In past editions of Cool Jobs we've cast a relatively broad net, with openings for everything from elephant doctors to bomb-disposal experts. This week, though, we're trying something a little bit different. While working in a brewery, for instance, has an undeniable cool-quotient, there's no reason a more conventional, office-based position can't also be fun, interesting, or enticingly bizarre. To prove it, we've rounded up ten cool jobs set in slightly more typical, elephant-free environments. Check 'em out!
1. Anti-Money Laundering Consultant
What it is: If you're the kind of person who mumbles "that sure looks fishy" every time you pass an anachronistic video store or under-patronized pizza joint, you might be cut out for a job fighting money laundering. Money laundering, if you're unaware, is the process of filtering assets made by criminal means through an ostensibly legitimate business, in order to "clean" them (or place them above suspicion). It's majorly illegal, and it's not going to fight itself. Are you up to the task?
Who it's for: People who get suspicious when a restaurant only serves one thing
> Apply for a job as an anti-money laundering consultant
2. Over-the-Phone Language Interpreter
What it is: On-the-fly interpreters aren't just for politicians and benevolent aliens in sci-fi movies. They're true saviors for non-English speakers who conduct their business over the phone, and don't want to get their wires (or languages) crossed. If you have superb Mandarin or Cantonese skills and pride yourself on your listening abilities, you just might've found your true calling.
Who it's for: Polyglots
> Apply for a job as a language interpreter
3. Wound Care Specialist
What it is: You'd think that products in the wound care field would sell themselves. In fact, though, it's a market as crowded as any other; even in the world of health care products, sometimes all you need is a great catchphrase. That's why Medline, a major player in the skin care market, is seeking a creative salesperson to grow accounts and expand territories. So tell us: what separates your roll of bandages from the rest of the pack?
Who it's for: The Don Draper of wound creams
> Apply for a job as a wound care specialist
4. Independent Wine Advisor
What it is: Illinois-based nonprofit Wines for Humanity conducts in-home wine tastings, with a portion of all proceeds going to charity. Since 2007 it's donated over $2 million to groups working toward homelessness prevention, so it's well worth raising a glass in their honor. As a wine advisor you'll help run tastings, while earning commission and raising money for charities in your community. Getting tipsy has never been so morally laudable.
Who it's for: Activists who appreciate a good zinfandel
> Apply for a job as an independent wine advisor
5. Mental Health Director: Florida State Prison
What it is: Okay, maybe we're stretching the definition of "office" a bit on this one. Make no mistake; Florida State Prison is a serious place: former residents include serial killer Ted Bundy and Monster subject Aileen Wuornos. But it still offers inmates the essential mental health services that are necessary for prison life. The director's responsibilities include providing crisis intervention and group counseling, and training institutional staff on mental health issues.
Who it's for: Psychologists who still watch Oz
> Find a job as a mental health director
6. Android/iOS Tester
What it is: For better or worse, we now experience the world largely through our phones. We use them not only to communicate, but to document our lives and share them with others (or just seek attention, if you're a cynic). User experience is key to mobile technology, so it needs to be polished until it practically gleams; that's where product testers come in. You'll iron the bugs out of new, cutting-edge mobile software, and perfect something that could potentially be used by millions of people. And who knows? You might find yourself working for the next WhatsApp.
Who it's for: Anyone who's ever grumbled after updating their operating system
> Apply for a job as an Android/iOS tester
7. Study Drug Coordinator Assistant
What it is: "Study drugs" like Adderall have been in and out of the news over the last decade or so, as new generations of college students come to grips with their effects and changing availability. Some of these drugs are currently the subject of a study of another, scientific kind, and a coordinator is needed to maintain inventory and ship the drugs to clinical sites. Now you'll be able to tell people you're a bona fide drug lord, without technically lying (or doing anything illegal).
Who it's for: People who don't use study drugs
> Apply for a job as a study drug coordinator assistant
8. Script Writer (Video Game)
What it is: Over the last few years, games have become increasingly narrative beasts, with some titles approaching the ambition of Hollywood blockbusters. Okay, so maybe Saving Private Ryan featured a little more than a dude running around blowing people's heads off, but video games can still be powerful engines for storytelling. As a script writer for an up-and-coming project, you'll be in charge of the story, character arcs, and setting for an entire game. Just make sure you include "expert knowledge of cyberpunk" somewhere on your resume--it's required here.
Who it's for: Gamers with an auteur streak
> Apply for a job as a video game script writer
9. Hand Renderer/Illustrator
What it is: This Florida-based interior design company does things the old-fashioned way, with hand-drawn renderings of room concepts for use in client presentations. While computers will be occasionally utilized, the ideal candidate is someone who isn't afraid to get down and dirty with a pen and ink. Does that sound like you? If so, take a look--and get ready to do some drawing.
Who it's for: Fine artists with style
> Apply for a job as a hand renderer/illustrator
10. Certified Ethical Hacker
What it is: If you satisfied the "cyberpunk" requirement above (see: number eight), you probably already know a little bit about cybersecurity. After all, it's the subject of William Gibson's seminal cyberpunk novel Neuromancer. Well, now's your chance to live out some sci-fi fantasies of your own, as a specialist conducting network-based "vulnerability assessments" for a computer software firm. Whether you're a sci-fi fan or not, is there a cooler job title in existence than "Certified Ethical Hacker?" We challenge you to find one.
Who it's for: Law-abiding neuromancers
> Apply for a job as a certified ethical hacker