25 Well-Paying Jobs that Most People Overlook (and Why)

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There are certain jobs that nobody dreams of doing when they grow up. They tend to be the type of jobs that are dirty, dangerous, and sometimes boring and tedious. However, they also tend to be well-paying jobs.

Some of these stigmatized jobs actually pay well and are definitely worth a closer look.

If you’re on the fence about where your financial future is headed, stop and consider any of the shockingly lucrative jobs that follow.

Here are 25 well-paying jobs that you might want to consider.

[NOTE: We realize that there are, technically, people who do want these jobs. The point is to spotlight jobs with stigmas attached to them that pay more than the typical person would think.]

1. Crab fisherman

Featured on the Discovery Channel’s hit TV series “Deadliest Catch”, the job of crab fisherman is often called the most dangerous in America. Fishing in frigid Alaskan waters, these brave spirits weather stormy seas, below-freezing temperatures, and the heartache of being away from home for months. The short crab season makes it imperative that they catch as many crabs as possible during that short window. However, this can become astonishingly lucrative once one gets the hang of of it. According to one estimate, even a somewhat experienced crab fisherman can catch as many as $50,000 worth of crabs in an 8 week period.

SEE ALSO:
15 Creative Ways to Get Financing for Your Startup
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  • doug

    “but if you don’t live long enough to enjoy that money, or have to discard your principles, it’s simply not worth it for most people.”

    nice and subtle…

  • Dan

    I knew the rest was lies when I saw the author suggest that the “average IT person” makes 103k a year. In pesos?

    I’m a administrator with the world’s largest bank, I handle 100+ servers and 4500+ workstations and program, and I don’t get paid even close.

  • Scott

    It seems that your figures are blown out of porpotion.

    For #6, that would be the average wage of an IT manager, cited last Thursday from New York times article with a similar subject matter and title as yours. Average Wage for IT is still $60,000, and that is from the third highest earning market, Austin, TX.

    I have a friend who has #21 as an occupation, and he makes 1/2 of this for over twenty years of service to a large chain, unionized.

    Should we all find new jobs??

  • john

    Since when is 50k/year “well paying”???

  • As currently working in No 5. ya the money is OK. But you do sell your soul. If you had morels you wont after a couple of years.

  • Cracked Bunion

    “but if you don’t live long enough to enjoy that money, or have to discard your principles, it’s simply not worth it for most people.”

    Way to display your ignorance!

    Frankly, most soldiers won’t “discard their principles” to NOT reenlist (current rate = 98)

    Of course, we don’t have to brainwash them or threaten them like the leftist commutards have to brainwash or threaten their minions.

  • dan

    Subtlety only counts in horsehoes and hand grenades.

  • Bob

    Gastroenterologist is NOT an “overlooked” profession by any means. It is a sub-specialty of Internal Medicine, and one of THE most competitive, ask any random Internal Medicine resident and chances are they are applying for GI, not that they are going to get in.

  • Military Person

    And you all are welcome – from the few of us that protect all of your freedoms most people take for granted. Damn skippy military people earn their salaries, much more than corporate CEO’s and lobbyists.

  • Tom

    From unwanted job number 22:
    “This walks readers through both the nature of the work and the process of actually getting into the field.”

    Ummmm….there doesn’t seem to be a link there. Is there supposed to be a link?

  • Greg

    I think you need to do some more research on crab fishing. The correct statement would be to say that on a good boat a crab fisherman can make $50,000 for the 8 weeks. Crab boats in actuality catch anywhere between 500,000 and 2,000,000 dollars worth of crab. So that is where you the 50,000 from when that is split with full share deck hands and minus fuel and other costs.

  • While the average annual earnings potential of a podiatrist cited in the list of jobs may be accurate, with many earning considerably more, the description of what a podiatrist does is roughly 20 years or more out-of-date. Podiatrists today are trained to perform reconstructive surgery; treat diabetic wounds of the foot, often saving limbs from amputation; treat injuries and fractures; diagnose and treat problems that may interfere with, or inhibit, sports performance or simple walking; and alleviate suffering and pain caused by problems and diseases of the lower extremity. If doing those things is boring, mundane and unappealing, then perhaps the person who would find them so should choose one of the other 24 jobs listed.

  • bob

    drug dealer
    arms dealer

    do they fall under sales?

  • Half these jobs pay less than $50k/year. That’s not “well-paying” in my book.

