16 Jobs That Pay Well, Yet So Few Are Willing to Take On

Jobs can be demanding, tiring, and at times, even grueling. However, some jobs offer a high payoff for these demands. Here are 16 jobs that pay well, but are hard to hire for.

Commercial Diver

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As a commercial diver, your workplace is beneath the sea surface. This job requires a good level of fitness and comfort working in deep waters. The challenges include exposure to a variety of potential hazards and isolation from the surface world. However, the monetary reward is often compelling.

Air Traffic Controller

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Air traffic controllers bear a tremendous responsibility for ensuring the safety of thousands of people every day. The work involves a high level of stress and irregular hours, deterring many. Despite these challenges, the job pays well, rewarding those who can handle its demands.

9 to 5 Job explains, “air traffic controller jobs include the progression of an airplane or any airways-related vehicle into and out of the air terminal airspace, guiding pilots during departure and landing, and screening airplanes as they travel through the skies for safety and security purposes. It is one of the high-paying dangerous jobs with little or no experience.”

Alaskan Crab Fisher

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Fishing for crabs in the Alaskan seas is as tough as it sounds. The job involves braving freezing temperatures, rough seas, and long hours. Yet, those willing to endure these conditions can make a large income in a short season.

Wisestep adds, “The fishermen not only have to mind nature, but also make sure that they do not get caught up in the dangerous fishing equipment which includes spears and strangling coils. They also have to ensure that they do not get swept away by the strong tides of the ocean, especially when there is a huge storm.”

Oil Rig Worker

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Life on an oil rig is not for everyone. The work can be physically demanding, and the isolation intense. However, the job can be lucrative, especially for those with specialized skills.

Don’t Pay Full says, “Expect to be away from your family for long periods at a time, and be aware that your job is also plenty dangerous. That’s why a driller can earn over $100,000 a year.”

Forensic Psychologist

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Delving into the minds of criminals isn’t a job everyone can stomach. Forensic psychologists have to grapple with the dark aspects of human nature daily. Yet, they are rewarded with a good salary and the knowledge they’re helping solve complex legal cases.

Flight Nurse

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Flight nurses have the daunting task of providing critical care to patients during air transport. This high-stress job requires acute medical knowledge and the ability to function under immense pressure. Nevertheless, flight nurses are well compensated for their skill and bravery.

Bomb Disposal Technician

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A bomb disposal technician’s role is incredibly high-risk. The stress and danger associated with the job, along with the rigorous training requirements, deter many. However, the financial compensation for this job can be substantial.

Sewer Inspector

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A sewer inspector’s job is anything but glamorous, but the pay is surprisingly good. It involves examining and repairing sewer lines, often in unpleasant conditions. However, the demand for this essential service assures a stable and decent income.

High Rise Window Cleaner

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Cleaning windows on skyscrapers isn’t a job for those with a fear of heights. It’s a physically demanding job that involves working in all weather conditions. For those who can handle the height and the elements, the pay is rewarding.

Long-Haul Trucker

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Long-haul trucking involves extended periods away from home, grueling hours, and tight delivery schedules. It’s a lifestyle as much as a job, deterring many. However, it can be lucrative, especially for owner-operators.

Industrial Machine Repair

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Industrial machine repair is a job that requires skill, precision, and sometimes, courage. The work can be dangerous and physically challenging. However, those with the skill (and the willingness to do) it can earn a handsome salary.

Hazmat Diver

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Hazmat divers work in hazardous materials, often in tight, enclosed spaces. The job comes with significant health risks, which is why it’s so difficult to hire for. However, these divers are compensated well for the risks they take.


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Smokejumpers are parachuting firefighters who battle remote wildfires. The job is extremely physically demanding and dangerous. However, those brave enough to tackle the challenge are rewarded with a significant income.


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Being a lumberjack is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, with a high risk of injury. The physical exertion, coupled with dangerous working conditions, pushes many away. Yet, those who can handle the rigors of the job can earn a decent wage.

Medical Test Subject

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Participating in medical trials can earn participants good money, but the process comes with potential health risks. The uncertainty around the effects of the tested medicines (or procedures) deter many. However, for those willing to participate, it can be a unique and well-paying job.

Radioactive Decontamination Technician

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Working as a radioactive decontamination technician involves high-risk, intensive work. The job requires dealing with dangerous substances and often working in hazardous environments. However, the high pay can make this job attractive to those willing to take the risks.

Chron says, “Nuclear technicians acquire skills on the job, through military training or by enrolling in a two-year nuclear science program at a vocational school. . . The BLS reports that the median annual salary of nuclear technicians employed in nuclear-powered electrical generating plants was ​$90,230​ as of 2020.”

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