Three Best Kept Secret Jobs of 2009

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When I started college in 1998, the dot-com bubble was only an anxious froth. Computers were becoming increasingly popular and hardly a day went by when you didn’t hear about some hot new startup. They hadn’t really exploded yet, that wouldn’t be for another year, but everyone wanted to get into “computers.” The path to riches was paved not with cheese, as Feivel once thought, but with Internets and electronics.

Nowadays, computers are commonplace and while computer science and engineering still pepper the top job lists, there are a few jobs out there that you probably didn’t know paid as well as they do. Thanks to US News and World Reports, we now know eleven of them. I only looked at the more interesting ones.

Creative Perfumer

A creative perfumer is actually lot more complicated than you might expect. It involves quite a bit of chemistry followed by great patience and the ability to deal with failure on a regular basis. You have to design scents and then hope they make it through testing by real people. I think my plans for a sizzling burger on the grill scent would probably not make it out of the design room. The key to entering this field is to attend a top perfumer school. Yes, there are top perfumer schools. Procter & Gamble has a 3-year program and there’s the Grasse Institute of Perfumery and Givaudan in France.

Data Miner

I was surprised to learn that this was near the head of the list (that’s the point right?) but after reading a little more into it, it’s not all that surprising. Data miners are people who try to predict future behavior given the data from past behavior. With all the business being conducted on the web, this is a job that surely commands the mean annual salary of $70,760. The top ten percent can bank $100,000 a year.

Accent-Reduction Specialist

This was U.S. News and World Report’s top best kept secret job and I believe it. With a mean salary of $63,740, it’s surprising more people don’t know about this vocation. Accent and speech training has increased in popularity with the globalization of business. Interested? You’ll probably want a Master’s degree in speech-language pathology or ESL training for this one.

While the list was created near the tail end of 2008, I still think that you’ll find each of these three jobs pretty surprising. Here’s US New’s full Best Careers of 2009 feature.

{ 8 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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8 Responses to “Three Best Kept Secret Jobs of 2009”

  1. der says:

    Ha! And my family all thinks I’m crazy for majoring in linguistic anthropology. $63k a year for accent reduction? But it’s all about using the proper phones… ^_^

  2. Accent Reduction Specialist sounds like a good gig for my dad if he ever retired from professing. He could not only help people eliminate accents, he could teach you new ones.

    I could do data mining but I much more enjoy analyzing the data than finding it.

  3. Accent Reduction Specialist sounds like it’s for real. There’s a big demand of English as a second language teachers, not only here in the US, but also in Mexico (according to a friend of mine from Mexico City). It would only make sense that some bigger money can be made in the more specialized areas of the field.

  4. Andrew says:

    I’d like to teach people to talk like Groundskeeper Willie on the Simpsons. That would be much more entertaining that actually _reducing_ their accent.

  5. Actually, the sizzling burger scent was already done (but not well-done. Har!). I kid you not.

    Creative perfumery is a great career, but its also a highly competitive, incredibly neurotic industry. Worse than television, I would guess. Independent perfumers can get away with some really cool stuff, but getting your name out there can be hard.

  6. Eric says:

    Accent reduction specialist…nice! 😀

  7. Wendy says:

    To become an Accent Reduction Specialist it sounds like you need a degree in Speech and Language Pathology which is very intense. There is a great need for Speech Pathologists in general. Getting the degree will open up many more opportunities than just specifically accent reduction.

  8. Cara says:

    What if you have a degree in Speech Communications and have taught ESL for 27 years? Would that count towards a job in Accent Reduction Specialist?

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