7 Fun Jobs That Pay $40,000 A Year Or More

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In these tough times many people just want to work, so the idea of having a job that's enjoyable may seem a bit too pie-in-the-sky. For others, though, a good dollop of fun is just what's needed to make work worthwhile.

"Fun," of course, is an objective measure. But with the help of PayScale, AOL Jobs compiled a list of 7 enjoyable jobs that pay more than $40,000 a year and may not require much, if any, additional education, depending on your current experience.

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The jobs listed here, ranked from lowest to highest paid, represent a variety of fields with high percentages of career satisfaction. "Satisfied" workers are the poll respondents who said that they were either "extremely satisfied" or "fairly satisfied" in their jobs.

Two other factors were used in determining the results: Stress, in which employees were asked whether they were "extremely" or "fairly" stressed; and the ability to control one's own schedule, including time off.

Caveat: PayScale says this salary data is derived from its own nationwide surveys. How much people make at these jobs can vary widely, depending on geography and employer (as well as experience.) Check out these seven careers to see if there's something for you, and click through the job listings below to see if anything piques your interest.


7. Dance Instructor: Teaching dance usually doesn't require much experience -- usually about two years, and it can be rewarding regardless of whether you like working with youth, senior citizens or anyone in between.
  • Median annual pay: $40,300*

Number of workers who are:
  • Extremely or fairly satisfied: 75 percent
  • Extremely or fairly stressed: 83 percent
  • Extremely or fairly flexible (ability to control schedule): 63 percent

Looking for a job as a dance instructor? Click here to get started.

6. Park Ranger: Duties for this job vary considerably, but generally involve helping to preserve nature or a historic setting while teaching tourists how to enjoy the park safely. A love of the outdoors is key for most positions.
  • Median annual pay: $41,900

Number of workers who are:
  • Extremely or fairly satisfied: 83 percent
  • Extremely or fairly stressed: 50 percent
  • Extremely or fairly flexible: 42 percent

Looking for a job as a park ranger? Click here to get started.

5. Wedding Planner: If you know how to entertain (and enjoy doing it), helping couples to celebrate their nuptials could be right up your aisle. Unlike general event planners, wedding planners work closely with their clients -- perfect if you enjoy working with people one-on-one.
  • Median annual pay: $49,200

Number of workers who are:
  • Extremely or fairly satisfied: 88 percent
  • Extremely or fairly stressed: 63 percent
  • Extremely or fairly flexible: 81 percent

Looking for a job as a wedding planner? Click here to get started.

4. Interior Decorator: Another profession that involves helping people make their dreams come true, interior decorators know how to turn a humdrum room or house into a pleasing place to spend time.
  • Median annual pay: $49,900.

Number of workers who are:
  • Extremely or fairly satisfied: 73 percent
  • Extremely or fairly stressed: 40 percent
  • Extremely or fairly flexible: 91 percent

Looking for a job as an interior decorator? Click here to get started.

3. Social Media Manager: A job that among the newest of professions, social media managers work with clients to develop marketing plans on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and others to help people and companies better sell their products and services.
  • Median annual pay: $52,100.

Number of workers who are:
  • Extremely or fairly satisfied: 76 percent
  • Extremely or fairly stressed: 51 percent
  • Extremely or fairly flexible: 73 percent

Looking for a job as a social media manager? Click here to get started.

2. Video Game Designer: For workers in this field, it really is all about fun and games -- or at least designing. The job typically requires a bachelor's degree, though as with many other computer-related jobs, a demonstrated aptitude may be all you need to prove you have the right stuff.
  • Median annual pay: $58,000.

Number of workers who are:
  • Extremely or fairly satisfied: 87 percent
  • Extremely or fairly stressed: 55 percent
  • Extremely or fairly flexible: 80 percent

Looking for a job as a video game designer? Click here to get started.

1. Musician or Singer: As any fan of "American Idol" can tell you, becoming a top-billed performer takes guts, determination and a lot of luck. But for every star, there are hundreds of other singers and musicians who quietly make a decent living working steady gigs, such as weddings, local restaurants or bars, and other venues.
  • Median annual pay: $59,200.

Number of workers who are:
  • Extremely or fairly satisfied: 83 percent
  • Extremely or fairly stressed: 38 percent
  • Extremely or fairly flexible: 70 percent

Looking for a job as a musician or singer? Click here to get started.


*NOTE: The median salary shown for each career is the amount earned by workers with five to eight years of experience in that occupation -- half earn more, while half make less.





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