Think your job is a little odd? You have no idea. Some occupations out there wouldn’t exist in your wildest dreams. With help from Business Insider, we look at bizarre jobs you never knew existed. (We aren’t even sure how you get into the line of work on page 10 — and it pays $80 an hour!)
1. Iceberg mover
- Estimated pay: $20,000 starting salary for Coast Guard recruits
You can thank the sinking of the Titanic for the creation of this occupation just one year later, reports Business Insider. Operated by the US Coast Guard, the International Ice Patrol helps ships by locating icebergs in their routes — and yes, sometimes towing them out of the way.
Next: The rise of animals on social media may affect this job.
2. Surf instructor for dogs
- Estimated pay: $14-$21/hour
Catching the occasional YouTube video of dogs skateboarding is cool enough. But we didn’t realize dog-surfing is a legit thing — or that it can be your job to teach dogs how to surf!
Next: A crazy work uniform …
3. Professional bridesmaid
- Estimated pay: $300-$2,000 per wedding
That’s right; you can have a job where you get paid to wear an ugly dress and act as Bridezilla’s on-call assistant for her special day. You could even charge extra for the speech.
Next: Don’t make us gag.
4. Odor judge
- Estimated pay: $19,000-$52,000 annually
Let’s face it: Someone has to make sure deodorant is actually going to work, right? That’s what an odor judge does — smells armpits, mouths, feet, what-have-you to ensure the products are working properly.
Next: An unusual way to memorialize loved ones forever
5. Ash artist
- Estimated pay: $225-$500 per commission
Is your loved one’s urn taking up valuable space on a shelf? Hire an ash artist to create a handcrafted glass masterpiece incorporating ashes from the deceased. Founded in 2006, Art From Ashes employs three professional glass artists who create keepsake paperweights,
Next: This job just makes us sad.
6. Professional mourner
- Estimated pay: $70 per two hours
Nevermind that scene from Wedding Crashers when Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell show up to a funeral to pick up women. Companies exist that actually send professionals to funerals to help families of the deceased grieve, according to Business Insider.
Next: This sounds like fun …
7. Panda nanny
- Estimated pay: $32,500 annually plus free meals, accommodations, and a company SUV
Who wouldn’t want to care for a fluffy panda? But this is a serious job. Finding the perfect panda nanny involves a long interview process and nannies must dedicate their lives to the pandas 365 days a year, according to the Giant Panda Protection and Research Center.
Next: Do you have HBO, Netflix, AND Hulu subscriptions?
8. TV watcher
- Estimated pay: $20/hour
Couch potatoes rejoice! It is possible to get paid to watch TV. However, this job is more complex than simply binge-watching. TIME explains that pro TV viewers are told what to watch and have guidelines for rating shows.
Next: Are you a good swimmer?
9. Professional mermaid
- Estimated pay: $300/hour
Business Insider tells us professional mermaids can make over $300 an hour to perform at parties or give lessons on how to “swim like a mermaid.” Apparently, it also costs an arm and a leg to get your mermaid certification.
Next: You can make $80 an hour doing this therapy.
10. Professional cuddler
- Estimated pay: $40-$80/hour
Yes, you can get paid to cuddle strangers as a form of therapy. But this bizarre job has a catch. A few professional cuddlers tell the International Business Times clients often want more than to cuddle, which would turn the deed from a therapeutic snuggle into illegal prostitution.
Next: If you love to travel …
11. Professional foreigner
- Estimated pay: $1,000/week
Apparently, it’s a big business in China to hire foreigners to attend big events because it makes the event seem like a big deal. “Some Chinese companies will pay men $1,000 a week to
Next: We guess someone has to taste it.
12. Dog food taste-tester
- Estimated pay: $34,000-$117,000 annually
Before you get too grossed out by this bizarre job, don’t worry; tasters typically spit the food out after tasting it. There’s also more to being a dog food tester than just chewing kibble. Dog food companies hire tasters to also judge the nutritional value of the food they taste.
Next: It sounds boring, but if it pays …
- Estimated pay: $1,000/week
There are few things in the world more tedious than having to stand in a long line. But that doesn’t stop individuals from making over $1,000 a week to stand in lines for product launches, huge holiday sales, nightclub openings, even celebrity meet-and-greets.
Next: We knew somebody had to do it …
14. Fortune cookie writer
- Estimated pay: $40,000 to $80,000 annually
Those little slips of paper don’t write themselves. Business Insider tells us fortune cookie manufacturers typically hire freelance writers to create those little bits of wisdom. Despite the slips of paper being so little, fortune writers can make a good living.
Next: Last but not least …
15. Chicken sexer
- Estimated pay: $60,000 annually
Long story short: “Chicken sexers determine the sex of a chick, relying heavily on intuition,” according to Business Insider. This bizarre job is reportedly more common in the UK and Japan, and that workers are typically hired by the hatcheries themselves.
Next: Do you like to work with your hands?
16. Face feeler
- Estimated pay: $20/hour
This occupation isn’t quite as weird as it sounds. Much like an odor judge, face-feelers judge whether products like cleansers and lotions are effective.
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!