42 Fun Jobs That Pay Surprisingly Well in 2024

There are two big perks to finding fun jobs that pay well: making money and having fun – you choose the order of importance. The problem is that too many people spend years working jobs they genuinely dislike for companies that treat them poorly.

If you’re finding yourself in a rut when it comes to your work life, I’m here to inspire you with some fun job ideas that also pay well. Some of the jobs on the list make great side hustles, others offer a career opportunity.

For easier reading, I’ve divided the list into five separate categories:

  • Freelance work
  • Entertainment Industry
  • Animal Industry
  • Solopreneur
  • And, of course, the good old W-2 job!

What one person finds fun differs from another but we think that you will find a few ideas on this list, let’s dive in!

Table of Contents
  1. Fun Freelance Jobs That Pay Well
    1. 1. Graphic Designer
    2. 2. Writer
    3. 3. Musician
    4. 4. Social Media Manager
    5. 5. Virtual Assistant
    6. 6. Online Tutor
    7. 7. Web Designer
    8. 8. Business Consultant
    9. 9. Resume’ Writer
  2. Fun Jobs In the Entertainment Industry That Pay Well
    1. 10. Lighting Designers
    2. 11. Voiceover Artist
    3. 12. Stunt Double
    4. 13. Fashion Designer
    5. 14. Animator
    6. 15. Entertainment Reporter
    7. 16. Event Planner
    8. 17. Film Critic
    9. 18. Disc Jockey
    10. 19. Audio Engineer
    11. 20. Makeup Artist
  3. Fun Jobs In the Animal Industry That Pay Well
    1. 21. Zookeeper
    2. 22. Veterinarian
    3. 23. Dog Walker
    4. 24. Wildlife Conservation Officer
    5. 25. Pet Sitter
    6. 26. Animal Groomer
    7. 27. Vet Tech
    8. 28. Animal Nutritionist
    9. 29. Marine Biologist
  4. Fun Solopreneur Jobs That Pay Well
    1. 30. Magician
    2. 31. Personal Trainer
    3. 32. Information Security Analyst
    4. 33 Interior Designer
    5. 34. Professional Gamer
    6. 35. Food Critic
    7. 36. Blogger
    8. 37. Photographer
    9. 38. Nanny
  5. Fun W-2 Jobs That Pay Well
    1. 39. Art or Music Therapist 
    2. 40. Toy Designer
    3. 41. Cruise Director
    4. 42. Video Game Designer

Fun Freelance Jobs That Pay Well

I’ve been working in the freelance industry for over a decade, and I can honestly say that there’s a lot to love about it! Freelancing is fun in that you get to choose the hours you work and the jobs you take. And you have complete control over how much you charge.

While as a beginner freelancer, you may have to start at a lower pay rate, you can raise your rates as you get better at what you do. Here are some ideas for freelancing jobs that pay well. 

For the average pay, we used data from Indeed if it was available. Otherwise, we relied on Glassdoor.

1. Graphic Designer

Average pay: $46,983/yr.

Fun component: The world is your palette.

As a freelance graphic designer, you can take on various job types. You can create t-shirt designs and sell them on a site like Redbubble, or list your talents on Upwork and find work creating web pages, logos, and more. Another option: Design and create ads for print and digital venues.

2. Writer

Average pay: $51,867/yr. 

Fun component: Choose the subject matter you love and get paid to write about it.

Freelance writers have a wide variety of subject matters from which to choose. Write for your favorite blog, freelance for a business’s website, or write a book and sell it on Amazon.

3. Musician

Average pay: $48.22/hr.

Fun component: Get paid to share your musical talents in public.

Freelance musicians can make money doing everything from performing at weddings and other events to playing on street corners. 

Consider starting a music YouTube channel and get paid from advertisers as well. 

4. Social Media Manager

Average pay: $23.50/hr.

Fun component: Spend your workday on social media sites.

Freelance social media managers help blog owners and businesses share essential information on social media sites. Marketing skills are a must for social media managers.

5. Virtual Assistant

Average pay: $37,023/yr.

