When does your job not seem like work? When you have a unique and interesting career that’s far from the same old thing. Whether you’re looking to start your career or ready to make a change, we found 19 cool jobs you might actually love.
Let’s face it — most of us work because we need to pay the bills. But beyond the obvious perks of payday, some people have jobs and careers that keep them energized and eager. Where are these jobs, and how can you get one? We rounded up our favorites to share. Which one would you choose?
Can you write anything from a personal essay to the ingredients list on a box of cereal? If words are your friend, then you might love being a copywriter. Many of these jobs are on a freelance basis, which also means flexibility and working from home. Clients may hire you to write blog posts for their websites, write marketing copy for sales brochures, put together print ads or any number of other things that need a few words. An undergraduate degree is preferred, and an internship would help candidates build a portfolio of work. Average annual salary for a junior copywriter is around $55,000 to $65,000.
Cartographer and photogrammetrist
What? Possibly the strangest pair of career titles, cartographers and photogrammetrists are responsible for collecting, measuring and interpreting geographic information in order to create maps. A bachelor’s degree in geography, cartography or civil engineering would be required, and there are even licensing requirements in some states. If you love all things geography and hope to see the world, this may be the career for you. With a faster than average growth rate and a median annual salary of $57,000, this is one pretty cool career.
Like the realm of the computer programmers, software development has long seemed the domain of men. But if you have a knack for this line of work, there are many ways to use these skills. Use your life experience as a springboard to your dream development job. Are you a gamer? Maybe game design is your thing. A former accountant? Financial software development might be up your alley. A bachelor’s degree in computer science and strong computer skills are required for this career, which has an average annual salary between $80,000 and $90,000 and varies regionally.
College English professor
Are you a lover of the classics? Can’t get enough Edgar Allan Poe or Voltaire? What could be cooler than sharing your love of the written word and classic literature with young college kids? Nothing keeps you more in tune with the younger generation than debating the subtleties, themes and metaphors of great literature. Better up your game for this one, though. Most colleges and universities will require at least a master’s degree. Median annual salaries run around $60,000.
Do you swoon over the latest indie designer, with her bright creations made from hemp fiber and organic cotton? Or long to attend Fashion Week representing a hot label? In an industry that thrives on creativity and the next “big thing,” anyone with talent and a website can start her own clothing line. Most fashion designers have a bachelor’s degree in a field like fashion merchandising or design and thrive on creativity and vision. Average salary is around $63,000 per year.
Are you good with numbers and love your accounting classes? While forensic accounting sounds like a job at the county coroner’s office, it’s not a messy job at all. Forensic accountants help solve puzzles and crimes by following the trail of money and documents. If sleuthing and figuring things out intrigues you, this might just be your best career. You’ll need a bachelor’s degree in accounting or business, and if you pass the CPA exam, your annual salary will be higher than the average of $64,000.
Social media coordinator
The internet is here to stay, and you would be hard-pressed to find a company without a presence on social media. How do these companies find time to send relevant tweets on Twitter and post updates on their Facebook pages? They hire social media coordinators to generate content for Twitter, Facebook, Google + and other social media where they have a presence. Larger companies have a dedicated person who is also available to respond quickly to customer tweets or posts, which can often turn into a fiasco if not closely monitored. Love interacting online? This might be your perfect job. Candidates will be expected to have a bachelor’s degree in communications, public relations, business or even journalism. Median annual salary is around $54,000.
Do you hear “general contractor” and picture a big, burly man in a plaid flannel shirt? Think again. The general contractor is like the event planner for your remodel job. Coordinating the efforts of the various tradespeople who are working on the site, the general contractor makes sure things run smoothly. Sounds like the perfect job for someone who is organized, efficient, good with people and tough under pressure. A bachelor’s degree in construction management may be required in a large firm, but many people strike out on their own with experience under their belt in a construction-related or design field. Median annual salary is around $80,000.
