What makes a job an easy one? That depends. Some are easy because they offer minimal contact with the public. Others, because they don’t require an advanced degree. Still others, because the spectacular beachfront location of the office makes it impossible to dwell on the downsides for too long.
Unfortunately, one downside that’s next to impossible to overlook is a low salary. If you’re struggling to make rent and subsisting on a diet of Ramen noodles, it doesn’t matter if you have free access to the company sauna. But is it possible that there are jobs with flexible hours, fantastic locations and copious vacation time that also net a decent paycheck?
What follows is a list of jobs with the potential for high pay and low stress. Click ahead and see what some of them are.
By Daniel Bukszpan
Posted 20 December 2011
“Voice acting, depending on the job, can be high-paying and requires little physical effort in terms of what one might consider traditional physical labor,” according to Stephanie Ciccarelli, co-founder and chief marketing officer of the voiceover talent agency Voices.com. “Many pros cite $100,000 as something a voice talent could make annually. …Those at the top of their game in promo and movie trailers are making over $1 million a year.”
For people who dread the public eye but dream of working in the arts, work as a voice actor is ideal. The names of Dan Castellaneta and Nancy Cartwright might not ring a bell, but they’ve been fixtures in American homes for over 20 years as voice actors on “The Simpsons.” Voice actors aren’t limited to working in entertainment. If you hear a disembodied voice asking you to press “pound” on your touch-tone keypad or giving directions from a GPS, a voice actor has provided it.
Hair colorists can make enough money to work only a few days a month. This leaves plenty of time for school, hobbies or lounging on the couch and watching an all-day marathon of “The Millionaire Matchmaker.”
“Many are paid as much as $500 or $600 for a single treatment and that's the average for colorists,” according to Roy Cohen, career coach and author of “The Wall Street Professional's Survival Guide.” He also adds that “they stack 10 or 12 clients a day,” which at $500 a pop can add up quickly.
Cohen also points out that despite the sluggish economy, colorists are still getting as many bookings as ever. ”It's one of the few luxuries that has not seen a cutback since the market meltdown,” he says. “In fact, more and more people are paying for premium grooming to look good in this very competitive job market.”
When you consult an instruction manual to help you hook up a stereo system and the manual is so clearly written that you hook it up correctly, you can thank a technical writer. This is the person who actually writes the manual, including such electrifying reads as the “troubleshooting” section and the instructions for shipping and handling should the unit become damaged.
While making an instruction manual engaging to read is no doubt a challenge, the easy part of the job is in the physical exertion department. Namely, there isn’t any. Like many writing jobs, work in this area is often freelance and requires lots of follow-up for those wishing to be paid on a timely basis. However, the median wage for this job is over $63,000, with potential to earn over $100,000 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
A dental hygienist is familiar to most as the nice person at the dentist’s office who examines and cleans your teeth before the dentist comes into the room to admonish you for failing to floss in a sufficiently vigorous fashion. If you want to become one, you’ll need to get a degree from an accredited dental hygiene school and a license from the state in which you’ll practice.
This is an easy job with respect to the hours. “Flexible scheduling is a distinctive feature of this job,” says the Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Full-time, part-time, evening and weekend schedules are common.” The median salary for this job is over $68,000 a year, while in some rarer cases salaries can exceed $93,000 a year.
As far as the actual work itself is concerned, there’s nothing easy about being a librarian. After you’ve mastered the intricacies of the Dewey Decimal System, there’s all that cataloguing of books and periodicals and all that shushing of boisterous teenagers, both of which are skills requiring significant brain power and personal discipline.
Librarians work in many different contexts besides schools. There is a need for them in law firms, nonprofit organizations, corporations and countless government agencies. However, school libraries remain the context with which librarians are most often associated.
If a librarian’s job can be said to be easy, it would be because of the hours. Librarians working at elementary schools, middle schools and high schools work on an academic schedule, which means hours in the mornings and afternoons only, as well as plenty of vacation time. The median salary for librarians is over $54,000 per year, but it’s possible to earn as much as $83, 510, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
A radiologic technologist performs x-rays, CT scans, MRIs and other imaging of patients. The imaging is then passed to the radiologist, who examines it and diagnoses the patient. The median wage for a radiologic technologist is over $54,000, but jobs are available that pay as much as $76,850 per year.
The job of a radiologic technologist is easy for two reasons — it’s completely sedentary, and those wishing to pursue a career in this field need only earn a bachelor’s degree, although master’s degrees exist and are likely to give the aspiring technologist a competitive leg up.
As anyone who’s watched “The Love Boat” knows, a cruise director’s responsibilities run the gamut. He or she manages the entertainment and activities on the cruise ship, from shuffleboard tournaments to dance competitions to singles mixers. The cruise director also plays an administrative role and manages much of the cruise staff.
While the work itself is not easy, the perks are hard to beat. What other job pays you to travel to exotic destinations, while you soak up the sunshine and take in awe-inspiring ocean views? All this, and no rent payments, says career coach Roy Cohen.
Cruise directors can earn anywhere from $4,000 to $7,000 per month, according to Cruise Ship Jobs, an online employment resource for jobs with cruise lines.
Computers may have replaced human beings in many professions, but as anyone who’s ever received an e-card knows, machines are incapable of producing things like greeting cards and thank you notes in a way that feels personalized. As such, there are still plenty of people who want to use the human touch in these contexts, and that’s where the hand letterer comes in.
Elizabeth Carey Smith is a hand lettering professional in Brooklyn, N.Y., and although she wouldn’t describe the work as easy, the flexible schedule permits her to care for her toddler. She estimates that the majority of her work comes in the form of wedding invitations, which can earn roughly $500 for a run of 200. She also designs corporate logos, which can earn up to $6,000 for a month’s work.
“More and more people are coming to me and other designers who can do hand-lettering for logos and visual identities,” she says. “Fonts don’t communicate anything original, or personal.”