.
- Average annual salary—$47,000
- Fun factors—Drink wine, attend posh events, meet interesting and famous people, and impress them with your remarkable wine knowledge.
- Average annual salary—$46,1388
32 Fun, High-Paying Jobs
Advertising & Marketing
Align your business and creative skills with a career in advertising and marketing. Businesses rely on advertising and marketing professionals to help sell their products and services through a number of avenues. You could be doing just about anything from managing promotional campaigns to running social media accounts. Discover some of the fun, high-paying jobs that this field has to offer:
1. Advertising or Marketing Manager
As an advertising or marketing manager, you could be handling the many aspects of a company's advertising and promotional campaigns. Additionally, marketing managers tend to have a broader focus that can include branding and public relations. Career opportunities exist in a number of settings, from advertising agencies to construction firms.
- Fun factors—Interact with interesting and fascinating people and gain the respect of your colleagues and peers.
- Average annual salary—$113,610 for advertising managers; $140,660 for marketing managers
- Job growth—9%
The explosive growth of the Internet over recent years has created a wide range of search marketing and social media jobs. Although those jobs may appear to have similar titles and tasks, they typically come with unique responsibilities and salary levels. Three of the more common titles that you could come across are search marketing strategist, social media specialist, and social media strategist. Each position comes with a varying degree of responsibility over a company's online presence. Depending on your role, you could be responsible for anything from promoting websites to taking care of social media accounts to developing online marketing strategies.
- Fun factors—Spend your days online and on social media, and earn a good living doing it.
- Average annual salary range—$55,000 to $83,4109, 10
- Job growth—19% (for marketing research and specialist careers) and 6% (for public relations specialist careers)
If you are a lover of all types and sizes of animals, then you may enjoy a career in the field of animal sciences. With possibilities ranging from assisting veterinarians to researching ocean ecosystems, it is likely you can find a career that is in line with your interests. Take a moment to explore a couple of the fun, good-paying jobs that could be available to you whether you hold a certificate, diploma, two- or four-year degree, or higher designation:
3. Marine Biologist
A marine biologist studies sea creatures and the ocean's ecosystems. Due to the vastness of the earth's oceans and the large number of animals and organisms within them, there are a number of specialties within the field of marine biology. Specialty areas include aquaculture, fishery biology, marine ecology, marine mammals, and microorganisms. Marine biologists typically spend a great deal of time conducting research, so you could expect to work closely with universities and other educational institutions.
- Fun factors—Work with incredible sea and ocean creatures, use cool technology, explore species and habitats that most people will never see, travel to amazing locations, and be on the leading edge of marine science.
- Average annual salary—$64,230
- Job growth—4%
A veterinary technician provides essential support services to veterinarians. It can be an ideal field for animal lovers who want a short education in order to get back into the workforce quickly. As a vet tech, you could spend your time giving medications, assisting with surgeries, providing emergency care, collecting samples, performing lab tests, and much more.
- Fun factors—Care for and bond with all kinds of different animals every day and pick from a variety of great places to work, like shelters, animal hospitals, and private clinics.
- Average annual salary—$33,280
- Job growth—19%
Many people who pursue automotive careers have dreamed of doing so since they were kids. You could have spent your childhood watching a family member work on cars. Or your love of vehicles may have started once you had your chance to get behind the wheel. Or maybe you are just mechanically inclined and have always known that working on vehicles was a viable option for you. The good news is that there are a number of high-paying, fun careers available in the automotive sector. Here are a few you might want to consider:
A heavy equipment mechanic's workday is made up of excavators, bulldozers, combines, and many other types of machines found in the construction, farming, logging, mining, and railway industries. You could be maintaining and repairing all types of machines, both in the field and at the mechanic shop. This option is a way to take a career in mechanics to the next level.
- Fun factors—Spend your days getting dirty, greasy, and muddy while working on massive machines using cool tools and technology.
- Average annual salary—$50,080
- Job growth—5%
Many motorcycle mechanics developed a love for bikes long before they even considered a career in this trade. Becoming a motorcycle mechanic probably feels like a natural choice for you. After all, a career where you spend your days repairing, maintaining, and restoring motorcycles may be just what you desire.
- Fun factors—Tinker on and rebuild all kinds of amazing bikes, and even build your very own dream bike.
- Average annual salary—$36,240
- Job growth—6%
When you dream of a career as a mechanic, you dream big. Like NASCAR big. And lucky for you, a career as a NASCAR mechanic is achievable. You can become an essential member of a racer's pit crew taking care of any number of things, including engine mechanics, fabrication, and welding.
