What Are the Most Unique Jobs in the World?

By Jake SchroederPublished Mar 3, 2020 4:12:42 AM ET
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Photo Courtesy: Paul Stevenson/Flickr

So many people don’t enjoy going to work each day, but it's something they have to do to enjoy shelter, food and the tools to survive. The problem is most jobs are mundane — like data entry and customer service — and would never be considered anyone’s dream job. But what if jobs were intriguing and exciting, and employees learned and experienced new things each day? That would be a game changer.

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The interesting part is there are a lot more unique and intriguing positions out there than people realize. Some of these jobs are more dangerous than fun, but the end result is exhilarating and never boring. Ready to schedule an interview? Check out these possibilities!

Bounty Hunter

Thanks to The Mandalorian, bounty hunters have come back into mainstream conversations. Although everyone can't catch criminals in paradise like Dog the Bounty Hunter, that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of real opportunities to be a bounty hunter. Each state has its own requirements for entering the profession.

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Photo Courtesy: U.S. Navy/Wikimedia Commons

It helps to have a degree, certificate or training in a related program. Excellent client relations and negotiation skills are needed to secure work with local bail bond agents. Some agencies specifically focus on recruiting fugitive recovery agents. Further training in self-defense, martial arts and firearms can't hurt either. Not every fugitive wants to go willingly back to jail.

Panda Nanny

Playing with pandas is the perfect job for anyone (everyone!) who wants to spend their days caring for and snuggling with the endangered species. For $32,000 a year, plus room, board and meals, a candidate can move to China and work for the China Giant Panda Protection and Research Center.

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Photo Courtesy: Sparky 321/Wikimedia Commons

According to the Huffington Post, applicants must be at least 22 years old, and the organization recommends that candidates do their homework and research necessary information on pandas before applying. Job openings don’t pop up often, as fewer than 2,500 giant pandas remain on Earth. The primary objective of panda nannies is to spread awareness and promote conservation of the species.

Ice Cream Taster

For real? We all scream for ice cream, but some people are actually lucky enough to get paid for eating it. Other names for ice cream tasters include "flavorologists" and "sensory analysts." An average day consists of comprehensive sampling and assessment of texture, aroma, appearance and color. Not a bad day, right?

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Enjoying ice cream isn’t the only prerequisite, of course. Tasters are required to help invent new flavors and perform extensive marketing, including conducting research and developing targeted campaigns. Those who are lucky enough to get hired as an ice cream taster can expect a nice salary of around $100,000. Sweet!

Event Planner

Some people are experts in organizational management. These professionals are typically detail-oriented, personable and very, very thorough. All of these qualities are vital to organizing and coordinating elaborate events, including parties, weddings, festivals, concerts and exhibitions. Event management can be very lucrative, even for those who only do it part time.

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Photo Courtesy: Francisco Osorio/Flickr

All it takes to get started is finding a friend who needs someone to plan a wedding or party. If the event is a success, all the attendees could become possible clients, and word-of-mouth is an extremely strong marketing tool for any business. Not to mention, it doesn't cost anything.

Cuddle Therapist

Not only is snuggling up with someone a great way to reduce stress, but it can also be a lucrative career. It doesn't take a degree or any unique talents, and you can be vetted by various cuddle agencies to become a professional cuddle therapist. It may sound ridiculous, but it’s true.

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Professional cuddlers should be good listeners and encouraging during each session. People who hire cuddlers are often suffering from chronic social isolation or touch deprivation. Cuddling improves the body's immunity, increases energy and builds self-esteem. It's also a valuable tool for decreasing anxiety and stress while promoting trust.

Travel Nurse

Nursing is one of the most underrated and thankless jobs in the world. Becoming a nurse is also a complicated and arduous endeavor, which probably explains why there is a nursing shortage across the country. Becoming a travel nurse can be beneficial to both the nurses and the hospitals they serve.

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Photo Courtesy: 2nd Lt. Brooke Betit/U.S. Air Force

Travel nurses usually make higher than average wages in addition to receiving housing and moving expenses. They also have opportunities to live in different states or countries, giving them unique cultural awareness along with diverse skills and knowledge learned from various hospitals and health care centers.

