A Different Calling: Not-So-Common Career Choices

We are all familiar with professional fields such as medicine, law, and engineering that require many years of school and lofty tuition costs, but there are exciting non-traditional career choices which also offer financial security and self-fulfillment.


Which one of these slightly off-beat career choices best fits you?



Kristine Banakiewicz, a former ESL teacher realized her job was too monotonous and lacked the challenge she was looking for. So, Kristine spent the $400 start-up costs to become an ironworker. And after passing a series of tests and completing her apprenticeship program, Kristine became the first ever female ironworker for Hamilton Local 736. “I love working with my hands, and constantly working on different projects,” says Kristine. She explains the myth that you have to be a strong, burly man to work on a construction site is simply that. With a comfortable annual salary and flexibility to enjoy summer, Kristine has never looked back from her career decision.



Perhaps one of the most non-traditional occupations that promises never to disappear is a funeral director and morticians. For most people, the thought of constantly working with dead people draws a certain stigma, but this job requires more than just a fascination with death. There is a rigorous training and apprenticeship program, which includes theoretical courses on embalming, funeral law and ethics. Did you know before becoming an award-winning actress Angelina Jolie studied mortuary science?


Another skilled trade that has an aging workforce and is looking for young blood is the roofer. Roofers install, repair, or replace flat roofs and shingles, shakes or other roofing tiles on sloped roofs. Normally a high school diploma is required along with a 1-3 year apprentice program to be fully certified. Once a certified roofer, there’s a potential salary of $50,000 and up, and the opportunity to constantly work on your tan.



Firefighters also face risks on the job, but the gratification of saving lives is second to none. Although some colleges offer courses in fire science, the application process requires all applicants to complete arduous written, physical, and medical examinations. Over the years, firefighters have assumed a range of responsibilities, including emergency medical services. In fact, most calls firefighters respond to involve medical emergencies, and about half of all fire departments provide ambulance service for victims. From smoke jumpers to fire investigators, firefighters continue to play an instrumental role in our society.

Karate Girl StuntwomanSTUNTS

Certain careers can involve elements of thrills and risks, and stunt performers thrive off them. But how do you know you have what it takes to get punched in the face and run over by cars? One of the best ways to enter Hollywood is to bring a specific set of skills to the set. Production coordinators look for people with experience in things like gymnastics, skateboarding and martial arts. Although some stunt performers can earn thousands of dollars a day for certain stunts, any stunt performer will tell you it is not just about the money. Aside from the physical risks, being a stunt performer means working long hours and sacrificing your personal life. You have to be dedicated to love crash-landing on the hood of a car.


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