  • While this article was likely meant to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek, the mention of podiatry as a purposely-overlooked profession contains several inaccuracies. On behalf of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), I would like to respectfully educate you on the truths of the podiatric profession. To call a DPM degree “lowly,” and to say that DPMs are “snickered at” by MDs, is simply incorrect. The vast majority of MDs have a very positive, respectful relationship with podiatric physicians. Many MDs regularly refer their patients to a podiatrist when dealing with all types of foot and ankle conditions including diabetic foot ulcerations – which, when left untreated, can easily lead to amputation. A comprehensive diabetes foot care treatment plan can reduce amputation rates by as much as 45 percent to 85 percent! Additionally, podiatric physicians put in just as much schooling as MDs to achieve their medical degree. After attaining a four-year undergraduate degree, a DPM spends four years attaining a specialized DPM degree at one of eight prestigious podiatric medical schools around the country. The doctor must then complete a postdoctoral residency program at an accredited hospital or academic health center before formally going into practice. This residency lasts at least two years – oftentimes more.

    Lastly, while “clipping toenails” is a very small part of the average podiatrist’s scope of practice and treatment, it is performed in the context of medically necessary care for patients that are at-risk of losing their limb because of serious diseases, such as diabetes and peripheral arterial disease (PAD). In the field of podiatry, practitioners can focus on many different and exciting specialty areas, including surgery, sports medicine, biomechanics, geriatrics, pediatrics, orthopedics or primary care.

    As mentioned before, I am sure that the tone of this blog post was not meant to be taken too seriously. But to pigeonhole podiatry as a career that lacks both job rewards and appeal is regrettable and untrue.

  • Rachel

    About.com just added these 2 new employment sites to their top 10 list:

    http://www.realmatch.com
    http://www.linkedin.com

    If you need to find work, good luck.

  • IT employee !!!!!!!! proud of it, plus you can make side income

  • Jim

    Construction workers do not start at $49k a year. The link given goes to the pay rate for a project manager. Project managers are high level skilled worker with experience and supervisory ability. So that pay rate is not a typical entry level job for general construction. Mean annual pay for all construction is $40,620 and thats for all wage earners not starting pay. Low end wages start around $10 an hour.
    see: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes470000.htm

  • CJ

    “Gastroenterologist is NOT an “overlooked” profession by any means. It is a sub-specialty of Internal Medicine, and one of THE most competitive, ask any random Internal Medicine resident and chances are they are applying for GI, not that they are going to get in.”

    VERY TRUE – but then again, this list was compiled by a simpleton who still derives great pleasure from fart jokes – as evidenced by the presence of gastroenterologist and proctologist on the list – both highly-desirable positions in real life.

  • Erin

    To respond to Bob…I’m sure it was mostly sarcasm on your part but I read a study that shows that your average drug dealer on the street makes less than minimum wage for the number of hours they put in to their “business” and are often users, putting what they earn right back into their habit. That’s a big selling point in trying to keep high school students out of gangs and drugs. They all want money and movies glamorize the drug industry. The only one making money is the one on the top of the chain.

  • I can attest that I know commission only sales people can make a ton of money. It takes a lot of money and time though.

  • SWGA

    The figure about cropdusters is also incorrect. I am a farmer, and I worked for a pilot mixing chemicals. $80,000 would be a bad year; however this is a dying profession. Fuel prices, plus fertilizer/chemical prices are really hurting the agricultural avation sector. Most cropdusters use a turbo prop plane…an new pilot cannot even get insurance on a (used $350,000.00) turbo prop plane. Also advances by John Deere, Case, Ro-Gator, ect in the sprayer segment are taking the place of ag planes.

  • molly

    What the hell is wrong with that car sales guys mouth???

  • Commission only sales people are entrepreneurs and usually only take on what they think they can sell.

  • Great post!

    Sales is often overlooked and yet it is the 3rd highest paying career (legal that is).

    Proud to call it my livelihood for the last 25 years!

    Paul Castain
    Castain’s Sales Playbook

  • tw

    c friesen – why wouldnt i have morels after a year? is someone going to eat them?! oh no!

    And it’s Jerry Maguire – come on!

  • Troy

    You should have commissioned service plumber on this list. I hear they do quite well. But the long hours, paper work, variety of customers and homes, traffic jams and hostile drivers, crawl spaces, unsanitary conditions, and a multitude of other problems may scare some off.