Video Game Tester

A lot of parents have spent a lot of time telling their children to quit playing video games and do something productive. Wouldn’t it be ironic if they could play video games for a career? Every video game studio hires testers to locate bugs and help with fixes before a game goes to market. Just because someone is good at gaming, doesn't necessarily make them a qualified video game tester, however.

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The job requires game testers to thoroughly explore the game by playing through each level in detail to find programming errors. A few companies hire remote game testers, so the next time kids burst through the door, the gaming mom or dad can say, "I'm working."

Freelance Writer

Freelance writing isn't unique itself, but when you factor in what some freelance writers do while working, it turns it into a one-of-a-kind job. Most companies rely on website content to improve their search engine placement, and there are countless jobs available for people to write content on a variety of topics from home.

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Because freelance writing is mostly remote, writers can travel and explore different places in between projects or even while they’re working. How many gigs allow people to work from a train that is cruising through Europe or Asia? Not many. Internet access is about the only necessity.

Ostrich Babysitter

If pandas aren’t the animal for you, maybe you would be more interested in babysitting baby ostriches all day. Ostriches are famously aggressive, so the babies require monitoring to ensure they don’t get pecked to death by older birds. It's a pretty easy job to get — and maybe a teensy bit dangerous — if you can find an opening somewhere.

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Photo Courtesy: Specialist Michelle C. Lawrence/U.S. Africa Command

Baby ostriches tend to run off and can fit through small spaces, so keeping an eye on each one is essential. The only requirement is a high school diploma and an interest in working with animals. Depending on how many ostriches there are, a babysitter can earn up to $20 per hour.

Iceberg Mover

As the polar regions continue to warm, moving icebergs becomes a critical job. According to NASA glaciologist Kelly Brunt, "Bergs pose a threat when they sluff off chunks of ice," and "the waves that are created from this process can be quite large and could inundate the inhabited coast."

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In 2018, a town in Greenland had a 10-million-ton iceberg off its shores. A piece broke off, causing the small village to experience large waves rippling through the harbor. They evacuated 170 people due to the tsunami-like waves. Iceberg movers arrived shortly after to remove the massive chunks.

Cheesemonger

The name cheesemonger first appeared back in the 12th century. It describes anyone who specializes in making and selling cheese. Cheesemongers run their shops or stands and offer a variety of cheeses from around the world. A talented and knowledgeable cheesemonger is identified by an appropriately and clearly labeled cheese collection.

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Cheesemongers are connoisseurs and real liaisons. They learn about their customers’ habits and tastes and use that information to provide the perfect cheeses for any occasion. A good cheesemonger builds lasting relationships with customers, much like a hairdresser or a financial advisor.

YouTube Creator

Even though it may take some time to establish a channel and make money, it can be worth it to become a professional YouTube creator. All it takes is a video camera, some basic video editing skills and an appealing personality to launch a successful channel. It’s not even necessary — especially not in the beginning — to have a clear focus for your channel's content.

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In addition to making advertising revenue, YouTube creator, van-dweller and traveler "Foresty Forest" receives money from viewer subscriptions. A website called Patreon provides him with monthly subscription payments in exchange for providing exclusive content to "patrons."

Crime Scene Cleaner

After the crime scene is thoroughly investigated, the police officers, detectives and news media pack up — and leave a big mess behind. A graphic crime scene generally requires professionals to come in and clean it up. That is where a crime scene clean-up crew comes in to play. Crime scene clean-up is the part you rarely see in the movies and on television shows.

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Photo Courtesy: shankar s./Flickr

The job is dangerous due to the possible diseases and infections involved. Large industrial machines and strong antibacterial chemicals are required. Let’s just say they are the kinds of products you won’t see Merry Maids using to clean your toilet.

Ethical Hacker

Cybersecurity is an industry that isn’t going away any time soon. Governments and corporations need IT-security specialists to uncover flaws in their systems and determine the prospective holes in their network infrastructure. A Certified Ethical Hacker comes in to protect confidential and sensitive information across all sectors, including finance, government, healthcare and energy.

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This job requires an interest and advanced capabilities with computers, networks, hardware and software. Finding vulnerabilities in systems isn’t easy. Depending on the talent and experience level of the hacker, the average salary hovers around $99,000, according to Steven Graham from the EC-Council.

