Cool Jobs: 5 Interesting Careers That Are Easy To Break Into

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cool jobsBy Debra Auerbach and Harris Effron

Everyone wants a cool job. The kind of fun job that gets you excited to go to work every day-and inspires envy or at least a little curiosity in others. But what makes a job cool is subjective.

A career that involves drinking beer or joking around with Mickey Mouse might be appealing to your neighbor -- but inspire dread in you. And of course, some cool jobs are so coveted that you need to be exceptionally lucky to land one. But these are five awesome jobs that are fairly easy to break into and will be sure to make most of your friends and family say, "Wow, what a great job!"

1. Brewmaster

Who wouldn't want a job where you get to drink beer all day? OK, maybe that's not exactly what a brewmaster does, but the job does involve beer, and if you like beer, this may be the career for you. Brewmasters create the beer served at breweries, which involves everything from developing concepts to taste-testing to running the business side of the operation. Cheers to that.

Average Salary: $49,536*

Background Needed: You can always start at the homebrew level, or get training from the several programs offered at brewing institutions throughout the country, like this one at the American Brewers Guild, or at the Siebel Institute of Technology.

Where The Jobs Are: The states with the highest breweries per capita (based on 2010 census data) are Vermont, Oregon and Montana. Not surprisingly, California has the most total breweries, with 245.


2. Disney character

If you consider yourself a princess, why not officially become one in the role of a Disney or other theme-park character? To get the gig, hopefuls must first attend auditions. According to the Disney Auditions website, since many of the characters don't speak, this position relies on movement, physical coordination and attitude. So start brushing up on your Snow White smile or Prince Charming chivalry.

Average Salary: $54,995

Background Needed: No formal education is required for this job, but it always helps to have dancing and/or acting experience.

Where The Jobs Are: Head to Orlando, Fla., for Disney World Resort, or Anaheim, Calif., for Disneyland.


3. Stylist

Do you know what colorblocking is? Is fall your favorite season because of New York Fashion Week? Do you consider Rachel Zoe to be your idol? If you answered yes to all three, perhaps you're destined for a career as a fashion stylist. As a stylist, you might do anything from staging a photo shoot, to outfitting clients for awards shows, to overseeing the creative execution of a magazine spread. Stylists may work independently, at fashion houses or for magazines.

Average salary: $66,991

Background Needed: While a formal education is not required, getting a degree in a related field could be helpful for your portfolio. The National Association of Schools of Art and Design accredits approximately 300 institutions with relevant programs.

Where The Jobs Are: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2010, almost 75 percent of fashion design jobs were either in California or New York.


4. Video-game tester

Yes, all you video-game fanatics, this job really does exist. Spend your days testing out new video games and providing suggestions for improved functionality or a better user experience. Conduct research and gather competitive intelligence on other games on the market to help create a better product. Brag to your friends and family that you get to play new games before anyone else.

Average salary: $71,685

Background Needed: Not much more than a high-school diploma. Some video game testers need to submit a writing sample. For more advanced video-gaming professions, education in game designing or computer science can be helpful.


5. Candy maker

As a candy maker, you get to be a kid in a candy store every day. Depending on what part of the confectionary manufacturing business you're interested in, jobs can be found in research and development, machine operations, or packaging, among other areas. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the typical education level needed to enter this occupation is a high-school diploma or equivalent. Just make sure to get regular dental checkups.

Average salary: $34,849

Background Needed: While most food processing operators learn on the job, some math or English skills might be required due to the increasing complexity of candy-making equipment. Manufacturing experience can also come in handy.

Where The Jobs Are: Most processing facilities are in rural areas or near smaller cities.

*U.S. national average salaries according to CBSalary.com.


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Debra Auerbach is a writer and blogger for CareerBuilder.com and its job blog The Work Buzz. She researches and writes about job-search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues. Debra grew up in Minneapolis, went to school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and currently resides in Chicago.

Harris Effron is an editorial intern with AOL Money & Finance. He has spent the last few years contributing to The Week magazine as a freelancer, and is currently studying engineering at Columbia University. For fun, Harris likes to homebrew in his small kitchen, and enjoys the local comedy scene.
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