High Paying Careers You Would Never Think Of!

by Krantcents · 50 comments

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High paying careers you would never think of! When I think of well paying jobs, I think of medicine, health care, engineering, technology and aerospace.  No doubt, you probably think of entertainers, professional athletes or comedians, but those require special talent!  What jobs do you think of as well paying careers?  CNNMoney.com came up with ten careers that you never heard of!

Freight Train Conductor – Believe it or not they can get paid $100K per year.  It depends on jobs and terminals.  What does a Freight Train Conductor do?  They are responsible for the whole train.  This range from communicating with the dispatcher to making sure everything is in order.  You make sure you have the right of way on a track.  I always thought it was the engineer’s responsibility to avoid collisions.  Many times you work away from home and 12 hour days.  Obviously, this is no cushy job!

Semi-Truck Mover – Driving a truck never entered my mind a well paying career.  Surprise, here is a truck driver who delivers semi truck trailers and semi trucks to individual dealers.  He drives 60-700 miles per day and makes $160K per year.  .  What is the catch?  It is a specialized job and you are driving all day!  It may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Luxury Porta-Potty Business Owner – You have probably seen porta-potty like structures at construction site and various other places.  That is not her business.  These porta-potties will be found at upscale events such as weddings, special events, fund-raising parties and other outdoor venues. The emphasis is on luxury so it smells nice, lighting, carpeting and flowers.  This owner takes a salary of $120K per year.

Life Coach – Work independently with high school students helping them with leadership, beliefs, communication and learning styles.  Focus may be on goals or goal setting, poor esteem to bullying and building on the positives.  Most cases the coach goes to the students rather than students coming to an office.  Coaching pays pretty well $108,000 per year.

Live Sports TV Camera Man – This sounds like a dream job where you can work sports events and get paid between $100-150K per year.  I immediately think of NFL Films!  He does all the sports from the NFL, NBA, and Little League World Series.  Sounds like a lot of fun and paid well too.

Massage Therapist – Here is a profession where you can earn $150 per hour.  You make your own schedule and it is your business.  Clients include professional athletes and celebrities. Sometimes she may travel with her clientele and receive a daily rate of $6-800 per day.  As an independent business, you make it into a real professional service company.

Window Washer – This job requires you to be close to a larger city with high rise buildings.  Window washing pays rather well, he earns $125K per year.  He acts as a contractor bidding on jobs all over the city.  He bids on large and small buildings working sometimes as long as 16 hours a day.  As an independent businessman, you can earn as much as you want.

New Home Sales Associate – Probably, a cyclical kind of career.  Real estate is cyclical anyway and is in a down cycle right now.  Recognize there are still long term professionals who are making money even in this down cycle.  This particular person specializes with military members and their families.  It may be one of the few people who are buying versus waiting for the market to improve.  She earned $250K per year.

Account Executive for Radio Station – He creates marketing plans for clients in order to reach the radio station audience.  What product or services would be appropriate to reach that audience?  He earns his income through commission and does pretty well.  His earnings were $350K per year.

Author of Furniture Buying Guides – This person grew up in the industry of furniture manufacturing, interior decorating and window treatments.  She created her own business by self publishing a cross reference book for decorative fabrics and took orders through her 800 number.  She wrote another book for the general public about the best furniture bargains.  She earns $1-130K per year.

Final thoughts

These are careers that do not require a college degree and only some of them require special training.  Many of them can become full scale businesses and grow through adding more people.  One of the things I find attractive about these careers is you can do a variety of things with it.  It does not require an entrepreneurial mindset, but it may help.  You may want to read an article called My Journey to Success to see how I did it!  You can grow it or not and still earn a very nice living.  It is up to you!  What do you think?  High paying careers you would never think of!

Photo by:  cambodia4kidsorg

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Miss T September 22, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Some of the salaries don’t surprise me but others do. I never would have guess a window washer made that much. I think I am in the wrong business. I like to be clean and I love the outdoors. Maybe I should start a company?!

krantcents September 23, 2011 at 4:03 am

How do you feel about heights? :)   There are lots of companies that do simple mundane things that other people do not want to do and are paid very well.

