Whatever career you choose, your job becomes a big part of your life. It may even form part of your identity, letting others know about your values, your skills and your interests. If you think a work path that’s a bit more unusual may suit you, you have plenty of options. You can pick a nontraditional job with a salary that allows you to live comfortably.
Earlier this year, the job site Indeed came out with a list of 15 of these jobs. Here are the top five:
5. Toy Designer
Toy designers — who may also be called product designer or toymaker — are responsible for creating safe and entertaining toys for children. People in this position should be able to see a design through its entire cycle, from developing innovative ideas to approving samples for mass production.
This job requires creativity and a knowledge of child development — specifically, what toys are effective for children at certain ages. Designers will also need to understand materials so they can gauge a product’s safety and durability. Knowledge of design principles and engineering, along with computer-assisted design, or CAD, skills, are essential to those who want to take on this type of career.
The yearly salary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is at a national average of about $78,913.
Podiatrists are medical professionals who can provide diagnosis and treatment for problems of the foot and ankle. They relieve pain, prevent deformities and perform surgery.
Podiatrists have degrees from accredited podiatric medical colleges. Some may have additional medical training, such as a doctorate from a graduate medical school. They must take state and national exams and be licensed, which means this is a job that requires quite a bit of education and experience. However, as with many healthcare-related professions, they are in demand more than ever.
The national average salary of a podiatrist is $90,795 per year.
3. Computer Hacker
While you might associate computer hackers with criminal activity, people with hacking skills can also do a lot of good. White-hat hackers are actually professionals in cybersecurity. They help companies find areas in networks, software, and hardware that are vulnerable to attack. By doing this kind of work, they help make products more secure and prevent data breaches.
As you can imagine, this is an important job and it requires some pretty sophisticated technology skills. Hackers tend to have degrees in tech fields and they know a lot about security for operating systems and how to correct and protect networks. This industry is often described as having a zero percent unemployment rate because of high demand.
If you work in this field, you can expect an average salary of $93,861 per year.
2. Clinical Ethicist
These professionals work in healthcare facilities, where they focus on improving and maintaining ethical medical policies. Clinical ethicists are consultants who can help improve standards by reviewing codes and making recommendations for both developing new policies and ensuring compliance with old ones. They also help their facilities keep to legal regulations.
Ethics analysts require an undergraduate degree in a field like philosophy or public health, as well as post-secondary degrees — either a master’s degree or a doctorate — in law, medicine or healthcare administration. Many also have clinical experience and have certifications in healthcare ethics consulting.
Ethicists make an average yearly salary of $113,230.
Unsurprisingly, another medical job takes the top spot on Indeed’s list. Periodontists are dental specialists — they prevent, diagnose, and treat periodontal, or gum, disease. They also place and maintain dental implants, do scaling and root planing, treat oral inflammation and offer cosmetic procedures.
Like many of these more lucrative “odd” jobs, periodontists require a high degree education: they need a bachelor’s degree and then four years of graduate dental school. They’ll also need to go through a residency program and get licensed and certified. These jobs will also require more expert practitioners in the future due to an aging population.
Periodontists make an average national salary of $229, 475 per year, which can provide a decent living standard.
Other unusual jobs on Indeed’s list include flavorist, master marijuana extractor, veterinary acupuncturist, art therapist, casino or bingo hall manager and hippotherapist — someone who helps others through riding horses. You can read Indeed’s full list here.
If a job like one of these sounds appealing to you, perhaps a career adjustment is in your future.