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Imagine getting paid to play all day. While no job is perfect, these 12 jobs have a certain element of playtime that make them uniquely fun.

12 Jobs Where You Play All Day

Article Sources

Sources:

  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/
  2. Work for play: Careers in video game development, Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2011/fall/art01.pdf
  3. Salary Data & Career Research Center, PayScale, http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Country=United_States/Salary
  4. Interview with Jeffery Lo, July 29, 2015
  5. Interview with Kristen Brabant, July 29, 2015
  6. Interview with Sarah Johnson, September 4, 2015
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As much as we may dream about it, no job is 100 percent fun and games. There are, however, a number of well-paying, respectable careers out there that have a particular knack for "play" — both literally and figuratively.

While many of the jobs we’ve classified here as "playful" are still demanding and certainly involve elements that are less than entertaining, hands-on fun is an essential part of their job description. We picked jobs across a variety of fields, each with its own unique aspect of play, a decent salary and opportunities for career growth. All salary data was reported by PayScale.

Here are our favorite play-all-day jobs we bet you’ll want to change careers for:


Casting Director

CastingDirector-min

Photo Credit: Jeffery Lo in rehearsal directing the play, "The Drunken City" for the Renegade Theatre Experiment with actors Max Tachis and Hannah Larson (Photo taken by Tasi Alabastro)

  • Degree Level: Bachelor's degree (theater, film and media, English)
  • Average Salary: $60,805

Whether in film or theater, the casting director's job is full of "play" — literally. The casting director at a theater company often helps to manage the production of plays year-round, in addition to casting and working with the actors. While some of the job typically involves being in front of a computer and working on budgets, there is a good amount of fun to be had when it comes to doing what the job is named for: casting the plays.

"Watching talented people share their creativity and artistry never gets old for me," says Jeffery Lo, Casting Associate and Company Manager at TheaterWorks Silicon Valley. His favorite part of the job is reading the scripts and getting to watch actors bring each role to life in a unique way.


Publicist

Celebrity

Photo Credit: Alex Spieller at the People's Choice Awards with Bellamy Young from Scandal

  • Degree Level: Bachelor's degree (public relations, journalism, communications, English)
  • Average Salary: $43,480

Hanging out with celebrities and talking gossip may not be "play" for everyone, but if you're a social butterfly who loves communication and pop culture, this could be right up your alley. Celebrity publicists are responsible for the media and public relations for anyone in the limelight; whether it's a musician, an actor, or the crazy newcomer from the latest season of reality TV, clients need help to maintain their public image. Press junkets, red carpet events, social media account management, press releases, public appearances, coffee dates and general personal assistance all could fall under the responsibility of the publicist.


Musician

Musician

Photo Credit: Bassist Adam Lowdermilk with his band Kuckaw at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco

  • Degree Level: High school diploma or equivalent (BLS recommends a bachelor's degree in music performance or theory for classical musicians or opera singers)
  • Average Salary: $39,899

With the advent of the Internet and other new technologies, it's a very interesting time to be in the music industry. There are so many ways to make a successful career playing music, whether it's starting your own band, writing songs for other people, or working as a studio musician. If music is your passion, getting paid for performing it can be a dream come true! However, like any skilled trade, being a professional musician takes an incredible amount of ambition, hard work and talent. It also makes a big difference if you know people in the business — networking is important for any career in the entertainment industry.


Hair Stylist

Hair Stylist

Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Mary Tamagno — @marydangerous

  • Degree Level: Postsecondary non-degree award (state license)
  • Median Annual Salary: $24,300

If you like to play with hair, this job could be a lot of fun. Hair stylists and barbers provide beauty services for clients, including washing, drying, styling and coloring. They may also be responsible for taking inventory and ordering supplies. While rates for these services tend to vary greatly, cosmetology has the potential to be a high-paying industry if you live in a large metro area, have the right skillset and can network to build a loyal client base. Those who have a lot of experience or a background in business management could even start their own business!


Game Tester

Game Tester

Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of GettyImages.com

  • Degree Level: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Median Salary: $12.32 hourly

Do you like video games? If so, how does getting paid to play unreleased video games sound to you? Somebody has to hunt down the bugs in a budding video game so they can be fixed, and that "somebody" is a game tester. Game testers play through brand-new games, sometimes multiple times at different stages of production, and report bugs or design flaws to programmers, designers or artists. Not only can this job be a blast in its own right — playing all the hit video games before they even come out — but it can give a feel for the game industry and the game production cycle. Game testers might be able to leverage their testing experience to jump to more hands-on gaming careers, such as designers or programmers!


Pediatric Physical Therapist

Pediatric Physical Therapist

Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Shadé Shelton and Kristen Brabant

  • Degree Level: Doctoral or professional degree (Doctor of Physical Therapy)
  • Median Annual Salary: $63,757

Possibly the strongest pick on our list in terms of salary and job growth (and, unfortunately, educational requirements), pediatric physical therapists get to play with kids all day while making a killer salary. "Pediatric PT (physical therapy) and OT (occupational therapy) is literally play time," says Kristen Brabant, a recent graduate of Chapman University in California. "The goals of therapy are to allow children with mobility dysfunction play in a safer way. It can be a lot of fun at times."