Evan@MyJourneytoMillions September 22, 2011 at 3:28 pm

The problem with lists like these is that there are a ton in that field that don’t make ANYTHING. 

krantcents September 23, 2011 at 4:05 am

 This may be true of every profession!  All doctors are not rich either!  

FinancialSuccessforYoungAdults September 22, 2011 at 5:57 pm

I would hesitate trying to get into radio. With podcasts and alternative methods that are gaining steam I see the radio industry on a sharp decline.

krantcents September 23, 2011 at 4:07 am

Sales is a recession proof profession, if you are good.  It is a very transferable skill.

FinancialSuccessforYoungAdults September 23, 2011 at 10:07 am

Very true. I actually was applying for sales jobs before I got my current position. It seemed like there were so many available. The only problem is that they are often commission only, obviously, but for a recent college grad that may be pretty hard to sustain.

krantcents September 24, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Every company I ever worked for would take on a “good” sales person because their effort increases income.  If it doesn’t, they are fired!  A true performance based compensation career.

Hunter @ Financially Consumed September 22, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Interesting list. My brother-in-law is a tall crane (the ones on top of city sky scrapers) operator and manager. He makes mega-bucks.

krantcents September 22, 2011 at 8:12 pm

 Did he always want to be be a crane operator?  I never heard of anybody who went after these professions.

Hunter September 23, 2011 at 3:06 pm

No, he grew into it after working in construction, then scaffolding, smaller cranes, and then the big ones.

krantcents September 23, 2011 at 10:05 pm

 It sounds like a evolving career where you start in construction heavy equipment and learn as you go.

retirebyforty September 23, 2011 at 5:04 pm

That sounds like a great job!

krantcents September 23, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Some of the most ordinary jobs are overlooked for various reasons.  It may be worthwhile to take a second look.

krantcents September 23, 2011 at 10:00 pm

 It sounds like a evolving career where you start in construction heavy equipment and learn as you go.

krantcents September 24, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Did he always want to be be a crane operator?  I never heard of anybody who went after these professions.

Andrea @MoneyMastered September 22, 2011 at 5:20 pm

These are awesome! One of my coworkers’ husbands owns a Port-A-Potty company (not luxury) and they do very well for themselves. Those are the kinds of jobs people don’t think about, yet the money is awesome!

Jim September 23, 2011 at 2:19 am

Panhandlers do pretty well in some cities.

krantcents September 23, 2011 at 4:14 am

 Not exactly a profession, more like a stop gap job or between job activity.

Captain @ How to save money September 23, 2011 at 2:47 am

I am surprised to see real estate agent on the lsit. Most real estate agents don’t make squat, but if you are good you can knock it out the park for sure!

krantcents September 23, 2011 at 4:16 am

I have a good friend who has been it for 30 years.  She averages $150-250K. and doesn’t really work that hard.  

krantcents September 23, 2011 at 4:13 am

 Some of the most mundane services can be very lucrative.  Find a simple need and fill it.  You too can be rich!

Onecentatatime September 22, 2011 at 8:49 pm

All these only needs a vocational training if at all, good list. Generally if risk is higher the salary follows.

krantcents September 23, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Like many careers, you need a certain skill set and desire to be successful.  

Jen @ Master the Art of Saving September 23, 2011 at 8:57 am

I never would have thought that some of those jobs could earn so much. I like it; information like this always get my wheels turning. :-)

krantcents September 23, 2011 at 8:34 pm

 There are lots of jobs and careers that we don’t think of as lucrative or interesting.  Too many people make their choice of careers based on limited information.  Everyone should explore more to find their passion!

Buck Inspire September 23, 2011 at 10:27 pm

Goes to show there is no shortage on ways to make income, quite lucrative ways, too, I must say.  No excuses.  We just have to find what we love doing and go for it!

krantcents September 23, 2011 at 10:56 pm

 I am hoping that this may influence people to look into different careers that they never thought of.  I think there is an fulfilled demand for people to enter these careers.  I know there is a need for union electricians in Los Angeles that goes unfulfilled because you need math skills and if you have them you generally do something else.