Although data related to NASCAR careers is limited, Hot Rod Network indicates that an entry-level NASCAR mechanic earns $45,000 to $65,000 per year.6 And since every NASCAR race car and truck has a full-time professional team behind it, there could be a number of opportunities available for determined mechanics.
- Fun factors—Join the thrilling racing industry, attend events at some of the best race tracks in the country, and rub elbows with professional NASCAR drivers.
8. Street Rod and Custom Fabricator
Street rod fabricators don't just build vehicles; they create high-performance pieces of custom art. Using a combination of hand tools and specialized equipment, you will fabricate sheet metal, construct bodies and work with components like chop tops and suicide doors, and finish with custom paint and special effects to create beautiful hot rods. You could find career opportunities within existing shops, or you could establish your own custom hot rod shop.
The data pertaining to street rod and custom fabrication careers is limited, but Hot Rod Network has stated that the average hourly rate at hot rod shops in the Los Angeles area is $70 to $100 per hour.6
- Fun factors—Use your hands and wicked custom tools and machinery to build some of the baddest street rods out there.
Many people who work in aviation have known that it was the vocational field for them from an early age. You've probably been fascinated by flight and airplanes most of your life. And now you have the chance to transform your fascination into a fun career that pays well. Here are two aviation occupations that may interest you:
Airplane mechanics help thousands, if not millions, of travelers arrive at their destinations safely. Depending on your education level, you could be inspecting, supervising, and performing airplane maintenance on both private and commercial aircraft. And some mechanics even have opportunities to travel to foreign countries to oversee the mechanical work completed at international shops.
- Fun factors—Get paid to do what you love. You also may get to travel to cool locations for work and take advantage of free or discounted travel benefits for you and your family and friends.
- Average annual salary—$60,160
- Job growth—1% overall, but 41% in healthcare and social assistance, 15% in non-scheduled air transportation, 14% in professional, scientific, and technical services, and 10% in the scenic and sightseeing industry.
10. Air Traffic Controller
An air traffic controller may not have crossed your mind as one of the fun jobs that pay a lot. But it really is a job that many consider fun, and it offers great earning potential. Essentially, you get to control airspace. Using radar and other sophisticated technology, you help pilots by making that sure planes are arriving and departing safely, efficiently, and on time.
- Fun factors—Take on a respected and essential job that is like being a character in a live video game every day. And you get to work among people who love aircraft as much as you do.
- Average annual salary—$118,740
- Job growth—17% in professional, scientific, and technical services, 6% in transportation and warehousing, and 5% in state and local government
Those who are interested in fun, well-paying jobs in beauty are usually quite passionate about the field, enjoy interacting with people of all different backgrounds, and love hands-on work where they can immediately see the results. If this sounds like you, then consider a fun beauty career such as the following:
11. Makeup Artist
A makeup artist can work in a number of settings. You could be employed at a salon or beauty shop where you apply makeup to brides, wedding parties, and others preparing for big events. Or you could work in theatrical and performing arts establishments where you get actors and actresses ready for their shows. You may even be able to find opportunities to apply makeup to models and celebrities. There are a lot of possibilities as a professional makeup artist.
- Fun factors—Play and experiment with makeup every day, get incredible makeup discounts, travel to awesome places, gain access to glamorous events and venues, and meet a variety of interesting, and possibly famous, people.
- Average annual salary—$66,560
- Job growth—14% or higher10
If you possess a strong business sense and are highly motivated and organized, then you may want to consider a fun, high-paying career in business management. Check out one of the interesting options that you could pursue:
12. Event Planner
The life of an event planner is never dull. You can quickly go from one event to the next or even plan multiple events at one time. You could work as a private consultant or secure a position within a business like a hotel or convention center. One day you could be handling every fine detail of a lavish wedding, and the next day you could be setting up a professional business conference. Event planning can be a creative, stimulating, and rewarding career field.
- Fun factors—Be in charge of setting up all kinds of events, some of which could be well-known or prestigious, like rock concerts or fashion galas. And you might have the opportunity to travel and even meet famous people.
