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Every now and then, I come across an occupation that makes me wish I was in a different line of work. Don't get me wrong, I love my job -- but some professions really seem too good to be true.
"Part companion, part publicist, part chaperone and part guardian angel, Mr. Jones, who lives in Las Vegas and works for a pair of casino owners, specializes in setting up elaborately arranged outings for athletes where every detail from transportation and tickets to the members of the entourage is premeditated," writes Hannah Karp of The Wall Street Journal, in an article about Jones.
He got the gig when he met Gavin Maloof, who with his brother Joe owns the Sacramento Kings and the Palms Casino Hotel in Las Vegas. Maloof first offered Jones a job as a personal assistant -- entertaining athletes was not in the job description.
"Nowadays, armed with a complimentary suite at the casino, the keys to Mr. Maloof's Sacramento home and an allowance for first-class travel, Jones is free to perform his wingman role almost exclusively," Karp writes. "'We pretty much let J.J. go on his own,' says Mr. Maloof."
While not everyone has the luck of meeting millionaires at Las Vegas parties, there are other (more realistic) cool jobs out there. Don't believe me? Take a look at these 10 awesome jobs:
1. Cruise director
Cool factor: Aside from getting to travel the world on a cruise ship, these guys have the ability to make or break a cruising experience. They are essentially the face of the cruise line, planning and coordinating daily activities and excursions for passengers, on and off shore. If you love making plans and organizing activities but don't have strong sea legs, have a go at event planning.
Average annual salary: $21,219*
2. Doll doctor
Cool factor: We all had a favorite doll or something similar when we were young -- and we were devastated when something happened to it. Doll "doctors" can make that desolation go away for little ones. They examine dolls to determine the extent of damage and the repairs needed, and then restore them to the best condition possible. If you like to sew and/or fix things but aren't into dolls, look into careers in textiles, apparel and furnishings.
Average annual salary: $24,413
3. Foley artist
Cool factor: Foley artists use whatever they can find to create and record the noises used to make the sound effects in films, like heavy footsteps, rolling thunder or creaking doors. If you're more interested in mixing music than sound effects, look into a job as a sound engineering technician.
Average annual salary: $55,959 (sound technicians)
4. Food critic
Cool factor: What could be cooler than getting paid to taste everything from gourmet dishes to bar food -- for free -- and then publishing your opinion for others to read? If you're more interested in getting paid per word than per calorie, try your hand as a reporter.
Average annual salary: $58,704
5. Pet psychologist
Cool factor: When a veterinarian can't diagnose an animal's condition, a pet psychologist might be called to diagnose the issue. If, for example, a dog has been acting differently since he came home from boarding, the psychologist works with the owner to resolve the issue. Not to be mistaken for a pet trainer, this occupation requires a high level of education and training. If you'd rather help animals through medical treatments than behavioral remedies, look into what it takes to be a veterinarian.
Average annual salary: $19,220 (animal behaviorist)
6. Route setter
Cool factor: These folks are like modern-day trailblazers; they change the routes in various settings, such as indoor climbing walls, foot trails and running races. Interested in running but not so much in setting the routes? Look for careers in nonprofits and fundraising, which often help put on races.
Average annual salary: Unknown
7. Shoe designer
Cool factor: Shoes are a fetish for millions of men and women around the world -- to be the mastermind behind the look of the cutest/hippest/most unusual shoes on the market would be a pretty sweet gig. Not interested in design but love shoes? Try your hand in shoe manufacturing or repair.
Average annual salary: $67,247
8. Storm chaser
Cool factor: Remember the movie "Twister"? Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton tempt Mother Nature by chasing life-threatening storms through Oklahoma. While storm chasers aim to track tornadoes, they also study cloud formations and severe thunderstorms, too. Keep in mind that storm chasing can be very dangerous; if you'd like to pursue storms in a safe environment, check out careers in weather forecasting and meteorology.
Average annual salary: $60,968
9. Video game tester
Cool factor: For eight hours a day, five days a week, all these folks do is play video games. They repeat levels, games and characters, looking for any bugs and/or glitches in the software. If you're not interested in playing the games, look into designing, developing or programming them instead.
Average annual salary: $44,600
10. Voice actor
Cool factor: Everyone knew the late Don LaFontaine, the famous voice behind thousands of movie trailers, TV advertisements and network promotions. Voice actors also loan their chops to movies and cartoons. Wouldn't it be neat to have your voice be familiar to the whole world? If you'd like a less publicized career in television, look to work behind the scenes in advertising.
Average annual salary: $47,000. If you have a highly recognizable voice, you'll probably get paid more.
*Salaries according to CBSalary.com
Rachel Zupek is a writer and blogger for CareerBuilder.com. She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.
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