Six Jobs with Surprisingly High Salaries
We all know the jobs that are (virtually) guaranteed to rake in the big bucks: doctor, lawyer, engineer, etc.-- no surprise there. Yet as it turns out, a surprising number of jobs pay more than you may think; some don't even require a college education. There are some caveats, of course; many of the jobs involve a personal sacrifice of some sort, be it living underwater for months at a time or being at someone else's beck and call 24/7. However, if you're willing to make some life changes, you may find you're a good fit for one. Here are some of the most surprising:
Who wants hot dogs!
Step inside my office
Food vendors can make bank if they're in the right spot. As the adage goes, success depends on location, location, location, and this rings true for food vendors. One dog slinger working the much-trafficked corner of 35th and Broadway makes an average of $250/day (easily over $100,000 per year if he works 50 weeks a year.) Note that hot dogs are not the only food that will net you more green than Central Park; an ice-cream vendor on 37th and Fifth Avenue can earn up to $700 on a good day. In New York City, where rents for office space can run upwards of $600 per square foot (yes, per foot), these types of vendors generally only need to pay for an annual vendor's license and tax identification number to stake their claim. No rent equals low overhead, and the significant markup on hot dogs and other items means that a busy day can be highly profitable.
If you can take the heat, get into the kitchen
Only 140 more days until I can see the sun
While most culinary artisans aren't making too much money––except for the top well-known chefs with their own line of cookware––there is one position in the industry that does pay exceptionally well. But this is no free lunch: the role is as the lead submarine chef with the Australian Navy. That's right; you'd be cooking for almost 60 hungry seamen and women 20,000 leagues under the sea. Chefs start at a not-too-shabby $58,800 per year not including a $50,000 bonus just for showing up (turns out 50% of success really is showing up!), a capability bonus of $40,000 a year, plus almost $50,000 worth of "seagoing allowance" and "submarine service allowance." All that, and your room and board are taken care of. I mean, you'd have to be okay with living in a massive iron pill capsule and wouldn't see the sun for weeks at a time…but think of the money you'd save on sunscreen!
Someone's gotta do it
And they thought I'd amount to nothing
Taking out the trash is by no means a glamorous job. But if you live in the right area, you can make a mint by doing something no one else wants to do. Some sanitation workers make upwards of $100,000 in New York City. This is not representative of the average "waste engineer" annual salary, which ranges from the high $30's to low $60's, but everything is more expensive in NYC, and trash removal is no different. The upside is that wages are rising much faster than average in this industry because of the lack of available talent.
Air traffic controllers – the men and women who ensure airplanes don't crash into each other on the ground and in the air – make over $120,000 year. It's by no means an easy job: they must continuously concentrate (often directing multiple carriers at once), and work shifts during all hours in a dim room staring at brightly lit screens. While the job itself is stressful, if you can hack it for 20 years you'll get to look forward to early retirement at 50 and enjoy enforced retirement at 56.
I see a lot of green in your future
Aunt Mabel says hi and don't overwater her ficus
Psychics, despite their employment in a field of dubious nature, earn an average of almost $100 an hour, according to Payscale. This may seem surprising at first, but given that the estimated 85,000 psychics in the United States pull in approximately $1.5 billion in revenue per year, it may not be so outlandish. Psychics also claim to have high-flying customers, such as executives who can afford to shell out for their pricey service. Whether or not a given psychic has any ability to foresee the future is in the eye of the person paying their salary. Many psychics prefer to act as therapists, guiding people through tough times and hard decisions—and possibly telling them that Aunt Mabel forgives them for breaking that window when they were a kid.
Jeeves, bring the car around
Being a private butler is not usually on the career list at the guidance counselor's office, but it's a legitimate job that with an excellent salary––that is, if you get hired by the right employer. The International Guild of Professional Butlers has 10,000 members in the United States alone and estimates there could be as many as a few million private butlers worldwide.
So, what exactly does a butler do? Unlike in the days of Downton Abbey, people today can generally dress themselves and don't take daily breakfasts in bed (although that does sound pretty great). Today's modern butlers are considered "household managers" who oversee the rest of the staff, schedule household maintenance, receive visitors, organize events, and so on and so forth. They also can act as personal assistants, booking reservations, managing wardrobes (dry cleaning and tailoring), and generally ensuring that life runs smoothly for their employer. The job requires impeccable social skills and etiquette, and you'll need in-depth knowledge of wines and spirits (natch!) to be successful.
A private butler is a trusted employee for those who can afford them and are generally compensated as such: according to the International Butler Academy, these discreet individuals earn between $50,000 and $150,000 annually.
If your current job is just not cuttin' the mustard or if you're someone who could thrive in a stressful, claustrophobic, or even smelly environment, it may behoove you to explore a less conventional job that just might push your income up a few tax brackets.
- Unexpected Jobs That Pay $100K | Monster.com ›
- 9 unusual jobs that earn $100,000 or more - CBS News ›
- 14 Odd Jobs That Pay Insanely Well | GOBankingRates ›
- 15 Unusual Jobs That Surprisingly Pay Over $100,000 ›
- 32 Fun Jobs That Pay Well | Find a Career You Can Love ›
- 11 Odd Jobs with High Salaries | Salary.com ›
Every time payday rolls around, I’m on top of the world. Jeff Bezos-level rich - even though I’m anything but. And then somehow the very next day, rent is due.
The cycle continues. The next payday, bills for my apartment. I find myself without a surplus of savings since I just moved and newly-furnished my apartment completely.
Even more terrifying is the looming presence of the holiday season. Halloween’s officially over and before we know it, hello Thanksgiving…and then there’s Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s. It’s insane.