Netflix Tagger

People who love to binge Netflix programs live everywhere, and most of them don't realize they could get paid to tag content. Anyone who watches a Netflix show sees other recommended titles after their program finishes. Whether or not the recommendations fit the viewers’ interests is up to a professional Netflix tagger.

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To be honest, it's an incredibly difficult job to obtain. Netflix pools together a team of 30 taggers to apply metadata to their video collection. The official title is Content Analyst or Editorial Creative Manager, and applications are available on the Netflix Jobs website.

Private Investigator

People decide to become private investigators for various reasons. They might want to help victims of crimes because they were also once victims, or they could just love solving puzzles. Becoming a PI requires licensing, with the specifics depending on the requirements of each state. The regulatory agency will certainly conduct a full background check, and some states demand relevant experience.

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Photo Courtesy: Gadi Dagon/Wikimedia Commons

Other than that, the typical business requirements allow investigators to hit the streets and solve independent cases. You will also need to purchase some surety bonds and liability insurance along with a business license. The most important aspect is developing relationships with clients — and good investigative skills, of course.

Chicken Sexer

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average American consumed around 93 pounds of chicken in 2018. An article in the Huffington Post claimed that KFC goes through 850 million chickens per year. Separating hatchlings is an essential job in the poultry process.

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Photo Courtesy: Petr Kratochvil/Public Domain Pictures

Trained chicken sexers identify the gender of chickens for various reasons. Egg-producing farms do not need males, for example. In meat production, sexers separate males and females to produce hybrid birds that end up on dining room tables across the country. There are eight primary methods for sexing, including automated and manual systems.

Underwater Pizza Delivery

Jules' Undersea Lodge in Key Largo, Florida, is a hotel that offers underwater views of the surrounding marine life. Visitors spend a couple of hundred dollars a night for the lodging. Rob Doyle, a PADI Scuba Diving Instructor in the area, discovered a unique niche market for the hotel's customers.

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Photo Courtesy: Science Channel/YouTube

Instead of leaving the hotel and eating at a nearby restaurant on the surface, guests at the hotel have another option, thanks to Doyle. When he receives an order, he packs up pizza in an air-tight box, puts on his SCUBA gear and swims over to deliver the hot pie.

Embalmer

For people who have a strong stomach and don't mind working with people who are lifeless, embalming is a noble and unique profession. A career as an embalmer is a demanding 24/7 job that requires specific qualifications, certifications and licenses. Openings are usually available in funeral homes, laboratories and research facilities.

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Photo Courtesy: Airman 1st Class Brooke P. Doyle/U.S. Air Force

Training includes lessons on replacing blood with embalming fluid and performing reconstructions on body parts and facial features. Embalmers are taught to work safely with potentially harmful substances and body fluids. The industry is highly stressful and sometimes includes extremely long hours of extensive work.

License Plate Blocker

Traffic in the Iranian city of Tehran is outrageous, with almost 9 million people crammed into an area seven times larger than Paris, France. Nearly 4 million drivers are on the road, and that started to cause terrible air pollution. As a result, the government allotted specific zones to restrict driving based on the odd or even numbers on a license plate.

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Photo Courtesy: Evgeniy Isaev/Flickr

However, residents started to outsmart the cameras that were set up to catch offenders and fine them for breaking the rules. One method used by drivers is to hire a "human shield" to walk behind their cars while they are in the line-of-sight.

Tour Guide

Tourism is one of the largest industries in the world. People are always paying experts to provide them with information on an area's history, entertainment, lodging and culinary specialties. Becoming a tour guide isn't complicated, but it does depend on the level of knowledge you have about a specific city or place.

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Some tour guides stand on buses and spew out facts, while others are more active. A few companies on the Hawaiian island of Maui offer bicycle tours that travel 27 miles down into a 10,000-foot volcano. Not to mention, the "office" view is gorgeous with this job and changes continuously.

Snake Milker

Milking snakes certainly isn’t the first profession that comes to mind when you’re entering the workforce. Working with highly venomous snakes isn’t anyone's idea of a stable work environment, but it’s one of the most important positions out there when it comes to curing diseases, saving lives and developing antidotes to different poisons.

