You know your list of dream jobs: professional athlete, actor, (successful) writer, president. But the jobs that usually get left off that list are gigs that, with a little dedication, are actually attainable if you really want it. They might not pay what Hollywood does or get you recognized on the street, but chances are they're just as fun and less stressful. Below, 13 that fit the bill.
Time to get that résumé in shape.
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1. Ferrari Driving Instructor
If you want a shot at hitting the Formula 1 circuit, you have to start young. And obviously, those youngins need teachers. The Ferrari Academy has the finest classrooms ever created by a long shot. Just because you're not on that circuit doesn't mean you can't help others get there. Plus, you get to ride in Ferraris all day long.
2. Helicopter Ski Guide
Of course there's a job where you get paid to helicopter ski all the time—those rich bankers need someone who can keep them from dying, even if they have the avalanche pack. This seasonal gig might not pay year round, but you can take people hiking and rock climbing in the summers. Besides the skills, all you need to be is social.
3. Stadium Police Officer
Probably the best beat you can get on the force, just hanging out on the side of the ballpark watching the game. Of course something might happen eventually, but it's nothing serious—just a little light tackling. Keeps you in shape and on TV.
4. Ski Patrol
Free lift tickets, food in the lodge, and no one tells you you can't ski out of bounds. Unfortunately you will perpetually look as if you're on the Swiss National Ski Team, but the occasional rides in the helicopter should make up for that.
5. Penguin Feeder
Penguins need to be fed. And if they're located in a city, they're not really able to feed themselves. Enter the penguin feeder. Aquariums actually employ people to come and serve the penguins lunch. In fact, at some aquariums, you can do it as a volunteer and keep your day job. This is a much better job than tiger or bear feeder because of the danger and the fact that penguins seem pretty happy in the tank and big animals don't.
6. Video Game Designer
You might have had "Video Game Tester" on your childhood list, but you don't want that. Those jobs, called called "Quality Assurance Tester" jobs, are actually pretty awful, pay nothing, and bum people out in general. Much better to get into it and work on a team designing a game. Well, on second thought this may not be a great time to get into the video game industry.
7. Professional Sports Ref
Professional athlete was on your list, but was umpire? It should have been. If you're an ump, you get to go to all the games for free, and have the power to decide who wins and loses (well, sort of). You can also tell people who make way, way more money than you to leave. And they have to. And if you're a football ref, you only have to work 16 days a year.
8. Chocolate Researcher
Obviously the good people at Hershey, Lindt, Nestlé, and Cadbury need to do a little research to keep things fresh. And that research involves a lot of experimentation with chocolate. Food science is notorious for having some crazy-tricky chemistry, but heck, that just means you gotta keep tasting.
9. National Geographic Photographer
If you're Alex Honnold, the world's best climber, you need someone to take your picture to prove it to the world and get that sweet sponsorship. Of course, this involves some fun work, if you're into it. You still have to climb some pretty challenging stuff, but you can still get paid without being the best.
10. Independent Radio DJ
While you might have thought DJs are pretty much extinct, with Clear Channel playing specific playlists written in stone, some stations are still independent, and need DJs. Stations like KCRW and KEXP play their own stuff, interview artists, and keep it real. There might not be many left, but it's good work if you can get it.
11. LEGO Certified Professional
If you live and breathe LEGO and are lucky enough to sustain a living from it, LEGO will certify you as a LEGO pro. Essentially you just have to be an incredibly creative architect and builder, conduct yourself professionally to other fans and the public, and show an enthusiasm for LEGO (duh). LEGO doesn't employ you technically, but your official certification means you're a "trusted business partner."
12. Professional Coffee Tester
If you think you have a magic tongue, you can get paid handsomely for it. Trying tons of different coffees everyday, deciding what's good, and teaching others about it actually pays pretty well. This guy's tongue is insured for $60 million. To make sure you don't die of a caffeine overdose, you do however have to spit it out. The $60 million tongue man only drinks two cups a day.
13. Stunt Driver
Just because you were rejected as a teacher at Ferrari's driving academy doesn't mean you have to give up and join Uber. If you're in the Los Angeles region, you can hit up Century City and do some studio work. Of course, you might have to subsidize that with a little bit of getaway driving...but if you have a strict set of rules, what could possibly go wrong?