10 jobs you won’t believe actually exist, and what they pay
Looking for a career change to something a little different? Check out these unusual jobs.
Be warned, though: there’s probably a lot of people clamoring to take up most of these positions. You better get in line – in one case, literally.
Here are ten very unusual jobs and the salary information we could find for them.
Internet famous cat agent
Yes! Even Grumpy Cat needs a manager. That would be Ben Lashes, who Jezebel refers to as a “meme manager” and who takes a 20 per cent cut of Grumpy Cat’s earnings (the celebrity kitty made an estimated $1 million in her first year). Lashes also represents Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat (who isn’t a real cat), though he isn’t limited to cats. His other clients include Ridiculously Photogenic Guy and Scumbag Steve. The opportunities for monetizing memes include advertising, licensing for merchandising, and licensing in the digital world. It’s like being a band manager for people and animals who have become famous online, a whole new market.
Salary: Well, 20% of $1 million is $200,000 to start with, and that’s one client
“Your work has only one mission: spending 365 days with the pandas and sharing in their joys and sorrows,” said the job posted earlier this year for a panda nanny at the China Giant Panda Protection and Research Center in Ya’an, Sichuan province, China. Baby pandas being just about the cutest things on the planet, the ad quickly went viral. According to China Daily, you get free meals and accommodation plus the use of an SUV on top of your salary. Requirements include being at least 22 years old, and having “some basic knowledge of pandas.” The job was created to help raise awareness of work being done to protect the giant panda.
Sue McNamara is a gum taster at Cadbury Schweppes Science and Technology Center. You must have an extremely discerning palate for this job “discriminating enough to distinguish between strawberry flavors that are, say, green, gritty or jammy and nearly 70 other ingredients in a typical piece of Bubblicious, Dentyne or Trident,” says the New York Times. Also, your jaw might get sore.
Salary: $74,000 – $107,500
Not just a job for the old wise men of Game of Thrones, ravenmasters are also employed at the Tower of London. To care for the royal ravens you must be a warder, for which you must have a minimum of 22 years of military service and have the rank of a warrant officer or above. Christopher Skaife’s duties include preparing the ravens’ meet, which could be “rat, chicken, mice, rabbit…”, and cleaning their cages. An ancient legend says that if the ravens should leave the tower of London, it will crumble into dust and a great harm will befall the country. So, it’s a big responsibility.
Water slide tester
Travel around the world, from North America to places like Egypt and Turkey, to water parks, and test the slides, then rate them for criteria such as “biggest splash” and the “adrenaline factor,” then share those opinions on social media. The tester might also be asked to report to the company about potential safety concerns. In one report from earlier this year, concerns were raised after testers of the world’s tallest waterslide, located in Kansas City, went airborne.
Professional queuer (liner upper)
Giovanni Cafaro describes himself as a “patient man.” He will wait in line for you – at a government office, for example – for 10 Euros per hour in Italy. “Bureaucracy in Italy is deadly,” He told Italian newspaper La Stampa, “I am the person who will wait in line for those who don’t have the time or desire.” Apparently, he does very well for himself. “The queues to pay [property tax] are my daily bread,” he said, according to The Guardian. He gets calls from all over the country and is considering setting up an agency.
If you’ve always thought you’d make a good professional napper, this one’s for you. In 2006, Hotel Chatter profiled Travelodge’s “Director of Sleep,” Wayne Munnelly, whose job duties included napping to test the quality of pillows, blankets and mattresses. Similar positions include “duvet tester.” Payscale reports that Roisin Madigan was hired in 2009 to spend a month testing beds for a luxury bed company and blogging about her experiences.
It was the most ingenious, cost-effective tourism ad ever, dubbed “The Best Job in the World.” In 2009 Ben Southall, then 34, of the UK, beat out over 35,000 applicants to serve as a caretaker in the Great Barrier Reef for six months, living in a luxury villa, swimming, kayaking, being generally sporty, and having fun in the sun while blogging and posting videos and photo diaries. The story quickly went viral and generated over $200 million in global publicity value for Tourism Queensland. After his stint – during which Southall was stung by a potentially deadly jellyfish – he stayed in Queensland and is now a Tourism Amabassador.
Salary: $150,000 for six months
We’ve all heard about this one, right? The lucky folks who spend their working days testing chocolate to test for things like quality, flavour, and creaminess. It looks like people find their way into this job through various paths. Godiva’s “Senior Vice President of Global Research” studied science and has an MBA. To land this gig at Green & Blacks, applicants take a blind taste-test in which they must successfully identify ingredients of specially created chocolate bars. Downsides include possible weight gain and having days where you never want to see another piece of chocolate again.
Salary: $24,000 – $70,000
Ice cream taster
The same as a chocolate taster, but for ice cream. Testing ice cream for flavour, texture, smell and consistency. The most famous one of these is John Harrison for Dreyer’s, who tastes about 60 difference ice creams a day – but doesn’t swallow it. It helps to have a degree in food science and/or chemistry for this one, plus a sensitive palate.