25 Odd Jobs That Pay Well

By Chris Kolmar - Dec. 28, 2020

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Nowadays, with lots of people searching for jobs, it can be hard to make your way through the hiring process and get a job offer. More people than ever are applying to very few positions as we make our way through the pandemic, so it might be time to broaden your job search.

As everyone struggles to make it through the current situation, it’s important to keep in mind that everyone will be kind when they see your work history in 2020. If you’re one of the many people who lost their jobs this year, you’re not alone, and employers know that 2020 was a hard year for everyone.

No matter what your situation is this year, looking for full-time jobs, part-time jobs, or side jobs outside of your experience or industry won’t look bad on your resume. Who knows, you might even end up in a new field that you love more than your old one. If you’re searching for a new job, these odd jobs might be a great place to start.

Just to be clear, there’s no such thing as a bad job or even an “odd” one. However you make your money and support yourself is a valid occupation; these are just some jobs that aren’t top of mind when you’re setting out for a job search.

No matter your situation, work experience, education, or training, these odd jobs might be an excellent place to look. Not only are they positions without tons of competition, but they’re also known for their generous salaries. Take a look at these odd jobs that pay well if you’re in the middle of your job search.

25 Unusual Jobs That Pay Well

  1. Color expert. Color experts use psychology, color theory, and statistics to provide advice on the best colors for people to use in a variety of situations. They can be consulted for everything from home renovation projects to company branding.

    You’ll get to work with a lot of different people and use your skills for a whole bunch of different projects. If you’re creative, love design, have a data-minded brain, and have a good understanding of colors, it might be the position for you.

    You don’t need a special college degree (though it does help) and you can expect to make around $20 an hour.

  2. Podiatrist. If you’ve ever considered going into medicine but didn’t want to undergo all of the medical school training, a career as a podiatrist might be right for you. While you’ll still need to go to a podiatric medical school, the training and education are usually less rigorous, and you’ll get to focus on a specific subject.

    Podiatrists treat the feet and ankles, so their knowledge is limited to the lower half of the body, but they know a lot. In this role, the average annual salary is over $111,000.

  3. Astronomer. Think about spending your time looking at stars and understanding our universe. This rewarding career has many fields you can specialize in, but it can be challenging to enter. If you work for the government, you can earn around $100,000 a year.

  4. Flavorist. Have you ever wondered how your favorite candies or drinks got their distinct taste? Flavorists are in charge of mixing different artificial and natural flavors to create one of a kind foods.

    Job type you want
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    To succeed in this role, you’ll need a degree in chemistry or biochemistry, plus a lot of knowledge of plants and flavors. If you pursue a career in this field, you’ll get to mimic flavors found in nature as well as create new ones, all while earning anywhere between $17 and $35 an hour.

  5. Costume attendant. Do you love the theater and live performances? Actors and dancers always need help during quick costume changes, so theaters hire costume attendants to help them get ready.

    You only need a bit of training, so it’s a great entry-level job or for people who can only work during the performance schedule. You can make about $20 an hour as a costume attendant.

  6. Bereavement coordinator. If you are interested in working with people and helping others, you might want to become a bereavement coordinator. They help families process the death of a loved one or handle a situation where someone is terminally ill.

    They can handle things like funeral or care arrangements, paperwork, medical appointments, and helping families cope with loss. Typically, bereavement coordinators work in hospitals or nursing settings with training in counseling. You can expect to earn around $47,000 a year, the average salary.

  7. Private chef. If you love cooking and creating delicious menus, you should look into being a private chef. You don’t need any formal education or training; you just need to prove you can cook lots of different foods and make your client happy.

    While the salary can be low when you start out, after a few years, and depending on who you work for, you can earn up to $140,000 a year.

  8. Hippotherapist. Do you love animals? Hippotherapists work with people and horses to create unique therapeutic experiences between the two. As a hippotherapist, you’ll be responsible for understanding a patient’s condition, knowledge of horses, and creating treatment plans. In this job, people typically earn around $30 an hour.

  9. Art therapist. Another option for creative people who want to help others is through art therapy. Art therapists help people improve their mental health, express their creativity, and improve their self-esteem through creative processes and art.

    Usually, you need training in art, psychology, and therapy to become an art therapist, but you can earn anywhere between $20 and $50 an hour for your work.

  10. Embalmer. While it has a morbid reputation, being an embalmer is a great way to make a living. You don’t need any special education, only a bit of training.

    The good thing is that there’s always a need for them, and you can make a decent living by working in an industry that isn’t too popular. The median annual salary for embalmers is $47,000.

