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Dream Jobs - 7 alternatives to your childhood dream job

CareerBuilder | July 26, 2017

Dream job

Check out some childhood dream jobs, and more realistic occupations to try instead.

Every kid dreams of what they want to be when they grow up. And unlike realistic career pursuits adults have, those dreams aren’t bogged down by little things like salary, benefits packages or even feasibility. Most people give up on their crazy dreams as young adults, but what if 8-year-old you got your way and you actually became a giraffe wrangler? What would your career look like?

OK, so maybe giraffe wrangler isn’t the easiest job to come by. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get close to fulfilling that childhood dream. Here are some childhood dream jobs, and more realistic occupations to try instead:

1. Gummy bear taste tester
Try instead: Agricultural and food scientist
Job description: Food scientists and technologists use chemistry, biology and other sciences to study the basic elements of food. They analyze the nutritional content of food, discover new food sources and research ways to make processed foods safe and healthy. Food technologists generally work in product development, applying findings from food science research to develop new or better ways of selecting, preserving, processing, packaging and distributing food.
Typical education level: Associate degree
Average annual salary Salary Agricultural And Food Scientist: $39,000

2. Popstar
Try instead: Musician
Job description: Musicians and singers play instruments or sing for live audiences and in recording studios. They perform in a variety of styles, such as classical, jazz, opera, hip-hop and rock.
Typical education level: No formal education credential
Average annual salary musician: $69,929

3. President
Try instead: Political scientist
Job description: Political scientists study the origin, development, and operation of political systems. They research political ideas and analyze governments, policies, political trends and related issues.
Typical education level: Master’s degree
Average annual salary political scientist: $103,209

4. Cartoonist
Try instead: Multimedia artists and animator
Job description: Multimedia artists and animators create two- and three-dimensional models, animation and visual effects for television, movies, video games and other forms of media.
Typical education level: Bachelor’s degree
Average annual salary multimedia artists and animator: $70,304

5. Video game player
Try instead: Software developer
Job description: Applications software developers design computer applications, such as word processors and games, for consumers. They may create custom software for a specific customer or commercial software to be sold to the general public. Some applications software developers create complex databases for organizations. They also create programs that people use over the Internet and within a company’s intranet.
Typical education level: Bachelor’s degree
Average annual salary software developer: $102.169

6. Equestrian
Try instead: Animal care and service worker
Job description: Animal trainers train animals for obedience, performance, riding, security or assisting people with disabilities. They familiarize animals with human voices and contact, and they teach animals to respond to commands. Most animal trainers work with dogs and horses, but some work with marine mammals, such as dolphins. Trainers teach a variety of skills. For example, some may train dogs to guide people with disabilities; others teach animals to cooperate with veterinarians or train animals for a competition or show.
Typical education level: High school diploma or equivalent
Average annual salary animal care and service worker: $33,592

7. Blimp pilot
Try instead: Airline and commercial pilot
Job description: While airline pilots fly for airlines that transport people and cargo on a fixed schedule, commercial pilots fly aircraft for other purposes, such as charter flights, rescue operations, firefighting, aerial photography, and aerial application of agricultural materials.
Typical education level: High school diploma or equivalent
Average annual salary airline and commercial pilot: $84,509

*Job descriptions and educational levels from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook. Average annual salary from Emsi.

If reality didn’t live up to the dream, check out these 11 jobs that pay $35 an hour.