These Jobs Pay Surprisingly More Than Most People Think They Do

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We all know of the well-recognized careers known to pay well, such as doctors, lawyers, surgeons, and pharmacists. While a lot of people dream of getting into these, there are actually other underlooked career paths that pay surprisingly well. 

One Reddit user made a post asking the subreddit’s members which unexpected careers paid well, and the masses’ responses came in as surprising. We have selected some of the responses that stood out from the thread. 

1. Closed Captioner Broadcaster

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Closed caption broadcasters enjoy a lot of benefits, but one that stands out is the good money they make. One of the people in the profession said, “I work at home as a closed captioner broadcaster for the News. I make my own schedule, making between $35-$65 per hour, depending on the job. Large investment to get started but significantly worth the payout.”

You, however, have to put in some decent work to get into the profession, as another closed caption broadcaster offered, “You have to go through a course. The course is $800 per month, and you work at your own pace. I worked while I did it at my main job, which took me about seven months to complete. Most people complete between six and nine months, though. Between the course and all the equipment, it’s about a $10,000 investment to start but very much worth it, and you invest back quickly.”

2. Airline Dispatcher

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This is undoubtedly one of the underlooked professions. When it comes to working for an airline, many people would imagine only the pilots and the engineers make good money, while airline dispatchers are earning well too. 

One commenter who learned how much the job pays said, “I had no idea what an airline dispatcher was, let alone how much money they get paid. Dispatchers at FedEx can make $150,000 per year or more. It also gives you a lot of options to advance at an airline, like being station chief at an airline.”

3. Court Reporter

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Court reporting is a position that often fades into the background in many court proceedings, but they enjoy many benefits, including flexible hours and good pay. One of the commenters offered, “Court reporting. Stenography is a tough skill, but many court reporters earn over $100k. And no college degree is required (although most CRs will need to be certified).”

To show the flexibility and the security the positions guarantee, one user said, “My mom has been a court reporter for maybe ten years, many of them freelance; she’s got a job with a county judge now, she gets like $60K salary and only has to go in to work when her judge has court 2 or 3 days a week. She also does a lot of freelance transcribing that brings in bank.” 

4. Technical Writing 

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If you can write about complex subjects such as medical procedures, computer appliances, and drug formulation while offering comprehensiveness and clarity, then working as a technical writer could be something that would make you good money. 

While a lot of time, people working as technical writers are professionals in specific subjects, there are certainly exceptions. 

One user said, “If you can take complex technical information and simplify it according to the reading audience, you can make well over $100K annually. People ridicule English degrees until they find out how much can be earned as a technical writer.”

5. Lineman 

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 While being a lineman is not for the faint-hearted or anyone afraid of heights, it can be an excellent opportunity to elevate your earnings. 

One user said, “Utility lineman. There is a developing shortage nationwide due to baby boomer retirements. It’s a well-paid base, and the overtime is fabulous.”

Another commenter offered the earning bracket: “I have a couple of friends who got into this after they left the military. They all make well over 100k. Storm seasons bring in tons of overtime. They’re all in their mid to late 20’s buying houses.”

6. HVAC Technicians

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HVAC technicians are trained to take different paths, including working in refrigeration, boilers, cooling towers, drafting, chillers, and in commercial and residential spaces.

People often underestimate how much they make, yet they are earning so well to retire early and do what they like. 

One commenter said, “The HVAC dude who used to come to my work to clean our furnaces made six figures and retired at 40. Now he lives in Mexico and teaches people to scuba dive.”

7. Truck Drivers

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It is common knowledge that truck drivers make a lot of money. But how good can it get? 

While long-distance truck drivers make good money, those who end up on unconventional paths are making better money. As one user said, “My friend’s uncle drives trucks for a few TV shows and brings in over $200k during filming season only. He picks up trailers, drives them to the scene, then chills during filming, then drives them back at the end of the day. Occasionally has to work weird and long hours, but he gets extra compensation for those times. And he gets fed two meals a day while working. And he gets to hang out with celebrities.”

8. Dental Hygienist 

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This is another profession that came as a surprise because people often know how well dental surgeons and dentists earn. Dental hygienists are often overlooked but take home good money too. 

One commenter who shed light on this said, “My wife is a dental hygienist; she makes $48 per hour.”

9. Self-Employed Cleaners

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Cleaning is typically an underpaid job, but there have been people who have broken the barriers and are now earning good money in the business. 

One user who offered insight into the business said, “Self-employed cleaning services. My parents were paid $35 an hour for cleaning a community center and $50 for cleaning offices. Eventually, my mom got good contacts and started cleaning managers’ offices from factories, Sacramento politicians, and their staff.” 

10. Gardeners

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One gardener in the comment section said, “I’m a gardener. There is a serious lack of folks willing to do manual labor outdoors year-round. Most commercial properties must maintain a certain amount of green area in our city. Hospitals and other places need legitimate crews to do the work professionally. As a result, we are in demand, and we get paid surprisingly well. No university education needed, low barrier to entry, great pay, and job security.”

This is one job where people make good money because the demand is higher than the supply. Only a few people are willing to get out and do the physical labor of gardening and maintaining flower beds and lawns. But those that do can make good money while at it. 

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This article was produced by Our Woven Journey.

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Demi Michele is a seasoned traveler, turned freelance writer. Having explored most states and ventured internationally, her love for outdoor cafes, new cuisines, and cultural immersion shines through her wide range of articles. Based in Texas with her family and two Scottish Terriers, Demi turns her adventures into captivating travel narratives to share with readers.