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An average snake milker takes home around $2,500 per month. For people who start their snake milking firms, one gram of a specific venom can be worth up to $2,000. The biggest question to ask is if the reward is worth the risk.

Gambler

A unique aspect of becoming a professional gambler is that anyone can do it. Former Miss Finland Sara Chafak spends her days at the poker table when she's not competing in pageants. High school valedictorian Brian Rast dropped out of college and is the first person to make more than a million dollars in tournaments for seven years straight.

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Gambling isn't easy, of course, especially poker. Poker legend Doyle Brunson says the game is "about positions and people," but everyone gets lucky. It takes patience, a large bankroll and a fantastic spouse to become a successful professional gambler.

Mermaid

What person hasn't thought about being a mermaid, swimming free throughout the oceans and making friends with all the dolphins and other sea creatures? It seems like more of a lifestyle change, but with some help, it could become a lucrative side gig. Sound crazy? People hire professional mermaids for corporate events and lavish parties.

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Photo Courtesy: Crisco 1492/Wikimedia Commons

The average day consists of sitting on rocks and swimming underwater while waving at people from inside an aquarium. Pay is dependent on your acting and underwater breathing skills, but an average mermaid can make up to $200 per hour. If you’re ready to get started, plenty of creatives on Etsy can create the perfect costume.

Stuntperson

Becoming a stuntperson isn’t hard, but it requires a willingness to destroy your body. After getting past the risks, it’s one of the most thrilling and dangerous professions in Hollywood. Stunt people jump from extremely tall heights, accelerate motorcycles and cars off ramps and set themselves on fire, all in the name of filmmaking.

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New stunt people may earn as little as $5,000 a year until they prove themselves. Once they get the hang of it and obtain more work, they can make around $70,000 per year. The legends and the most experienced stunt people make up to $250,000 a year.

Skydiving Instructor

The only good reason to jump out of a perfectly good airplane is the adrenaline rush that goes with it as the excitement of falling 20,000 feet at 120 miles per hour courses through your veins. An even better reason to jump out of a perfectly good aircraft is to get paid for doing it. On the way down, skydivers experience a 100-mile radial view of the surrounding landscape.

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In the United States, a certified skydiving instructor has to become a member of the United States Parachute Association. They can start jumping with novices once they log 500 jumps totaling three hours of freefall.

Golf Ball Diver

There are more than 30,000 golf courses spread across the globe, with 45% of them located within the United States. With 360 million new golf balls sold each year, recovering balls that end up in ponds is a huge money-making industry. Golfers are always looking for used balls for practicing their game.

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Professional diving certification is needed to become a professional golf ball diver. Once the equipment is purchased, it's crucial to build relationships with golf courses and negotiate and sign lucrative contracts. A dedicated golf ball diver earns up to $100,000 per year.

Sherpa

Reaching the summit of Mount Everest is on the bucket list of countless mountaineers and adventure-seekers across the world. Anyone with enough money can fly to Nepal during the brief climbing season windows in May and September, but it takes working with an experienced sherpa to increase the safety of your climb.

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The average Nepalese citizen only earns about $48 per month. A sherpa can earn between $2,000 and $5,000 within a season. With 800 people climbing Everest each year, the volume of climbers has caused the climb to become more dangerous. USA Today reported that almost 11 sherpas die each year.

Astronaut

More than 18,000 Americans have vied for a chance to be selected for NASA's astronaut program. Becoming an astronaut requires candidates to be in top condition and possess a bachelor's degree in biology, physics, computer science or math. They must also have recorded more than 1,000 hours of flight time in a jet aircraft.

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Scuba diving, wilderness experience and knowledge of the Russian language are highly preferred, considering many components and instructions come from Russia. Thanks to companies like SpaceX, the private space flight industry could soon see an influx in space travel.

CIA Agent

Hollywood has romanticized the spy industry for many years. In real-life, however, the Central Intelligence Agency isn’t as action-packed as the movies would lead us to believe. Most employees are analysts, and many open positions focus on day-to-day operations, food service and cleaning. Still, becoming a secret agent is within reach.

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Employees with the CIA must be United States citizens who are at least 18 years old. They have to earn a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA or above. Strong written and oral communication skills are a must, along with passing an extensive background check and polygraph test.