Highest Paying Unusual Jobs
If you’re stuck in a work rut, or you need a higher salary to pay those bills and don’t mind doing something a little out of the ordinary, then we may have the career advice you’re looking for. Earning mega bucks isn’t just for more conventional jobs, there are some oddball career choices that can easily bring in a six-figure salary. We’re talking legal work here. But if you fancy a change and are up for a job that’ll certainly get them talking at your next high school reunion, then it would be criminal not to check out our 10 unusual top paying jobs list. Just imagine how good they would look on your resume…
It may not be the happiest of jobs, but it’s rewarding, as an embalmer brings some comfort to the loved ones of the recently deceased. And it can be financially rewarding too, with the average salary of $45,000 a year, with the possibility of earning $70,000+. In a nutshell, an embalmer prepares the body for burial, including reconstructing the body to disguise any damage. It does require a certain personality – you need to be sensitive, caring, practical and flexible – but it’s a well-paid job where you can make a difference. Mortuary Science School is the basic requirement and you’ll need a state license but if you’re looking to get out of your dead-end job and try something new, this could well be it.
2. Golf Ball Retriever
Fancy making money out of little dimpled balls? Then a golf ball retriever could be your next business venture. An estimated 200 million golf balls go AWOL on golf courses around the US every year, either in the rough or more likely, the water. A retrieval business can prove to be pretty lucrative, with the best in the business bringing in between $50-$100,000 a year. You are in essence, a recycler but you also need to be a diver, as it largely involves getting into the golf course lakes and waterways. And you will also need to get an agreement with the golf course owners to complete the job. With reconditioned golf balls selling from around six cents to over a dollar each, the more balls you collect, you’ll soon see those financial returns add up.
3. Bounty Hunter
You may think it’s the reserve of the movies, but you can be a real-life Bounty Hunter and get a fine financial return for your efforts. OK, it may not be the safest career – you’ll be tracking down bail bond fugitives no less – but if you like adventure and time on the road, it could be a career-change to consider. You’ll need a certain set of skills and a personality that won’t take no for an answer as well as a state license. But in return, you can earn a more than decent wage. The average salary for a Bounty Hunter is around $60,400 but don’t take that as red because the better the Bounty Hunter you are, the more you’ll earn as you take a percentage of the bail money (typically 10-20%) for every fugitive you return to the fold.
4. Crime Scene Cleaner
Certainly not for the faint-hearted, a career as a Crime Scene Cleaner is proof that in some circumstances, crime does pay. This is a shoo-in for an unusual job that comes with a good salary, with the top ‘hazardous materials removal workers’ easily earning $75k and above. But you do need to be a non-squeamish type. As a Crime Scene Cleaner, you’ll deal with scenes that even hardened cops find tough. And whether it’s a murder, suicide or accident, you need to clean it all away. Most Crime Scene Cleaner firms provide on-the-job training and you’ll need to follow strict procedures for cleaning and disposing of hazardous materials. But get some experience under your belt, and you’ll soon be cleaning up.
5. Ethical Hacker
Ethical hackers are now a thing, and as a lucrative career can earn you over $100k. If you have top computer and coding skills, as well as a hacker’s mind, many large companies, public bodies and financial institutions will pay to have you part of their security team. Your job will be to head off malicious hackers and test an organization’s own IT security, to identify and rectify any weaknesses that could lead to a security breach. Most ethical hackers – also known as white hat hackers – will be expected to have bachelor’s degree in computer science or information technology. The average payout for an ethical hacker is $71,000 but with bonuses, you could go well into six figures.
6. Medical Illustrator
While the medics, doctors and consultants grab the attention as well as the well-earned salaries, there’s another, little-known medical profession that can command a not-so-little salary. Working alongside scientists and doctors, a Medical Illustrator creates highly complex medical drawings or animations, for both legal and education use. It requires a relevant degree, specialized medical training and a talent in art, but a Medical Illustrator can earn between $80-$170,000. And those at the very top of their drawing game can earn in excess of one million bucks if they work self-employed.
7. Cruise Ship Entertainer
Traveling the world in luxury and getting paid top dollar to do it? Where do we sign up! Well if you’re a talented performing artist and fancy job at sea, then consider becoming a Cruise Ship Entertainer. Don’t get us wrong, the hours are long, the work is hard, and you’ll need to pass an audition, but if you’ve a love of musical theatre and a good pair of sea legs, there’s a good bounty to be earned. Depending on your final role – chorus dancers will earn less than the headline act – you could be earning around $6k a month, plus you get to see more of the world. We shake our jazz hands to that!
8. Oil Rig Diver
The work is tough and dangerous but if you like the idea of potentially earning over $100,000 a year, then get in your application for an Oil Rig Diver. You will need to be able to dive first – and we’re not talking blue water diving in the Caribbean – and hold a recognized Commercial Diver qualification. And if you have engineering or mechanical skills such as welding that could put you at an advantage. The oil and extraction industries pay top dollar for the best commercial scuba divers to build and repair their underwater plants, pipes and rigs. It’s a pretty hard anti-social job – you’ll be offshore for long chunks of time and the risks of Mother Nature are real but even at an entry level, you could be netting $1,500 a week.
9. Master Distiller
Now here’s a job we can raise a glass to – a Master Distiller! And, while you’ll need to work to hone your craft, we say that’s a very enjoyable career path. And the beauty is, you can actually get away with having a shot or two while on the job. All in the name of research and product development of course. A degree in chemistry or food science will certainly help, as will management, PR and product development skills but it’s a job that can bring around $60,000 a year, with the most in-demand Master Distillers commanding $100K+. And if you decide to set up your own business, well, we could be getting the champagne out!
10. Elevator Inspector
If you want to ride high in a new, lucrative career but also want to work with your hands, then why not think about becoming an Elevator Inspector. It may have its ups and downs (pun intended) but companies pay good money to keep their skyscraper elevators on the move. As an Elevator Inspector you’ll work to ensure those rides in the sky work safely and smoothly, with a decent salary return – over $63,000 – for your professional efforts. You will need certain specific qualifications and on the job training, plus a state license, but then you can watch your career go up in the world.