  • Ed Ruff

    The last couple of years an illiterate uneducated man could easily make $50 -$60k in the oilfields. The work is hot dirty and dangerous. But the cyclic nature of the industry has led to massive layoffs in the past 6 months. Right now virtually no one is hiring.

  • mr femi adurogboye

    how did l get working there and the company we get the visa for me if l start working l will pay for it .from nigeria ,l need quick reply thanks

  • Some of these make sense but others don’t: there are alot of accountants and construction workers and truck drivers around.

  • brandon

    john if you would read it, it says and i qote ” According to one estimate, even a somewhat experienced crab fisherman can catch as many as $50,000 worth of crabs in an 8 week period.” and not $50,000 a year
    john said “Since when is 50k/year “well paying”???”

  • You’d have to be a pretty good salesman to get a commission like that.

  • Johnson

    Foot and ankle surgeons (podiatric surgeons) and general podiatrists go to medical school, then 2-4 years of residency and/or fellowship at prestigious hospitals, including Harvard teaching hospitals. the description depicted in this article is outdated and incorrect.

  • To respond to Bob…I’m sure it was mostly sarcasm on your part but I read a study that shows that your average drug dealer on the street makes less than minimum wage for the number of hours they put in to their “business” and are often users, putting what they earn right back into their habit. That’s a big selling point in trying to keep high school students out of gangs and drugs. They all want money and movies glamorize the drug industry.

  • VERY TRUE – but then again, this list was compiled by a simpleton who still derives great pleasure from fart jokes – as evidenced by the presence of gastroenterologist and proctologist on the list – both highly-desirable positions in real life.
    Talking about “Gastroenterologist is NOT an “overlooked” profession by any means”

  • It seems that your figures are blown out of porpotion.

    For #6

  • Some of these make sense but others don’t: there are alot of accountants and construction workers and truck drivers around. anyone dissagree or agree?

  • jake

    Er… This list should really be called “Three well-paying, not-so-overlooked jobs and 22 Mediocre-paying jobs that most people get an education to avoid having to do”

    Seriously. Toll booth operator? $45,000? That isn’t “well-paying” at all, and there’s an obvious reason most people overlook it: ambition.

  • arthur

    yeah who gives a fuck the more you earn the more you have to pay tax on. When you grow old they take it back off you if you have fuck all and you have enjoy your life then there is always someone there to look after you.
    Just remember all the tax you paid enjoy lift while you are young enough.There maybe a time in your life when you wont know what a doller or a dime is but some other fucker wil be there to help you spend it.Now get off your arse and enjoy life while you are able.

  • If you are a pharmacist you can make up to 300,000 a year!
    When you start out you are amking up to 100,000 that year, and if you start out in an hospital you will make more through out your career! I am suprised that they didnt show that on their!

  • Pankaj

    hello,

    am Pankaj from India and my dream is travel the world and also make money. I love travelling and meeting new friends, learning new cultures, cuisines etc. can anybody help me get such kind of job anywhere in the world. talking about my qualification am commerce graduate and also masters in business administration and have around 10 years of exp in retail,entertainment,media and travel industry. feel free to connect with me on ozapankaj@yahoo.com and if anybody wants to call me can call me on 09820330268(India mobile no)also you can add me on skype and my skype name is ozapankaj

  • Rex

    For #7, there’s a typo, that’s “drill bits” not “drill pits”!

  • bill

    this article is poorly written, pethaps trying to be funny. do what appeals to you, do it with honor, integrity, quality, and then retire @60-55.
    life is far too short to wsdre on a peeing match of utter prestige nonsense.

  • Daisy

    I agree with Bill… If you’re going to believe everything you read online, then it might be more than a good paying job your needing.

  • Ytrail

    I don’t see how #11 can do well on thier job with all the downsides. How you gone drive safely if your sleepy? And why do you have to eat fatty foods?

  • James

    Accountants – unfortunately the field is SATURATED, and most don’t make that much. The primary that do go from Big 4 to Investment Banking /PE Accounting which is like .0000001% since the there are way too many accountants and the competition is crazy. The vast majority unfortunately make less than plumbers or nurses.

  • I have read a few other blogs related to this subject in the past few weeks in doing a research report for my boss. I have to say that what you’re saying here makes perfect sense and is helping me to get my head around this subject. Do you have any other blogs you could recommend to help my research?

    Thanks,

    Chiropractor

    Chiropractor Myrtle Beach

  • Matt

    I think i might be a butt doctor….make alot of money :D

  • Brandon

    About 8 of these jobs will cost more in medical bills than you earn in wages. Seriously, do you have any idea how much a Cancer patient spends on medical bills?