Fun component: You can perform a range of tasks depending on the client.

Virtual assistants work on a variety of tasks for business owners. You can do anything from managing a schedule and assigning projects to overseeing websites. 

6. Online Tutor

Average pay: $20/hr.

Fun component: Help kids and adults from around the world.

As an online tutor, you can help kids and adults learn everything from math to science to ESL. Several online tutoring companies provide a curriculum to the independent tutors they hire.

7. Web Designer

Average pay: $20.16 to $100+/hr.

Fun component: Use your design skills to “wow” website visitors.

While salaried web designer pay is less, freelance web designers can rake in some serious cash.

8. Business Consultant

Average pay: $36 to $200+ per hour

Fun component: Help businesses flourish and grow.

If you’re good at being a visionary for businesses that want to expand and grow, consider freelancing in this field for maximum fun and maximum income. 

9. Resume’ Writer

Average pay: $50 to $1,000+ per resume’

Fun component: Use your writing skills to impress clients’ potential employers.

If you have a way with words and can create resumes that stand out, consider freelancing for workers in one or more industries. 

Word will spread if you’re good, and you can raise your rate. Focus on writing resumes’ for high-paying positions to maximize your income.

Fun Jobs In the Entertainment Industry That Pay Well

The following jobs are great if you desire to work in the entertainment industry. Both front and backroom opportunities exist. 

10. Lighting Designers

Average pay: $59,119/yr.

Fun component: Design light shows for concerts, plays, etc.

You can go to school to be a lighting designer or get experience by working at schools and community theaters. Higher-paying jobs will likely require education.

11. Voiceover Artist

Average pay: $29.48/hr.

Fun component: Use your voice to make commercials and more.

If you have an engaging, soothing, or attractive voice, you might like working as a voiceover artist. Learn more about this high-income skill and how to get training for it here

12. Stunt Double

Average pay: $25k to 70k on average

Fun component: Be the brawn behind actors’ wild stunts.

If you’re in great physical shape (think American Ninja Warrior) and are a risk-taker, you might want to take on this potentially lucrative career. 

The busiest stunt doubles easily make six digits.

13. Fashion Designer

Average pay: $66,124/yr.

Fun component: Embrace your creative side as you design clothing, costumes, and accessories.

If you have a knack for clothing design, this could be the job for you. Education is helpful, and you may want to start as a Fashion Stylist to gain experience. 

14. Animator

Average pay: $25.18/hr

Fun component: Get paid to draw cartoons.

Okay, animation extends beyond drawing cartoons, but it’s a fun job nonetheless. While some animators do get a formal education, many do not. 

Pay can increase with experience, and the best animators can easily make six digits a year. 

15. Entertainment Reporter

Average pay: $47,306/yr.

Fun component: Sharing the scoop on local or national celebrities.

Share the latest news on actors, athletes, politicians, and more when you work at this job. You may have to start small, but you’ll move up in the ranks if you’re good. 

16. Event Planner

Average pay: $50,624/yr.

Fun component: You spend your days planning parties.

Do you love to entertain people? Or do you have a gift for planning great parties? 

Event planners can work for companies or as sole proprietors planning various event types. 

17. Film Critic

Average pay: $25k/yr and up

Fun component: Get paid to watch movies.

Are you good at dissecting movie plots, acting performances, and more? Film critics work for newspapers and magazines and share their opinions of movies with moviegoers. 

Be careful not to overdose on popcorn. 

18. Disc Jockey

Average pay: $48.39/hr.

Fun component: Get paid to play tunes.

Disc Jockeys can work at radio stations or as sole proprietors playing at weddings and other venues. You’ll need an engaging personality and a broad knowledge of the music of your chosen genre.

19. Audio Engineer

Average pay: $23.07/hr.

Fun component: Be the sound engineer for sports and other events.

Audio engineers function as the sound experts for theaters, movie sets, sporting events, and more. Learn on your own, get on-the-job training, or pursue a formal education in the subject. 

20. Makeup Artist

Average pay: $19.01/hr.

