Getting into college is hard enough, but once you’re actually there, it’s time to choose a major. Many students struggle with deciding on a career path, and you can’t blame them.
Choosing a major leads you down a specific track that’s hard to get off of if you decide it’s not for you. Many students opt for broad majors like communications or business—even if they know that’s not the field they want to get into—just to keep their options open post-graduation.
Luckily, if you don’t want to be a doctor or a banker, there are a number of under-the-radar career choices that many young adults don’t even know about.
Learning about these options can help guide you to the right major. One Reddit thread posed the question, “What is a great career path that kids in college aren’t aware exists?” and the answers were interesting.
Here are seven great under-the-radar career options from the thread.
1. Land Surveyor
Most of the time land surveyors work for engineering, land development or construction companies. They perform boundary surveys, primary surveys, construction staking and other relevant tasks.
“Geomatic Engineering, aka Land Surveying, most surveyors are old, for instance the average age of a surveyor in the state of CA is in the mid to late fifties, which means you will definitely get a job out of college and you can quickly work your way up to a decent 6 figure income once you get your professional license.”—TheGeomatician
Average Salary: $58,020
2. Air Traffic Controller
Air traffic controllers coordinate the movement of aircraft to ensure that planes keep safe distances from one another.
“My father is an ATC at Pearson. 200k a year with brilliant benefits. He provided a great quality of life for my family.”—1stOnRT1
Average Salary: $122,950
3. Court Stenographer
A court stenographer uses verbatim methods and equipment to capture, store, retrieve and transcribe pretrial and trial proceedings or other information.
“It’s a three-year program (on average — took me four to finish), but if you’re proficient in grammar, have strong language skills, have solid finger dexterity from playing an instrument or video games, and are able to work independently, it’s an incredible career.”—Bad_Karma21
Average Salary: $54,720
4. Hearing Aid Practitioners
Hearing aid practitioners select and fit hearing aids for customers. They administer and interpret tests of hearing, assess hearing instrument efficacy, take ear impressions, and prepare, design, and modify ear molds.
“I don’t think many people realize just how many practitioners are going to be needed in not too distant future. The baby boomers are getting older and a lot of them will need hearing aids. Along with that, you have the iPod generation who crank headphone volumes too loud.” – the-d-man
Average Salary: $52,850
5. Mining Engineering
Mining and geological engineers design mines to safely and efficiently remove minerals such as coal and metals for use in manufacturing and utilities.
“I signed on to a $100k salary (+bonus+benefits) straight out of my bachelors degree at 23 for a job that had me moving across the planet (Canada to Australia). The year I graduated we finished school in May and 80% of my graduating class had jobs lined up already and the remainder found jobs by the end of July.” – truffleshufflegoonie
Average Salary: $94,040
6. Packaging Engineer
Industrial/packaging engineers find ways to eliminate wastefulness in production processes. They devise efficient systems that integrate workers, machines, materials, information, and energy to make a product or provide a service.
“There are only a few schools who offer this degree but the level of difficulty is not high and the unemployment rate after graduation is incredibly low. Also you are likely to be hired to Fortune 500 companies. (P&G, Johnson & Johnson, Bemis, ext.).” – Klarkson1273
Average Salary: $83,470
7. Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologist
Medical laboratory technologists and medical laboratory technicians collect samples and perform tests to analyze body fluids, tissue, and other substances.
“Basically, the people who run the tests the doctor orders. Tons of older people retiring, not enough young people coming in, so there’s a huge demand and employers are willing to negotiate on benefits and pay.”- MsAdiwin
Average Salary: $50,550