25 Odd Jobs That Pay Really Well

woman smelling candles

Many of us have considered changing careers, whether imagining ourselves as chocolate tasters or armchair testers. But the reality is that these dream jobs typically have low pay or might not even exist.  However, before you give up, there are indeed some weird yet lucrative jobs out there.  If you've dreamed of a more exciting career, we put together some odd jobs that pay really well. 

1. Candle Sniffer

Woman smelling candle
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The term “candle sniffer” is unlikely to be written into the contract, but it sums up what’s required here. One person shared that they get paid to test the fragrances from a well-known candle manufacturer by sniffing a vat of scented wax. It’s a great option if you have the nose for it and want to earn around $30,000.

2. Trash Detective

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The illegal dumping of trash can lead to gainful employment for some. Someone states that her boyfriend's job involves heading into Oklahoma woods, finding and reporting garbage while sifting through to find clues about who was responsible. Since this is quite an obscure role, salary information is not available, but generally, detectives can make as much as $130,000 a year.

3. Emoji Translator

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In 2017, CNN reported that Ireland’s Keith Broni had landed a job as the world’s first emoji translator. Incorrect use of this image-based language can lead to embarrassment, as many parents who have inadvertently clicked on the eggplant will realize. Broni, who has a master’s degree in business psychology, worked for Today Translations and beat 500 other applicants for the role.  Emoji translators in the United States make around $70,846 a year.

4. Cardiovascular Perfusionist

Emergency surgery. Surgeons during surgical intervention in clinic
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A cardiovascular perfusionist told us that open heart surgery cannot occur without them. The job entails operating essential equipment during the process. While a serious qualification is needed before joining the roster of cardiovascular perfusionists, it’s a niche market with excellent salaries.  For example, a cardiovascular perfusionist in New York can make $210,000 a year.

5. Bereavement Coordinator

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Those who have recently lost loved ones can let a third party take care of arranging the funeral. It’s not an option that will suit everyone, but having another person in your corner at a distressing time can be good. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a bereavement coordinator can earn around $47,000 annually on average.

6. Greensperson

Film Set
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When I first saw this suggestion, I thought it referred to someone who worked on a golf course. Instead, the contributor is based in the film industry, and they look after the plants and trees on set.  While situated under those studio lights for long periods, those indoor plants require much maintenance. The starting hourly wage is around $26.72.

7. Freelance Dating Ghostwriter

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Are you taking the plunge and joining a dating website but need help deciding what to write? Why not outsource the work to a freelancer? Some writers will ask you for basic personal information before building your profile, which could lead to that date. As a general freelance writer, average salaries can exceed $50,000 annually.

8. Dental Designer

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Image Credit: Dean Drobot/Shutterstock.

One person stated that for their job, they make teeth. They explained that they use a computer program to design crowns and bridges for the dental industry. This person revealed they are comfortable without disclosing their salary, while a dental hygienist replies and claims their work is invaluable.  According to Zip Recruiter, top earners can make $107,000 yearly.

9. Voice Over Artist

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There is a lot of availability for voice-over artists in the entertainment industry. At the very top of the tree, those who provide narratives for TV commercials can earn serious money. Video game voice actors can make anywhere from $400 to $2000 a day.  Still, there are opportunities throughout the sector, with significant demand within local radio. A distinctive voice is an obvious bonus, but many take voice coaching and acting lessons to improve their craft.

10. Film Extra

The Walking Dead 2010
Image Credit: AMC Studios.

It’s not as glamorous as it sounds, and the chances are that you won’t rub shoulders with the great Hollywood stars before they disappear into their trailers. However, working as a film or TV extra can be fun, and many agencies offer a wide range of day rates starting around $100.

11. Ice Sculptor

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Somebody has to make those elaborate ice designs at weddings and other celebrations, so why shouldn’t it be you? A respondent provides this service as part of their catering business, and it’s stated that the average salary for an ice sculptor is just over $50,000.