- Average annual salary—$51,200
- Job growth—33%
A communications career is an ideal choice for those who are natural writers and storytellers. You actually might find that the communications field offers interesting, easy jobs. We say easy because you could secure a position that depends upon your natural-born talents. If you can picture yourself working in radio, TV, or online and print media, then consider these fun, well-paying careers:
Radio and TV announcers research, prepare, and present information on a wide variety of topics. You get to stay in tune with current events related to news, music, entertainment, sports, and other aspects of modern culture. You may have a broad position that covers a number of topics or you could work in a position where you focus on a specific area like politics or entertainment. You could also find yourself involved in a variety of other engaging activities such as interviewing guests, providing commentary, operating studio equipment, updating social media accounts, and creating and selecting program content.
- Fun factors—Experience the adrenaline rush that comes from being on-air live, meet celebrities and politicians, and enjoy perks like free food and event tickets.
- Average annual salary—$46,410
- Job growth—15% in the motion picture, video, and sound recording industry, 9% in television, 8% in broadcasting, and 5% in the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector
Writers often enjoy having a variety of opportunities to do what they love most. With a knack for the written word, you could find yourself writing for advertisements, scripts, stories, articles, books, and other fun projects. You may even want to pursue a more creative career in freelancing where there are opportunities in journalism, blogging, copy writing, travel writing, and many other specialty areas.
- Fun factors—Freedom. Create a flexible work schedule, pursue writing jobs that truly appeal to you, express your stories in interesting and creative ways, and—in the case of journalism and travel writing—travel to cool locations.
- Average annual salary—$69,130
- Job growth—2% overall, but 40% in the retail trade, 37% in ambulatory healthcare services, and 27% in software publishing
Not everyone would consider an IT career fun. But then again, not everyone has a fascination with computers and technology like you do. You probably can't picture yourself working in any other field. And that's why one of these high-paying, fun jobs may be exactly what you're looking for:
15. Ethical Hacker
You might be thinking, "People actually get paid to hack?" Well, yes, they do. As technology grows and society becomes increasingly reliant on it, the field of ethical hacking is growing significantly. Ethical hackers are hired to test computer and network systems in order to identify security vulnerabilities. Although ethical hacking positions could be seen as weird or odd jobs, many people love the thrill that comes from staying a step ahead of computer criminals. And positions exist in all kinds of settings, from government departments and banks to vehicle manufacturers and home security companies.
- Fun factors—Get paid really good money to legally hack into computer systems and gain the upper hand over unethical hackers.
- Average annual salary—$93,250
- Job growth—18%
Software developers are just as creative as they are technical. They oversee the complete development cycles of software programs, from design and coding to implementation, support, and maintenance. Software developers may also design databases that support their programs as well as supervise computer programmers who assist with coding.
- Fun factors—Bring your ideas for better, or groundbreaking software programs and apps to life. And earn a great living doing what you love most: coding.
- Average annual salary—$108,760 for those specializing in systems software; $102,160 for those specializing in applications
- Job growth—17%
Maybe you consider yourself a creative visionary. Can you picture using modern technology in an enjoyable artistic field? Think of the possibilities: designing graphics, creating appealing indoor spaces, generating animations, building video games, developing websites, capturing moments in time, composing narratives, or creating soundtracks. Many fun, good-paying jobs exist in this category. See if one of them appeals to you.
17. Graphic Designer
Graphic designers are technically and creatively inclined communicators. With the use of imagery and typography, you can create designs and graphics for printed and electronic media. Many graphic designers are employed in advertising, marketing, public relations, and communications departments within a variety of organizations.
- Fun factors—Immerse yourself in highly creative work, have the potential to work from anywhere, and create cool graphics that impress your bosses, coworkers, and friends. You could even place yourself on the leading edge of the design and electronic media industries.
- Average annual salary—$51,640
- Job growth—1% overall, but 24% in the retail trade, 16% in healthcare and social assistance, and 15% in the motion picture, video, and sound recording industry
An interior designer has a flair for creative design backed with a strong business sense. You do much more than make spaces attractive to the eye. You also make sure they are safe, functional, and comfortable. You will work with your clients, whether homeowners or businesses, to create appealing rooms and spaces that meet their unique needs.
- Fun factors—Spend other people's money to bring your best, brightest, and boldest decorating ideas to life. Work with people, products, and spaces that you never imagined possible.
- Average annual salary—$55,510
- Job growth—4%
This is another field where technology and creative art come together. As a multimedia artist and animator, you could find yourself creating computer animation and special effects to be used in TV shows, commercials, movies, music videos, websites, video games, and other media projects.
- Fun factors—Forget growing up and spend your days in the imaginative, fairy-tale world of animation. And earn a great paycheck doing it.
