Work, inherently, isn’t designed to be fun. When I was teenager working as a bus boy—outside in the blaring NJ summer sun—I never once looked up from cleaning half-eaten oysters off the floor beneath a group of sloppy tourists to say to myself, “Whoa, I can’t believe I’m getting paid for this!” Now, I'm an Internet writer. And sometimes, I honestly can't believe I'm getting paid to do this.
But even I am a little envious of these 17 objectively amazing careers; jobs that might seriously make you consider bolting your day job so rapidly, you're liable to leave a Looney Tunes-style silhouette on the exit door. Some of these jobs may not rake in the big bucks, but isn't money kind of obsolete when you're having sex, while stoned, and writing about it for a living? That level of happiness just doesn't have a price tag.
1. Ben and Jerry's Flavor Guru
Ben and Jerry's delicious tasting and cleverly-named ice creams are, without question, the best thing to ever come out of Vermont (prove me wrong, I dare you). And the ideal position within the custard conglomerate is clearly a Flavor Guru—a job that consists of blending ice cream, candy, and all types of syrupy goodness into the perfect concoctions, then tasting copious amounts to "assure quality," and whatnot. Unhealthy? Maybe. But so is hunching over a laptop 40+ hours a week.
2. Private Island Caretaker
Estimated pay: Anywhere from $15k-$45k per year
You know the supervillain level of affluence where you can not only afford to spend your time lounging on a tropical island, but have the funds to buy your own island—strictly used for lounging? Well, now you can ride the coattails of the rich and powerful to your own dream job, as a Private Island Caretaker. It's kind of like house-sitting, but instead of the biggest perk being liberal fridge privileges, it's spending your life in a secluded paradise—and getting paid for it. Way better than free popsicles.
3. Water Slide Tester
Estimated pay: Around $31,000 a year
Yes, Water Slide Tester: it's an actual job. And it earns a salary most entry-level workers would happily accept (even if just to work at an establishment without a strict, no-water slide mandate). Are there downsides to testing water park attractions all over the world? “It can be tough when it’s chilly and you have to strip off, but otherwise it’s great," ex-slide tester Tommy Lynch told The Mirror. I feel bad for Tommy, his career is certainly going to take a steep plunge from here on out.
4. Weed & Sex Journalist
Estimated pay: Anywhere from $32k to $67k a year
There are plenty of blogging and writing jobs that people would die for, like bloggers who document their travels all over the world, and those who get to spend weeks just playing Rock, Paper, Scissors. With the recent explosion of legalized marijuana in certain American states, "Weed Reviewer" is now a legitimate, achievable job for cannabis-centric wordsmiths. But one specific job, as a Sex Columnist who specializes in getting high, and then having sex while intoxicated, may just win the blue ribbon for best job of all time...if you are into that kind of stuff. Which you almost assuredly are.
5. Jack Daniels Taster
Estimated pay: Anywhere from $20k-$60k per year
If you boss is constantly on your case about drinking on the job—my advice is to get some serious help, or relocate to Tennessee, where you can become a tester of some of the finest whiskey in the known universe. Recently, Jack Daniel's Assistant Master Distiller Chris Fletcher stopped by Supercompressor HQ to let us sample a plethora of Old No. 7 classics. I can tell you, finding the nuanced flavors buried deep in the whiskey is a complicated process, but I'd be willing to learn. Oh God, I'd be willing to learn.
6. Netflix Tagger (aka Pro Binge Watcher)
Estimated pay: "A couple hundred dollars a week"
Believe it: people are getting paid to watch Netflix. It's a Netflix tagger's duty to indulge in copious amounts of television and movies, and categorize them for the site's extensive algorithm, based on nuanced emotional facets (like judging just how likable Dame Judi Dench is for young Millennial men) that a computer might skim over. This is how Netflix seemingly knows what you like, even if you don't really know what you like in the first place.
7. Fortune Cookie Writer
Estimated pay: Around $50k per year, for full-time writers
If you are a well-adjusted, reasonable human being, you've probably never put that much thought into those little slips of premonition inside your favorite Chinese restaurant's fortune cookies. But, if you are looking to get into the writing business, and want a fun and creative gig that won't leave you burnt out, you might want to look into fortune cookie writing. Check out this extended profile about the life of a fortune cookie writer, and then get crackin' on your lucky number knowledge.
