Achieving the American Dream isn’t as simple as working hard. With the economy continuing to sputter to life and stall out with regularity, wage stagnation, the threats of automation and robotics to job security, and other pitfalls emerging like storm clouds on the United States’ collective horizon, it’s becoming increasingly clear that what you work hard at matters a great deal.
If one of your goals is to see your personal net worth and savings increase over time — even as the world around you shifts and changes — you need to place yourself within a career that will help you do that. Here are eight jobs that have surprisingly good salaries and look as though they’ll stand the test of changing time.
1. Horse Exerciser
While jockeys and owners tend to get all the glory when a horse does well at the track, horse exercisers are an essential component of ensuring that a horse is in good shape and good health come race day. An experience-based job that doesn’t even technically require a high school diploma, you’ll probably need at least six to eight years of experience before you’re able to command a high salary, which, at the present time, tops out around $50,000.
2. School Administrator
Being a school administrator, or similar positions like a school resource officer, is an ideal career for someone with a love of education and children, as well as an understanding of behavior analysis. While it definitely requires more formal training than riding a horse, once you’ve put in the time and studied hard enough, you’ll not only earn as much as $90,000, but you’ll also enjoy the perks that come with a job that’s well-respected and appreciated throughout most communities. If you’d like to invest in future generations and pull down a decent wage, working with the youth at a school is an excellent choice. A master’s degree in school counseling will set you up well for a career working with and advising young students.
A very specific profession where skills are gained through apprenticeship training, elevator mechanics generally make between $70,000 and $80,000 a year, and the job is ideal for someone who likes to solve problems and work in a variety of environments. From installation to repair and maintenance, roughly 20,000 elevator mechanics in the United States keep every single elevator, escalator, moving sidewalk, and lift in operation.
On average, a prosthetist — someone who designs and fashions prosthetic limbs, facial parts, fingers, and the like — makes $71,000 a year. Part physical therapist, part engineer, and part sculptor, a good prosthetist is able to meet a person’s prosthetic needs from design and measurement to fit and use. If you like problem-solving and helping others, this profession is remarkably satisfying.
While it doesn’t earn as much respect and gratitude as it should, being a trash collector can at least net you a decent amount of money — as much as $60,000 a year — depending on the municipality in which you work. No formal education is required, but trash collectors do need a clean driver’s license, and in many cases, a license to operate a forklift.
While it certainly isn’t for everyone, it’s a vital job that every city and county throughout the country needs to have filled by reliable and hardworking people.
6. Childbirth Educator
A childbirth educator commands a median salary that’s around $55,000. Unlike doctors, midwives, or labor nurses, childbirth educators aren’t involved at all in delivering a child. Instead, they provide education and preparation for pregnant mothers leading up to delivery in order to help guide women and their partners in what to expect during labor and delivery, types of birth procedures, hospital protocols, technology, drugs, natural options, and scores of other issues.
7. Ethical Hackers
Ethical hackers are employed by corporations and governments to find weaknesses in networks and software systems in order to protect against malevolent hacks. You’ll make $90,000 a year on average, too — not bad for someone who gets paid to pretend to she’s a criminal or spy every day when she clocks in at work.
8. Bingo Manager
Believe it or not, in the world of casinos, bingo can mean big money, and the bingo manager is the one who oversees all the action, from customer complaints and compliance with gaming regulations to jackpots and payouts. You won’t need any particular degree to manage a casino’s “bingo hall,” but you will need around five years of experience before you’ll be considered for the job. Once you get it, you can earn well over $50,000 a year for your trouble.
So, take your pick of odd jobs. Whether you want to spend your days riding horses or elevators, you can make a decent wage to help you on your way to achieving your financial goals.