- Average annual salary—$70,300
- Job growth—6%
Capitalize on your love of video games by becoming a video game designer. This field is where your creativity can align with your design and computer programming abilities. A great deal of artistry goes into creating today's video games. You essentially create a fantasy world with a storyline, characters, music, and a number of different scenes. And many video game companies are known for their laid-back, fun work environments. Plus, you may even have the opportunity to specialize in a specific area such as coding, creating sound effects, designing graphics, or writing narratives.
- Fun factors—Prove your mother wrong and show her that all of those hours playing video games in the basement can actually pay off.
- Average annual salary—$83,41010
- Job growth—2 to 4%10
21. Web Designer
With the massive growth of the Internet over recent years, it is no wonder that web designers are in demand. Many web designers are so passionate about the field that they started designing websites at a young age just for fun. But you can turn that interest into a viable career. Companies could hire you to build, redesign, and maintain their websites in a way that makes them appealing, functional, and aligned with their brands.
- Fun factors—Take advantage of an exciting creative outlet, enjoy a flexible schedule, and work from just about anywhere, even from home in your pajamas.
- Average annual salary—$70,660
- Job growth—27%
Film and video editors take on critical, behind-the-scenes roles in video production. With their artistic and creative eye, they edit raw footage in order to capture on-screen personalities and tell a story. You will work with directors, producers, and other film staff to ensure that production goals are achieved. With the use of computer software and digital equipment, you can produce a high-quality finished product.
- Fun factors—Be the artistic and creative brains behind professional video productions, work with well-known professionals and celebrities, and enjoy admiration and respect from the people around you.
- Average annual salary—$80,300
- Job growth—11%
Photographers can capture memories and make them last for generations. Although job opportunities exist in several sectors, many photographers prefer the flexibility and creativity that comes with freelance work or self-employment. You can find opportunities in private and corporate settings and may even choose to focus on a specialty where you strictly photograph people, events, landscapes, or products.
- Fun factors—Take photographs of incredible people and places, fulfill your creative dreams, edit your images as far as your imagination will take you, work alongside other artistic professionals and, if you go into business for yourself, enjoy the freedom of building your business into whatever you want it to be.
- Average annual salary—$40,280
- Job growth—3% overall, but 17% in healthcare and social assistance, 16% in the motion picture, video, and sound recording industry, 15% in the retail trade, and 14% in the wholesale trade industry
In the world of film production, there are a variety of roles. Along with the lead or main producer, there can also be executive producers who tend to focus on budgeting and legalities, line producers who typically focus on day-to-day operations, and unit production managers who ensure that production is on track with the main producer's interests. Although some producers work independently, most are employed by larger production companies.
- Fun factors—Produce the next big Hollywood breakout film or indie hit that takes the Internet by storm. Live out your dreams and meet highly talented and famous people along the way.
- Average annual salary—$89,670
- Job growth—9%
If you have ever attended a live concert, seen a Broadway show, or watched a movie with sound effects, then you have heard the work of sound engineering technicians. They are responsible for mixing, recording, reproducing, and synchronizing music, sound effects, and voices. Career opportunities can be found within production companies, recording studios, radio and TV stations, sports arenas, and theaters.
- Fun factors—Get to know famous performers, help singers and musicians achieve the best sound possible, and gain access to cool clubs, venues, and private events.
- Average annual salary—$63,340
- Job growth—8%
Do you find the legal field fascinating? Can you picture yourself working in a career where you help solve crimes, catch criminals, or stop terrorists? Sounds fun, doesn't it? Take a look at these two criminal justice careers that pay well and see if one of them is right for you:
A career in forensic science or criminal investigations is an exciting option for those who are intrigued by the law and want to engage in work that helps catch criminals. You could be one of the first people called to a crime scene in order to collect evidence, which is taken back to a lab for analysis. You would likely focus on either crime scene investigation or lab analysis rather than being involved in both. At the conclusion of your investigation, you would typically prepare a written report and may be required to testify at a trial.
- Fun factors—Enjoy the thrill and adrenaline rush of working crime scenes, play a part in catching criminals and sending them to prison, and fascinate—and possibly gross out—your friends and family with your stories.
- Average annual salary—$60,090
- Job growth—27%
A private detective is also referred to as a private eye, PI, or private investigator. Individuals and organizations like corporations, insurance agencies, and law firms hire private detectives. As a PI, you could be responsible for fact-finding and analyzing information pertaining to financial, legal, and personal matters. On any given day, your actions could involve interviewing people, tracking a missing person, investigating a computer crime or fraudulent insurance claim, or checking a person's background. Simply put, you could carry out many activities that make your days interesting and varied.
