Fun Jobs That Pay Well

By Chris Kolmar - Jan. 6, 2021

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While no job is sunshine and rainbows all the time, there are certainly some that are more fun than others. This is especially true if you’re able to find a job that combines both your skills and interests, rather than merely being a way to pay the bills (even though that’s valuable in itself).

If you’re looking for a new career path that will provide enjoyable work and a solid paycheck, keep reading.

40 Fun Jobs That Also Pay Well

While some of these jobs pay better than others, especially if you’re just starting out, the ones on this list all have the opportunity for a generous paycheck:

  1. Design Engineer. If you’re interested in improving processes and turning products from plan to reality, being a design engineer might be a fun job for you. You’ll typically make anywhere between $50,000 and $80,000 a year in a position like this.

  2. Environmental Engineer. A career as an environmental engineer is perfect for anyone who loves science, is passionate about caring for the earth, and wants to create practical ways to do so. On average, they make between $50,000 and $80,000 per year, but some are paid much more than that.

  3. Civil Engineer. Civil engineers are the ones who make bridges, buildings, dams, and other parts of cities’ infrastructures operational and stable. Most civil engineers are paid between $50,000 and $85,000 a year, with some making as much as $99,000 a year.

  4. Robotics Engineer. If a career full of designing, manufacturing, and improving robotic machines sounds like a blast to you, look into robotics engineering. They typically make between $55,000 and $120,000 per year.

  5. Meteorologist. There is a lot more to meteorology than standing in front of a camera and talking about the temperature. If the weather fascinates you and you love science, this might be where you find your dream job. Meteorologists can make anywhere from $35,000 to $100,000 a year.

  6. Biological Technician. Biological Technicians have the best of both worlds as far as science-based career paths go. They don’t need as much education as a full-fledged biologist, but they still get to be in the lab assisting scientists. Plus, they generally get paid between $28,000 and $63,000 per year.

  7. Art Therapist. As an art therapist, you’ll get to combine psychology and art to help teach people how to process their emotions and express themselves. While this field isn’t as lucrative as engineering, it still pays well, with average salaries ranging from $32,000 to $65,000 per year.

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  8. Music Therapist. In a nutshell, music therapy uses music to gauge a client’s mental health in various areas and then help them improve it. This is another occupation where your salary depends on location and experience, but music therapists can make up to $72,000 each year.

  9. Real Estate Appraiser. As a real estate appraiser, you’d get to look at other people’s houses and buildings to tell them what they’re worth for a living. Plus, most of them make between $34,000 and $70,000 a year, with some earning up to $100,000 a year.

  10. Antique Appraiser. If you enjoy learning about and looking at items from long ago, becoming an antique appraiser may be an ideal career for you. While most antique appraisers earn a little over $30,000 a year at first, some of the more experienced ones make over $70,000 each year.

  11. Personal Shopper. What could be better than going shopping and spending someone else’s money for a living? As a personal shopper, you could do this – you just can’t keep the items you purchase, unfortunately. Depending on your location and experience, you could make up to $65,000 a year in this occupation.

  12. Wardrobe Stylist. Also called a fashion stylist, a wardrobe stylist can do anything involving creating outfits, whether it’s choosing the clothing worn in a magazine or music video or selecting an ensemble for a celebrity or model to wear. They can generally make up to $65,000 per year.

  13. Cryptographer. If you love computers and coding, being a cryptographer might be a fun occupation for you. In this position, you’d get to encrypt and decrypt information to keep your employer’s computer systems secure. These jobs typically pay $55,000 to $180,000 a year.

  14. Ethical Computer Hacker. Did you know that it’s possible to put your hacking skills to use in a positive way? Well, you can, and organizations are willing to pay handsomely for you to find and fix any security weaknesses in their systems. The average salary for an ethical hacker, or a white-hat hacker as they’re often called, is $99,000 a year.

  15. Video Game Designer. If you’re naturally a very creative person who enjoys creating worlds and challenges and working on computers, becoming a video game designer might be the dream job for you. Nationwide, these professionals typically make between $40,000 and $100,000 a year.

  16. Web Developer. With websites becoming a necessity for businesses of all sizes, web developers are in high demand. In this job, you’ll design, build, and optimize websites, whether you do so full time for one company or as freelance work for many organizations.

    Depending on who you work for, your experience, and your skills, you can make between $40,000 and $110,000 a year in this job. Plus, this is one of the fastest-growing occupations, which means there will likely be plenty of job openings for you to choose from in the future.

  17. Tech Support Specialist. If you enjoy learning about and using technology and helping people solve problems, you might enjoy working as a tech support specialist. On average, these professionals make about $50,000 per year.

  18. Software Developer. As a software developer, you’ll get to put your computer skills to use creating and optimizing programs that allow people to solve problems, make creative projects, or just make their lives easier. The average salary is around $75,000 a year, but you can make over $100,000 a year in this field, depending on where you work.

  19. Marine Biologist. Studying ocean animals for a living can take you to work in aquariums, zoos, and research facilities. If you love science, the water, and animals, you will probably love this occupation. Plus, the $35,000 to $100,000 annual paycheck isn’t too bad either.

  20. Park Ranger. Many career park rangers are foresters and conservation scientists, and they make around $50,000 to $70,000 per year. Some can make more than that, though. Either way, it’s pretty great pay for getting to spend your time outdoors in some of the most beautiful places in the country.

    You can even start working in this field as a volunteer to see if you like it.

