Looking for a dull well paying job with good hours
November 11, 2004 10:33 AM   Subscribe

Since the cool jobs suck and pay badly, which less exciting jobs pay really well and have decent hours? Do you have to move to Nebraska? [please add comments so there will be more inside]
posted by b1tr0t to Work & Money (17 answers total)
Apparently (and I know a few) being an Insurance Salesman gives you a base salary plus commission, and if you're successful (rare) you could double what you make on sales. If you're selling long term policies, you get money as long as the policy is active.

It's also one of those work as hard as you want to jobs. You could bust your ass and make some dough or wake up at noon and only pound the pavement 4 days a week.
posted by Stan Chin at 10:39 AM on November 11, 2004

Works well unitl the attorney general decides he doesn't like you.

Ironically, I ran into a Marsh IT worker on a flight the day before the spitzer news broke. The next day I was about to send my resume off when the news popped up. doh!
posted by b1tr0t at 10:48 AM on November 11, 2004

If you have a doctorate in economics you can go up to the stand and be the guy who determines the amount of money should be awarded in a wrongful death. It pays very well for the time you put into it versus the money you get out. Not exciting or glamorous but you get to decide on which cases you want to take.
posted by geoff. at 10:51 AM on November 11, 2004

which less exciting jobs pay really well and have decent hours?

can you explain your concept of "pay really well" and "decent hours"? My experience is that these mean significantly different things to different people...
posted by tuxster at 10:56 AM on November 11, 2004

Funeral director. All those baby-boomers will be dying soon.
posted by grumblebee at 10:57 AM on November 11, 2004

Explain "cool". I don't think it's cool jobs that have bad hours; it's new companies that can get away with modern slavery. When I worked at a start-up, the hours were insane, and only through bad management. When I moved to a company that's been around for 300 years and has a good union, I found myself working 32 hour weeks. The second job is far, far cooler. (Journalism).
posted by bonaldi at 11:11 AM on November 11, 2004

Good actuaries make a great deal of money, and if you like statistics and looking for patterns, you will probably enjoy it.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 11:16 AM on November 11, 2004

As grumblebee noted, you can't go wrong catering to the needs of the baby-boomers. Retirement services and funeral homes are the next big wave.

I have a friend who worked at a large company, always volunteering for every crappy, tedious, thankless task that came along. As time went by (about 5 years), she became the only person who knew how to do said tasks. She quit the company and contracted back to them at about 6 times her old salary. This being a stupid company as well as a large one, they never bothered to train others to do her job, so she renegotiated better terms each year. She works a 40-hour week, has at least a couple million salted away, and will retire next year at 40. It wasn't the most exciting work, but now she's free to do the things she likes.
posted by joaquim at 11:52 AM on November 11, 2004 [1 favorite]

less exciting jobs pay really well and have decent hours

Banking is good. Insurance is great. Accounting is OK, but not great. Real estate can be great if you're in a high-occupancy market (Boston, NYC, parts of Florida, etc.) A lot of college students become a RE agents after graduating because it's dead-simple to rent crummy places to college students, and the commission is enough to live pretty well (if you've got the right attitude/lack of personality).

Do you have to move to Nebraska?

Well, it worked for me. Seriously (NYC -> Boston -> Nebraska). It's just cheap here. As in, "able to afford to buy your own home and two cars with just one breadwinner and a stay-at-home-wife" kind-of cheap. You can live comfortably on $25k a year. If you've got two people sharing a place, $20k a year. That includes cable, food, rent, high-speed internet, car, heat & electricity.

If you were to get an insurance job making around $45k/yr. (and there are TONS of 'em out here), you could live in the lap of luxury and still buy a home (as in, completely paid off) in 5 years.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:50 PM on November 11, 2004

I've always liked where I live (Winnipeg, Canada). My girlfirend can vouch for the fact that I bitch constantly that my job isn't cool enough (i.e. the bastards won't give me CVS access, blah blah blah), but I'm 26, work a 35 hour work week, have a house with huge oak trees, and I've got enough money to say 'I think I'll spend the next month in Korea.'
posted by sleslie at 4:53 PM on November 11, 2004

I was going to say 'actuary' but Joe beat me to it. Definitely the way to go if you aren't afraid of a little math.

Easiest money I ever made was doing database conversions, though.
posted by Space Coyote at 5:19 PM on November 11, 2004

public school teacher. decent money, insurance, great hours, weekends off, holidays off, and summers off. If you get the proper certifications some states will recognize your certificate and allow you to move with realative ease.
posted by busboy789 at 6:07 PM on November 11, 2004

You need a thick skin for public schoolteacher though. Not just to deal with abuse from students: to deal with abuse between students, thickheadedness from the institution, and finally, watching good kids fail.
posted by weston at 7:59 PM on November 11, 2004

Math, particularly finance math, is easy. Tripple line integrals are a pain, but it is the algorithm that is difficult not the underlying math. What sort of education do you need to get into actuarial work?
posted by b1tr0t at 10:03 PM on November 11, 2004

Agree with weston about teaching. You also have to (usually) get a Masters Degree either before you're hired or (for example, in NYC) within a few years. Certification isn't very difficult, but actually finding a position can be. It's going to be hard financially as a teacher unless you're living in a very rich neighborhood that pays their teachers well (think: high property tax places) or you're in a state where you can live on $25k a year (think: nowhere very exciting).

But that's the easy part. The hard part is, as weston said, the emotional toll it's going to have on your life. Kids suck these days. Really, I know everyone says that about kids once they reach 25, but seriously -- these kids really are living in a fucked generation, and it sucks having to teach them. If you're teaching high school, you have to deal with this ever-present nihilism most of the kids have about their lives. Go younger and you have to battle with parents, which are even more detestable then their offspring. And the only parents that seem to care about their kids are the ones calling to complain that you assign too much homework. Then there is the ever-present bureaucracy weighing on your shoulders.

And you think you'll get off summer, only to be conned into helping run Summer Stock or something equally detestable. But you'll do it anyway because, frankly, you need the cash.

The intangible rewards, however, can far outweigh the drawbacks if you are of a certain mindset. If you like those moments when you actually connect to young minds, where some kid hands in an essay that actually surprises you, when a kid you've been tutoring on the side starts to improve his grades -- the people who end up being good teachers are the ones who go in it for these reasons, not because they'd like to have their summers off.

I still say stick with insurance. You can buy your own home in a few years.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:33 PM on November 11, 2004

Government work can be cool. I run a website that gets a half-million hits a day, on average, close to a million on busy days. When folks find out which site I run, they treat me like a rock star (well, ok, not really, but I do get "oh, COOL!" a lot). Pay is good, good benefits, 40-hour week, no weekends or nights. And I get to live in DC.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:43 AM on November 12, 2004

Ditto on the government work. You can be an anaylst, a programmer, an auditor, a lawyer, etc. Work for federal or state government, or even a contractor, and you can find sane hours at a decent salary.
posted by callmejay at 10:19 AM on November 12, 2004

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