Fantasy and sci-fi are full of fictional jobs we’d love to work in. They’re exciting and unique, and they make our own lives seem super boring. After all, who wants to work a nine-to-five when you can do that?
There’s no way we can cover all these amazing careers in a single article, but here are five of the best.
1. “Care of Magical Creatures” Professor (Harry Potter)
The Harry Potter world has the best professions out of all the fictional universes. This is due to the setup of the story—it follows a bunch of magicians with day jobs—but if we were going to pick our favorite, we’d have to say it would be “Care of Magical Creatures.”
A third year course taught at Hogwarts, professors for the Care of Magical Creatures would teach students how to care for imaginary animals, including in-depth knowledge on how to feed and house them. We think this would be one of the best jobs out there because you basically end up as a magical zookeeper. You get to work with animals all day every day, and being with them can have a cathartic effect.
2. Podracer (Star Wars)
I’ve said before that I’m a huge fan of podracing, and I firmly believe it’s one of the coolest professions in the galaxy. A fast-paced, motorized event that was first introduced in Episode I: The Phantom Menace, podracers sit in low-lying, open-air space cars that they race around a track for cash.
This sport fascinated me as a kid because it seemed like a cooler version of what driving could be like. You didn’t have to deal with traffic, you could win money, you could go on “spaceships” without technically going into space, and the best part of all was that there seemed to be no age limit to it. Kids could race too.
3. Owner of the “Prancing Pony Inn” (The Lord of the Rings)
I know. This one seems sort of boring at first glance, but I actually thought about it a lot.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with The Lord of the Rings, the Prancing Pony was a hotel located in the village of Bree. Bree itself was located at the crossroads between the Shire and the wider world.
The Prancing Pony was a meeting place that was wildly popular with hobbits and dwarves who used it as a pit stop before they went out into the wilderness. Being an owner of this sort of establishment would have been… shall we say, educational? Yes, it would have been dangerous with the growing threat from Mordor, but you would have been able to gain access to outside news from all corners of the world through your guests. This would have been very hard to do otherwise, considering how cut-off and archaic everything else was.
Think of owning the inn like having access to a very old internet connection.
4. Howl’s Assistant (Howl’s Moving Castle)
Here on WhatNerd, we’ve talked about how much we love Studio Ghibli. One of their best known films, Howl’s Moving Castle, is an anime based on a book by the same name. In both instances, a magician named Howl travels around in a moving castle.
Howl is a scatterbrained wizard, and to help him out he has Sophie Hatter—a young woman turned into a raggedy old crone by a wicked witch. Sophie helps him with his work around the house and sees to it that his spells don’t go haywire.
It would be incredibly interesting to be an assistant to a wizard in a domestic setting. You’re learning about magic in a way that doesn’t put your life in immediate danger, and you get to travel everywhere in a fantastical house. Putting up with Howl’s flights of fancy seems like a good trade off.
5. Airship Captain (All Sci-Fi?)
Lastly, one of the coolest professions you can join would be that of “airship captain.” We could point to an individual airship here—the Highwind from Final Fantasy VII immediately comes to mind—but airships are so cool that we’d be happy with any of them.
It’s a bit like travelling on a floating hotel that gets you from point A to B. On a personal level, it’s as close as I’ll ever come to living on the “high seas”.
Looking for more cool facts about imaginary worlds? Check out our article on the strangest plants in sci-fi and fantasy.