Does the idea of stake outs and deciphering evidence sound appealing? Private detectives or investigators handle evidence, analyze information, investigate computer crimes and verify backgrounds. An associate’s or bachelor’s degree in criminal justice will be required for this position, and experience in law enforcement would be helpful. The median annual salary for private investigators is $46,000.
Are you a self-proclaimed word nerd? Do you have an ever-growing stack of books on your nightstand, waiting to be read? Take a cue from Veronica Roth, the young author of the Divergent trilogy, and take your love of all things literary to the next level and become an author. A degree in English, creative writing or literature gives you a good foundation for a writing career, but all it truly takes to be the next big “thing” in the literary world is one great book. Salaries range wildly depending on your success and genre, but the median annual salary for an author is $56,000.
Do you love to create with Photoshop or have a knack for formatting copy? From designing websites for companies and individuals to formatting articles for online magazine sites, many of these jobs are flexible and internet-based. If you love projects and being creative, you might love this job. Sometimes referred to as desktop publishers, people who work with formatting come from various educational backgrounds with different skills. Median annual salary is about $37,000.
With the internet at your fingertips and a talent for creating jewelry, art glass, ceramics or paintings, anyone can open a shop and become an artist. Artistic talent doesn’t come with a bachelor’s degree, but you can hone your skills by taking classes in your craft. Half of all artists work for themselves in this career with median annual salaries of about $44,000.
Everyone has a camera in her back pocket these days, but some people have an eye for composition or a knack for photographing people. Whether you hope to create a beautiful compilation of photographs around your local town to sell online or love creating family portraits, photography is a career you can enjoy for a lifetime. No special schooling is required, although workshops and classes in different techniques can help you fine-tune your skills. Median annual salary is about $28,500.
Do you love watching CSI: Miami or getting lost in the latest murder mystery? Forensic technicians analyze the details of a crime scene and help investigators solve crimes. A bachelor’s degree is required, in chemistry or biology, and additional training may be necessary for crime scene investigators or lab workers. Strong math skills are a plus in this career with a median annual salary of $53,000.
A bit different from the author profile above, bloggers create their own “brand” and content based on anything from a vegan lifestyle to organic beauty products. A degree isn’t required, and anyone who has something to say can start a blog. But if you can position yourself in a niche where you have a passion or expertise, you can partner with brands and other sites to boost your earnings potential. Travel bloggers enjoy perks like media trips, and food bloggers attend events and write about them, and even have opportunities to interview chefs or others well-known in the food world. Median annual salary for a writer is $56,000, but bloggers who gather a large following and run ads on their sites may earn even more.
OK, they are usually referred to as Information Security Analysts — but they are paid to hack into security systems and implement security measures to minimize security risks. Have you always had a knack for computers and solving problems? This might be the perfect career for you. A bachelor’s degree in computer science or programming is key, and some schools have put together information security programs tailored to this specific career. Median annual salary ranges from $81,000 to $92,000, depending on the field.
Are you all over the organic segment of the food market? With so many food producers and farmers heading down the organic path, there is a need for consultants to provide assistance and technical advice to farmers wishing to make the transition from conventional to organic farming. Candidates should have expertise in the organic industry, a bachelor’s degree and a thorough understanding of the organic certification process. Average annual salary is $32,000.
Looking to channel your inner Olivia Pope? Politics isn’t the only segment of the job market that is full of intrigue and crisis. Crisis management is important in all types of businesses and industries. Job titles will vary depending on the nature of the business. Crisis management specialists who are responsible for developing and carrying out emergency plans are usually in managerial roles. The median annual salary for an emergency manager is around $59,000.
If you’re hoping for a future fueled by more than gasoline and electricity, then the field of biofuels might be for you. Biofuels are the fuel of the future and are composed of natural biological materials. With a degree in chemical engineering, you can combine chemistry, biology and physics to help discover new and more efficient ways to produce biofuels — kind of like saving the future. Median annual salary is about $64,000.
Finding a job you love isn’t always easy, but these 19 careers have an element of fun — and every day seems different. Which one would fit well with your personality?