Unlike many of the jobs on this list, a pediatric PT has a clear educational path that requires a doctoral or professional degree and a state license to practice as a medical professional. But with 36 percent job growth from 2012-2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the investment could be well worth it. PTs often work with kids who have disabilities, or help kids rehabilitate from an injury or illness that's affected their mobility and/or motor skills.


Yoga Instructor

Yoga Instructor

Photo Credit: Instructor Ashley Corlis with a yoga class on the beach in Los Angeles -- @ashleycorlisyoga

  • Degree Level: High school diploma or equivalent (BLS recommends an associate or bachelor's degree in fitness or kinesiology)
  • Median Annual Salary: $34,817

There are many types of fitness instructors, and most tend to lead healthy lifestyles while getting to socialize with people all day. This can be a great recipe for a fun and happy career. Yoga instructors in particular may also specialize as life coaches, helping clients to recover from physical or emotional trauma. Their job responsibilities may include leading classes, planning events and staying involved with the community. It's also important that fitness instructors of all kinds are constantly learning new techniques and improving upon their practice — in other words, it's an important part of their job to go to fitness classes and conventions and keep learning more about what they love!


Art Director

Art Director

Photo Credit: Cartoonist Mike Gray sketching characters for a kid's game — @pencilforhire

  • Degree Level: Bachelor's degree (BLS recommends a master's degree to earn a manager position)
  • Median Annual Salary: $62,870

There are a number of different industries that require an art director, including film, theater, graphic design, video games and more. The art director is usually the head of the art department in a larger company, and typically helps manage large, collaborative projects. Working together with their team, art directors concept ideas, sketch out storyboards or comps, develop style guides, manage clients and freelance workers, plan out the budget and more. Combining the raw creative license of an artist's career with the teamwork and industry influence of a manager's career, art direction could be just the way to make your art pay.


Editor

Editor

Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of GettyImages.com

  • Degree Level: Bachelor's degree (English, journalism, writing)
  • Median Annual Salary: $50,560

If reading books, novels, magazines, online articles, newspapers, comic books or websites just like this one is a hobby of yours, then you might want to consider being an editor: the career where you get paid for reading someone's work and telling them what they did wrong! Any publication that involves a notable amount of writing needs an editor sitting by with red pen in hand (or with Track Changes turned on in Word) to edit that writing for grammar, clarity and tone. Think about what you most enjoy reading — romance novels? History books? Manga? Top 10 Lists on Buzzfeed? As an editor for those pieces, you can read your fill and keep coming back for more every day!


Ski Instructor

Ski Instructor

Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Jesse Chun — @chunner10

  • Degree Level: High school diploma or equivalent (some licensing or certification may be required)
  • Median Salary: $15.70 hourly

Part babysitter and part extreme sports professional, the careers of snowboard and ski instructors allow for endless fun during work hours. This is not to say this job doesn't have its own hardships and headaches: instructors need some amount of wilderness and survival skills in case of an emergency, and they're responsible for the safety of their group. Some days they'll need to work with clashing or unpleasant personality types, such as fussy kids or — even worse — fussy adults. But at the end of the day, if you love skiing, this job is one big playground. From days out on the bunny slopes helping 4-year-olds figure out skis for the first time, to every heart-pounding second spent shredding down black diamonds with advanced students, there's something to love about each day in this job.


Dog Walker

Dog Walker

Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Dan Byers, a dog walker in San Francisco — @slymongoose

  • Degree Level: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Median Salary: $13.13 hourly

If you've grown up with dogs — or maybe grown up always wishing you had a dog — then you might be interested to know that dog walkers spend lots of time literally playing with dogs. They may do private sessions with individual dogs, or take multiple dogs out for walks in a big group to help them all socialize. And if you work in a big city, where many of the dogs live in cramped apartments, demand and wages might be quite high. Once you build a sizable client base, other canine-based options might become available to you: you could learn how to handle behavioral issues and become a dog trainer, or acquire a few purebred breeds and go through the proper channels to start up a respectable dog breeding business.


Pastry Chef

Pastry Chef

Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of GettyImages.com

  • Degree Level: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Median Salary: $13.34 hourly

Baking is like magic. Take the right combination of powders and potions, apply heat and voila — a masterpiece emerges, smelling like heaven and tasting like sin. Who wouldn't want to spend their day whipping up these sweet treats, bringing a little joy into the world with every batch of strawberry shortcake, caramel flan or melon bread? With hard work, a little vision and a few creative recipes in your pocket, opportunities abound: you could work at a renowned restaurant or bakery; start your own patisserie or catering service; or even sell your creations online, working out of your own home! A career that is by turns ambitious, businesslike, creative and, of course, delicious, if you have a recipe to share with the world, becoming a pastry chef may be just the way to do it.


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