  • Thomas

    People are out of touch with reality:

    Pharmacy schools are producing too many students. Now, the cannot find jobs in the recession!
    Accountants: Too many people with degrees; thus, employers can shop around for cheap labor.

    There are just too many people with degrees. Everyone has a computer, so everyone is reading these articles.

    Here is the best advice I can give you about getting a job:

    Pursue anything Yahoo news does NOT cover in their Recession Proof Career articles. Those articles are causing a huge surge in the number of students applying for those fields. Almost half of my Chem class were students pursuing pre-Pharmacy because they read an article on Yahoo News.

    Sheep!

  • Bill

    You are obviously embellishing the truth a little about these jobs. I have a friend who is a crab fisherman (been doing it for 10 years now), he makes around 80k a year between both seasons (King and Opillio). He is on a 125ft crab boat and is on the Deadliest Catch frequently. IF you are picked out of the thousands of applicants, your first 2 seasons you only make $150.00 a day until you become a full share deck hand. As far as the 8 week time frame, he is usually gone for 6 months. Sometimes they get lucky and are home in 8 weeks but it is very rare. And keep in mind the longer you are out the more you lose due to maintenance/fuel/food costs.

  • NCK

    It really makes me sick when I hear some person say “since when is 50K a lot of money”

    Check out HOW MANY PEOPLE make 50K a year IN THIS WORLD……It seems 50K IS a huge amount of money to earn….perhaps OUR WANTS are huge also….

  • Dori

    Not very helpful info. Most people would not be a good fit for most of thses job.

  • Gerlof

    I assume some are pretax aswell? I contribute nothing to society, I really don’t, but I DO make loads. Loads being €638.750 per year pretax. I earn it by playing roulette, and since roulette is considered gambling i pay gambling tax instead of regular tax. This means that I only pay 29% tax instead of 57% if I had a ‘steady’ job. This means I earn €453.500 AFTER TAX per year.

    Desirable? Probably not, I spend working hours watching a ball go round, but atleast I can retire when I hit 35 and have 100k per year to spend until I die. Again, I AM useless, but I LOVE my life, eating the best food and drinking the best wines.

    And in my country (the Netherlands) the average earned salary is about 38k, so 50k is nearly 25% above average, so 50k IS a lot to most! In my case I earn 9x as much and would not know how to survive on 50k, but on average it really is not a bad list of wages.

    Hope this helped. If you are good at gambling, it is worth a shot, I earn twice what a heartsurgeon does, and i only needed 5 months and €260 to get in.

  • lailani

    commission sounds good

  • Barry

    podiatry is to mainstream medicine as a polka band is to the symphony orchestra.

  • Cindy Lou

    $80,000 to collect trash in NYC? Really? Apparently, someone didn’t bother to check the Department of Sanitation website before making that claim:

    http://www.nyc.gov/html/dsny/html/jobs/jobs.shtml#sanworkers

  • Simon

    Apparently Cindy Lou didn’t read through the lines on the Dept of Sanitation site, The current labor agreement provides for periodic increases to a maximum of $67,141 after 5 1/2 years. In addition to the basic annual wages, Sanitation Workers may also earn differential payments based on their specific assignment and overtime( and in the city of NY, they do just that). Anyway, don’t you know who runs sanitation? It’s NY, the unions are involved, who protects the Unions?

  • SE

    For anyone who does work in IT, or wants to go into IT, the money is in the Mobile industry, any and all programing, both on a ground level, or to be specific in the retail side of things is pretty good money. A first time project manager, one who works for a large electronics retailer, one who retails and activates phones, they are starting at around $65,000-$75,000, and if your actually not a typical bore average worker, like the administrator at a bank, a non challenging IT role, you can make upwards of $400,000.00. My wife currently makes $240,000.00 in IT, she is 37 and a senior project manager, she runs multiple multi million dollar projects, she is fortunate enough to also have a bonus dependent on her dept making a profit, mobile phones is the biggest money maker at this time!
    If your shrewd, a leader, multi task well and are willing to do what ever it takes to win, you can rule in IT, IT is a GEEK world, he or she that is the tough geek wins! most are not and act like children, they are over emotional and needy, so it’s easy if your bright and not like that to shine brighter than the rest!

  • Abel

    the IT guys where work are lazy & surly and get paid 50% more than I do, and I work my ass off all day, every day.

