Ever wonder what it feels like to have that dream job you've always wanted? If that job is a travel writer, video game tester, competitive eater or food development tester, then it might be easier to live your dream than you think.
Travel writers are passionate about travelling. They love going to new locations around the globe and writing thorough and detailed descriptions about the places they visit. This job doesn't require any specific education or experience but it does help to have great writing skills. Travel publications pay writers to visit various destinations and write articles about these places.
The writer's pay includes travel and food costs plus hotel stay. The key to succeed in this business is to sharpen your skills by writing daily. You also need to be observant and detail-oriented when describing different kinds of scenery and conducting research. How much a travel writer can make really depends on the effort and time they put into their profession. Professional travel writers usually make an annual salary of around $35,000 (U.S.) to $65,000.
Video Game Tester
These folks are crucial to game development. They test how a game works to ensure that players have a good experience. Testers conduct video game quality assurance, and find problems such as bugs, errors or any other issues. Although it sounds like the kind of job where you would be sitting on a couch and "playing" different games for hours, it's not all fun and games. This job requires discipline to test the product and not just get a good score. Testers can work 60, 80 or even 100 hours, in the final week of development.
Furthermore, testers need to be computer savvy, pay attention to detail, and have great controller skills and hand-eye co-ordination. Entry level pay varies by company, but is usually around $10 to $12 per hour. (For more information, check out You Get Paid For That?!)
Getting paid to eat sounds like a wonderful way to make a living. That said, competitive eaters put a lot of effort into what they do. The job can be stressful and is not for everybody. Typically, professional eaters compete to see who can eat the most food in the least amount of time. However, for most people, this type of job is no cakewalk. Does eating 59 hot dogs in 10 minutes sound appealing to you? For some people, it's a great way to make a living, but personally, I don't think my stomach can handle that much food in one sitting!
The International Federation of Competitive Eating is the organization that officially oversees the rules and procedures for all professional eating contests. Competitive eaters attend competitions for all kinds of food. However, competitive eaters are probably best known for hot dog eating contests such as the Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs Fourth of July competition. They may also competitively eat pies, ravioli, hamburgers, chicken wings, grilled cheese sandwiches and a variety of other foods. Winners are awarded a monetary prize of several hundred or thousands of dollars, but sometimes they only get a title.
Food Taster/Taste Tester
Food tasters or food development testers don't have to wolf down tons of food in a matter of minutes, but they do eat and get paid for it. These individuals are responsible for coming up with new product ideas and ensuring that the food products of the company they work for stays ahead of the competition.
These "taste testers" makes sure that a company's food product meets certain standards of quality and stays true to original recipes. They test for colour, taste, texture, smell and ingredient distribution, and record or compile test results using graphs, charts or reports. Testers also compute moisture or salt content and percentages of ingredients by using mathematical and chemical procedures. Median annual wage for this job is about $35,000. (To learn more, read Five Careers That Let You Work Longer.)
The Bottom Line
Do you have the skills, knowledge, confidence and passion to turn your hobby into a successful career? If so, do your research and get started on achieving that goal. Then the next time someone tells you that you're wasting time playing video games, you can say that you're just preparing for your next job.