Everyone has to make a living somehow.
Most of us have pretty-typical jobs. Others have jobs that make you stop and say, “Wow. I guess somebody has to do it.” Still, other job titles can make you scratch your head and ask, “Wait. Does someone actually do it?”
If you think you can’t get paid for stripping at funerals, snuggling with strangers, or smelling people’s bad breath, think again. Did you watch Netflix recently? Somewhere, someone got paid to do it. Are you seeing dollar signs yet? Well, don’t sign that resignation letter just yet. There are tons of other weird jobs out there that might interest you.
Some of these are exciting. Others are nasty. Others are just plain weird. But you can bet they’re all real. Read on to learn more.
1. Professional Mourner
Can you cry on cue and convince people you’re truly sad?
Then, you might want to put that theater degree to good use by becoming a professional mourner. Get paid to cry and express grief at funerals for complete strangers, who would have liked bigger turnouts. Employees of Rent-A-Mourner in the UK can earn up to $68 for two hours of mourning.
They’re even briefed on the life of the deceased, so they can mingle with funeral goers as if they actually knew the dearly departed. The profession is fairly new in the West, but it has been practiced in parts of Africa and Asia for generations.
In Taiwan, top-tier mourners like Liu Jun-Lin can earn up to $600 per gig. Her performance is complete with a band, dance, and her signature wailing which she delivers as she crawls toward the coffin.
2. Professional Snuggler
Some of you are already experts at this. So, why not use your cuddling skills to snuggle in some cash? Professional snugglers charge around $60 per hour. As bizarre as it sounds, professional snuggling is an emerging industry in the US.
New Jersey based Snuggle Buddies employs more than 100 freelance snugglers throughout the US and the UK, according to CEO Evan Carp.
The practice can be traced back to Japan, which offers Snuggling Cafes. In Rochester, N.Y., two women founded The Snuggery to promote the scientifically-backed “psychological and physical benefits of non-sexual touch.”
However, the job isn’t as easy as it sounds. It could take an emotional toll.
Samantha Hess, founder of Cuddle up to Me, says many of her clients were physically abused or suffer from PTSD. Some face addiction and homelessness. They often open up to her about all their troubles. Sometimes, she returns to her boyfriend seeking the same comfort she offers strangers on a daily basis.
But if you can stomach all that, there may be some serious cash in store. Even Atomic Wings founder Adam Lippin has invested in the business with his start-up Cuddlist.
3. Watching Paint Dry
Some people compare their jobs to watching paint dry. Well, it turns out some people actually make a living watching paint dry. Paint manufacturers hire them to measure how long it takes their paint to dry as opposed to competitors’ products.
Occasionally, they’ll prod the paint with their fingers to see how it’s coming along. It’s incredibly dull. But, someone has to do it. And if you’re really good at it, why not use your skills to win prizes? In 2012, the UK hosted the first World Watching Paint Dry Competition (Proof that humanity has run out of stuff to do).
Competitors from around the world entered this contest sponsored by LocalTraders.com. It came down to six finalists staring it out for a an iPad, which probably killed the winner from excitement and sensory overload.
4. Professional Apologizer
How hard is it to say, “I’m sorry”?
It doesn’t matter, because you can hire someone to say it for you. If you live in Japan that is. The country has agencies that staff professional apologizers. And they can make some decent cash too. The company Shazaiya Aiga Pro charges $240 for a face-to-face apology and $96 for one over the phone.
Yokohama Benriya Natchan’s rates vary depending on phone consultation. They also offer “apologies while crying.” So, theater majors are welcomed to apply too.
According to RocketNews24, the methods of these apologizers vary and 40 percent of the clientele consists of young women. One typical scenario involves an agent pretending to be the client’s father. The agent would visit the client’s not-so-significant other to tell him that it’s over – in the nicest way possible of course.
5. Cremation Artist
This one is perfect for the tortured art student with the mysterious dark side. A cremation artist takes the person’s ashes and lets the imagination run wild from there. Ashes can be mixed with paint to create portraits, molded into sculptures, or used to make beautiful glass sculptures.
Ash can even be compressed into led for pencils. Who says you can’t ever finish that novel of yours?
The cool thing is that very little ash is needed to make most of these art works. What’s left is usually sent back to the family along with the work they requested. But if you really want to go baller and use someone’s ashes to make a diamond, you’re going to need to give up about a pound of the dearly departed.