  • jr gayton

    i would realy be interseted in being a crab firsherman..i can start imeditally. 770 882 4317

  • Petrov

    The only way to make unlimited ammounts of money, and possibly without even working, or doind Anything! Is to be sucessful business owner or an investor. ( and I’m not taking about poor self employed people).

  • Matt

    Man, 30k, 40k, 50k, is so much more than the average person makes in America, most people are only making about 10-15k a year, right now I am making 26k/y and have been so much better off than I have ever been.

  • Daveed

    I have been working in IT as a systems administrator for 5 years and don’t get paid what is on that list–that’s why I am here. The job isn’t that easy. You need an extremely logical mind and the patience of a monk to make complicated systems work. That’s not the real problem. It’s tiring trying to keep up with the technology treadmill. Just try getting a job if you don’t have the latest certs ($$$), despite years of math. Plus, you’re taken for granted until something breaks and work grinds to a halt. It really should be called Technology Disaster Management. Stay long enough and the work will ruin your personality, your eyes and your overall health. Doctors are going to end up with all of your money eventually. That’s why a friend and coworker of mine went off to medical school.

  • wow that was a nasty looking foot and this helped alot for a 6th grader thanks i guess :)

  • wats wrong witht that sales person’s mouth?? creepy :(

  • C

    Commissioned work only? Yeah, there’s also the possibility that you can starve making straight commission. I gather that you would have to be a liar to do it this way.

  • I am in sales myself but I can’t imagine working on just commission. Some weeks you may not sell anything. I couldnt deal with the constant change of salary. I need stability.

  • Catherina

    Clearly I am in the wrong field. I need to be a gastroenterologist.

  • Ben

    Come on ! this list is complete BS

    I work in IT and looking to get out.. after years in the field I earn 1/4 of the ‘average’ you suggest

  • good info here glad i came

  • Lawyer is the best

  • Segausraider

    Uncle Sam pays your way.

  • Segausraider

    dont drive

  • Angelika Mitchell

    Concerning oilfield…..I heard that there are well paying jobs in Williston ND.

  • Mike Melenich

    Hi Everyone, I’m very surprised to not see NDT technician on this list. Based on the 2015 salary survey (found Here: http://www.pqndt.com/NDT-salary-Survey/PQNDT-2015-Salary-Survey.pdf) on average a level I tech makes about $65,927 per year at $20.97 per hour. And that’s something you can achieve in months, not years. You do not need a degree to do this job. In fact you can get your entire education for around $7,000.00-$9,000.00 dollars and in less than 8 months. There are even online schools so you don’t have to change your whole life around to get your required education. Most people start around $20.00 per hour and get into the mid 20’s to 30’s per hour after several months. I personally know several people who got their full education within 6 months and got starting wages in the 30 dollar per hour range at their first job out of school. I don’t understand why is this such an under represented industry on job lists such as this. It is extremely important work. NDT Technicians do inspections on the vital infrastructure of our country; from Bridges and railways to oil/gas pipeline, brake pads, landing gear and plane wings. Our daily safety is dependent on these technicians. If you want to learn more about how to become a Non-Destructive Technician try googling “NDT online school” and check out what’s available. We need high quality people in this high demand high paying career field. Visit http://www.trainingndt.com for more information about a career in Non-destructive testing.

  • monica

    my is monica i am from canada am here to testify to the great work of the great spell that help me to cast away poverty from my life by giving me a very good job. i finished my education in the year 2010 since then i have been searching for a good job i have visited different companies for job offers but non of them was able to end my sorry.so one day i was browsing through the internet and i so a post of a testimony of how a great spell caster called dr peter helped man to get a good job by casting a prosperity spell. so i did a search on the this great man and +234 for me i so his contact email and his mobile number along side with the post so i decided to contact him. and i called his mobile number and he answer then i told him what i have been passing through so he told me that all will be well that i came to the right place.so he told me that i should have faith.so he told me what do so after obeying all his commands three day time i was called by one of the company that i went for job offer for an interview and after one week i was called to resume work which i will be paid 100,000$ per month. all thanks to the great spell caster dr peter. you can contact him for same problem at his mail at drpetersolutionhome@yahoo.com or his mobile number +2348119020816 and recieve your great testimony now.

  • Garrett Ehler

    NDT technician is a good career choice. But NDT training is essential to be a NDT technician. Check out more at http://www.txndt.com/

  • anjaliahuja