Contrary to what some might have you believe, a corporate career in a sky-rise tower isn’t what everyone dreams of. Indeed, a lot of people would prefer an easy job that pays well that doesn’t involve an office cubicle.
But what makes an easy job easy? Well, that’s completely subjective to each individual person, but it generally involves having a tolerable, low-stress and enjoyable role.
And while some professions require years of formal education and qualifications, others require natural talent, honed skills and on-the-job training. Incidentally, many jobs that fall into the latter category can also lead to a lucrative income.
So, if you’re looking for inspiration, here are 25 of some of the easiest and highest-paying jobs you could do!
25 easy and high-paying jobs
Curious to see which 25 straightforward jobs have made the cut? Let’s get into it!
25. Telephone interviewer
What they do: Telephone interviewers collect data by surveying people over the phone while following a script. Using their charming personality, they get respondents to participate in the research.
How to become: Typical requirements include excellent interpersonal skills, a working computer and headset, and a stable internet connection. So, if you’re chatty by nature and you like working from home, becoming a telephone interviewer might be right up your alley.
What they earn: $30,000 per year
24. Toll booth attendant
What they do: Sometimes also called toll collectors, toll booth attendants collect money, disburse change and issue receipts to drivers using toll roads. They usually work from toll booths situated at bridges, highways and national toll roads.
How to become: A toll booth collector exam will test your customer service abilities, and your mathematical and language skills. You’ll need to pass a drug test and a background check, too.
What they earn: $26,988 per year
23. House sitter
What they do: Do you prefer to work from home? As a house sitter, you’d literally get paid to live in someone else’s home while they’re away on holiday or traveling for business! The job entails looking after the property, doing house chores and taking care of pets and plants — something you’d normally do at your own house, but you get paid for it.
How to become: The first step is to sign up with a house-sitting website. Having a clean criminal record and great references are excellent ways of enhancing your online profile and communicating that you’re a trustworthy, reliable individual.
What they earn: $22,540 per year
22. Dog walker
What they do: Professional dog walking is becoming increasingly popular all over the world, offering dog lovers the chance to make a living by spending time with other people’s furry friends. While there’s a lot of walking and playing with dogs involved, pet owners might also require for their pets to be washed and fed.
How to become: Joining an online network of dog walkers is a good place to start. Although there are no specific qualifications you need, knowing first aid for animals and having a thorough understanding of animal behavior can make your profile stand out.
What they earn: $40,588 per year
21. Scale operator
What they do: Working as a scale operator mostly involves weighing trucks, inspecting paperwork and recording information in a computerized weighing system. Admittedly, this isn’t the most exciting of options, but there’s little hustle involved, as well as good pay for your efforts.
How to become: All you need to become a scale operator is a high school diploma and a driver’s license. Once you’ve received your on-the-job training, you’ll be good to go!
What they earn: $40,704 per year
20. Swimming pool technician
What they do: Swimming pool technicians are responsible for keeping pools clean and restoring the pH balance of the water where needed. Their role also involves installing and servicing pool equipment and repairing cracks and leaks.
How to become: If you love working outdoors and enjoy manual labor, then you could earn big bucks as a swimming pool technician, especially during peak season. On-the-job training is typically provided — just make sure you know how to swim!
What they earn: $40,564 per year
19. Video game tester
What they do: Contrary to popular belief, video game testers don’t just spend their days leisurely playing video games all day. They carefully test new games before they hit the market, checking for any bugs, spelling mistakes, plot inconsistencies, or problems with the sounds or graphics.
How to become: For many video game fanatics, getting paid to play video games is the ultimate next-level (pun intended) job. To get started, a game tester needs to have great attention to detail, solid communication skills and a love for gaming.
What they earn: $50,000 per year
What they do: Don’t get us wrong, working as a sommelier does require extensive knowledge of wine varieties, but for the true wine connoisseurs out there, this should be child’s play! One of the least stressful professions on this list, sommeliers typically work in high-end restaurants as wine stewards, recommending wine selections to patrons and curating the restaurant’s wine lists.
How to become: Did you know that sommelier certifications exist? While some people go to wine school, others become sommeliers through frequent wine tasting, lots of relevant reading, and knowledge gained through years of experience as fine dining servers.
What they earn: $57,516 per year
17. Personal trainer
What they do: Personal training is a physically demanding job that requires both skills and knowledge to perform your duties successfully. Primarily, they are tasked with designing workout programs, helping clients meet their fitness goals, and providing guidance for safe and proper use of gym equipment.
How to become: Though a bachelor’s degree in exercise science may sometimes be required, a high school diploma and personal trainer certification is typically sufficient. CPR and AED certifications are also necessary, as they teach trainers how to react in medical emergencies.
What they earn: $41,488 per year
16. Personal stylist
What they do: If fashion is your passion, then you could be helping less stylish souls by curating their wardrobe. Essentially, this means getting paid to go shopping and assembling different outfits — something that should come naturally to a fashionmonger.
How to become: Competition for fashion stylist jobs can get fierce! Any relevant experience, such as working in retail and being familiar with styling products and methods, will come in handy. If you’ve ever worked behind the scenes for a photoshoot, even better!
What they earn: $56,712 per year
15. Ice cream tester
What they do: Is this the best job in the world?! Being an ice cream tester is just as fun as it sounds. Essentially, your job is to come up with new flavors and check the quality of existing products, which involves examining the texture, smell, appearance and overall taste of every scoop.
How to become: If you have plenty of imagination and an objective palette, this could be a piece of cake (or a scoop of ice cream) for you! Meanwhile, having a background in food science and product development could elevate your career from a novice tester to a full-time professional.
What they earn: Variable
14. Professional bridesmaid
What they do: Would you believe us if we told you that you could make a living as a bridesmaid? Well, you can! The role involves carrying out regular bridesmaid duties, like assisting with wedding planning, helping the bride get ready on her big day and appeasing drunken relatives.
How to become: A quick Google search, and you’ll discover that there are websites for hiring out bridesmaids. To join an online service like that, some qualities you need to have include excellent people skills, an energetic personality and the ability to maintain a cheerful attitude, even under stress.
What they earn: Variable
13. Waterslide tester
What they do: That’s right: you can get paid to ride waterslides! As a waterslide tester, your mission is simple: ride waterslides to make sure they’re equally safe and fun.
How to become: While it does require physical stamina, courage and excellent attention to detail, you don’t need any other official training, and you can begin the role without prior experience.
What they earn: Variable
12. Fortune cookie writer
What they do: Have you ever wondered who’s behind the cryptic riddles inside your fortune cookies? Well, that would be the work of a fortune cookie writer!
How to become: While you do need a dash of creativity and ingenuity to come up with witty one-liners, a fortune cookie writer’s job is pretty easy, and quite fun, too. Though these writers often work as freelancers, they may also get hired by a company to come up with these short, prophetic remarks.
What they earn: $52,060 per year
11. Food critic
What they do: The unrevoked nemesis of chefs and restaurateurs, food critics receive a handsome salary by tasting restaurant dishes and sharing their critique with the world. It can be one of the most competitive career paths to tap into, but the work becomes a piece of cake once you manage to build a name for yourself.
How to become: As food critics often write for magazines, blogs or websites, a bachelor’s degree in journalism or English may be required. You can also start practicing your writing and reviews by creating your own blog. Most food critics who blog use CMS platforms like WordPress, Joomla and HubSpot, and start growing their authority by sharing their posts to different channels.
Culinary schools can also equip critics with in-depth knowledge around flavor profiles, cooking techniques and food safety, which is also needed!
What they earn: $43,894 per year
10. Product tester
What they do: We all know that before a new product or service hits the market, someone needs to test it. Could that be you? This might not be your regular 9-to-5 gig, but it’s definitely one of the easiest jobs you can do to earn an income. All you need is to put products to the test and share your notes with the product research company. The best part is that you usually get to keep the products you’ve tested!
How to become: First, you must apply to work with a market research company. If you fit the right target profile for a particular product, let’s say a makeup set, you’ll be sent the product and asked to evaluate it. Once you provide your feedback, you get paid.
What they earn: $46,027 per year
9. Personal driver
What they do: Are you usually the designated driver within your friend group? Well, the good news is that you could be earning a lucrative salary while driving other people around. Your main job will involve transporting passengers from one location to another in a safe and timely manner.
How to become: Personal drivers usually get hired by companies that provide chauffeur services, upon completing a driving test. Excellent driving skills, a clean driving record and good time management skills are a must.
What they earn: $40,600 per year
8. Technical writer
What they do: If you’re something of a wordsmith, the job of a technical writer is a straightforward career option. These writers use technical and product information to compile documents, guides and manuals that are concise, logical and easy to follow for every reader.
How to become: Most of the time, companies choose candidates with a bachelor’s degree in English or communications. In some cases, another requirement may be to have knowledge of a particular field, such as information technology.
What they earn: $65,215 per year
7. Golf ball diver
What they do: While they generally belong under the commercial diver category, golf ball divers get handsomely paid to retrieve submerged golf balls from water hazards (that’s golf speak for small ponds).
How to become: If that sounds like something you could do, you just need a certificate for unrestricted scuba diving and sound physical health. Some golf ball divers work independently, while others work for companies that provide golf ball retrieval services to golf courses.
What they earn: Variable
6. Power plant operator
What they do: Power plant operators are responsible for powering thousands of homes and businesses with electricity. And while this is a rather noble task, it mostly involves flipping switches and adjusting controls to regulate power flow. In other words, it’s another of those easy jobs that pay really well!