Because diamonds are made from pressurized carbon, companies like Algordanza distill the carbon from ashes and pressurize it in a mold. The fine rock that’s pulled out is often blue because of certain chemicals in the body.
Diamonds truly are forever. And for a couple of Gs, you can be too.
6. Chicken Sexer
Job description of chicken sexer is to look at ‘junk’ all day long – literally! But it is not human privates he
or she has to observe. A chicken sexer has to sort through chickens and hatchlings based on their
gender. Large poultries all around the world hire chicken sexers. The need for separating male and
female chickens comes from the fact that there are two feeding programs. One feed is tailor made for
cocks and the other for hens; because hens lay eggs.
If you think this is an easy job, you are mistaken. It requires hours and hours of standing, concentrating,
observing and sorting. A sexer normally has to see more than one thousand chickens during the course
of the day. In Japan, there is even a competition of chicken sexing. The record stands at sorting 1,682
chicks per hour without mistakes.
7. Breath Odor Evaluator
The next time you’re chewing a piece of minty-fresh gum, remember that someone had to stick their nose in somebody’s mouth to make sure your gum worked. A breath odor evaluator is hired by manufacturers of products such as mouthwash, gum and mints to make sure they’re effective in eliminating bad breath.
In tests, the evaluator typically smells someone’s breath after the subject has eaten foods such as onions or garlic. The subject’s breath is smelled again after use of the product being tested. The evaluator then makes his recommendations.
Openings for breath odor evaluators are extremely limited. However, they typically make a salary in the low six-figure range considering you would need a background in halitosis (breath odor) research. If you become one, try telling people you specialize in halitosis research. It rolls off the tongue better than, “I smell other people’s breath for a living.”
You may even end up in a university research team using grant money to study the causes of bad breath – hopefully beyond the obvious. The organization recognizing this body of work is the International Society for Breath Odor Research.
8. Dog Food Tester
Admit it. At some point, you’ve wanted to try dog food.
Go ahead. It’s harmless. But wouldn’t you want to get paid to do it? Well, you don’t have to join the cast of a Jackass-style show. You can become a dog-food tester. These people taste every ingredient that goes into their company’s dog food, as well as the final product.
They test for aroma, taste, texture, consistency, and even color, which indicates freshness. Most dog-food testers spit out samples after analyzing them in their mouths. The most committed chow down the food before your pet does.
But dog-food testers don’t just nibble on puppy grub all day. They also write reports and they’re constantly researching new ways to boost the nutritional value of dog food, without sacrificing taste. And for all that hard work, you could be looking at a treat of up to $75,000 per year.
9. Traveling Ear Cleaner
Armed with a long needle and a pair of pincers, ear cleaners roam the streets of Mumbai looking for new customers. When they find one, they wrap their needles in cotton before scraping the outer ear and sliding it down the inner canal. The hydrogen-peroxide soaked cotton absorbs the wax before the needle is pulled out. Afterward, the cleaner uses a pair of pincers to pull out any excess wax or cotton.
Despite potential injury and risk of infection, most customers say the experience is very relaxing.
The profession can be traced back to the 1800s. Although it’s a dying art, it’s still convenient for some commuters, especially in a city like Mumbai which is often hammered by heavy air pollution.
10. Roller Coaster Tester
This one is perfect for all you adrenaline junkies out there.
You’ll never take a break from being extreme. Your day job would just prolong it. If you work as a professional roller-coaster tester that is. That’s right. You can get paid to do what people wait in long lines to do just once.
You can be like John Copper of the Drayton Manor Theme Park in the UK. His days consist of taking up to 100 roller coaster rides.
“I don’t think any other job could compare to this, it certainly wakes me up each morning.”
But the gig doesn’t come easy. Copper said he was promoted to the position in 2009 after having worked every department at the park. So, if you’re willing to dish it out as the hot dog guy at Six Flags, you can end up at the top of Kingda Ka, looking down on everyone – and getting paid to do it.
How much? Copper makes around $36,500 a year.
Of course it isn’t all fun and games. After all, you’re riding these metal behemoths in the sky to make sure they’re safe for the rest of us. If something goes wrong, you’ll be the first to experience it. So, of course you’re facing a certain degree of life-threatening risk every day.
But that just makes you more excited, doesn’t it?
