Thinking Outside The Box: The Rise of Unconventional Jobs

When you were a kid, you probably thought you would be an astronaut, professional athlete, or actor. But, over time most of us come to terms with the fact that we need a normal, stable job to pay the bills.

However, that might be changing. Unconventional jobs are on the rise as more people are pursuing their dreams and landing jobs with titles like “Art Therapist,” “Childbirth Coach,” and “Toy Designer.”

These unconventional jobs can also pay well — especially if you are working for yourself. All it takes is a little self-belief, luck, and the desire to achieve great things.

Guest post by Katie Brenneman. Image by SnapwireSnaps


Toy Designer

If you ever watched ABC’s “The Toy Box,” then you’ll know that a career in toy design is exciting and rewarding. As a toy designer, you’ll be tasked with designing the next big thing in Toys ‘R’ Us or Mattel catalogs.

Most toy designers have a background in engineering and design. You should familiarize yourself with 3D modeling programs, too, as you may need to pitch ideas using 3D-printed toys.

On average, toy designers make a salary of $73,000. So, if you want to bring home a great wage while dreaming up designs that kids will love, then this may be the role for you.


Childbirth Coach 

A childbirth coach helps parents navigate the labor process during pregnancy. As a childbirth coach, you’ll be expected to act as a calming presence in the room. You’ll also liaise with other medical professionals, like OBGYNs and Birthing Center Staff, to help mothers have the childbirth they want.

You’ll help with some tasks related to childbirth, too. You might, for example, help the expectant mother stay hydrated and nourished if the childbirth process is extended. You’ll also be equipped with supportive techniques to help the mother during childbirth. Childbirth coach salaries range between $61,000 – $83,000.


Art Therapist

Art therapy is used to treat psychosocial conditions like anxiety, stress, and depression. It’s rooted in the idea that we can all benefit from creative expression. There are many different forms of art therapy, too. There’s nothing wrong with leading therapy sessions with paints and a canvas, but you can also explore ideas like dance therapy, music therapy, or writing therapy.

Becoming an art therapist does require some training. You’ll need to become a certified therapist in your state and should register with the Art Therapy Credentials Board. You’ll also need to constantly hone your craft, as the issues that folks bring to art therapy are bound to change over the years.

The average art therapist’s salary is $58,000 per year. While this isn’t the highest-paid job on this list, it still resembles a great income while you get to help folks navigate challenges in their lives.


Pest Control Tech

Pest control might sound like a hard way to make a living. However, the days of climbing into crawl spaces and catching vermin are largely over. Instead, a pest control technician’s role is to

treat infested homes and buildings with a series of different chemicals and fumigation techniques.

You will also have to catch live animals from time to time. So, if you’re squeamish, this probably isn’t the role for you. However, if you love adventure and are a lover of animals both large and small, then you might get a real kick out of this unconventional job.

Pest control technician salaries are largely dependent on where you live. If you’re based in Wyoming, you may only bring home a salary of $38,000. But, if you’re living in New Hampshire, you can expect to earn a salary somewhere around $53,000.



Freelancing is on the rise around the globe. The pandemic forced many people to rethink their work lives and the rise of remote work promoted the services of freelancers. As a freelancer, you can complete almost any role you can think of. You can also live wherever you’d like, as many businesses hire freelancers that have taken up the digital nomad lifestyle.

Nevertheless, leaving your job and going freelance can be scary. You’re leaping out into the unknown and hoping that your skills and experience will help you land jobs and find clients.

If you’re on the fence about going freelance, you may wish to start a side hustle first. Starting a side hustle gives you the chance to see what life would be like as a freelancer before you give up your salaried position.

Additionally, you can always work for yourself instead of someone else by taking more orders, promoting your services on social media, and expanding your business operations. Growing organically is rewarding and allows you to be in the driver’s seat at all times. Besides — there are so many things freelancers can do!


Content Writer 

Almost every kid has dreams of becoming a writer. In reality, becoming a novelist or poet doesn’t (usually) pay. Most authors have to take up second jobs unless they’re able to crank out several novels a year.

The reality of the publishing industry doesn’t mean you have to give up on your dreams of becoming a professional wordsmith. You can still make a great living as a freelance content writer.

As a freelance content writer, you’ll be expected to work to tight briefs and meet clients’ deadlines without exception. Once you’ve built a portfolio, you can become a little pickier about the assignments you take on. After a few years of hard work, it becomes easier to specialize in a few topics you love. The average content writer’s salary is $50,000.

You can also work to your own schedule as a content writer. So, if the idea of writing about golf

or art from seven till noon sounds like a day well spent, then content writing might be the job for you.


Film Editor

Film editing is in high demand at the moment. Almost every business on the planet wants to produce high-quality visual content, but few have the in-house skills to make their productions look great.

As a film editor, you’ll be expected to produce high-quality content for social channels, TV adverts, and websites. You’ll need to have a firm grasp of editing software like Adobe Premier Pro. You should also have a creative flair, as many clients won’t know what they want until you show them your vision.

The average film editor’s salary is $53,000. However, the potential is there to earn more if you land bigger clients and are willing to take on multiple projects at the same time.



Programming is another role that can be completed from the comfort of your own home. Most programmers have a background in computer science, although you do not necessarily need a degree to start coding.

As a programmer, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with different programming languages. Knowing how to operate effectively in Python, JavaScript, or C# is essential if you want to land the maximum number of clients.

Programmers also have a lot of freedom to live and work as they wish. You may be able to set your own working hours and can usually work from anywhere that has a stable internet connection.

Programming is highly paid, too. Programmer salaries are largely depending on the language you use, but you can expect to earn an average salary of $69,000.



There’s never been a better time to make a career switch and start an unconventional job. You can find plenty of opportunities online as a freelancer and advertise your services for free via social media. If you still want a stable salary, you can always opt for a career in growing fields like art therapy or toy design.



Mark Munroe is the Creator and EIC of ADDICTED. He's ADDICTED to great travel, amazing food, better grooming & probably a whole lot more!