It used to be that when your job title included the word “Director”, “Chief” or “Chairman” that you could expect to make the big bucks, but in this day and age, if there’s a job not many people will do, or can do, then the earning potential is endless.
Maybe you’ve heard of unusual jobs like chicken sexers, who separate the male and female baby chicks, or odour judgers, who sniff armpits to judge the long lasting effectiveness of deodorants (and there must be someone who writes the messages that come in fortune cookies), but here’s a list of unusual jobs that also pay exceedingly well. If you thought garbage man was on the list, think again, this unusual list will surely make you think differently about a 9 to 5…
1. Court Reporter
If you enjoy spending the day updating your status on Twitter or Facebook and have therefore learnt to type as quickly as someone talks, know a bit about the law and don’t mind potentially earning over $100,000 a year, then this is the perfect job for you. Enormously flexible and very well respected, court reporting is great if you like being your own boss and setting your own hours. Equally terrific because you’ll be able to find a court no matter where you live, and even better, this job does not require a degree or even university attendance.
2. Mine Manager
If you own a Metalliferous below-ground Production Manager Ticket or know about producing tonnes of copper, iron ore, coal, jewels and diamonds then a job in the mines of Australia could be your “ticket” to earning between AU$200,000 and $300,000 per annum.
Generously rewarded, because the industry is responsible for a major percentage of Australia’s exports, a mine manager is generally responsible for the operational health and safety of their miners, but also needs to make sure production costs, and environmental standards are being met. Mining jobs are also available in African countries, with companies acquiring many mines in regions that produce precious and rare metals/stones.
3. Crab Catcher
If you’ve ever watched the show “Deadliest Catch” on TV, you’ll have some idea of what these guys do as a job and will completely understand why they get the big bucks. Catchers have to compete with the unruly seas, competition from boats from other companies as well as a declining king crab population and their pay cheque is only a healthy one if they catch their target amount.
Working with heavy machinery and susceptible to injuries like losing limbs, crab fishing has a 75% higher fatality rate than pilots, flight engineers and loggers, the next most hazardous occupations. If working for 3 months of the year sounds good to you, all you have to do is avoid drowning or dying from hypothermia.
4. Bounty Hunter
Most often found in The US, a bounty hunter’s job is to capture fugitives who have violated their parole and have left the city or failed to appear in court. Once the bounty hunter gets the fugitive back into police custody, they receive a bounty (monetary reward). Also known as bail enforcement agents, fugitive recovery agents and bail fugitive investigator, this job is commonly long and arduous, with very irregular hours and as you can imagine, comes with its share of hazards (you do it at your own risk).
Bounty hunters typically earn between 10% and 45% of the deposit amount, meaning a $100,000 bail amount could see a bounty hunter taking home $10,000 to $45,000 for one capture. Experienced bounty hunters usually take home between $50,000 and $100,000 per year and can vary depending on the number of security deposit amounts.
There’s no degree or certificate, all you need is a license and some experience in law enforcement. If you think this might be for you, look up Duane Chapman AKA “Dog the Bounty Hunter”. He and his family (wife, brother, nephew and son) have a TV show on cable that will give you some idea of what the job is like.
5. Greeting Card Writer
Think about all the reasons you would need to buy a card in your life…Birthdays, get wells, sympathy, support & encouragement, new borns, graduations, mother’s day, father’s day, Valentine’s day, Christmas, the list goes on and on. Greeting card companies are always encouraging writers to submit their ideas for new cards on a regular basis; and if you are good enough, these companies will be willing to pay you handsomely to keep you writing for them.
A job that can easily be done from home and doesn’t require complex contracts, writers just need to know how to express an appropriate message in a few succinct words. It is reported that one idea can net you $150, so 2 cracking ideas for each day of the week will see you ringing in the New Year with a $100,000 pay cheque.
6. Pet Psychologist
When your Rover won’t roll over or your Puss is being a wuss, you might have to look past a pet trainer or vet and call someone who specialises in pet behaviour to solve your problems. Having studied psychology and zoology a pet psychologist analyses the pet’s confidence and security inside and outside of the home to find the source of an unwanted problem.
By studying the contrast of their instincts and social rituals in their natural habitat as well as around humans, they observe and redirect the behaviour that is causing an issue. Top pet psychologists can be earning in excess of $90,000 a year!
7. Golf Ball Diver
If you’ve ever played a round of golf before, it would be safe to say that you’ve probably lost at least one ball. At around 18c a ball (more for better branded balls), multiply that by the number of people that play every week and again by the number of courses there are in a highly populated city and we’re talking a lot of golf balls and a lot of cash.
However, this job is not without it risks, as Happy Gilmore would agree, some water hazards come with vicious sharp toothed reptiles. Stories of golf ball divers swimming with 900 golf balls tied around their neck means this job requires some scuba skills too.
So the next time you find yourself kicking the photocopying machine or sitting in peak hour traffic cursing the job you hate asking yourself if it’s someone’s job to pop bubble wrap all day to test its durability? There is!