Millions upon millions of Americans have filed for unemployment since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, and even though the number of people filing has been decreasing since it peaked in April 2020, people are still losing their jobs.
If you’re out of work, you might be considering a career change. There are a number of nontraditional jobs you might not even know about because they are so new — many of which you can do from home.
These jobs have cropped up over the past decade thanks to the founding of now-popular companies that didn’t even exist 10 years ago, like Bird scooters (founded in 2017), Instagram (launched in 2010) and Lyft (launched in 2012).
Legal Recreational Marijuana “Budtender”
- Average salary: $32,147
With the rise of legalized marijuana comes the rise of dispensaries, creating the “budtender” job. These dispensary employees help customers and patients select cannabis products that fit their needs.
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- Average salary: $34,839
Virtual assistants perform the typical duties and services of an assistant, except instead of going into the office every day, they complete their tasks from home or another remote location.
- Average salary: $35,446
Delivering goods is nothing new, but with a smattering of apps now allowing people to get anything delivered at any time, there’s enough delivery work available to turn this into a full-time gig.
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- Available salary: $35,604
Social media content moderators monitor posts and uploads on a social media platform and decide whether or not they require a response. They may engage with the community, investigate issues, provide customer support or respond to inquiries.
This job didn’t exist before social media, which is still relatively new. Facebook was founded in 2004, but wasn’t open to a wider audience until 2006. YouTube launched in 2005, Twitter debuted in 2007, Instagram launched in 2010 and TikTok came to the U.S. as Musical.ly in 2014.
- Average salary: $38,695
Ride-hailing driving is now an integral part of the gig economy, but it’s actually a relatively new job. The first-ever Uber ride happened in San Francisco in 2010; Lyft launched two years later.
- Average salary: $39,827
Professional gamers make their living by live-streaming themselves playing video games for viewers. One of the most popular platforms for game streaming is Twitch, which was founded in 2011 and now has over 3 million monthly streamers, CNBC reported.
For popular gamers, this gig is incredibly lucrative — Forbes reported that the top 10 gamers of 2019 collectively raked in more than $120 million for the year. Some of the top-earning gamers include Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg and Preston Arsement.
- Average salary: $42,237
Although CrossFit was founded in 2000, it did not become the worldwide phenomenon that it now is until the 2010s. There are now 15,000 CrossFit affiliated gyms around the globe.
3D Printing Technician
- Average salary: $42,283
3D printing actually dates back to the 1980s but it did not become popular until 2009, according to Sculpteo. This technology is now used in a number of different industries including medicine and construction.
3D printing technicians prepare projects in a printed format using advanced equipment and work directly with clients to ensure that the job meets expectations.
- Average salary: $46,703
Influencers use social media as a platform to promote a product or brand to their followers. The more followers and engagement an influencer has, the more money they can make, with some earning six figures for a single post. Some of the highest-paid influencers include Lele Pons, Charli D’Amelio and Zach King, according to Hopper.
- Average salary: $50,408
Bloggers can create online content around any topic they choose, from fashion to finance. Although most blogs don’t achieve high levels of financial success, some bloggers — like Michelle of Making Sense of Cents and Alex and Lauren from Create and Go — make upwards of $100,000 per month, according to Let’s Reach Success. Bloggers can earn income from different revenue streams, including affiliate marketing, ads and sponsored posts.
Social Media Manager
- Average salary: $52,375
Social media managers help brands get more exposure through social media platforms. They create editorial calendars and come up with marketing strategies to help a brand reach its goals.
- Average salary: $57,192
SEO specialists are marketing professionals who use research and analysis to boost a website’s ranking on search engines like Google. These specialists find the most popular and relevant keywords used in search engine queries and place them on websites, which helps search engines find those sites and display them to web users.
Electric Scooter Charger
- Average salary: $51,110
Bird scooters started popping up in Santa Monica, California, in late 2017, and since then the company has expanded around the world. More companies have also gotten into the electric scooter game, including Lime and Spin. With the rise in popularity of e-scooters came the need for people to charge them. These individuals scoop up as many scooters as they can fit in their car or van, plug them in to charge them up and redistribute them.
Escape Room Game Master
- Average salary: $64,090
There are now 2,800 escape rooms worldwide, but the idea dates back to 2010 when Attila Gyurkovics opened the first one in Budapest, Hungary, Bro Bible reported.
