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Amazing gigs from A to Z

  • Story Highlights
  • There's a silver lining to every situation -- even a horrible job has strong points
  • Pharmacists earn nearly 100K, and hiring will increase by 22 percent through 2016
  • Shopping for a living can garner close to $45,000 per year
  • Recreational therapists can take home close to $35,000
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By Rachel Zupek
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CareerBuilder

Editor's note: CNN.com has a business partnership with CareerBuilder.com, which serves as the exclusive provider of job listings and services to CNN.com.

As time goes on in your job, certain things can wear you down.

art.judge.pd.jpg

Judges have the great responsibility of ensuring a fair and just legal system.

Your salary isn't quite making ends meet, your benefits don't benefit you much at all and you're working the hours of a CEO -- despite your title as an assistant.

Your job went from amazing to awful in a matter of months and once again, you're ready to join the rat race for a new one.

Hold on for just one sec. There's a silver lining to every situation and even the most horrible job has its strong points. Sure, you might work 70 hours a week -- but on the bright side, you're getting paid time-and-a-half. So what if you work from home? Most people would kill for that kind of flexibility.

What we're saying is that things aren't always as they appear. Every job is (or can be) amazing in its own way; you just have to find out how. To prove it, we created an A to Z index of jobs. They may or may not sound great from their titles, but each has its own element of amazing, whether it's great hours, awesome responsibility, high pay or excellent job growth*.

Take a look to find your next amazing job:

Advertising managers

Why it's amazing: It's always a bummer when innovative people aren't able to use their creativity in their jobs. Folks in this occupation get to put their creative juices to use generating advertising campaigns to spawn interest their client's products.

Salary**: $73,060

Buyer

Why it's amazing: Shopping for a living? Sounds amazing to me.

Salary: $44,640

Cartoonist

Why it's amazing: Could anyone make it through the day without their favorite political, comical or dramatic cartoon fix? These guys are amazing for making at least one person smile every day.

Salary: $51,350

Dietician

Why it's amazing: We can't ignore the constant barrage of information about our nation's overall obesity problem. Dieticians help us overcome this issue and become healthier by teaching us about nutrition, meal preparation, portion size and eating habits.

Salary: $46,980

Embalmer

Why it's amazing: Like birth, death is a natural part of our life cycle. Unfortunately, it takes a high emotional toll on friends and family. Embalmers help carry some of the burden of mourners by preserving the deceased and making them appear natural and peaceful at the time of burial.

Salary: $49,620

Fumigator

Why it's amazing: Fumigators do what no one else wants to. Because of them, most people don't have to deal with nasty pests (aka bugs) in our homes and offices. Really, we should be thanking them; they save us the trouble of doing it ourselves.

Salary: $29,350

Graphic designer

Why it's amazing: After all, image is everything. Since most companies need someone to create an effective image or message for their brands, these workers have ample job opportunities in almost every industry.

Salary: $39,900

Hairstylist

Why it's amazing: Besides the option of working flexible schedules, hairstylists have certain creative freedoms when working with clients. Plus, they make their clientele feel better about themselves and their appearance.

Salary: $24,550

Investigator

Why it's amazing: Police work can be dangerous and stressful, and detectives must work long hours during investigations. Combined with the fact that they work whenever they're needed, investigators are often paid overtime.

Salary: $58,260

Judge

Why it's amazing: Judges are seen as prestigious and have the great responsibility of ensuring a fair and just legal system by presiding over trials and hearings.

Salary: $101,690

Kindergarten teacher

Why it's amazing: Kindergarten teachers play in a vital role in the initial development of kids. What little ones learn in their first years of school can shape how they view themselves, the world and their learning experiences down the road.

Salary: $47,040

Landscape architects

Why it's amazing: When they aren't in the office creating plans, designs, models and cost budgets, landscape architects are out of the office, at the site of their developments. It's always nice for some time outside the three walls of your cubicle.

Salary: $57,710

Massage therapist

Why it's amazing: Anyone who's ever had a professional massage doesn't need an explanation for why masseuses are amazing. But seriously, because of the physical nature of massage, full-time therapists typically work only 15-30 hours per week; not many people can complain about that.

Salary: $39,380

News reporters, broadcasters and analysts

Why it's amazing: People in the news business hold the key to communication, and without them relaying information via print, broadcast and online, the world would be void of current events. Or at least our knowledge of them.

Salary: $33,470

Obstetrician

Why it's amazing: Ah, the miracle of life. While it's not the only responsibility of OB/GYNs, bringing new lives (aka babies) into the world is obviously pretty incredible. 'Nuff said.

Salary: $203,270 for less than two years in the specialty.

Pharmacist

Why it's amazing: With increasing numbers of middle-aged and elderly people needing prescription medications, pharmacist employment will increase by 22 percent through 2016. As you'll see below, they also earn a pretty penny.

Salary: $94,520

Quality assurance inspector

Why it's amazing: Inspectors hold the key to quality, ensuring everything from food to cars to the shoes on your feet complies with quality standards. They guarantee high quality products through every phase of production.

Salary: $32,190

Recreational therapist

Why it's amazing: Helping people is remarkable in any job, especially one where you're helping people better their lives. Recreational therapists help individuals reduce depression and anxiety; recover basic abilities; build confidence and socialize successfully to reduce or eliminate the effects of their illness or disability.

Salary: $34,990

Substance abuse counselor

Why it's amazing: Another job helping others, abuse counselors help out people overcoming everything from drugs and alcohol to gambling and eating disorders. Patients often credit their counselors for their survival and being their strongest supporters. A rewarding relationship like that is amazing by anyone's standards.

Salary: $34,040

Travel agent

Why it's amazing: Besides living vicariously through others while planning vacations, travel agents also experience such perks as discounted travel rates for transportation and lodging.

Salary: $29,210, though experience, sales ability and location of the agency plays a part in exact salaries.

Urban planner

Why it's amazing: Urban planners hold the power to determine the best use of land, whether it's for residential, business or community purposes. Also, planners travel frequently to check out the areas firsthand.

Salary: $56,630

Vascular technician/sonographer

Why it's amazing: The heart is our most vital organ -- after all, it does keep us alive. Therefore, we rely on these professionals to assist in diagnosing and treating cardiac conditions/ailments, to keep our hearts beating happily and healthily.

Salary: $42,300

Writer

Why it's amazing: People who are blessed with the ability to write have the great responsibility and opportunity to deliver information of all kinds. Depending on the type of writing you specialize in, writers are able to educate, inform, enlighten and entertain --all through the written word.

Salary: $48,640

X-ray technician

Why it's amazing: As technology continues to progress, X-ray technicians, also known as radiologic technicians, will have ample opportunity to work. The field is growing faster than average at 15 percent through 2016.

Salary: $48,170

Yoga instructor

Why it's amazing: Yoga instructors not only benefit physically from practicing yoga professionally, they also benefit mentally. Yoga has been said to help people focus their energy, relax and handle stress more easily.

Salary: $25,910

Zookeeper

Why it's amazing: Talk about job satisfaction. Animal lovers will thrive in their roles as zookeepers, caring for and training different animal groups in zoos around the country.

Salary: $20,230

*Information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics

** Salary information reflects the median annual earnings in May 2006.

Copyright CareerBuilder.com 2009. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority

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