20's Finances September 24, 2011 at 12:26 am

I love this! Like Buck Inspire mentioned, there are no excuses. In an economy like this, people eat this stuff up! I personally didn’t know life coaches made this much… :)

krantcents September 24, 2011 at 2:38 am

 That struck me too!  I think I would like that career too.  I do some of the elements in my career class.

Kris @ Everyday Tips September 23, 2011 at 7:21 pm

There are some really interesting jobs listed here.  I guess I never thought about how one becomes a sports camera man!  Interestingly, I went to college with someone whose brother is a major league umpire, and so his her husband and his brother too I think.  There is an ‘umpire school’ that people go to, so maybe there is a ‘cameraman school’.

My University Money September 24, 2011 at 2:23 pm

hmm… Interesting post!  I knew about half of these, but some really surprised me.  Window washer?  Really?  All of this is point towards our inflating post-secondary system and mocking it mercilessly.  As teachers, would we be naturals to transition over to “life coaching” for high school students KC?

krantcents September 24, 2011 at 3:14 pm

 No, everyone needs post secondary training, however not all need college.  I would like to think even window washers needed a little training.  Many window washers must deal with heights and equipment to do those high rises.  When I saw life coaching, it makes think it might be an easy transition.  After all I teach a class in careers.  Why not?

krantcents September 24, 2011 at 3:57 pm

 Careers like these are based on talent.  Many people who wish to be umpires start in low paid high school jobs and move up if they have talent.  I have a colleague who refs high school basketball games.  It would be true of camera people too, they start doing it in studio and move to outdoors if they are interested and have the talent.

Roshawn Watson September 25, 2011 at 4:38 am

Sorry for replying instead of writing a new comment; for some reason, comments were buggy. I saw this article too and remember being surprised. It shows that excellence can be rewarded and there are some positions that some people characterize as mundane jobs that are very rewarding to others (professionally and financially).

krantcents September 25, 2011 at 4:46 am

 For some people, these are very interesting careers and others would be bored in a minute.  I think a career is what you make of it.  When I owned a (fast food) restaurant, I had a good time with the customers.  Late night was a party atmosphere, particularly after the bars closed.  My earnings were very rewarding. 

MoneyCone September 25, 2011 at 2:02 pm

I would’ve never imagined a window washer would get paid so much!  Wow! 

But I do envy folks with ok-paying jobs but with a life-long pension, retirement and health benefits!  

krantcents September 25, 2011 at 3:29 pm

 Often, some of the jobs that no one wants to do can pay very well.  As a Teacher who receives a reasonable wage, pension and lifetime medical, it is a balance.  There is a lot wrong with the wage side of the equation, but it is made up in benefits. 

Aaron Hung @aaronhung.com September 25, 2011 at 6:17 am

oooo Window washer looks fun :D I would get that

krantcents September 25, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Do you like heights?  That is what would stop me.  I guess you can used to it, but I rather do something else.  Life coach is more to my liking.  I taught a class about careers and I coach my students all the time.  This could be career #9 for me!

Bank Aim September 26, 2011 at 11:21 am

I have a friend who is applying to be a train conductor, they are starting him out at $48k/year plus $20k in benefits a year. I never knew they got paid so well. Also on the news the other night was a report about garbage men in New York.. said they start out making $70k/year, but that’s probably because they work in New York.. and its an extremely tough job, from what they made it look like

krantcents September 29, 2011 at 4:32 pm

The NYC garbage guys may have to deal with more than just garbage.  Many of these jobs are well paying because they can not attract enough people or find people with specialized skills.  Whatever the reason, they are overlooked!

Kris Winn November 3, 2011 at 2:16 am

I’m most impressed by the window washer and camera man salaries. I would have never imagined! Maybe I should start giving these guys a little more credit.

Cool article! Thanks for sharing.

krantcents November 3, 2011 at 1:38 pm

There are a lot of careers or jobs we do not think about, but can be lucrative.

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