he term geek was once derogatory. It brought to mind someone with glasses, a retainer, and no friends. Someone was often on the receiving end of wedgies or getting slammed into lockers. That’s far from the case now though, as people take pride in their geekiness.
Some are even able to put their geekiness to use for their careers. If you’ve been keeping your geeky side under wraps because you think that’s what you need to do to get a “real job,” think again. You may just be able to turn that geekiness into a career. Here are some career ideas, depending on your interests.
1. Computer Geeks
Let’s start with the most obvious type of geek, the tech-savvy person who enjoys spending time in front of the computer. Considering how important computers are, understanding them isn’t a bad thing.
If you enjoy coding, you could start a career in programming. You could create smartphone applications, other types of programs, or even become a video game developer. Do you have unique app ideas you’ve always wanted to build? A start-up could be the perfect fit for your talents.
White hat hacking is another exciting option. You could build a career finding exploits and weaknesses in websites, security companies, government organizations, or even connected cars. Ethical hackers make an average yearly salary of $71,331. But this depends heavily on your location.
2. Linguistic Geeks
Have people (un)affectionately referred to you as a Grammar Nazi? There’s a better use for your skills than correcting your friends’ Facebook posts and text messages. As per PayScale, editors make $50,000 per year on average, and you can work with an online magazine as a freelancer, or even as a resume proofreader.
If you know at least one other language, you could give translating a try. Those who enjoy the Seventh Art and know a foreign language can connect their interests by writing subtitles for foreign movies. Don’t forget that your salary doesn’t depend only on your clients, but also on you. PayScale defines it by the hour and on average translators get $19.45. So, the more hours you put in, the richer you’ll get.
3. Reading Enthusiasts
If you love diving into a new book and you’d choose Khizanat al Qarawiyyin in Fes, Morocco, the oldest library in the world, over any popular vacation destination, consider a vacancy in a library. You’ll spend the whole day around books, and while there will be people there, as well, at least they’ll need to keep it down.
There’s also the option of reviewing books for a living. You’ll probably need to start doing this as a hobby, either volunteering or writing reviews on a blog. As you build up an audience by writing high-quality reviews, opportunities for paid work will start to come your way.
4. Movie Buffs and/or TV Addicts
You can be a movie or TV reviewer just like you can be a book reviewer. Talk about a dream job – you watch movies or shows and share your opinion about them. You may already do that on your social media profile or blog, but there are companies out there that will pay you for it.
You may want to start out as a freelancer to build your portfolio, and then go for a job in a local newspaper. PayScale describes journalist salaries as modest at about $40,000 per year, but they come with some solid perks, as you could end up with press access to movie premiers, Comic-Con, and other big-time events. You may even get a chance to cover your favorite awards show and talk to your favorite stars.
Keep in mind that it’s not all fun and games when you’re a freelancer – it can be extremely stressful. You don’t have a fixed schedule, deadlines can be short, and you need to be ready to start and finish jobs at any time and place. Of course, as a freelancer you get to choose which jobs you take, so don’t take on anything that you can’t handle and keep your cool.
5. Science Geeks
We’ll finish off with jobs that take a significant amount of studying, but that are well worth your hard work. If you love experiments and your outfit of choice is a lab coat, consider a career as a chemist. You could study the composition of matter and find new medical treatments, with an average annual salary of $54,000, according to PayScale.
Perhaps numbers are more your forte, and you consider yourself the logical type. Accounting and bookkeeping are both good choices that will make use of your interests.
If you’re like Sheldon Cooper and feel that physics is the only science worthy of study, here’s great news –physicist jobs have an average yearly salary of $88,000 (you can check it on the above-mentioned website). Maybe you’ll even end up scoring a job at NASA and have a chance to explore the final frontier.
Let Your Geek Flag Fly
There’s no reason to be ashamed of your geekiness – you can take pride in it and even make a living from it. Most of the jobs mentioned here start out as freelance work, but can grow into stable careers. If you’re the introverted type, like yours truly and many other geeks, another bonus is that most of these jobs require minimal human contact. On the other hand, if you are a people person, you can do these jobs while working on a team, so it’s up to you.