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License to Snoop: 6 Careers for Curious Types

We’re all raised on the idea that curiosity killed the cat. Yet a natural inclination toward nosiness can be a

We’re all raised on the idea that curiosity killed the cat.
Yet a natural inclination toward nosiness can be a fantastic asset for certain jobs. If you’re intrigued by the prospect of digging for dirt – or just fascinated by other people’s business – here are six jobs that will keep you snooping to your heart’s content.

1. Online Reputation Manager
Anyone who’s ever Googled themselves – and let’s be honest, who hasn’t? – will appreciate the work of an Online Reputation Manager.

Whether responding to complaints about a company’s product or scrounging up Facebook photos of a celebrity inhaling something strange, online rep managers strive to create a spotless online image for their clients. And that means you spend lots of time playing online detective to proactively scour, downplay, or explain away any scandal, slander or simple misinformation.

For public relations specialist positions like this one, demand is skyrocketing – with expected growth at 24 percent or higher by 2018.

Average salary: $39,000-$72,000

2. Gossip Columnist

Tracking down every juicy detail of a celebrity’s life is all part of the daily grind for a gossip columnist.

Combining journalism with a heavy dose of creative speculation, you schmooze with A-listers and confer with “unnamed sources” to bring readers the latest on who’s on bump watch and who’s in rehab.

This could be a dream job for some inquisitive folks, but there’s serious competition and relatively low demand for this job. So if
writing about the latest exploits of Branjelina gets you jazzed, prepare yourself for a long professional slog.

Average salary: $25,000–$51,000

3. Forensic Accountant

Ever curious about company finances? As a forensic accountant, it’s your job to pour over other people’s money business.

While investigating insurance claims, tax evasion, or money laundering, your nose is constantly poked into someone else’s books. Your snooping even supports an honorable cause: acquitting the innocent and catching the criminal.

Increasing need – 22 percent growth through 2018 to be exact – for forensic accountants stems from a greater emphasis on transparency and accountability in financial reporting. (Bernie Madoff, anyone?)

Average salary: $47,000–$80,000

4. Human Resources Manager

If you really want to know the lowdown on all your co-workers, become an HR manager. From how much money Joe in product development makes to the reason he had to leave his previous job, you are privy to almost all confidential office info.

Plus, since it’s your task to listen to employee complaints, you’re always at the breaking edge of any gossip-worthy news.

The drawback? You can’t actually share any of the juicy details when you’re chatting by the water cooler. However, the career prospects should make up for it: job growth is predicted to increase at a rapid rate – 22 percent over the next six years.

Average salary: $39,000–$90,000

5. Transportation Security Screener

Since the Transportation Security Administration (TSA for short) was created in response to the attacks of 9/11, transportation security agents have been screening passengers, baggage and cargo to protect our friendly skies.

In the name of security, you literally go through people’s dirty laundry, x-raying and opening bags, patting people down and asking questions to identify potential threats. Plus, transportation security screeners often receive extensive training in the fields of security, intelligence and counter-terrorism, which can lead to a whole range of other intelligence-gathering jobs.

Because of heightened security demands, the need for TSA officers is expected to expand at a faster-than-average clip through 2018.

Average salary: $22,000–$40,000

6. Private Investigator

The granddaddy of all curious careers, private investigators actually get paid to spy on other people. Professional bliss awaits the inquisitive worker, as you follow spouses accused of cheating, dig up confidential business memos, track down missing persons and run background checks for your friend in HR.

The field for private detectives and investigators is expected to grow 22 percent by 2018. It’s a toss up whether this spike in demand is due to increased security needs or cheaters-inspired paranoia. Either way, it’s good for the job market.

Average Salary: $32,000–$58,000

Annie Favreau works for Inside Jobs, a career exploration site where people can discover what opportunities exist and learn what paths can take them there.

Brazen Life is a lifestyle and career blog for ambitious young professionals. Hosted by Brazen Careerist, it offers edgy and fun ideas for navigating the changing world of work.

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Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest