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The Top 15 Weirdest Jobs You Won’t Believe Pay Well

African American male student sitting in his kitchen behind his laptop searching for weird jobs that pay well and taking notes in a notebook with a pen.

Did you know there are weird jobs that pay well? It’s true – beyond the usual office and retail gigs, there’s a whole world of unusual, quirky jobs bringing in big bucks! Nowadays, it’s not just conventional careers that pay the bills. From taste testers for pet food to professional sleepers, some jobs are just as strange as they are lucrative.

You may not believe these jobs exist, but we’ve compiled a list of the top bizarre yet high-paying jobs. Let’s examine why these odd jobs pay more than you might expect and how you can land one for yourself. We’ll also answer frequently asked questions about these unconventional career paths. Prepare to be amazed!

15 surprising weird jobs that pay well 

Professional sleeper

Average US salary range for professional sleepers: $15,000 – $40,000

Imagine getting paid to sleep! Professional sleepers do just that. Sleep research centers often employ them to help scientists understand sleep patterns and disorders. Some luxury bed manufacturers also hire them to test the comfort of their mattresses. This job not only pays well but also lets you catch up on some much-needed zzz!

Water slide tester

Average US salary range for water slide testers: $19,000 – $58,000

Water slide testers have the fun job of ensuring the safety and quality of water slides. They travel to different water parks to test slides for the right balance of thrill and safety. Even though it’s a seasonal job, it pays well and offers lots of travel.

Professional cuddler

Average US salary range for professional cuddlers: $20,000 – $60,000

Professional cuddlers provide comfort and human connection through cuddling. It’s a therapeutic job that can be emotionally fulfilling and financially rewarding. A non-judgmental, compassionate nature is a must for this job.

Professional mourner

Average US salary range for professional mourners: $20,000 – $70,000

Having mourners at a funeral is a sign of honor in some cultures. Professional mourners are hired to attend funerals and grieve for the departed. It’s a unique job that requires empathy and the ability to display genuine sorrow. The pay varies depending on the customs and duration of the funeral services.

Feng Shui consultant

Average US salary range for Feng Shui consultants: $20,000 – $100,000

Feng Shui consultants use the ancient Chinese art of spatial arrangement to create harmonious living and working environments. They advise clients on arranging their homes or businesses to improve energy flow. It’s a career that combines design, culture, and psychology and can be very rewarding financially.

Body part model

Average US salary range for body part models: $20,000 – $100,000+

Body part models specialize in modeling specific parts of their body, like hands, feet, or legs. They may work for jewelry, footwear, or beauty products, showcasing these items in commercials or print ads. A job like this can be super lucrative depending on the demand and uniqueness of the body part.

Airplane repo agent

Average US salary range for airplane repo agents: $20,000 – $900,000+

Airplane repo agents repossess aircraft when owners fail to pay. It’s an adventurous job that combines aspects of aviation, law, and finance. The pay can vary widely but can be exceptionally generous for high-value repossessions.

Snake milker

Average US salary range for snake milkers: $30,000 – $70,000

A snake milker extracts venom from venomous snakes. This job is crucial in creating antivenoms and other medications. It’s a risky and specialized field, requiring extensive herpetology training, but the salary is good, and the satisfaction of saving lives is priceless.

Luxury house sitter

Average US salary range for luxury house sitters: $30,000 – $70,000

Luxury house sitters take care of people’s homes while they are away. Sitters can enjoy the luxuries of high-end properties in exchange for their services. It’s a great way to live lavishly without breaking the bank, and it pays well, especially for sought-after sitters.

Pet food tester

Average US salary range for pet food testers: $34,000 – $75,000

Yes, you read that right. Pet food testers don’t actually eat pet food; they evaluate its nutritional value, taste (without swallowing, of course), and consistency. It’s an important role in the pet food industry to make sure our furry friends get the best. This unusual job can pay quite well, especially for animal lovers.

Crime scene cleaner

Average US salary range for crime scene cleaners: $35,000 – $80,000

Crime scene cleaners have the challenging task of cleaning up after crime scenes. It’s not for the faint-hearted; it involves dealing with biohazardous materials and potentially traumatic scenes. However, it pays well due to the specialized nature of the work and the need for a strong stomach.

Average US salary range for fortune cookie writers: $40,000 – $80,000

This creative and quirky job involves writing the short, often inspirational messages found inside fortune cookies. It’s a niche writing field, but it can be rewarding for those with a knack for concise, motivational phrases. Plus, it pays surprisingly well!

Golf ball diver

Average US salary range for golf ball divers: $50,000 – $100,000

Diving for golf balls might sound like a simple task, but it’s a lucrative job for those who take it seriously. Golf ball divers retrieve balls from the water hazards of golf courses. It requires scuba skills and a willingness to brave murky waters. The more balls they recover, the more they earn, making this an unexpectedly profitable venture.

