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10 jobs that let you shop

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( -- If shopping were an Olympic sport, you'd take home the gold every time. But where does someone with that kind of talent work? Can your knack for sniffing out sales translate to anything you can use in the working world?

Absolutely -- all you have to do is know where to look. Here are some jobs that can help you transform your good taste and budget-minded behavior into a steady paycheck:

1. Personal Assistantexternal link
What they do: Duties can include wardrobe styling, personal shopping, running clients' daily errands, administrative tasks and housekeeping.

What it pays: The median annual salary is $36,596.*

2. Fashion Merchandiserexternal link
What they do: Analyze and create business plans for retail operations. Merchandisers are involved in all aspects of the buying and selling of apparel, textiles, accessories and other fashion-related products as well as merchandise placement.

What it pays: Salaries can reach up to $156,000.

3. Interior Designerexternal link
What they do: Plan interior spaces -- from homes to hospitals and beyond -- to enrich their look, feel and function. Whether it's picking out wallpaper colors or textiles for curtains, designers assist with almost every shopping choice to improve or create a more effective and aesthetically pleasing space.

What it pays: The median annual salary is $40,670.

4. Sommelierexternal link
What they do: Suggest wine selections to diners. As experts, sommeliers are responsible for staying ahead of wine trends, a responsibility which may include purchasing.

What it pays: The median annual salary is $41,500.

5. Purchasing Buyerexternal link
What they do: Buy and negotiate goods, services and raw materials for the company. Purchasing buyers must consider the quality and price, among other factors, when buying for their company's needs.

What it pays: The median annual salary for wholesale and retail buyers, except farm products, is $42,230.

6. Event Coordinatorexternal link
What they do: Professionally plan parties and other events. As the planner, every element of the event -- from tablecloths to the catering -- needs to be mapped out in advance and stay within an allotted budget.

What it pays: The median annual salary is $35,000.

7. Food Critic
What they do:
Review and write about the quality of a restaurant's food, service and overall experience based on their culinary knowledge and personal perception. They "shop around" for what appeals to their palate and report back to the public.

What it pays: The median annual salary for writers is $44,350. Food critics salaries may be higher or lower based on notoriety, culinary knowledge and the publication for which they work.

8. Senior Shopping Conciergeexternal link
What they do: Assist senior citizens with shopping by traveling to stores and buying items they need. Like personal assistants, it is their job to make sure that their client's budget and personal tastes are maintained in every purchase.

What it pays: The median annual salary for personal assistants is $36,596.

9. Wardrobe Assistantexternal link
What they do: Dress performers for entertainment shows and productions. The wardrobe assistant works with a stylist or costume designer to figure out the costumes and textiles needed, and then shops for costumes and accessories. Duties may include sewing, laundry and fitting.

What it pays: The rate of pay depends on the budget of the industry and production as well as the experience of the employee.

10. Customer Service Evaluator (Mystery Shopper)external link
What they do: Evaluate products and services for companies based on personal experiences and opinions. Companies are paying for feedback, and it is the mystery shopper's job to tell them everything about the product and the experience. To give the proper market review, they have to complete every part of the job, which includes shopping.

What it pays: Part-time workers can earn $10 to $40 per hour. Full-time workers have an annual earning potential of up to $50,000.

*Salary information from The Bureau of Labor Statistics, and

© Copyright 2007. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority

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