How to become: All you need to become a power plant operator is a high school diploma before undergoing on-the-job training. A lot of the time, companies might require a background check as well as drug and alcohol tests.
What they earn: $72,110 per year
5. Food stylist
What they do: If you have an eye for detail and a love for food, then this job might be right up your alley. Food stylists work with marketers, advertisers and photographers to create food displays and video demonstrations to support product sales. This is a brilliant opportunity if you have an artistic flair and would enjoy a career in the food industry.
How to become: To become a food stylist, you’ll need to build a solid portfolio and gain a deep understanding of your subject — in this case, food in all its forms. Knowing how long different ingredients will hold and having the right equipment to keep them looking fresh is essential!
What they earn: $64,768 per year
4. Editorial analyst
What they do: We’ve all wished that we could get paid to binge-watch our favorite TV shows, and thanks to Netflix, it’s finally possible! A dream job for many, editorial analysts get paid to watch original Netflix productions for about 20 hours a week, while tagging, annotating and analyzing movie and TV content.
How to become: An education in film, good writing skills, attention to detail and proficiency using publishing tools are desired. If you’ve got what it takes, go on and submit your application!
What they earn: $59,252 per year
3. Cruise ship entertainer
What they do: In the simplest of terms, cruise ship entertainers get paid to go on cruises. Of course, you’ll be expected to entertain guests during specific times, but you’ll have the rest of the day to yourself to lounge by the pool or do whatever else takes your fancy. Best of all, your meals, accommodation and travel expenses are usually covered by the cruise line!
How to become: To find work as a cruise ship entertainer, you can go via an entertainment agency or apply directly with a cruise line. Those who stand out are invited to audition, so learn your act off by heart and go dazzle your audience!
What they earn: $52,115 per year
2. Voice actor
What they do: Voice actors are exactly what they sound like: they read scripts (from films to commercials and video games to audiobooks) aloud and get paid for it. Of course, voice acting does require skill and certain dramatic techniques, but it can also be a pretty stress-free job that you can do from the comfort of your home recording studio.
How to become: To start, invest in good audio recording equipment to produce high-quality demos at home. Consistently attending auditions and updating your demos with your best and latest audio clips will increase your chances of impressing producers.
What they earn: $48,980 per year
1. Professional cuddler
What they do: Professional cuddlers, also known as touch therapists, spend their days talking to, and holding hands with and hugging clients to offer them emotional support. Although far from a conventional office job, it is a real occupation that pays well: a famous cuddler, Robin Marie, has an annual salary of $40,000!
How to become: ’Tis the year 2023, and there seem to be courses for everything these days. It’s no surprise, then, that professional cuddler certifications do exist, and you’ll possibly need one to start your own cuddling business or work for an existing one.
What they earn: Variable
Looking at this list of 25 simple jobs that pay well might have sparked some questions for you. Let’s answer a few common ones below!
Is there really such a thing as an easy job?
Let’s face it: working full-time can get challenging and tiring, regardless of what you do. Being a fortune cookie writer, for example, might be more straightforward and less mentally and physically demanding than being a surgeon, but the repetition of it might end up frustrating you or even leading to burnout. Consider your needs and preferences, and choose accordingly!
Do you need experience to land an easy job?
It depends what job you’ve got your eye on. Typically, the higher paying the job, the more experience you’re going to need to justify what you charge for your service. For example, a personal trainer who’s only just starting out is unlikely to start making as much as a fitness expert who’s been in the game for much longer.
Are qualifications required for a simple high-paying job?
Again, the answer is that it depends! Some of the jobs listed above, like the technical writer role, do require qualifications, while others, like the voice actor role, come with no formal degree requirements. Having a strong personal brand and receiving some type of certification or training will typically set you apart from the competition, though.
Can you earn $100,000 a year without a degree?
You can, although in most cases you’ll need to work for many years and make a name for yourself first. For example, if you start out as a telemarketer, then become a sales manager a few years later, and then start working for the tech industry, you could make $100,000 a year as a technical sales manager. The path will most probably be long!
Can you advance your career with a simple job?
Certainly. Any job you do, whether that’s operating a cash register or running a library, is bound to teach you technical and soft skills which can come in handy further down the line. Most skills are transferable, meaning they can be applied in different settings; so, even if you change career paths, your diverse skill set and experience are going to come with you.
According to the Harvard Business Review, high workloads and low salaries are among the most common factors that lead to burnout. Choosing a simple job, therefore, that pays big bucks and isn’t too stressful is a good way to spare yourself the uncomfortable symptoms of burning out at work.
As we’ve seen, although most of these jobs are not the most conventional career paths, they certainly can be both fun and lucrative. So, if you’re looking for an occupation that will keep you on your toes, this list will definitely come in handy!
Which of these easy, high-paying jobs takes your fancy? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!
Originally published on March 20, 2017. Updated by Electra Michaelidou.