  11. Voiceover artist. If you love acting, voiceover work might be a good option for you. Voiceover artists do work for all kinds of media, including movies, videos, websites, and advertisements. All you need to get started is the ability to speak well, use different dialects, and go through some vocal training.

    Voiceover work is an excellent option for people who want to work from home since you can build a recording studio in small spaces and work in your house. Typically, voiceover actors earn around $60 an hour on average.

  12. Braille proofreader. Making sure there are no errors in any communication is essential, but especially so for braille. With just a little bit of braille education and knowledge, you can help blind readers get the information they need without any mistakes and earn around $40,000 a year for it.

  13. Toymaker. Toymakers get to be creative and bring happiness to children’s lives as they design and create different toys. If you’re creative or love tinkering with mechanical things, being a toymaker might be a great profession.

    There are many ways to get involved, from designing to building. The average annual salary is right around $96,000, so you can make good money in this field.

  14. Nightclub attendant. If you can endure the high-energy environment of your local nightclub, you might want to become an attendant, bottle girl, or a shot girl. You get to meet new people every night and help them have a good time, all while earning thousands a night.

    The more prestigious the club you work for, the more earning potential you’ll have, with some of the top clubs paying $500,000 a year.

  15. Profile ghostwriter. Are you skilled with words? You might be able to make some money writing online profiles for people. For about $20 an hour, you can write profiles for people who need a little help selling themselves and adding a little pizazz to their writing.

    People usually need help with dating profiles, but you can also help people boost their professional or academic profiles. As a freelance position, you get the added flexibility of setting your hours, working on multiple projects at once, and working from wherever you want.

  16. Cruise ship captain. Get out to sea and make some money in command of a huge ship. Cruise ship captains are responsible for getting everyone around safely, but they also don’t have to deal with the passengers.

    You’ll get a great schedule of ten weeks on and ten weeks off, plus you’ll get to travel the world while you get paid. You need training, but you can earn up to $150,000 a year.

  17. Vet acupuncturist. It’s not only humans that can reap the benefits of acupuncture. Often, vets will consult veterinary acupuncturists to help get a more holistic approach to healing animals.

    You’ll need a certification in acupuncture, plus training with animals, but you’ll get to help both through needles and other alternative medicines, like massage. The job can be rewarding as you get to help animals, and it pays well at around $35 an hour.

  18. Casino manager. Get close to the action and get a job as a casino or bingo manager. You’ll get to oversee a casino floor, including handling customers, knowing government regulations, authorizing payouts, approving winners, and managing staff.

    You don’t need any special training or education, but you do need experience in a similar management position and some knowledge of the different games at casinos. Bingo managers make $53,000 a year on average, so you’ll be well compensated for your time.

  19. Clinical ethicist. Another great job for people who want to be involved in medicine, but not as doctors, clinical ethicists help educate and inform patients.

    Your responsibilities could include educating patients and their families, addressing contentious medical issues, and making decisions about the morality of certain medical treatments or procedures. You’ll need education in medical ethics, but you can earn around $70,000 a year.

  20. Bridge tender. Bridge tenders work with bridges so boats can get where they’re going. It involves a lot of planning and organization as you pause car traffic to let boats through. There are many jobs available near big ports, and you can earn around $50,000 a year as a bridge tender.

  21. Computer hacker. If you’re great with technology, you can become a professional hacker to help companies ensure their systems’ security is effective.

    Ethical hackers help keep software, databases, and other technology safe by finding loopholes before real malicious hackers do. You can earn anywhere from $80,000 to $115,000 a year in this role.

  22. Marijuana extractor. As marijuana gets legalized in more states, there’s a need for professional extractors to create marijuana products. This job helps keep marijuana products like edibles and oils at acceptable and maintainable levels.

    You need some training, but you can earn between $50,000 and $85,000 a year when you get started.

  23. Billboard installer. Have you ever wondered how all of the giant billboards you pass as you walk through a city or go on a long drive got there.

    People are paid to get billboards posted, and they can earn a lot for doing it. The median hourly wage is just under $20, and for that, you’ll be responsible for getting ads up without any special training.

  24. Periodontist. As technology gets better, there’s more to pay attention to in periodontal, or dental implant, work. Periodontists help patients get dental implants and maintain them to prevent infections or degradation.

    You can earn up to $220,000 a year in this position if you have good training and happy patients.

  25. Airplane painter. If you have a creative eye, you might be a good airplane painter. Sometimes airlines need to get their logo onto their new planes, or they want to make a special plane to commemorate an event. Airplane painters bring their visions to life with creative flair. You can express your artistic talent and earn about $20 an hour for it.

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Chris Kolmar


Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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