Does the old nine-to-five grind just not sound like the kind of life you want to live? Does sitting at a desk typing all day while a fan whirls above you and your coworkers speak in monotone voices to each other make you just want to give up? Well, fear not! There are all sorts of "odd jobs" out there suitable for those of us who have rather unconventional tastes when it comes to careers. (And I really mean taste, because a dog food tester IS one of these jobs).
Like any job, these "odd" jobs have their benefits and drawbacks, so before you quit that Monday to Friday grind to taste dog food, you should definitely do your research into what sounds like your dream job.
15 Stand-In Bridesmaid
Imagine the collection of fluffy dresses you could accumulate as a professional bridesmaid! It would be like a real-life 27 Dresses, only you'll get paid to be a bridesmaid. Whether a bridesmaid has backed out at the last minute, or a bride just doesn't have another person to ask to be in her wedding party, professional bridesmaids are here to help... For anywhere from a few hundred, to a few thousand dollars! You can rent them by the hour to stand in for your wedding photos with you and the rest of the bridal party, and they will even walk down the aisle and stand beside you at the alter. A little impersonal to hire someone for this, sure, but desperate times call for desperate measures!
14 Odor Judges
You know those deodorant commercials that have testimonails about the improved smell of a person's armpit upon using a specific product? Well, many of those claims don't come without being tried and true. And who's responsible for judging that? Odor judges of course! "Professional Armpit Sniffers" just doesn't have the same ring to it. A busy odor judge can sniff up to 60 armpits an HOUR in a hot room. The pay must be decent to warrant such a yucky job, but most companies keep odor judges' salaries private.
13 Urinalysis Inspector
If you've ever been required to give a urine sample for work or anything else, there was likely a supervisor nearby making sure you didn't try any funny business. Depending on the circumstances of your test, someone could be waiting just outside the bathroom door, or they can pretty much be holding your hand while you give a sample, so to speak. The urine will also need to be inspected to make sure it is infact urine and it is from a human. That means no apple juice or dog pee substitutes or you'll get caught!
12 Wrinkle Chaser
A wrinkle chaser sounds like someone who is in constant search of sunlight, but it's actually a much safer task. A wrinkle chaser is responsible for making sure shoes in stores look smooth. Wrinkle chasers generally use an iron to make sure the shoes and its parts are crisp. Shoes will likely only stand out to you if they're NOT smooth, rather than if they are perfectly neat, but this is still an important job. Ever notice in a store how perfect all the shoes look? Then, once you've taken them home and worn them a few times they have those pesky wrinkles? Unfortunately, the wrinkle chaser only works on shoes that are in a store, but you could consider hiring one for yourself if you want to fork over $18,000-$49,000 a year for one.
11 Gum Buster
If you love being out and about busy streets and public areas and you have a knack for using a power washer, a career in gum busting might be for you! Think of all the pieces of gum that are put in places other than the garbage EVERY DAY. You might think you see a lot of used gum on the ground, but the truth it, without gum busters you'd see a lot more. Gum busters go about busy areas with their power washer in tow cleaning old gum off of surfaces to which it doesn't belong. They can make between $18,000 to $40,000 a year in the US and get to smell bubble gum all day!
If cleaning up other people's gum all day doesn't sound like the right fit for you, perhaps you'd like to just chew your own gum all day long! It sounds like a job anyone could do, but there is a rigorous qualification process to determine if you're part of just 10% of the population who can discern between, for example, different strawberry flavors. If you are chosen for the job, you'll undergo six months of training to learn the "the scales, terminology and measurement techniques used to evaluate products." Because the success of a gum is based more on its flavor than it is just its taste, it's paramount to have it rigorously tested before it's for sale to the public.
9 Dice Inspector
It seems like a simple square with some dots on it, but a lot rides on a dice. They can be used in casinos and the numbers they land on can mean the difference between zilch and millions of dollars. For this reason, dice need to be carefully inspected before they're put into circulation. If a dice has been tampered with (including being weighted to favor a certain side) the perpetrators can face serious consequences. Dice will often be engraved with specific serial numbers to display they belong to a certain casino and that they have been thoroughly checked. If a dice is not even on any surface, it is essentially rendered useless. A dice inspector needs to make sure all edges are even, flat, and totally smooth before it's usable.
