Whenever you think of well-paying careers, jobs like doctor and lawyer probably come to mind. However, there are a lot of professions you’ve probably never heard of — and you might be surprised to find out how much money you can make in those fields.
A while back, redditor u/yonBonbonbon asked, “What jobs pay surprisingly well that no one knows about?”
Here are 17 of the top (and coolest-sounding!) answers:
1.“Legal videographers. If you watched Tiger King or Making a Murderer, then deposition videos played, and there was someone behind the camera getting paid anywhere from $60–$125 an hour to film that. Filming depositions is a very common practice in the legal field, and it’s a very easy field to get into.”
3.“I work in public relations, specializing in crisis management. If you need me, you REALLY need me. But most of the time, you don’t need me at all. So I make six figures a year to do nothing at all most days. Just rushing in to save the day maybe a couple of times a year at most.”
4.“Professional land surveyors. Due to the aging population of surveyors and no one really knowing exactly what they really do, the pay — once you’re licensed — is $90,000–$100,000 per year, and you can pretty much choose what part of the country you want to work in, as there are openings everywhere.”
5.“I cook for resource camps (tree planting, firefighting, I’ve done the odd oil rig or scientific expedition in the past), and I get paid an amazing day rate.”
6.“Braiding horses for hunter shows. It’s been a while since I did it, but at the top shows, I was getting around $100–$150 per horse. On a good day, I could do 10 horses.”
7.“Merchant marine officer. Bank money, no expenses, half the year on vacation. I travel for work to wild places.”
8.“Stilt walking. I make $450 an hour.”
9.“Selling legal marijuana. I literally get paid just to smoke weed all day long. Half of the time I work from home, half of the time I’m just smoking pot with people to showcase my product lineup.”
10.“A lot of medical technician jobs. I am a specialized ultrasound tech making $120,000 a year. I only have an associate degree.”
11.“Programming in COBOL. A whole bunch of banks and investment companies and insurance companies have these 50-year-old databases programmed in COBOL, and if you know the language, you can make bank because it’s much cheaper for them to pay a COBOL developer $250,000 a year than to spend $30 million transferring all of their database info to some new spec.”
12.“Environmental consulting. I started in biology to go into conservation biology but couldn’t justify working for $15 an hour for 10 years. Hell, I’d never even heard of environmental consulting when I was doing my undergrad! Now, three years after graduating, I make over $100,000, still do conservation work (about 50% of the time), and don’t have to penny-pinch!”
13.“If you work in a state with recreational or medical cannabis, jobs in that field can be very lucrative. I’m currently in the field in Michigan. I can make my own schedule, typically working three to five days a week, and work environments tend to be very relaxed, as you might expect.”
14.“Underwater welders. I was working in New Orleans shortly after Hurricane Katrina and met this Scotsman at a bar. He had been trained in underwater welding by the Royal Navy and was now helping the NOLA shipping companies repair their ships that had been damaged in port by the hurricane. He was being paid $600 an HOUR when in the water. An HOUR.”
15.“I’m a speech pathologist in central Kentucky. ‘Per diem’ or PRN jobs to cover vacations, maternity leaves, etc., pay $50–$60 hourly (that’s a lot in Kentucky, y’all), and you can choose your days or hours based on how much you want to work.”
16.“I look for people on the internet who can work specific jobs. I get paid a ridiculous amount of money for the least effort possible.”
17.And finally: “The traveling version of anything. If you have any skill that you are willing to drop everything and go do at a moment’s notice in some random place, you can get paid quite well.”
Do you have a surprisingly well-paying job in a career field most people haven’t heard of? What’s it like? How’d you get there, and do you enjoy your job? Share your answers in the comments!
Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.