- Fun factors—Use your natural investigative skills every day to help catch criminals, liars, and cheaters. You also get to work independently and follow your hunches. And you have an excuse to carry around one of those fun spy magnifying glasses.
- Average annual salary—$52,840
- Job growth—5%
Are you passionate about protecting the environment and the planet's resources? If so, you may be cut out for a career in environmental sciences. And there are several high-paying, fun jobs available for people just like you. Check out some of the possibilities right now:
Becoming a wind energy or wind turbine technician can enable you to play an important role in the growing renewable energy industry. Enjoy the fulfillment that comes from a green career where you work with electrical and mechanical wind equipment in order to turn the wind's energy into power.
- Fun factors—Ditch the boring office job and work with massive structures and leading-edge green energy technology every day.
- Average annual salary—$53,030
- Job growth—108%
Do you enjoy cooking and preparing delicious food for others? Or are you passionate about the beer and wine industry? If so, you may want to consider working in the food and beverage sector. Check out these fun possibilities:
29. Food Critic
If you love to write as much as you love eating good food, then you might enjoy a career as a food critic. You will require a highly developed palate so that you are able to sample and analyze menus from a variety of restaurants. After you have visited a restaurant (usually more than once) you will write your review, which could be published in media such as newspapers, magazines, and blogs. Although no formal training exists for becoming a food critic, you may find culinary arts training helpful for developing your food knowledge.
- Fun factors—Frequent fancy, five-star restaurants, eat delicious, free food, and enjoy being catered to by staff that want to exceed your expectations in order to help ensure a good review.
- Average annual salary—$47,0008
30. Food Stylist
When you are captivated by beautiful, mouth-watering images of food while flipping through a magazine or watching TV, you are admiring the work of food stylists. They arrange food in an attractive manner for photo, film, and video shoots. You could put your artistic and culinary talents to work by making food look fresh and tasty for commercials, cookbooks, magazines, and menus.
- Fun factors—Use your wildly creative mind to make food look irresistible. Have fun experimenting with a variety of edible and inedible items that make food look too good to pass up. Soap bubbles for cappuccino foam and white glue for milk? You bet!
- Average annual salary—$33,0009
How could making beer not be fun? Brewmasters work for breweries of all sizes and are responsible for many aspects of beer making, including cleaning tanks and draft lines, developing new recipes, and conducting quality checks on current batches. With the growing interest in craft beer and microbreweries across the nation, now might be an ideal time to begin a career in the beer industry.
- Fun factors—Make and drink beer for a living. If that doesn't sound fun, then this probably isn't the occupation for you.
- Average annual salary—$46,6805
32. Wine Specialist
Many fun, well-paying jobs are available in the wine industry. Here are two of the most appealing career possibilities:
Winemaker—Winemaking is the ultimate career for wine aficionados. Just imagine being a key player in the entire wine production process where you can create a beautifully crafted bottle of wine.
- Fun factors—Immerse yourself in vineyards and wine cellars, and create exquisite wines. You might also attend posh events and get to know famous people who love your products.
- Average annual salary—$47,0008
Sommelier—Imagine being an expert at judging and selecting wines. Begin developing your talents at a sommelier training school, and discover where it might lead.
- Fun factors—Get paid to be a wine snob. Work in upscale restaurants, attend prestigious events, and have people seek your opinion about whether a wine is worthy to drink.
- Highest yearly earning potential—$80,000 to $160,00011
How to Start Building on Your Talents
Are you feeling inspired after learning about all of the interesting possibilities for fun jobs that pay well? Why not act on that inspiration right now? Take a moment to discover the training options in your area by entering your zip code into the search box below!
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, website last visited on August 31, 2016.
2 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, website last visited on March 2, 2016.
3 NBC News, "Wanted: Island Caretaker With Experience Lazing," website last visited on August 31, 2016.
4 Paysa, Ferrari Club of America Instructor Salaries, website last visited on August 31, 2016.
5 PayScale, website last visited on August 31, 2016.
6 Job Monkey, Movie Stuntman Jobs, website last visited on August 31, 2016.
7 Hot Rod Network, website last visited on October 15, 2015.
8 Indeed, website last visited on December 19, 2016.
9 O*NET, website last visited on November 30, 2016.
10 Simply Hired, website last visited on October 15, 2015.
11 Forbes, "Unusual Jobs That Pay Surprisingly Well," website last visited on February 24, 2017.