You’re at a party, and you ask someone what they do for a living.
Common responses you may hear: “I work in retail,” “I’m an accountant,” “I’m a teacher.”
We’ve become very accustomed to hearing these careers— so much so that it’s easy to forget that some people work very unusual jobs.
Whether you are genuinely interested in taking on an odd job, or if you just want to be amused, here are a few of the oddest occupations you’ll find.
It may surprise you, but there are actually people who hug and cuddle others for pay— good pay, at that.
Professional cuddlers, who often work with strangers as clients, can make up to $80 an hour providing their warm services.
The difficulty in performing this gig, however, is that clients often get attached to the cuddler, to the point of feeling romantic feelings. This can create obstacles in what should be an intimate, yet fairly detached relationship.
Also, a majority of clients will want a female cuddler, which blocks out about half of all potential candidates.
If you’ve ever wondered how Netflix gets all of its content categories, mystery solved. Netflix hires “taggers”; in other words, part-time employees who watch, and then categorize different TV shows and movie for users.
Although these positions tend to fill up quickly, Netflix was actively looking for taggers in the UK and Ireland as recently as 2014.
Paying close attention to Netflix’s careers page at the right time could lead to picking up this gig.
Pet Food Taster
Yep, there are actually people who taste test dog food, not just to determine its yum factor, but to determine if it’s nutritious.
Pet food tasters are known to take a small pellet of pet food into their mouth, checking for flavor, texture, and consistency. They typically then spit it out instead of swallowing it.
These tasters get paid pretty handsomely; according to U.S. Department of Labor statistics, they make anywhere from $34,000 to $117,000 a year.
Professional Line Standers
Hate waiting in line? You’re not alone. Some people hate waiting in line so much that they’ll pay others to do it for them.
Although line standers are more commonly used to wait in line for sale events (like Black Friday) or big product releases (like a new iPhone), they also can be used to wait for more mundane tasks, such as waiting at the DMV.
One of the most well-known line standers operates his own company out of New York, charging $25 for the first hour of standing in line, and $10 for each additional hour. He claims to make up to $1,000 a week line standing.
Fortune Cookie Writer
Fortune cookie writers write those inspiring or humorous fortunes that you see on the pieces of paper tucked inside your fortune cookie.
They are typically hired on a freelance basis, although many are brought on to be in-house writers. Full-time fortune cookie writers can expect to make around $40,000 a year on average.
In addition to being inspiring and funny, fortune cookie writers should be creative and philosophical in outlook. They should also be able to communicate with conciseness and brevity.
Face feelers test the effectiveness of personal care products by placing their hands directly on the face of test subjects who have used these products.
There are conventions for face feelers to attend, and you have to go through about three months of training to officially become one. One of the few prerequisites for becoming a face feeler is having hands that can feel the difference between different products.
While there are no formal education requirements, and the pay isn’t bad— $10 to $25 an hour, on average— you shouldn’t expect to get more than 10 hours a week, making it difficult to make a complete living off of.
Professional mourners go to events such as funerals, mourning the deceased. They are briefed on the lives of those whose funerals they attend, which allows them to talk to other attendees as if they knew the person who recently passed.
Although hiring mourners is new in the Western world, it has apparently long been a tradition in East Asian and Middle Eastern countries. One can expect to make up to $45 an hour being a professional mourner.
These are just a few of the many unorthodox professions that are out there. If you’ve always wanted to be that zany guy or gal at a party when asked what you do for work, you now know how you can be that person.