Tokyo is the most populated city in the world, and almost half of its inhabitants use the public rail system. So, you can imagine how crowded a subway platform gets during rush hour. To control this chaos, the city just uses another form of chaos.
Meet the Oshiya. Wearing pressed uniforms and white gloves, these people are paid to shove and push you into crowded train carts to fit as many people as possible.
It gets so stuffed, passengers say they can’t even see other people’s feet touch the ground. In situations like this, you can bet a few creeps are going to let their hands “innocently” navigate around. That’s why Tokyo has designated some carts for women only.
As for the Oshiya, it must be fun getting paid to literally push people around all day.
12. Professional Netflix Binge Watcher
Some of you do this on a daily basis, so why not make some real money out of it? Netflix actually employs people to stream its content and assign it the most accurate tags. Can you objectively categorize films into “Gritty British Prison Movies” or “Coming-of-age Animal Tales”? Then, trade your sweat pants for a suit. It’s time to Netflix and bank!
Professional binge watchers are also tasked with rating content on a scale system for different categories such as level of action, intent of comedy, or amount of chases. The categorizing gets extremely specific. It’s all done to make sure Netflix provides its customers with suggestions that most accurately reflect their viewing preferences.
So, be prepared to analyze everything down to the last frame: The good. The bad. And the WTF.
13. The Shocker
If you find pleasure in administering small amounts of pain on people, consider moving to Mexico and becoming a “Caja Toques” operator. These people lug around battery-operated boxes that deliver electrical shocks.
They’re especially popular around bars and nightclubs, where brave partygoers juice themselves up for around $2 to $4 a shock.
Some people say it amplifies their buzz, while others say it sobers them up. Some guys just do it to look “macho” in front of the ladies, and test which one in the group can ride the lightning the longest. Oh, the fun you’ll have watching other people hurt themselves – and getting paid for it.
14. Gender Equality Consultant
This one is perfect for all you Gender Studies majors out there. As one of the world’s most progressive countries, Sweden offers jobs like Gender Equality Consultant. Employed in several day care centers, their job is to be the gender-equality police and make sure “stereotypical gender norms” aren’t enforced.
One can imagine this means walking around and encouraging girls to play with action figures and boys to play with barbies. They may also encourage kids to use the word “hen,” a gender-neutral pronoun that made it to the dictionary in 2012. It’s widely used in nursery schools throughout Stockholm and even in documents published by some government agencies.
If you don’t necessarily want to work with kids, you can always seek a job with one of Sweden’s Gender Equality Consulting Firms.
15. Professional Bridesmaid
This last one’s for the ladies.
You’ve probably been asked to be a bridesmaid before. Some of you have played the role multiple times. So, why not get paid to do it? That’s what Jen Glantz of New York City asked herself one Friday night.
Today, she’s the CEO of Bridesmaid For Hire. She charges anywhere from $200 to more than $1,000 to be a complete stranger’s “go-to gal pal” on the biggest day of her life.
Professional-bridesmaid services vary from being “virtual bridesmaids” coaching would-be brides over the phone, to being ground-troop bridesmaids making sure every obstacle is tackled from behind the scenes to the aisle.
They can also take the lead in gown shopping, bridal shower planning, bachelorette party organizing and other roles leading up to and during the big day.
The idea of having a BFF for the entire planning process of a wedding is all part of the grand scheme of having the perfect wedding. So would you do it? Attend open-bar wedding parties and dance the electric slide for some easy cash? It may sound glamorous, but be prepared for some unsettling bridezilla surprises. Glantz said she once had to serve as a security guard after a bride fired her maid of honor and was afraid she would crash the party.
But be sure to jot down all your crazy experiences. Glantz already published two books on it.
16. The Queen’s Piper
Being a Piper to the Sovereign or commonly called Queen’s Piper is not an ordinary bizarre job – it is a
ROYAL bizarre job. Queen’s Piper works for the British Royal Household. He primary (and pretty much
entire) duty is to play bagpipes for the Queen. Every day at 9AM the Piper takes his position outside the
Queen’s window and plays for her for 15 minutes. The Piper is also required to play at state events or
any other time upon Queen’s request.
Position of Queen’s Piper was established in 1843 and has been in practice ever since. Every piper in the
last century and a half to serve Her Majesty is a serving non-commissioned officer and a decorated Pipe
Major from Scottish Regiment. The current Queen’s Piper’s name is David Rodgers of regiment Irish
Guards. He has been in service since 2012.