In a globalized, interconnected world, more career opportunities are available to you than ever before.
Outside the parameters of nine-to-five work schedules, well-paying work is available in everything from aviation and animal sciences to creative design and media arts. Depending on your interests, skill sets, and location, you could turn your passion projects into your profession. Here are 10 of the most satisfying jobs (with good pay) available today:
1.Private Island Caretaker
Fun for who: Nature-lovers who prefer sunny, tropical climates and enjoy water sports and working with your hands.
How well does it pay? Up to $100,000 a year
Requirements: Be a strong swimmer, be independent and adventurous, be highly communicative with the owner and promoters of the island.
2.Video Game Player
Fun for who? Gaming addicts and appreciators who dream of gameplay 24/7.
How well does it pay? $50,000 a year, dependent on the demand
Requirements: Be in the top 1% of skilled players; it's a competitive field!
3. Voice Actor
Fun for who? Extroverted performers with versatile voices.
How well does it pay? Up to $80,000, dependent on the experience
Requirements: Have a unique and clear voice, possess great control over your voice, be a creative improvisor
4. Ethical Hacker
Fun for who? Computer lovers who enjoy cracking codes and solving puzzles (legally).
How well does it pay? $100,000 to $140,000
Requirements: Proven computer skills, including: Certified Ethical Hacker qualification, Global Information Assurance Certificate (GIAC) Penetration tester qualification, and Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP) qualification.
5. Fortune Cookie Writer
Fun for who? Writers (or aspiring writers) who are witty with one-liners, as well as thought-provoking quotes.
How well does it pay? Up to $70,000 a year
Requirements: Be a creative and fast thinker who can produce a large amount of one-liners to fill some of the 3 billion fortune cookies produced each year.
6. Toy Designer
Fun for who? Creative inventors who are children at heart.
How well does it pay? Approximately $70,000 a year
Requirements: A degree in any field related to toy design, a passion for toys and colorful design, knowledge of what kids of various ages enjoy playing with.
7. Makeup Artist
Fun for who? Makeup lovers and visual creatives who wish to work for salons or special events, or even theaters, models, or professional actors.
How well does it pay? About $70,000
Requirements: Obtain a cosmetics license and experience.
8. Video Game Designer
Fun for who? Visual creators and computer savvy people.
How well does it pay? Around $80,000 a year, dependent on experience
Requirements: At minimum, have a degree in video game design or computer science, experience with and enthusiasm for video games.
9. Blimp Pilot
Fun for who? Aspiring pilots who want to stay local in a light-hearted job.
How well does it pay? $70,000
Requirements: Complete over 1,200 hours of flight time, obtain a Certified Flight Instructor Certificate, preferably obtain a commercial rating.
10. Disneyland Face Character
Fun for who? Disney-lovers and actors who want to inhabit children's favorite characters
How well does it pay? Around $32,000 a year
Requirements: Meet strict height and appearance specifications for certain characters, pay attention to detail in order to accurately impersonate a character, work well with children.
Depending on your situation, find out your ideal job's specifications and how realistically your skill sets and qualifications match. You can start with your field of interest, be it arts, marketing, or food. For many of these specialty jobs, all it takes is one foot in the door before more opportunities become available to you.
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Whether you are looking for a new job or trying to grow in your current one, getting a certification can be a great way to improve your skills.
Anyone can put that they are proficient in a computer program on their resume but having a certificate can help you stand out amongst the competition and give credence to the strength of your skills.
But what's the best way to invest in yourself without breaking the bank? Some certification programs can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars. We are going to walk through six of the best certifications you can get for $100 or less.
Who is it best for: Those who work with analyzing and presenting data.
Cost: $100 for Tableau Desktop Specialist; additional certifications are available for a larger fee.
More companies than ever see themselves as data companies. Being able to understand data and use it to guide decisions at your company is often critical to taking on a leadership role. Not to mention, being able to present the data in a clean, attractive, and compelling way can help get buy-in from others in your organization or clients. That's why Tableau is a great tool to have in your toolbox.
Tableau allows you to create interactive visual analytics dashboards. In layman's terms, you can take data; create graphs, maps, or charts; and then allow end-users to interact with these graphics to better understand the information. It's a fantastic tool allowing non-technical users to gain insights for data-driven decision-making.
Tableau Desktop Specialist certification starts at $100 and has no expiration date. There are many videos on Tableau's site to prepare for your exam as well as Tableau Starter Kits allowing you to play around and learn the different capabilities of the program. Tableau offers a 14-day free trial as well as free license for one year for students.
Additional certifications after Desktop Specialist are Desktop Associate and Desktop Professional. Those working with a Tableau server may also be interested in a separate certification as a Server Associate or Server Professional.
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When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.
A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.
One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.
The Federal Reserve
The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.
This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.
The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.
Whether you're leaving a job involuntarily, departing for something new, or just want to prepare for the unknown, it is smart to understand all your options regarding your 401k.