Fun component: Creativity unleashed.

As a makeup artist, you can use your talents to make pretty, scary, or fun faces. Work at news stations, on movie/tv show sets, at local fairs, or as a sole proprietor doing wedding and party venues. 

Although Payscale’s average pay for this job is not high, I’ve seen makeup artists earn a much higher wage in many markets. 

Fun Jobs In the Animal Industry That Pay Well

Are you an animal lover? There are many jobs you can find that will pay you well as you interact with animals. 

21. Zookeeper

Average pay: Up to $19/hr. or higher

Fun component: Playing with giraffes!

Zookeepers are responsible for feeding and caring for zoo animals. While beginner zookeepers have lower salaries, experienced zookeepers can make $70k per year or more.

Having a degree in Zoology will help you move up in the ranks faster. 

22. Veterinarian

Average pay: $49.71/hr

Fun component: Your main clients are dogs and cats.

Yes, you’ll need several years of schooling for this one, but you may find it well worth the effort. Work at a vet office or open your own. Move on to teaching one day if you desire. 

23. Dog Walker

Average pay: $15.04/hr.

Fun component: Exercise and cuddly clientele

As a dog walker, you get to choose your clientele and pay rate. Not surprisingly, more dogs equal more money. 

24. Wildlife Conservation Officer

Average pay: $22.05/hr.

Fun component: Help protect wildlife and enjoy nature at the same time.

Conservation officers have several roles: they ensure compliance to hunting laws, help protect wildlife, and create or direct wildlife programs. 

If you love being out in nature and have a heart for wild animals, you might like this job. Education requirements vary, but typically at least an A.A. is required. 

25. Pet Sitter

Average pay: $12/hr. and up

Fun component: Hang out with other peoples’ pets

As a pet sitter, you may be responsible for staying with others’ pets while they’re away, or you may be required to care for them a few times a day.

Sole proprietors get to choose their clients and their pay rate. Take as many or as few jobs as you want.

26. Animal Groomer

Average pay: $12.87/hr.

Fun factor: Styling hair for pups instead of people

Animal lovers with a creative side could do well in this position. Education is required, and standards vary based on the state or company. 

27. Vet Tech

Average pay: $15.42/hr.

Fun factor: Care for animals without years of education.

A Veterinarian Technician assists veterinarians as they work. You’ll be able to care for animals without spending hundreds of thousands on your education. 

28. Animal Nutritionist

Average pay: $60k/yr. 

Fun component: Create and promote healthy lifestyles in animals.

An Animal Nutritionist creates nutrition plans for a variety of types of animals. You can work with farmers, a zoo, or at local universities. 

You’ll need a degree for this job, and you’ll want to have a strong love for chemistry and other science disciplines. 

29. Marine Biologist

Average pay: $51,867/yr.

Fun component: Working with dolphins!

As a Marine Biologist, you’ll manage the habitat and study the well-being of marine animals. You might find a job at a zoo or with organizations that help preserve ocean life. Degree required. 

Fun Solopreneur Jobs That Pay Well

As a long-time solopreneur, I can vouch for how working for yourself has a host of benefits, such as choosing your hours, your clients, and your pay rate. Here are some fun jobs you can do as a solopreneur.

30. Magician

Average pay: $20/hr. or more

Fun component: No explanation is needed.

Magicians are enormous hits at birthday parties, corporate events, and more. You’ll have to train on your own, but the good news is that there are many free training resources out there. 

The better you are, the higher fee you can command.

Related: Ultimate Freelancer’s Guide: Freelancing Tips and Tricks

31. Personal Trainer

Average pay: $19.70/hr.

Fun component: Get paid to push others to their limits.

If you love exercising and helping others reach fitness goals, you might love being a personal trainer. 

Find work at local gyms, hold classes in your home, or make house calls. 

32. Information Security Analyst

Average pay: $27.41/hr.

Fun component: Get inside the minds of hackers.

As an Information Security Analyst, your job is to stop hackers in their tracks. You’re the “good hacker” that finds security breaches and eliminates them. 

