There doesn't seem to be a place for fun between the gray, black and navy blue of the coffee-stained nine-to-five lifestyle. But where is the law that says being successful and earning a substantial salary means buckling down to the corporate world? A career as a music producer, dancer, choreographer or park ranger offers an alternative career choice with competitive salaries.
Music Production and Recording Arts
If you love listening and creating music and sounds, why not make the hobby a super-cool job. A degree in music production and recording arts is essential to work in music in the entertainment industry. A formal education teaches standard tasks, jobs and insider knowledge. Students learn modern technical skills, record, arrange, compose, mix and market music sounds. From film sound design, media, video games and electronic music remixing, music production can virtually translate to any area of entertainment.
Graduate with a portfolio and experience that self-taught people don't always get. Many NY and CA music colleges offer degree programs as well as internship and industry networking opportunities. A career in music and sound production does not necessarily translate to a 9-5 lifestyle. Many producers work on their time and from home.
Music production is a creative process, but you can definitely go too far. Example: Dewy Cox.
Free spirits do not have to restrict the fluidity of their lives within the confines of a cubicle when they "grow up." A degree in dance can lead to a consistent and profitable job as a performer, teacher, choreographer or worker in art administration. Hunter College Dance Company offers classes in hip-hop, folk, jazz, African, ballet, post-modern, modern and yoga. Formal education provides awareness in areas of study like history, kinesiology and anatomy. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2010 dancers made a median hourly wage of $13.16 and choreographers $18.11. The BLS said that employment for dancers and choreographers is expected to grow 18 percent, an average growth rate.
Diversity is key to a successful dance career, but hopefully your classes aren't as weird as this.
If your idea of heaven is the open air and natural smell of the great outdoors, a career as a park ranger allows a person to freely explore and protect the natural habitats they love. Park rangers help with the conservation of federally-operated natural areas. Currently, the National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior report they employ 3,861 park rangers. According to the Houston Chronicle, The U.S. National Park Service hires up to 10,000 seasonal or temporary employees and 16,000 permanent employees annually.
Qualifications, education and training for park rangers vary by position and state. A guide may only need a high school diploma and some general work experience, where a ranger, who gives presentations to the public and schools, may need a background in data research and education. The California Department of Parks and Recreation requires two years of study from an accredited state school along with additional training courses. Other states, like Washington, offer entry-level positions that provide on-the-job training.
Although most park rangers will never have to outsmart dinosaurs, Will Ferrell is the best ranger ever.
A native of Louisiana, James is a DJ and freelance writer who covers entertainment and film.