When it comes to choosing a career, there’s so much talk about the need to follow your passion, not the paycheck. It’s not bad advice, but it can generate negative assumptions about the less-than-dreamy gigs — the so-called boring jobs.
However, some of the most unsung professions out there come with a big paycheck, and you might even discover a rewarding career in one of those fields. Consider these 10 boring jobs that come with high paychecks that could change your life for the better.
'Boring' jobs that can make you rich
'Boring' jobs that can make you rich
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4. Sales Engineer
A sales engineer sells scientific and technological products and services to businesses, which means they need to have a deep working knowledge of what they're selling. They might not regale a cocktail party with their work stories, but their expertise can earn them a six-figure paycheck.
The median annual wage for sales engineers was $100,000, but the highest 10 percent earned more than $166,500 in 2016. Sales engineers can find top-paying jobs in data processing and hosting, as well as at business schools and in computer and management training. Metro areas like Silver Spring, Md., and San Francisco are the places to be for the top salaries. Before interviewing, learn the best ways to improve your chances of getting a job.
5. Technical Writer
As mind-numbing as equipment manuals, operational handbooks and appendices can be as reading materials, writing these informational guides can be a lucrative earning proposition. The top 10 percent of technical writers earned an average income of $111,260 in 2016, reported the BLS. Some high-paying employers include corporate giants IBM, Boeing and Google, according to PayScale.
6. Air Traffic Controller
Air traffic controllers specialize in the safe flow of traffic. They work in control towers, approach control facilities and en route centers to keep aircraft a safe distance from one another. It might not be as exciting as the thrill of flight, but the salary is nothing to sneeze at. The BLS reported the median annual pay for air traffic controllers is $122,410, but the top 10 percent earn more than $172,680.
7. Human Resources Manager
Dealing with other people’s problems, paperwork and the minutia of employee benefit programs provide a surprisingly solid source of income for human resources managers. With a national average salary of $106,910, and the top 10 percent earning more than $193,550, the potential for six figures is well within reach for these professionals, particularly at corporations with vast employee networks to manage. The BLS estimates that employment for human resources managers is projected to grow 9 percent from 2016 to 2026.
8. Insurance Sales Agent
A job in insurance won't likely be as entertaining as the industry’s advertising icons — think Progressive’s quirky Flo or GEICO’s charming gecko — but the practice can still prove quite lucrative for the average Joe. The top 10 percent of insurance agents earned more than $128,070 in 2016, according to the BLS.
Some agents work for insurance companies directly, selling their company’s products exclusively, such as auto policies. Some agents work for independent brokerage firms and sell products from multiple companies, and about 1 in 7 are self-employed. For most agents, commissions are a critical source of income.
9. Construction Manager
Overseeing the construction of roads, buildings and other structures might not seem very exciting. But construction managers can earn six-figure salaries without an expensive college degree. Often dismissed as menial manual labor, construction experience can pave the way to a more lucrative management future. Top earning construction managers can make over $158,330 per year in metropolitan areas like Winchester, Va., and Newark, N.J.
10. Database Administrator
It's likely that no child grows up with aspirations of becoming a database administrator. The title itself sounds like jargon pulled from the script of "Office Space," but the position is real and the pay generous, with the top 10 percent of database administrators earning more than $129,930 in 2016.
Like the title suggests, database administrators administer, test and implement computer databases. They coordinate changes to those databases and implement security measures to safeguard them. The most profitable fields of employment include securities and commodities exchanges, and the beer, wine and alcoholic beverage industry.