12. Beer Taster

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Could it be that my dream job does exist? One on the thread has a friend who works as an official taster for one of the biggest global brewers. Employment sites claim that beer tasters could earn as much as $82,000 annually, which is interesting, considering that some of us continue to work as unpaid freelancers.

13. Fire Alarm Tester

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Back at school, I recall one of my fellow pupils setting off a fire alarm during a dull geography lesson discussing Oxbow Lakes. Perhaps they’ve progressed to join the many who now make a living as fire alarm and sprinkler testers, making around $28 per hour.

14. Hippotherapist

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This isn’t what it seems. When seeing the term for the first time, I got an image of a therapist talking to Pablo Escobar’s hippos and providing comfort following their recent sterilization. In fact, a hippotherapist uses horses as a tool to provide therapy for children and adults. The average salary is impressive at just under $75,000 a year.

15. Pet Sitting

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Escobar’s hippos are being cared for, but many other pets must be looked after when their owners are away. We’re likely to all be aware that cat and dog sitting is a thing, but according to some forum members, the pay is better than we think. Petsitters average $15 per hour but can make much more for overnight stays and caring for pets needing medical attention. The discussion recommends rover.com as a source of work.

16. Children's Entertainer

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If you pass the proper checks and have the talent to turn a balloon into a giraffe, why not switch to the world of children’s entertainment? It can be a rewarding experience to see all those laughing faces, and the pay can be more than a nice consolation. Someone hired an entertainer who charged between $400 and $500 per show.

17. Mystery Shopper

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Many big companies will pay people to test their goods and services, while multiple agencies recruit mystery shoppers. Some shoppers claim that they can earn up to $100k per annum, including the freebies that they enjoy along the way. The reality may be less lucrative, and many consider this an enjoyable side hustle.

18. Personal Shopper

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There’s no mystery to this role. Those with little time and enough disposable income can seek help from a personal shopper. Anyone taking on this role could be sent out for groceries, clothes, and all manner of household goods. Lower-paid, part-time personal shopper jobs could pay as little as $13 per hour, but those figures can rise steeply for full-time roles with high-net-worth individuals.

19. Authorized Computer Hacker

smiling woman working from home
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We’re talking about legitimate hacking in this case. Major companies need to test their website security to ensure it’s safe from hackers who want to cause harm to their systems. Anyone who wants to use their hacking skills for positive purposes could earn over $90,000 annually.

20. Underwater Welding

Underwater Welding
Image Credit: U.S Navy Official.

It sounds like this should be impossible, but underwater welding does take place, and there are vital roles in the Navy and many private industries. Welders can earn up to $400k annually, but it’s also hazardous.

21. Art Therapy

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Talented artists who can’t profit from selling their work have alternative paths to follow. Art therapy can make use of those talents while providing help for patients. It’s a rewarding career that pays, on average, around $58,000 per year.

22. Phlebotomist

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Many of us may have already visited a phlebotomist without realizing it. Their job is to draw blood from patients, which is then sent away for testing. A course and valid certificate are required, but some phlebotomists work part-time and earn $20 per hour in the region.

23. Elevator Maintenance

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This is a niche engineering area where the pay is rewarding. The average yearly salary is $131,000. However, elevator engineering has its ups and downs (pun intended). 

24. Collecting Dead Wildlife

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The award for the weirdest job suggestion goes to the person who claims their friend collects dead birds under wind turbines. Presumably, they provide valuable data while the employee drives around, scooping up deceased wildlife and claiming $35 per hour.

25. Falcon Handler

Image Credit: Cephas – CC BY-SA 3.0/Wiki Commons.

We’ll end on a happier note with birds that are very much alive. Falcons can be helpful when landowners and sporting grounds want to keep their grounds free of unwanted pests. One falcon handler claimed to earn $30,000 annually, keeping corporate campuses free of pigeons.

Author: Matt Harris

Title: Writer

Expertise: Sports, music, travel, food, trending topics