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5 Jobs That Pay Well, But May Not Be Fulfilling


Some jobs don’t offer warm fuzzies, but they do give you a fat paycheck. If having that comfortable income is a priority for you, and you can find meaning in other aspects of your life, then here are some careers you might want to consider.

(Photo Credit: hermesmarana/Flickr)

As part of its data package on The Most and Least Meaningful Jobs, Payscale examined jobs with low meaning, but high pay. Some are what you might expect, but other jobs that made the list are a little surprising. Who would have thought being paid for your creativity would seem meaningless?

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Advertising and Promotions Managers

Watch an episode of Mad Men and you’ll quickly see why the advertising field doesn’t always feel meaningful. This particular job scored lowest in meaning, with only 30 percent of workers feeling inspired by what they do. They also reported the highest stress levels on the list. An advertising and promotions manager makes an average of $71,000 annually. Typically these managers are involved in launching products, merchandising, and advertising programs. They also track profit projections and manage contracts and relationships with advertising and merchandising partners.

Tax Examiners, Collectors, and Revenue Agents

The tax collector has been one of the most publicly despised workers since biblical times. So, maybe it’s no wonder tax professionals struggle to find meaning in their roles. How much fun could it be to “police” fellow Americans on one of the world’s most complicated tax systems? Only 37 percent of tax examiners, collectors, and revenue agents find meaning in what they do. However, their median pay is $80,500, which is a good salary in spite of the headaches. The skills that increase pay for this job the most are auditing, tax compliance, and accounting.

Art Directors

Getting paid to be creative sounds great in theory. So maybe it’s having their work rejected by editors which causes art directors to think their jobs don’t have a positive impact. Art directors make on average $68,400 annually, but only 38 percent find meaning in what they do. Art directors work in fast-paced, deadline-oriented environments such as newspapers, magazines, publishing houses, production companies, and advertising firms. This job requires an eye for design, communication skills, and experience with technology used in the field. Art directors also manage people and projects.

Locomotive Engineers

Train engineers get paid $80,000 a year, but only 40 percent find meaning in the job. As you might expect, engineers are responsible for operating the train according to the rules and regulations, they do minor repairs, communicate via radio with conductors and groundsmen, and monitor tracks for obstructions or inoperable switches. Could it be the solitary nature of what they do which leaves them feeling their jobs have low-meaning? To become a locomotive engineer, you need to be 21 years old, have at least a high school degree, be in good physical shape with excellent vision and hearing, and complete job specific training.


Lawyers tied with train engineers in respect to a job’s low meaning, with only 40 percent of them believing their work makes the world a better place. Attorneys get paid $89,800 annually to apply their critical thinking skills, analyze and interpret laws, develop strategies and arguments, advise clients, and/or handle court proceedings. Usually attorneys either work on the corporate side, offering their counsel to business entities, or they work in litigation, defending or prosecuting in court cases. Lawyers undoubtedly have a jaded view of the world based on their experiences representing the corporate world and/or trying to work within the justice system, which may account for their ranking.

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Tavia Tindall
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