11 Everyday Jobs with Salaries That Will Surprise You

Without sitting down and counting them all, there are around 12,000 professions in the world.

That may or may not include the ones that people make up for themselves or occupations that may not exist very soon.

Each of these career paths will have something surprising and unique to offer – such as a degree you have to have, or a task you need to do.

What you won’t expect from these jobs below, however, is the salary – they are a BIG surprise! Number nine will make you CRINGE, while number 11 will have you questioning humanity.

1. Writer

Any journalist will tell you that if you want to get rich, you don’t become a journalist. Traditionally, it’s not the most well-paid profession, especially if you consider how stressful the role is.

However, becoming a writer opens the many doors of opportunity, and you aren’t limited to life as a newspaper reporter – as that’s a dying trade anyway.

You can write books like J.K Rowling and earn millions, create articles, advertisements, scripts, and more. You can then enjoy a healthy median salary of over $70,00 per year.

2. Web Designer

Imagine being paid to sit in your pajamas and create cool pictures on the computer? While the job of a web designer is a little more complicated, it does offer a generous salary without the need to put any clothes on.

While DIY websites are seeing the web designer become less in demand, it’s still a growing profession that offers a generous salary of close to $75,000 – and even more if you’re just that good. Even better, work from home with excellent job flexibility.

3. Motorcycle Mechanic

If sunshine on chrome is your alarm clock in the morning, then becoming a motorcycle mechanic is the profession for you.

And, if you are already spending all your free time tinkering on bikes, why not get paid for it? And, handsomely at that.

To dabble in motorcycle mechanics, your passion, you can earn over $40,000 per year or more, depending on the region. What’s more, it’s hardly a job if you love what you’re doing, right?

4. Fortune Cookie Writer

While not as common as it used to be, there is such a thing as being a fortune cookie writer.

Imagine spending your days writing out people’s fortunes – both witty and inspiring – while they dig into their evening meal? It’s a hard job, but someone’s got to do it.

To predict someone’s fortune inside a biscuit, you can even get paid to the tune of over $70,000, as well as health insurance, retirement savings, annual vacation, and more.

5. Food Critic

Did you know that you can be paid to eat food all day and tell people if it’s good or not? This everyday job has a surprising salary, given that the food is free and you get to be opinionated.

And, what’s more, people love reading what you have to say about delicious or disastrous food as well.

You can align yourself with the right people at a newspaper, get hired as a food critic, earn a decent income, and get paid to eat. It doesn’t get much better than that.

6. Makeup Artist

If you always felt sorry for the “starving artist,” you need to save your pity. Your artist friend is probably making more than you!

If you become a makeup artist, you get to prepare people for TV shows, movies, and theatre productions.

You also get to meet famous people while pretty much getting to paint and draw all day. Most people would call this a privilege rather than a job, but they can get paid over $60,000 to do it anyway!

7. Physician

The salary of a physician will surprise you, but not in the way that you think.

While they can earn the big bucks – to the tune of close to $200,000 per year, their crippling debt can make it a less than a desirable career choice.

What’s more, their $185,000 debt can take 30 years to pay off, while almost quadrupling in size during this time. They are also expected to work massive hours while literally holding someone’s life in their hands.

8. Actuary

We live in very uncertain times, with not every company entirely recovered from the 2008 economic collapse.

Therefore, the role of an actuary becomes all the more critical – and very desirable as a career.

An actuary can analyze your financial risk, work out whether it’s a good idea to do something or not, then set you on the path to making better business decisions. While there is a risk in the role itself, it can still earn you over $100,000 per year.

9. Podiatrist

If you ask us, they don’t get paid enough. Imagine spending all day treating bunions and ingrown toenails? The median salary of over $124,000 doesn’t like nearly enough when it comes to touching toe jams.

What’s more, you need to have a bachelor’s degree, undertake a residency program, attend a medical school and pass a licensing exam.

While you may get to help treat sprains, fractures, and breaks from time to time, it can seem like a very underwhelming job, even if most podiatrists are inclined to disagree.

10. Anesthesiologist

If you wanted to earn over $200,000 per year, then it might be time to become involved in a profession that’s as challenging to say as it is to train for: Anesthesiology.

An anesthesiologist is responsible for providing patients with enough medication, so they don’t feel pain during a surgical procedure. Sounds easy enough, right? That’s not all they do.

They must also offer pain management advice, deal with critical care patients, and keep a cool head in emergencies.

11. Food Service Workers

The income of a food service worker will surprise you – but not pleasantly. The last time you dined out, you would have noticed how hard your waiter, waitress, or cashier worked.

They would have made you feel welcome, waited on your table hand and foot, or served you with a smile.

They did it all for $23,000 per year or less. What’s even more surprising is that they often work harder than many other professions that earn three times as much, while working longer hours and with no benefits.


Are you surprised yet? Out of these 11 common careers, you will be surprised at how well – or how poorly – each worker is paid. Before you decide on your new career path, find out whether your career of choice is going to be worth it.

Do you want to hold lives in your hand for over $200,000 per year? Or, do you want to remove bunions for over $100,000?

Or, with no degree, do you want to work long hours for around $10 per hour in the food service industry?