Ethical hacker

Average US salary range for ethical hackers: $50,000 – $120,000+

Ethical hackers, or penetration testers, are hired by companies to hack into their systems to find and fix security vulnerabilities. This tech-savvy job requires extensive knowledge of computer systems and networks. It’s an exciting and high-paying career for those with a knack for cybersecurity.

Ice cream taster

Average US salary range for ice cream tasters: $56,000 – $100,000

An ice cream taster, also known as a flavorologist, samples different ice cream flavors and provides feedback on taste, texture, and aroma. This delicious job often requires a background in food science, and the pay can be quite sweet for those with a discerning palate.

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Why do these weird jobs pay well?

You might be wondering why these unusual jobs offer such attractive salaries. Many factors go into the high pay, not just the oddness of the job. Let’s break it down:

Specialized skills or knowledge

Many of these jobs require specialized skills, training, or knowledge that most don’t have. For instance, being an ethical hacker demands an in-depth understanding of cybersecurity, while a snake milker needs specific expertise in handling venomous snakes. The more specialized the skill, the fewer the people who can do it, leading to higher pay.

High demand, low supply

Some of these roles are in high demand, but there aren’t enough qualified people. For example, there aren’t many professional mourners or body part models. When there’s more demand than supply in the job market, salaries tend to increase.

Risk factor

Risky jobs, like crime scene cleanup or golf ball diving, usually pay more. This is compensation for all the danger and discomfort involved in these professions.

Unique contributions

Several of these jobs contribute uniquely to society or industries. For example, Feng Shui consultants can make a great impact on someone’s living and working space. Unique contributions are often highly valued and, therefore, well compensated.

Niche markets

There are a lot of weird jobs in niche markets like luxury house sitting or ice cream tasting. These niche markets are typically less competitive and can afford to pay their limited workforce more.

Emotional and physical labor

The pay is usually pretty good for jobs that demand a lot of emotional or physical labor, such as professional cuddling or water slide testing. It’s an acknowledgment of the emotional intelligence or physical endurance required.

Seasonal or freelance opportunities

Some of these jobs offer seasonal or freelance opportunities. These roles usually pay more per hour or project to make up for the lack of consistent, year-round income.

How to find weird jobs

If you’re intrigued by the idea of landing a weird but well-paying job, you might be wondering where to start. Finding these unique career paths can be a bit different from the traditional job search. Here are some tips to help you find them:

  • Niche job boards and websites: Look beyond the usual job search sites. Job boards and websites dedicated to specific industries or unusual jobs exist. 
  • Networking: It’s important to network for any job, but especially for unusual ones. Consider participating in online forums, attending industry conferences, or joining a community group. You can get insider info and job leads by connecting with people already in these fields.
  • Social media and online communities: LinkedIn, Reddit, and even Facebook have groups and communities where you can find unique job postings. Joining these groups and actively participating can lead to unexpected opportunities.
  • Direct company inquiry: If you’re interested in a specific weird job, reach out to the company directly. Some of these roles aren’t widely advertised, so showing direct interest can put you on the radar when opportunities arise.
  • Specialized training and education: Consider getting the training or education you need for jobs that require specific skills or knowledge. This could involve formal schooling, online courses, or apprenticeships.
  • Internships and volunteer opportunities: Get experience by interning or volunteering. In niche markets or for jobs requiring specialized knowledge, this is especially helpful.
  • Stay curious and open-minded: Sometimes, weird jobs require thinking outside the box. Stay curious, read, ask questions, and don’t be afraid to take risks.
  • Be prepared to start small: These unusual jobs might require you to start in a more conventional role in the same industry and work your way up into the niche position.

Weird Jobs FAQs

Do you need a degree to pursue a weird job?

Not necessarily. It’s true that some weird jobs require formal education, but many others rely more on unique skills, experiences, or certifications. Professional sleepers and pet food testers, for example, might not need degrees. It’s more about the specific requirements of the job and less about traditional educational paths. Researching the particular job you’re interested in will help you determine which qualifications you’ll need.

Are weird jobs in demand?

Yes, many weird jobs are in demand, but it depends on the position and industry. Because cybersecurity is so important, jobs like ethical hacking are in high demand. Alternatively, there are roles like professional mourners and fortune cookie writers, which aren’t as common but still offer unique experiences. Demand depends on the niche nature of the job and what the industry needs at the moment.

Where can I find listings for these kinds of jobs?

You can find weird job listings in many places, but they might take a little more digging than traditional ones. Niche job boards, industry-specific websites, and company career pages are great places to start. Online forums related to your area of interest, social media platforms, and professional networking sites like LinkedIn can also be helpful. Additionally, attending industry conferences or events can provide networking opportunities that lead to these unique roles. It’s important to remember that some weird jobs aren’t widely advertised, so networking and contacting companies directly can also be effective strategies.