Five Dream Jobs for Men

The following jobs are some of the coolest occupations most coveted by men.

There's a reason why firefighter and police officer are much more popular children's Halloween costumes than "middle management corporate drone."

And there's also a reason why "I'm an accountant" doesn't evoke the same envy as "I design cars for Hot Wheels."

The following jobs are some of the coolest occupations most coveted by men.

1. Video Game Designer

Video games can make colossal amounts of time seem to fly by -- which is a good thing, if that's your career. Jon Paquette is in the business of video games: He's the design director and writer for the Medal of Honor Airborne game for EA Los Angeles.

Paquette works with the company's development team, overseeing all design ideas and implementation. Sometimes this means days of meetings. Other days, he'll be at a desk reviewing level designs. "The best days are when I get to play our game and see all of our design decisions in action," he said.

Video game design is a great job for creative, fun-loving people. "There's not much of a downside, other than the fact that there is often not enough time to get everything you wanted to into the game... Most of the time, though, even that is OK because you have fresh ideas to incorporate into the next game you work on," he said.

Salary: Starts around $25,000 with high growth potential.

2. Brewmaster

Jonathan Cutler likes beer -- he has to, since he's around it all the time. As the resident brewer for Chicago-based pizzeria Piece Pizza, Cutler acts as pretty much a one-man show, creating recipes and brewing the restaurant's beer selection.

Cutler started home brewing back in college, and completed a brewer training program after graduation. He refined his skills by going to as many beer tastings as he could -- and his efforts have paid off. This year he was crowned the small pub brewer champion at the World Beer Cup.

Brewing is fun, but it's far from glamorous. "Right now I'm drenched in sweat, I've got malt all over me and I'm wearing coveralls -- and the brewery is about 100 degrees," Cutler said.

Still, despite the heat and constant cleaning involved, he says it's worth it to watch customers when they take their first sips and enjoy his beers. "You get immediately validated," he said.

Salary: $30,000-$60,000 per year

3. Toy Creator

After a certain age, spending all day playing with toys isn't a wise career move -- unless you're creating them. Toy designers -- also known as industrial designers -- combine their artistic talent with research to create the most appealing, fun and functional toys possible.

Hot Wheels project designer Fraser Campbell's days are devoted to the miniature toy cars. At any given time, he's working on three to six projects in various stages of development. Sometimes he's creating control drawings or designing the vehicles, and other times involve administrative work like e-mails, commenting on designs and scheduling meetings. And, of course, he gets to test the cars.

Campbell said he always knew he wanted to be a car designer, and he planned his educational path accordingly -- attending an art foundation, getting a bachelor's degree in product design and earning a master's degree in industrial design.

Designing cars has its drawbacks, Campbell says, but the positives outweigh them. "If something really gets you down, it's quite easy to just take a deep breath, look around and see that you're surrounded by toys," he said.

Salary: Commercial and industrial designers earn an average salary of about $57,000, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

4. Comic Book Guru

With their bright, dazzling colors and epic superhero stories, it's easy to get engrossed by a comic book store. Some people, however, have found ways to turn their penchant for comics into a profitable career.

Josh Blaylock, founder and president of comics publisher Devil's Due Publishing, loved comics as a kid -- and had chosen his career around the same time his classmates were getting their drivers licenses. "(Going through) high school and art school was just waiting to get out into the real world," he said.

After working as a comic book writer and artist, Blaylock started Devil's Due Publishing in 1999 and put the company on the map two years later when he resurrected the GI Joe comic series. Now he spends his days managing the day-to-day operations of his company, traveling to acquire new licenses, and, of course, reading comics.

Blaylock says he loves being involved with something he was passionate about as a kid, but it's not all fun and games -- he's responsible for everyone's payroll, and that means "incessant, never-ending accounting."

Salary: Entry-level pay in comics starts around $20,000 and varies based on position and experience.

5. Casino Host

The only surefire way to make money at a casino is to get a job there. But casinos can't bring in cash without attracting and keeping patrons. Casino hosts are there to keep their customers happy -- taking care of details like making (sometimes complimentary) dinner reservations, booking hotel rooms and scoring tickets to shows.

At Connecticut's Mohegan Sun casino, there is a casino host on duty 24 hours per day. Eleftherios "Lefty" Mastorakis, executive host at Mohegan Sun, comes in at noon each day and spends the next eight hours or so checking messages from patrons and monitoring the gambling floor to deal with any requests that come up.

Mastorakis, who entered the casino business after high school and has held a variety of roles over the last 10 years, doesn't gamble much -- but he still has fun. "You meet a lot of really good people and have some really good times," he said.

He said he loves being able to accommodate people, but he has to be prepared for days that present some challenges -- like when there's a big convention in town that limits hotel availability. "We try to do whatever we can, but sometimes our hands are tied," he said.

Salary: $15 per hour and up.

Copyright 2006

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