You’ll probably need a degree in I.T. or Network Security for this position. 

33 Interior Designer

Average pay: $21.38/hr.

Fun component: Take drab environments and make them shine

Do you walk into a room and instantly start imagining what you’d design differently? If so, you might want to create an interior design business. 

Independent consultants earn more in this field than salaried employees do – spread the word about your services and photos of your work via social media.

34. Professional Gamer

Average pay: No limit

Fun component: You’ll get paid to play

People often think that earning money as a game is a scam. However, I can assure you that it’s not. 

You’ll need to be good at the game you want to make money in – really good. Also, you’ll need to have a theme for the content you stream, something that makes you stand out from the crowd.

Earn money on YouTube and other venues from advertisers and personal donations. The more popular you get, the higher your earning potential.

35. Food Critic

Average pay: $70,000+

Fun component: Get paid to eat.

Food critics get to test run meals at restaurants and then share their views on the meal. As a food critic, you might work for a newspaper publication, a magazine, a television show, or as a sole proprietor. 

You can critique meals anywhere from fine dining establishments to mom-and-pop places.

36. Blogger

Average pay: Varies

Fun component: Get paid to share your opinion.

Blogging is another sole proprietor business that people think is a scam. However, it’s possible to make $500 a month up to $50,000 a month or more in passive income if you’re willing to put in the work.

The key to success is engaging content and having the ability to market it correctly. 

37. Photographer

Average pay: $16.97/hr.

Fun component: Capture the emotions of the world with a lens.

If you’ve got excellent photography skills, you can earn much more than the average pay shown here if you put those skills to work. 

Take photos and sell them on a site such as Shutterstock, or hold photo sessions for families, graduates, or wedding couples. 

38. Nanny

Average pay: $15.40/hr.

Fun component: Get paid to play with kids.

As a nanny or au pair, you’ll work as a caregiver for kids or infants. You may get hired as a live-in nanny with free room and board or work on an hourly wage basis. 

No degree is required (typically), but you must be responsible and like children. Note that nannies often have more responsibility than traditional babysitters.

Fun W-2 Jobs That Pay Well

Several “traditional” jobs are fun and pay well. Choose one of these options if you like the idea of a set salary and benefits to go along with it. 

39. Art or Music Therapist 

Average pay: $24/hr.

Fun component: Use art or music to heal.

Art and music therapists use their medium to help patients heal from various physical or emotional injuries. 

Find work in a rehab center, daycare center, senior living facility, or similar. You will require a degree for these types of positions. 

40. Toy Designer

Average pay: $75k/yr.+

Fun component: Get paid to create fun!

As a Toy Designer, you’ll work at companies such as Hasbro and spend your days creating fun and exciting new toys. Need I say more? Some design education is typically required.

41. Cruise Director

Average pay: $50k/yr.+

Fun component: Spend your days on a cruise ship ensuring people have fun

As a Cruise Director, your job is to plan events and activities for visitors to the ship you work on. 

Most positions require a B.A. in Theater, Performing Arts, Entertainment Management, or similar.

42. Video Game Designer

Average pay: $66,585/yr.

Fun component: Create and play video games.

If you love gaming, you might find your happy place in a career as a video game designer. Spend your days designing games and playing until you work out all the bugs.

A Computer Science or similar degree is often required for these jobs.

There you have it – our list of fun jobs that pay well. Which one would you choose? While no job is perfect, if you’re feeling stuck at a job you hate, remember that you have options. If you’re not sure where to start, here’s some advice on how to pick the right side hustle. As you open yourself up to the possibility of change, you might be surprised by the opportunities you find.

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About Laurie Blank

Laurie Blank is a blogger, freelance writer, and mother of four. She’s psyched about teaching others how to manage their money in a way that aligns with their values and has been quoted in Bankrate.

She's a licensed Realtor with Edina Realty in Minneapolis, Minnesota (also licensed in Wisconsin too) and has been freelance writing for over six years.

She shares powerful insights on her blog, Great Passive Income Ideas, that will show you how you can create passive income sources of your own.

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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