Great Job! 10 Weird Careers That Actually Sound Pretty Awesome

Some of the most exciting jobs aren’t necessarily conventional careers.

Pradyoth Velagapudi, Managing Editor

Corporate cubicle slave, or horse chiropractor? McDonald’s cashier or professional mermaid? Here are 10 unconventional careers that definitely better than your average, everyday jobs.

Gum Remover

Have you ever seen those stubborn wads of gum on the street or the sidewalk that keep getting stuck to your feet? Well, some companies actually pay people to dissolve that petrified Dubble Bubble away. Gum removers (or “gum busters”) are hired walk around with a pressurized power-washer that shoots out jets of steam and chemicals to remove wads of gum from the ground. Gum busters can make up to $100,000 a year, according to How Stuff Works Money.

Animal Chiropractor

Chiropractors are paid to help people to stretch their muscles and joints and relieve stress on their body; but the same profession is applicable to animals as well. According to How Stuff Works Money, animal chiropractors help animals stretch and massage sore spots, just like they would for humans. However, the job is harder in some ways than human chiropractic, because animals can’t talk. The job also requires an intimate knowledge of animal anatomy. Animal chiropractors usually serve horses, cats, or dogs, and can make anywhere from $40,000 to $85,000 a year.

Professional Sleeper

Yes, it’s actually a real thing. This uncommon career can simply be a part of working for a company that gives its employees “nap time” to foster creative thinking (like Google does) or actually hiring yourself out exclusively as a sleeper. According to Career Addict, professional sleepers are usually hired for:

Art Exhibits: Some artists require a real person for their exhibits. People are sometimes paid to take sleeping pills and fall asleep in an art museum as part of an exhibit. These exhibitionist sleepers usually only make around $10 an hour.

Science Experiments: Sleepers can offer their services as subjects in science experiments involving sleep monitoring. The job usually entails being hooked up to machines that monitor breathing, heart rate, brain activity, and other bodily functions, and taking a nice, long nap. This doesn’t usually last for a very long time, and typically pays between $3,000 to $10,000 for 2 to 4 weeks.

Bed Testers: Some companies hire people to test the quality of their mattresses, beds, or even sleeping bags, and give reports, so that the companies can improve their products. This can earn people up to around $1,000 a month.

Hotels and Resorts: Many high-end resorts or large hotel companies hire people to sleep in a different room each night to offer updates on the quality of, and their satisfaction with, each individual room. These hotel testers can be paid any amount (there’s no exact average), but usually are either hired by the hotel itself, a travel magazine, or an independent hotel tester company. They can also be freelance and write reviews for different hotels.

Pet Food Taster

Does dog food taste good? It may sound funny, but it’s actually a legitimate question. According to The Penny Hoarder, many pet food companies hire people to taste test their chow, since the animals can’t say whether they like it or not. These pet food testers earn an average of $41,000 a year.

Odor Judge (A.K.A, Armpit Sniffer)

For talented individuals with extraordinary olfactory skills, an odor judge may be a dream job. According to How Stuff Works Money, some companies hire people to test hygiene and smell-related products like deodorant or perfume by smelling the bodies of test subjects wearing the product. This job is no walk in the park; odor judges are tested monthly on their sense of smell. Odor judges usually earn around $35,000 a year.

Snake Milker

This daring profession is not for the faint of heart—or for those with ophiophobia, the fear of snakes. According to JobMonkey, snake milkers work at centers full of venomous snakes, where they collect venom from the writhing reptiles and sell it. The venom market is rather lucrative, with most snake venoms selling for around $1,000 per gram, and rare (or especially potent) venoms selling for up to $2,000 per gram. The reason is because snake venom is useful in many medicines, especially for combating strokes or tumors. Snake milkers usually earn a yearly profit of around $30,000.

Professional Cuddler

According to Business Insider, professional cuddlers make their living charging random strangers for a snuggle or two. Cuddlers can charge up to $80 an hour for their services, which usually involves emotional support and listening to woes as well as cuddling. You can make over $600 a week hugging people you don’t know.

Line Stander

If you’ve ever been to Disneyland, a Black Friday sale, or an Apple store the day a new iPhone came out, you have probably been bored out of your mind waiting for several straight hours. But there is a solution-you can hire someone to wait in line for you? According to Business Insider, line standers are paid to stand in lines for other people, to avoid the rush and the long wait of waiting in huge queues. Line standers are paid to wait in line for everything from concert tickets to Shark Tank auditions, and can make up to $1,000 a week by just standing in line. Line standers also occasionally sell refreshments to the other people waiting in line. The usual method of charging customers for line-standing services is a fixed price for the first hour in line, and an additional price for every additional hour in line (linear equations, anyone?).

Fortune Cookie Writer

“You will die alone and poorly dressed.” “Don’t believe everything you read.” “You will be successful in all of your real estate endeavors this week.” Have you ever gotten a really lame fortune cookie message? Blame the fortune cookie writers! According to Business Insider, there are actually people who get paid to write messages part-time for fortune cookie manufacturers. This can earn the fortune cookie writers around $40,000 a year, just for crushing people’s hopes and dreams with lame, barely inspirational one-liners they ripped off from a Zig Ziglar book. Wow… that actually sounds kind of fun! Sign me up!

Professional Mermaid

Put on your flippers and your waterproof makeup, it’s time for some “The Little Mermaid” Ariel cosplay! According to Business Insider, professional mermaids teach others how to “swim like a mermaid,” and also perform at kids’ birthday parties. Professional mermaids charge around $300 an hour at birthday parties, but getting to become a certified mermaid and kickstarting your mermaid-visit business can take some effort—and money. Mermaid classes can cost up to $3,800 for a five-day training course if you attend Canadian mermaid company Aqua Mermaid classes.

Keep in mind that many of these jobs are not full time, and many of them are (understandably) not very common. But, if you play your cards right, you might just be able to make some extra money over the summer with one of these cool jobs. Or you could just mow lawns. But remember, the reason many of these jobs exist is because some entrepreneur out there was enterprising enough to come up with the concept. So, whether or not you follow through with one of these strange careers, there’s always another niche market out there with a specialized need that you can serve (for a tidy profit, usually). So, get out there, and start making some money!