8 Professional Mourner
Most of us would likely prefer to never have to mourn, but some people actually mourn for a living. Professional mourners can be hired for all sorts of sad occasions including funerals and wakes. One professional mourner company based in Essex, UK describes their services: "Rent A Mourner can supply professional, discreet people to attend funerals and wakes. If you simply need to increase visitor numbers or introduce new faces, we can help." For about two hours of professional mourning, you can earn $68. That equals a pretty decent hourly wage, but mourners don't tend to attend funerals for eight hours of each day. This job has been around for centuries and is even more popular in Asia and parts of Africa. In Ivory Coast, women can even earn several hundreds of dollars a day for mourning at these services.
7 Dog Food Tester
Fido LOVES it, but most humans cringe at the thought of eating dog food. Not only do many dog foods contain nasty ingredients like animal by-products from all sorts of animals, kibble doesn't have the most appetizing texture. Luckily, most pet food tasters can spit out the sample once they've chewed it. When they aren't mowing down on kibble, pet food tasters also do the important work of evaluating the nutritional quality of the food. During a taste test, you'll look for flavor, texture, and consistency and for your services, you can earn between $34,000-$117,000 a year! That makes kibble seem a little more appealing, doesn't it?
6 Body Advertiser
Some people say your body is a temple, but others believe your body is a walking billboard, full of prime advertising space. That's why some people actually get paid to have company logos or other information tattoed on their body. For example, you can "rent out" your forehead space for a respectable $5,000, but unfortunately you only have one forehead. Some companies use temporary tattoos while others opt for tattoos of the more permanent kind. If you are in desperate need of cash and decide to go the permanent route, you'll want to think long and hard about the long-term consequences of having a logo tattooed on your forehead.
5 Human Scarecrow
If standing in a farm all day scaring off birds doesn't sound like a nightmare, you might be interested in becoming a human scarecrow. Apparently, scarecrows of the human variety are more effective than the straw kind. Some human scarecrows are even required to play music to keep the birds away. Talk about multi-talented! If you're able to wave your arms in the arm and scream like you just don't care, this is one job you're definitely qualified for. That means, no more singing "if I only had a job..."
4 Lipstick Reader
You've heard of palm reading, mind reading, and even tea leaf reading, but have you ever heard of lipstick reading? Most people haven't. Lipstick reading involves leaving a lip print on something, which is then examined by a lip reader to determine things about your past, present, and future. Lip readers can be hired out for birthdays and bridal showers, and are certainly an interesting alternative to traditional psychic readings. Lipsology is a science developed from studying thousands of lip prints. There are only six certified lipologists in the world, and they can charge up to $125 an hour for individual readings, and up to $550 an hour for group readings. Pucker up!
3 Face Feeler
If you welcome human contact and aren't grossed out by other people's skin, face feeling might be a good career path for you. You'd spend your days examining people's faces for changes after shaving or using certain products, and then recording your findings. You would also use a hands-on technique to note any changes in skin texture. If faces aren't enough for you, you can even get a job feeling people's hair after it's been washed, or feeling car seats or toothbrushes. Hey, someone's gotta do it!
2 Oshiya (People Onto Train Pushers)
The Japanese transit system is a bustling and busy one, and it takes hired attendants to keep it running smoothly at all times. These attendants don't just work on the vehicles, either. Oshiyas (people onto train pushers) do exactly what their job title says: they push people onto trains in an effort to speed things up and make sure trains are as full as they can be. It sounds pushy (no pun intended) but it seems like a good alternative to having random citizens pushing and shoving. When oshiyas aren't packing humans onto trains, they also help seniors get on and off the train. This isn't a new profession either; oshiyas have been around since at least the 1930s.
1 Professional Sleepers
Of course, I saved the best for last. Sleeping... professionally? Could it be true or is this a dream? Nope, it's real and it's as awesome as it sounds. There are a few different types of professional sleepers. Some are hired by research labs for sleep studies. That means, your brain waves are studied before and after you sleep, and all you have to do is - you guessed it- sleep. Other professional sleepers are hired by hotels to test beds and keep track of their findings. In 2013, a hotel in Helsiniki made national news when they put out a search for a professional sleeper to test 35 beds in their hotel (sleeping in a different one each night for 35 nights) and then blog about it. If you spoke Finnish, English, and Russian, this job would be a perfect fit for you. Though it can vary greatly, the average salary for a professional sleeper in the United States is $33,000. Who wouldn't want to make $33,000 in their sleep?