When it comes to lists of the best jobs, a few fields tend to get all the attention. By now, it shouldn’t be news to anyone that people with programming and coding skills are in high demand, or that physicians make a lot of money. But the universe of great jobs isn’t limited to software engineers and doctors.
The truth is, there’s a whole world of exciting career paths out there, especially if you’re a young person trying to decide what kind of job is right for you. Unfortunately, many of them are overlooked because people simply don’t know they’re out there. Reddit users recently shared some of their picks for overlooked jobs in this thread. Among the jobs they suggested college kids consider were wastewater treatment (“good gig, pays well and there’s tons of job opportunities,” according to a user who works in this field), technical writing (“English majors CAN get jobs”), and logistics and supply chain management (“Half the people I speak to about what I do have absolutely no idea that it even exists”).
Those jobs are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to overlooked careers. We’ve rounded up 10 more under-the-radar jobs that offer strong growth opportunities for people with the right skills and training. Check out this list of great jobs you may not have considered yet, along with what they pay.
Never heard of a perfusionist? You’re not alone. But this job, which involves running the heart-lung bypass machine during surgeries, is in high demand. The Milwaukee School of Engineering, one of fewer than two-dozen schools in the U.S. offering accredited training in this specialty, says its grads have a 100% job placement rate and earn starting salaries between $75,000 and $100,000 per year.
2. Wind turbine technician
Wind power is a growing part of the U.S. energy supply, and more technicians are needed to install, maintain, and repair turbines. The number of jobs in the industry is expected to double by 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), making it the fastest-growing career in the country. Windtech jobs pay $51,050 on average and don’t always require a college degree.
3. Elevator repairer or installer
When you step inside an elevator, you want to be confident that it won’t malfunction. Elevator repairers and installers keep lifts, escalators, and moving walkways running, and they earn a good salary for doing so. The average elevator repair person earns more than $80,000 per year. The number of jobs is predicted to grow by 13% by 2024, significantly faster than average expected job growth. A college degree isn’t needed to do this job, but you will need to complete an apprenticeship. In 35 states, elevator repairers and installers must be licensed.
4. Genetic counselor
Medical advances mean it’s easier than ever to screen people for genetic disorders. Genetic counselors are trained medical professionals who know how to interpret genetic test results and help people make decisions about their health. Jobs in this field are expected to grow by 29% between now and 2024, as 700 new positions are added. Genetic counselors earn $72,090 per year, on average. To become a genetic counselor you’ll need to earn master’s degree from an accredited program, complete clinical training, and become board-certified, according to the National Society of Genetic Counselors.
5. Orthotist or prosthetist
An aging baby boomer population at risk for heart disease and diabetes (two leading causes of limb loss) means there’s more demand than ever for orthotists and prosthetists. These medical professionals help design and fit artificial limbs and braces for patients. Jobs in this field are expected to grow by 23% by 2024, and the average salary is $64,430 per year.
If you think careers for cartographers peaked during the Age of Exploration, think again. Mapmakers are actually in high demand, according to the BLS. The number of jobs for cartographers and photogrammetrists (who make measurements from photographs) is expected to grow by 29% in the coming years. You typically need a bachelor’s degree in a subject like geography, geomatics, cartography, or surveying to land a job in this field, which pays $61,880 per year, on average.
7. Biomedical engineers
Biomedical engineers may design artificial organs, develop new surgical and therapeutic devices, engineer biomaterials, or work on any number of other projects that allow them to “use their engineering and science backgrounds to design the next generation of systems and treatments that will advance the quality of life for patients,” according to the University of Texas Department of Biomedical Engineering. The wide-ranging field is one of the fastest growing in the U.S., and the number of jobs is expected to grow by 23% by 2024. They typically earn about $86,000 per year.
8. Commercial diver
Commercial diver is one of the fastest-growing occupations in the U.S., with the number of jobs in the field expected to increase by 37% by 2024. Many commercial divers work in the offshore oil industry, but others inspect and repair bridges, dams, and other underwater structures. Salaries start at $40,000 per year and can climb to $100,000 for experienced divers, according to DiveTraining Magazine. If you’re interested in this field, it’s best to start young, as there are fewer job opportunities for divers over the age of 35.
9. Medical illustrator
Not all careers in the sciences have to involve time in a lab. Creative people who also have an interest in medicine or biology can consider a career as a medical illustrator. “[M]edical illustrators serve as visual translators of complex technical information to support education, medical and life science research, patient care, patient education, public relations, and marketing objectives,” the Association of Medical Illustrators (AMI) explained.
Medical illustrators typically have a degree from an accredited graduate program and can earn between $62,000 and $100,000 per year, according to AMI. The job outlook is strong, since relatively few people are trained in the field.
10. Packaging engineer
If you’ve ever wondered how Ikea is able to flat-pack all its products so efficiently, look to a packaging engineer. These are the people who design packaging for everything from food products to electronics. Packaging engineers make around $88,000 per year, according to Glassdoor. A handful of colleges and universities in the U.S. offer specialized programs in packaging science, including Clemson University, Michigan State, and the University of Wisconsin-Stout.