A lot of people would probably contest that the coolest wizarding world job (but also, probably, one of the most dangerous) is that of an Auror. Harry and Ron both express ambitions to become Aurors, attracted by the excitement of a profession that has Mad-Eye Moody, Kingsley Shacklebolt and Nymphadora Tonks in its ranks. But as Harry learns from Professor McGonagall, becoming an Auror – ‘a Dark-wizard-catcher’ – is hard work. Aurors are a highly skilled elite, tasked to protect the magical community and trained to a very high standard. It’s a dangerous but rewarding job, which is probably why it appeals to Harry, who at 15 has already defeated the Darkest wizard of all time on more than one occasion.
The Auror Office, part of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, isn’t the only Ministry of Magic office to attract bright young (and not so young) minds. Mr Weasley works for the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office, then there’s the offices associated with the Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes, the Department of Magical Games and Sports, and the Department of International Magical Co-operation, where Percy Weasley begins his Ministry career. The Ministry is a huge institution, so it’s inevitable that numerous Harry Potter characters work there, one way or another. Lucius Malfoy, Barty Crouch Sr and Kingsley Shacklebolt are just a few that we know had huge influence there. Even Remus Lupin’s father worked at the Ministry, and by offending Fenrir Greyback during an inquiry, unintentionally led to Remus becoming a werewolf.
From the strict but fair McGonagall to the enthusiastic Professor Flitwick, the professors of Hogwarts show teaching is a profession with broad appeal. Some are better than others, of course, and the Defence Against the Dark Arts position is particularly troublesome, but almost all Hogwarts teachers do have deep respect for their subjects – disdainful Snape included. The good thing about being a teacher, at least at Hogwarts, is there doesn’t seem to be much prejudice in the profession: Hagrid was never judged for being a half-giant, and Professor Binns is still going strong… despite being dead.
Magical injuries and illnesses can be a lot more complicated than those sustained by Muggles, so to be a Healer is a big job, especially in a world full of dragons. Aside from that, other magical ailments include artefact accidents, Dementor attacks, creature-induced injuries, magical bugs, potion and plant poisoning, and spell damage. Sadly, not all of those things can be cured with a massive slab of chocolate.
Those with wandmaking ambitions will no doubt be hampered by the monopoly that existing wandmakers have in the industry. Garrick Ollivander is the only person we know that supplies Hogwarts students and the UK’s wider wizarding population with their wands, although others do exist – Viktor Krum’s wand was made by Gregorovitch, and Fleur Delacour’s was presumably made to order, given it contains a hair from the head of her Veela grandmother. Then there are the multitude of American wandmakers that exist. But in the UK, Ollivander is the best in the business. Who knows how he remembers every single one.
Banking seems a more exciting career option for witches and wizards than it is in the Muggle world. Ron’s eldest brother Bill works as a curse-breaker for Gringotts, the wizarding bank staffed by goblins. While we’re not entirely sure what Bill’s work involves, there’s probably not that much small-talk in the job. Goblins aren’t exactly chatty.
From Hogwarts library favourites Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through the Ages to textbooks like A History of Magic, not to mention the so-called journalism of the Daily Prophet’s Rita Skeeter, writing is a varied career that appeals to a wide range of witches and wizards. After all, wizards aren’t really into televisions or internet, so the magical community relies on books a lot more for their personal entertainment. Even Ron read a book once or twice.
The pubs of the wizarding world are sociable places – with the possible exception of The Hog’s Head. Apparently it’s a bit dodgy there. But London’s Leaky Cauldron is almost a visitor attraction, and we would very much like to try a Butterbeer or a Firewhisky in Hogsmeade’s Three Broomsticks. Judging by Madam Rosmerta, you also pick up a lot of good wizarding gossip too.
Ludo Bagman, Viktor Krum, Gwenog Jones – there are quite a lot of professional Quidditch players flying around. And just like Muggle sportsmen, the best players are seen as heroes and celebrities to the wizarding world. Viktor Krum sounded like he might be David Beckham-levels of famous, and Ron even had a little figure of him before a certain romancing of Hermione Granger occurred. Much like any extreme sport, however, being a Quidditch player isn’t all fun and Snitches. That’s a long distance to fall. And if you’re a referee, even worse – some of them have been known to magically end up in the Sahara Desert.
Charlie, arguably the coolest Weasley member, gets one of the most hardcore-sounding jobs: hanging out with dragons. To the likes of Hagrid, this would be the job of his dreams, but if you ask us, we’d probably stick to something safer in an office.