I’ve been feeling very British lately. Not in a Union-Jack-obsessed, “Keep Calm and Carry-On” way. I went through that phase in 2012 with everyone else… no thank you. And it’s not even a surge of patriotism catalyzed by the Queen dying — I’m firmly team Diana and team Meghan.
Now that fall is officially here, the holidays will sweep in and I’ll have to contend with the fact that I won’t be spending them with my family in the UK. I went home to London earlier this year, so there’s not much left in my travel budget for another trip across the pond. A few domestic jaunts might be in my future, but the closest I’ll get to England this winter is watching Love Island and Love, Actually.
So in that spirit, I’ve been filling my days with content from my favorite Brits. I’m listening to all the old British rock bands I grew up listening to, patiently awaiting the new Arctic Monkeys album, and rewatching anything with Michaela Coel in it. I even shipped myself an order of British Baked Beans, so you know it’s dire.
I’ve also been watching British YouTubers like Grace Beverley — my favorite. Generally, I only go on YouTube to watch Vogue Beauty Secrets and AD Open Door videos. But I’m so glad I stumbled on Grace. Her content is a mix of London lifestyle (what lured me in), relatable entrepreneurship, and mindful productivity. I’m not a hustle-and-grind-girlboss, but as a creative person in a 9-to-5, I need all the help I can get to stay plugged in. So, the video “how to be really really really productive without getting overwhelmed” changed my approach to WFH.
Grace outlines her own productivity method: the to-do table. Instead of making a simple to-do list, she divides her tasks into a table that anyone can follow. As someone who’s survived with to-do lists for years, I recently implemented Grace’s method, and it’s revolutionized my workdays.
how to be really really really productive without getting overwhelmedwww.youtube.com
I follow her routine to a tee. Here’s how it works:
Essentially, she divides her daily responsibilities into four categories: quick ticks, tasks, projects, and non-negotiables.
- Quick Ticks: Actions that take less than 5-minutes
- Tasks: To-do’s that take up to 30-minutes. Probably don’t take too much brain energy.
- Projects: Long-term list items. These help guide your priorities, even if you’re not crossing them off in one day.
- Non-negotiables: Pick 3 things each day that you must get done. This is how you’ll truly measure success.
With everything written down and sorted, next address your schedule. Meetings, deadlines, and time blocks — whatever works best for you. Write it down. Then make a pact with yourself to stick to them.
This way of categorization provides a roadmap for prioritizing your day — making you far more productive. Have you ever spent the entire day on small tasks and then suddenly realized you hadn’t moved the needle on any task? Or do you spend way too much time on tasks that aren’t a priority? No more. With your non-negotiables laid out, you know what to laser-focus on and what to dedicate energy towards.
Also, it pays to know your working style. I’m not a morning person. Yet, I have to be up and at ‘em super early. So, first thing in the morning, I march through my Quick Ticks to warm me up. I set a time limit, so I can knock out some easy wins which is totally inspiring. Then I move on to bigger things without lingering on emails or admin. For others, it might be more helpful to tackle the big things with all that early-in-the-day brain power earlier.
Grace has great tips on avoiding overwhelm and burnout. My favorite is taking more intentional breaks rather than scrolling through social media. I call this scrolling “productive” because I’m “coming up with pitches.” Oh, the lies we tell ourselves. It’s more productive in the long run to giving my brain a break with non-screen related stimuli.
Grace’s solution? Set a timer to read a real, an actual book. I’ve never thought of this. It’s a genius way to check off some books on my TBR and kickstart my creativity. After reading a good book, I’m completely inspired to write. So having books near my desk helps me step away from the computer during my lunch break for an actual reset. (And yes, the current books I’m reading are by British authors: Assembly by Natasha Brown, and Love in Color: Mythical Tales from Around the World, Retold by Bolu Babalolu.)
In my pursuit of switching out my WFH set-up and getting my life together, I’ve engineered my workstation for success. With my new WFH essentials and Grace’s productivity technique, I’m revitalized for work — despite the fall blues and my melancholy about the pending holidays.
Here are the things getting me hyped for work and helping me crush my Grace Beverley-inspired to-do tables — no lists in sight:
Pack your bags — Southwest Airlines is having a major sale! Fares are as low as $59 one-way if you book by October 3rd.
This end-of-summer super sale is a game-changer for your travel plans through the end of the year. Summertime travel gets all the glory. But why not take advantage of your long weekends, holidays, and PTO this fall. You’ll be surprised at how much travel you can fit in. Keep the fall/winter season exciting with domestic trips that give you all the excitement without breaking the bank. All thanks to Southwest.
Here’s the breakdown:
Where can you go?
You’ll find discounted tickets to and from most airports. Sale fares apply to cross country travel, and even Hawaii, Mexico, and the Caribbean! Whether you’re visiting a new city or revisiting your last beach vacation, this sale has fares to make your travel dreams come true.
What do the fares cover?
Southwest Airlines has multiple fare tiers, each with various benefits. Wanna Get Away fares start at $59, while Wanna Get Away Plus fares start at $89. You can also find great deals on Anytime fares, which offer priority boarding and express lanes. Then there’s Business Select tickets for a luxe experience at an affordable price point.
Do you have to be a Southwest Rapid Rewards member?
You may think these sale fares are too good to be true. Is there a catch? Do you have to be a Southwest Rapid Rewards member to access them? You’re in luck — anyone can attain these fares for a limited time.
But, insider tip, you should consider signing up for Southwest Rapid Rewards. With a free sign up, you earn points and miles with each trip you take. And with this sale, each dollar you spend on these discounted tix can stretch super far until you eventually earn free travel. The only thing better than a sale is free stuff.
I’ve been browsing the Southwest Airlines site, checking out flights and dreaming.