7 Unique Dream Jobs You Can Only Find in the South
Country Music Industry (Writer, Musician, Executive)
Country music is a way of life in the South. Record labels such as Big Machine–who produce some of our favorite songs—are headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, the heart of the world of country music. From writers to assistants to executives, each contributor is an essential facet of the business, helping to sign artists, write lyrics, and produce albums. If you want to have a hand in making the country music you love—and bringing it to record stores, radio stations, and concert halls across the nation, then Nashville is the place for you.
Johnson Space Center Tour Guide
We know a little bit about NASA here in the South. The South was home to the heyday of the 20th century space race, with the heart of the space industry operating out of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Headquartered in the South, the shuttles left from the Florida coast, shooting up into the stratosphere, and command made its home just outside of Houston. The men and women employed there put a man on the moon, and the facility still celebrates that astonishing legacy. If you’d like to visit the place where they made the magic happen, the Johnson Space Center is open for tours and activities year round, and if you’d like to work there, they employ number of positions, including tour guides.
Kentucky is known for its bourbon. In fact, the Southern state produces much of the world’s supply, so if you’re head over heels for the spirit, there is no better place to break into the bourbon industry than Kentucky. You could also try your hand on the grounds of the Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee. In either state, you’ll get an illuminating education in the business of bourbon production. Achieving the status of Master Distiller is a lifelong pursuit, but we’ve heard that it’s beyond worth it.
Peach Water Tower Painter
The South is home to some of the world’s most unique water towers, the most infamous of which is the Peachoid water tower in Gaffney, South Carolina, a peach-shaped and peach-painted water tower celebrating South Carolina’s beloved crop. It was even the subject of its own minor plot line on the Netflix series House of Cards. Even if you’ve heard of the Peachoid, you may not know that Georgia is also home to a peach-shaped water tower along I-75 near Perry, Georgia. These water towers require upkeep, and if you are a painter (especially one adept at peach designs), you may be able to corner the market with the water towers in Georgia and South Carolina.
There are cowboys everywhere in the American consciousness, and the Wild West spawned many a TV series and Halloween costume, but many children still dream of being an authentic Texan cowboy. The best place to do that—to don the hat and boots and practice your lassoing skills—is in the Lone Star State itself, since it has ranches and farms galore across its vast acreage.
Employee at Southern Living Magazine
How could we not include this one? Southern Living is in the business of telling Southern stories, celebrating the best of the South, and encouraging our readers to cherish their Southern experiences, whether that is in the garden, in the kitchen, in the home, or on a trip exploring the best of what the region has to offer. Working at Southern Living—whether in editorial, marketing, art, creating the annual Southern Living Idea House, or any number of other capacities—is certainly a Southern dream job.
Ghost Tour Guide
The South has more than its fair share of haunted towns, buildings, and cemeteries, and an entire section of the tourism industry is dedicated to exploring those haunted spaces, looking for ghosts, and enjoying an evening of spooky stories and ghoulish entertainment. If you enjoy a good ghost story and are a gregarious person who loves to meet new people, you may enjoy being a tour guide for haunted walking tours, trolley tours, or bus tours. Three of the best Southern cities to make your mark as a guide for ghost tours are Savannah, Georgia; Charleston, South Carolina; and New Orleans, Louisiana, all of which are filled with businesses providing popular daily and nightly tours. You can find a few of the South’s best ghost tours here.