Fun Jobs -- Do They Pay?

Ever wonder about the person who gave you those awesome tips on where to go and what to do when you traveled to Spain? What about the people who keep Britney's rep in check (sort of...)? And who exactly is that guy (or girl) impersonating Marilyn Monroe?

These are the kinds of jobs that pique a person's interest when you describe what you do; the kinds of jobs that can be considered "cool," "unique" or "fun." Then there's the million dollar question: Do these kinds of jobs pay well?

"Don't be fooled into thinking that enjoyable jobs don't exist," says Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources for "There are plenty of positions out there that allow you to do what you love and get paid for it. It's just a question of how well it pays."

Plain and simple, your job should be personally fulfilling. Whether it's cool, esteemed, takes you all over the world or brings in the money should only be added perks. Confucius got it right when he said, "Find a job you enjoy, and never work a day in your life."

Here are some "cool jobs" that pay well - and some that don't.

1. Travel Agent

Why it's cool: Travel from your desk by making flight and hotel accommodations, recommending tourist attractions and restaurants and providing travel advice to clients - all while reaping benefits like reduced rates for transportation and lodging.

What it pays: $27,640

2. Baker

Why it's cool: Preparing breads, cakes, cookies, pastries and pies in retail and wholesale bakeries sounds like a sweet life to lead...especially with all the taste testing.

What it pays: $35,000 - $39,400

3. Sports Agent

Why it's cool: Agents get to haggle with money for a living. Securing and negotiating employment and endorsement deals as well as handling public relations matters for clients are among the day-to-day for these folks.

What it pays: $64,100

4. Publicist

Why it's cool: Unless you have clients constantly generating bad publicity (hello, Britney?), this job is super-cool. You're in charge of generating and managing publicity, promotions, press coverage, campaigns and other PR functions for clients.

What it pays: $49,100

5. Athletic Trainer

Why it's cool: You're essential to any athletic team - professional, high school or college. Ensuring that athletes are physically prepared for every event and assisting them when injuries and/or problems occur means a guaranteed sideline seat to every game.

What it pays: $38,500

6. Wedding Planner

Why it's cool: Helping brides plan the wedding logistics, from choosing colors to church decorations to party favors, allows you to hone your people-helping skills and have fun at the same time.

What it pays: $30,300

7. Announcers/Emcees

Why it's cool: Depending on what kind of announcer you are, you can broadcast everything from sporting events to commercials, even the red carpet.

What it pays: $32,700

8. Hairstylist

Why it's cool: There's nothing like playing dress-up, especially with hair. Stylists get to shampoo, cut, color and style all different types of hair, as well as offer beauty advice.

What it pays: $36,600 or $10.38/hour; this job is highly dependent on tips

9. Sommelier

Why it's cool: How cool would it be to know, off the top of your head, that oysters and Chablis pair well, or to be able to go to a meeting where tasting wine was the entire agenda?

What it pays: $110,000 at upscale restaurants

10. Gaming Service Worker

Why it's cool: You get to gamble with other people's money working this job. Duties include (but are not limited to) calculating and paying off the amount of winnings, tending slot machines or dealing cards and running games.

What it pays: $14,340 - $40,840; depends on your specific duties

11. Theme Park Employee

Why it's cool: Dressing up as special characters, handling different rides every day and watching others get a thrill sounds like an exhilarating job itself, no?

What it pays: $14,765 or $7.69/hour

12. Groomer

Why it's cool: Perfect for animal lovers, groomers are responsible for maintaining animals' (usually a dog or cat) appearance. They give baths, manicures and haircuts to our furry friends, saving us time and trouble.

What it pays: $60,000

13. Mascot

Why it's cool: Root for your favorite team at every game and make a few non-game appearances for publicity.

What it pays: Mid-$30,000s

14. Impersonator

Why it's cool: Masquerade as your favorite pop icon, political figure or even as the opposite sex in this creative profession.

What it pays: $23,500

Next:Big Pay, No Degree Required >>

Salary data provided by for, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Chicago magazine.

Copyright 2007

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