23 High-Paying Weird Jobs That Nobody Knows About

Are you looking for unconventional career paths that are both intriguing and financially rewarding?

While many people follow conventional career paths, some of you may want to escape the 9-to-5 routine. Fortunately, there are many lucrative, out-of-the-ordinary occupations that are available to help secure a sustainable income. These lesser-known jobs may not be widely discussed, but they can pave the way for an extraordinary and flourishing career.

Below, we’ve covered 23 high-paying weird jobs that can transform your ordinary, average-paying career into a successful and well-paid career.

Top 23 High-Paying Weird Jobs

Here, we've curated a list of the 23 best high-paying jobs that nobody knows about, along with their requirements and expected salaries: 

1. Air Traffic Controller

Air traffic controllers are crucial in guiding aircraft safely through the skies. The average annual salary for air traffic controllers is approximately $124,540. To enter this field, you usually need a bachelor's degree in air traffic management or a related field.

2. Underwater Welder

Underwater welders work in some of the most challenging and unconventional environments, combining welding and diving skills to repair underwater structures. 

They can earn up to $80,000 per year or more. To pursue this career, you must obtain commercial diving and welding certifications.

3. Court Reporter

Court reporters transcribe spoken or recorded speech into written form, often in legal proceedings. Their average annual salary is around $60,130. Becoming a court reporter requires specialized training and certification.

4. Crime Scene Cleaner

Crime scene cleaners' roles include cleaning and sanitizing crime scenes and biohazardous environments. These professionals can earn from $40,000 to $80,000 annually. Although a degree is often the only requirement, specialized training and certifications are essential to succeed in this field.

5. Food Stylist

A food stylist is one of the best high-paying weird jobs. It requires preparing and styling food for advertisements, magazines, and films, making it look appetizing and visually appealing. While a formal degree is not necessary, a background in culinary arts or photography can be beneficial. Median salaries range from $45,000 to $75,000 or more.

6. Voice Actor

Voice actors make voices for animated characters, commercials, video games, and more. Their earnings vary widely, but top voice actors can make six-figure incomes. Building a voice acting career requires talent, training, and a professional demo reel.

7. Embalmer

Embalmers prepare deceased bodies for burial or cremation and earn a median salary of around $45,000. Becoming an embalmer involves completing a mortuary science program and obtaining state licensure.

8. Professional Cuddler

Professional cuddlers provide platonic physical comfort to clients who seek human connection and touch. While the income may vary, some professional cuddlers can make $40 to $80 per hour or more. To enter this field, you need excellent interpersonal skills and may benefit from relevant training or certification.

9. Airplane Repo Agent

Airplane repo agents repossess aircraft from owners who have defaulted on their payments. Earnings can be substantial, depending on the successful retrieval of high-value assets. Breaking into this industry often requires experience in aviation and a deep understanding of contractual law.

10. Petroleum Engineer

Petroleum engineers work in the energy industry, designing and supervising the extraction of oil and gas. They can earn an average salary of around $138,980. A bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering is typically required for entry.

11. Acupuncturist

Acupuncturists use traditional Chinese medicine techniques to promote health and relieve pain. They can earn an annual salary of approximately $75,000. To become an acupuncturist, you typically need a master's degree and state licensure.

12. Elevator Mechanic

Elevator mechanics' roles include installing, maintaining, and repairing elevators and escalators. They earn a median annual salary of around $84,990. To become an elevator mechanic, you typically need a high school diploma and complete a formal apprenticeship program.

13. Professional Ethical Hacker

Professional ethical hackers, or penetration testers, are cybersecurity experts who assess and secure computer systems. They can earn six-figure salaries or even much, much, more —depending on their skill level. For example, HackerOne has paid over $300 million in bug bounties to ethical hackers! To become an ethical hacker, you need a strong understanding of cybersecurity and various certifications.

14. Ethnobotanist

Ethnobotanists study the relationship between plants and people, often working with indigenous communities to learn about traditional plant uses. They can earn between $50,000 and $90,000 per year. A degree in ethnobotany, anthropology, or botany is valuable in this field.

15. Nuclear Power Reactor Operator

Nuclear power reactor operators control nuclear reactors in power plants, ensuring safe and efficient energy production. Their average annual salary is around $100,000. Becoming a nuclear power reactor operator involves on-the-job training and passing a licensing exam.

16. Music Therapist

Music therapists use music to help individuals with various emotional, cognitive, and physical needs. They earn an annual salary of around $50,000 to $80,000. To become a music therapist, you need a bachelor's or master's degree in music therapy and national certification.

17. Wind Turbine Technician

Wind turbine technicians' roles include installing, maintaining, and repairing wind turbines. Their average annual salary is approximately $56,230. To enter this field, you can complete a technical program or apprenticeship.

18. Color Expert

Color experts combine psychology, color theory, and data analysis to guide people in selecting the most suitable colors for diverse scenarios. Their expertise is sought for tasks ranging from decorating living spaces to establishing effective brand identities.

This role allows you to collaborate with various clients and engage in a spectrum of projects. If you possess a creative flair, design passion, and a strong grasp of color dynamics, this could be the perfect career path. Although a specialized degree can be advantageous, it isn’t a strict requirement. You can earn an average salary of $64,237 per year.

19. Costume Attendant

Are you passionate about theater and live performances? Theater productions often enlist the assistance of costume attendants to facilitate swift costume changes for actors during performances. Minimal training suffices for this entry-level role, making it an ideal option for those limited to working within performance schedules. As a costume attendant, you can earn around $54,168 per year.

20. Private Chef

If you have a knack for culinary arts and enjoy crafting delectable menus, a career as a private chef piques your interest. Formal education or training isn’t mandatory; instead, your ability to prepare various dishes and satisfy your client's palate is essential.

While the initial salary might be modest, with time and the right clientele, you could earn up to $140,000 annually.

21. Toymaker

Toymakers enjoy the creative process of conceptualizing and producing various toys that bring joy to the lives of children. Whether you possess a flair for creativity or an inclination towards mechanical tinkering, this profession offers a fulfilling outlet for your talents. Opportunities in this field range from design to construction, with an average annual salary of around $96,000.

22. Bingo Manager

Bingo management involves overseeing the playing floor, managing patrons, and ensuring compliance with government regulations. They also handle authorizing payouts, validating winners, and supervising the staff.

While specialized education isn’t mandatory, prior experience in a managerial role and familiarity with various casino games are advantageous. Bingo managers typically earn an average of $59,000 annually, offering fair compensation for their efforts.

23. Periodontist

With advancing technology, periodontal or dental implant work demands specialized attention. Periodontists assist patients with dental implants and ensure ongoing maintenance to prevent infections and deterioration. With adequate training and a record of satisfied patients, you could earn up to $220,000 annually in this specialized position.

The Bottom Line

In a world where traditional career paths often take center stage, discovering unconventional, high-paying jobs may seem surprising. From professional cuddlers to food flavorists, these 23 high-paying weird jobs offer equal lucrative opportunities for degree and non-degree holders. These professions remind us that countless unconventional careers can lead to a financially rewarding future. 

So, if you're ever searching for a job that combines quirkiness with a substantial paycheck, remember that the possibilities are endless. Explore, dream, and succeed in the underrated industry that no one knows about.

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