  21. Veterinarian. Just like any medical profession, becoming a veterinarian takes years of hard work, but it can allow you to work with all types of animals for a living. Veterinarians usually make $55,000 to $150,000 per year.

  22. Industrial Designer. If you notice when a pair of scissors fit your hand just right or a packaging design that didn’t make you want to throw it across the room in frustration, you have an industrial designer to thank for that. Put your design and problem-solving skills to work in this occupation, and make an average of $43,000 to $89,000 per year doing so.

  23. Interior Designer. A career in interior design will always bring a new challenge, and new opportunities for hands-on creativity. You can work on houses or industrial buildings and choose to work for a company or yourself. The average salary for an interior designer is $60,000 a year.

  24. Landscape Architect. Put your design talents to work creating stunning outdoor retreats for backyards, resorts, and businesses. You’ll make anywhere from $45,000 to $80,000 per year doing so, and you may be able to make over $100,000.

  25. Architect. Combine form and function to create beautiful and usable buildings for people to live, work, and play in. This is where engineering meets art, so it’s an excellent option for those who are both left- and right-brained. Your salary will depend on your experience, certifications, and location, but the average salary is a little over $100,000 per year.

  26. Toy Designer. The definition of a “fun job” – creating new toys is a real career you could have. Like an industrial designer, you’ll need to have creative, technical, and problem-solving skills to succeed in this field. The average base pay for a toy designer is just under $88,000 a year.

  27. Nutritionist. Combine science, health, and helping others by becoming a nutritionist. Whether you want to focus on helping people change their unhealthy lifestyles or combat health problems with their diet, being a nutritionist can be an interesting and fulfilling occupation. Most nutritionists earn an average of $45,000 to $73,000 each year.

    This could also be a great option if you’re a nurse looking for a career change because you already have a basic understanding of how to help the human body be at its best.

  28. Personal Trainer. Becoming a personal trainer is a great job if you’re passionate about fitness, want to help people, and would rather not have a desk job. Plus, you can do it as part-time work or as a full-time job.

    While personal trainers’ salaries vary greatly depending on their experience and who they work for, the national average is $48,000 a year, with some making up to $63,000.

  29. Airline Pilot. If you love to travel and don’t mind days and weeks away from home, becoming an airline pilot can be a fascinating and rewarding job. Plus, the median salary is $175,000, which means half of pilots make more than that (some make over $300,000 a year), and half make less (closer to $75,000 a year).

  30. Resort Manager. While managing a resort may mean interacting with some difficult guests, it also means you live and work in some of the world’s most beautiful and sought-after locations. The average salary for a resort manager in the U.S. is about $54,000 per year, but you may make more or less depending on your experience and where you work.

  31. Cruise Director. As a cruise director, you can put your hospitality, administration, customer service, and event planning skills to work while having the opportunity to see the world. Cruise directors usually make between $40,000 and $90,000 a year, with the average salary being $56,000.

  32. Cruise Ship Entertainer. If you’re a performer, you may want to consider taking a contract with a cruise ship. Not only do you get to stay on a cruise ship for free, but you also usually get to go ashore when the ship is docked – not a bad job perk. These positions often come in three- to six- month contracts that pay anywhere from $1,600 to $4,000 a month.

  33. Novel Writer. While a career in creative writing of any kind brings no guarantees about salary, writing novels can quickly become very lucrative if you’re successful. Plus, this is a job type that gives you the opportunity for remote work and letting your creativity shine. If you are successful, you can make over $100,000 a year.

  34. Advertising Copywriter. If long-form writing such as novels or even articles isn’t for you, writing short, snappy advertising slogans and materials may be the career you’re looking for. This is another industry where your salary will depend on your skill, experience, and employer, but your annual earnings will likely be between $35,000 and $75,000 a year.

  35. Social Media Marketer. You can turn your knack for social media into a career more quickly than you’d think. Combine that with a little bit of marketing know-how, and you’re set with a job full of new challenges to conquer and opportunities to be creative as you create marketing campaigns on social media platforms.

    You can make between $35,000 and $100,000 a year in this position, depending on the company and your responsibilities. If you have a background in customer service and marketing and want to switch to this field, you can usually do so with some training and practice, since you already have experience building relationships.

  36. Voice Actor. Probably one of the most unique careers, voice acting gives you the opportunity to both potentially be on the big screen and show up to work in sweats.

    While your salary in this field can vary widely based on the types of projects you do since it’s a gig-based career, the national average for a voice actor’s annual salary is about $76,000 a year.

  37. Photographer. Depending on the type of photography you choose to pursue, a career as a photographer brings opportunities to travel and meet new people. It also takes hard work and some natural talent, but many full-time photographers make $41,000 to $80,000 a year with all of these ingredients.

  38. Videographer. Similar to photographers, being a successful videographer takes a lot of hard work and skill. However, your days will be full of exciting and new work, and you’ll be able to capture moments, events, and stories for posterity. Most videographers get paid anywhere from $40,000 to $98,000 a year to do this.

  39. Translator. If you know a second (or third) language, a career as a translator or interpreter may be a fulfilling way to use that skill. Whether you work for a company, an individual, or a school, you’ll be able to connect people who wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. Once you’re certified and experienced, you could make between $30,000 and $75,000 a year.

  40. Sommelier. If you love fine wine, have an excellent palate, and love to travel, a career as a sommelier could be an enjoyable occupation for you. The general sommelier salary ranges between $35,000 and $70,000 a year, but some master sommeliers make six figures.

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Chris Kolmar

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Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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