Escape room game masters organize gameplay, make sure that players know the rules and make sure the rules are followed.
Big Data Analyst
- Average salary: $66,842
Data scientists collect, analyze and interpret large data sets, and use this information to develop solutions to a business’ challenges.
- Average salary: $69,847
Podcasting technology has existed since 2004, but Serial can perhaps be credited for making it into the phenomenon that it is today. The wildly popular, often emulated show debuted in 2014.
Podcast producers oversee the production of a podcast. Responsibilities can include sound engineering, story development, editing, conducting interviews and fact-checking.
Millennial Generational Expert
- Average salary: $72,515
In 2019, millennials became the largest living generation so businesses need to know how to get millennials as a part of their workforce and how to capture their spending dollars. That’s where millennial experts come in — yes, this is actually a real job. These experts consult with companies to help them appeal to millennials, either as prospective employees or prospective customers.
Renewable Energy Engineer
- Average salary: $74,432
These engineers research and develop ways to provide clean energy sources and green solutions for the world’s energy needs. Duties can include designing machines and systems to capture and distribute energy from wind, solar and geothermal resources.
Clean Car Engineer
- Average salary: $80,284
These engineers work as part of a team to design, develop and test clean vehicles.
Chief Listening Officer
- Average salary: $80,801
This is another job that didn’t exist before social media. The CLO keeps track of all social media activity and a company’s face-to-face communication with customers. The CLO then creates reports that illustrate the effectiveness of a company’s communication efforts.
Autonomous Driving Engineers
- Average salary: $85,398
Autonomous driving engineers create and test the control systems and sensors placed within a self-driving vehicle. The job typically requires a bachelor’s degree and several years of experience, preferably in a field like mechanical engineering or programming.
There are a number of companies currently developing autonomous vehicles, including Waymo, General Motors and Tesla.
Virtual Reality Game Designer
- Average salary: $87,854
Virtual reality game designers use 3D design skills to create immersive digital worlds via sketches or computer-aided design. They may also design specific features of a virtual reality game.
Mobile App Developer
- Average salary: $98,785
Mobile developers translate code into user-friendly applications. They contribute to the design, testing, releasing and support of apps.
When Apple introduced the App Store in 2008, it provided a platform for mobile app developers to share their applications with the world.
Employment Brand Manager
- Average salary: $99,369
Employment brand managers work to cultivate and share insights into a company’s job-seeking process and make the process seem appealing to prospective job applicants. This role arose as sites like Glassdoor — which was founded in 2007 — made the job application process more transparent.
- Average salary: $101,407
Bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency to go mainstream, and it was introduced in 2009. Traders can buy and sell cryptocurrencies — including Bitcoin and Ripple — on cryptocurrency exchanges, much in the way that stocks are bought and sold.
Artificial Intelligence Engineer
- Average salary: $105,128
The idea of artificial intelligence dates back to the 1950s but it wasn’t until recent years that AI has become ubiquitous. We can now mine large amounts of data that’s too much for a human to process, so a number of industries — including banking, marketing and entertainment — rely on AI to pull out relevant insights. These companies depend on engineers to create the right kind of AI technology that harnesses these capabilities in a way that meets their needs.
- Average salary: $114,909
An educational technologist provides support and helps with the development, implementation and analysis of new learning technologies, including computer hardware and software, e-Learning courses and projects, instructional videos and Learning Management Systems.
- Average salary: $131,254
Cloud architects design cloud computing systems based on a company’s needs and oversee the systems to ensure that they run properly, troubleshooting when needed.
- Average salary: $190,608
Telemedicine physicians provide medical care services to clients over the phone or online using video or chat software. Telemedicine dates back to the 1950s, but modern technology and applications like Facebook and Skype have made it more mainstream.
- Average salary: Varies
YouTubers earn money through Google’s AdSense, sponsorships and brand partnerships. As with other influencers, the amount you can make as a YouTuber depends on your followers and engagement. The richest YouTube stars make millions of dollars a year. Kid YouTuber Ryan Kaji was the top-earning star on the video-sharing platform in 2020 with $29.5 million in earnings, Forbes reported.
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Cynthia Measom contributed to the reporting for this article.