8. Brothel Tester
Estimated pay: This data is not available (but they do require someone with a college degree)
This might not be everyone's cup of tea, but for some people—ahem, some people with lesser morals—a brothel tester/reviewer is one hell of a titillating job title. Just several months ago, a German Brothel advertised a position, consisting of testing out the various ladies of the night in the harem's den. And even here, in the ever-wholesome U.S.A., there's an open position as a prostitute tester at the famed Bunny Ranch in Nevada.
9. Google Trike/Street View Team Member
Estimated pay: Google's car team makes $30k (give or take) per year, so we can assume something similar.
This kind of reminds me of the guys at Central Park that lug around people on the back of their rickshaws—except instead of towing sweaty tourists, you'd be pulling around a Google Maps camera. If you are in good physical condition and want to ride around the most beautiful cities in the world for a living, you may be interested in joining the Google Street View Trike team. Or, if traveling via foot is more your speed, check out the fortunate men and women who get to scout locations like the Grand Canyon with a big ol' camera mounted on their heads.
10. Panda Nanny
Estimated pay: $32,000 a year
Being a nanny to a gaggle of spoiled little kids can be a lucrative venture, but come with a lot of downsides. So why not swap out "baby humans" with "baby panda bears" and relish in your new, adorable career move? The China Giant Panda Protection and Research Center in Ya'an employs a multitude of Panda Nannies, a job that consists solely of caring for some of nature's most adorable little creatures. Plus, a panda can't tell your boss if you invite all your friends over.
11. Luxury Bed Tester
Estimated pay: $1,556+ per month
If you are the kind of person who would prefer to sleep the day away and not go into work—congratulations, you are normal! An exciting career as a luxury bed tester may be an exciting career choice for you. The role consists of spending the majority of your day in a luxury bed, and then sharing your thoughts on the "ordeal." Another example of slumber-related payouts is the story of a chain of Holiday Inns in London offering guests a five-minute bed-warmer—dressed in a big fluffy onesie, no less—to heat up their sleeping situation before they climb on in (presumably the warmers are out of there at that point).
Estimated pay: Starting at $25k per year, and increasing with experience
Most little kids watch Willy Wonka, and leave thinking one thing, "Damn, I want an army of Oompa Loompas." But some children view the eccentric Mr. Wonka as a career model, and venture into the deep, rich world of professional chocolate-making. In a move that's even more Wonka-rific, a 12-year-old English boy was hired to be a professional candy tester for a year at a U.K. sweets factory. Dreams really do come true.
13. Pornography Historian
Estimated pay: Hard to say (hehe), but normal historians make anywhere from $27k to $98k per year.
William Mangold has successfully done what so many ex-porn stars have failed to do: transitioned into a career that doesn't involve having intercourse on camera. Instead, he just documents and studies the history of people having sex on camera, as a Pornography Historian. My parents always told me, "Do what you love, and you'll never work a day in your life." Old Billy really took that one to heart.
14. Video Game Tester
Estimated pay: Anywhere from $36k-$62k per year
I'm sure being a Video Game Tester isn't without its downfalls (like carpal tunnel syndrome, or playing the same level of Tomb Raider 4,000 times in a row), but the concept of playing video games professionally is still a pretty sweet deal.
15. Blimp Pilot
Estimated pay: Anywhere from $25k-$70k per year
If I really have to explain to you why being the the pilot of a massive blimp is a cool job, I'd frankly prefer it if you didn't read my articles anymore. You get. To drive. A freakin' blimp! It's fun, you'll see numerous sporting events from unique vantage points, and it's relatively safe. Besides that one time.
16. Financial Dominatrix
Estimated pay: Up to $200k+ a year, or more
If the idea of humiliating desperate guys, and literally taking large sums of money from them for no reason at all (while making them extremely happy, just by yoinking their dough) appeals to you, you may want to check out this article by our friends over at Thrillist, detailing the lucrative life of a financial dominatrix. What a weird/wild/beautiful/scary time to be alive.
17. Disney Imagineer
Estimated pay: Anywhere from $30k-$130k per year
Disney Imagineers (engineers, with imaginations...get it?) are the girls and guys who turn my infantile dreams into moderately-priced realities at Disney amusement parks around the globe. Guys like Bran Ferren use their engineering prowess and unlimited imagination to bring Disney's vision to life, and to think of creative ways to tell tourists not to poop in public. Hey, every job has its downside.
Want more of the Culture you actually care about delivered straight to your inbox? Click here to sign up for our daily email.