From the crazy to the cool, the serious to the silly, there are tons of jobs out there that you might never have heard of. One of them might just be your next career. Or it could be a fun side job that will boost your earnings.
While it’s true that most workers have jobs that will sound familiar both to their next-door neighbors and to people across the country, there are some brave souls out there forging new paths.
Some people have forgone the most common career routes and have decided on something a little more abstract, like being a greeting card artist, jewelry designer, or cruise line employee.
Others have a traditional career, but take on side jobs doing something interesting that can earn them extra money.
Curious? Read about some of the weirdest and most interesting jobs out there and see if your calling is among them.
Ayurveda is a type of traditional Indian medicine that is thousands of years old. Ayurveda practice aims for a balance of one's body system and incorporates many natural or plant-based remedies.
Ayurveda has since gained popularity in Western cultures. As a result, there has been a rise in "natural wellness" schools in the United States, such as the Kripalu School in Stockbridge, Massachusetts and the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which offer certification for Western students. The National Ayurvedic Medical Association offers a list of NAMA-recognized Ayurvedic practioner programs.
According to Glassdoor, Ayurvedic doctors make an average annual salary of $143,698.
Bike couriers, or bike messengers, provide a valuable service in cities where traffic poses a transportation hassle. Because bike couriers are not deterred by traffic jams or parking problems, they can often get across a city faster than if they were driving a car.
While the digital age has somewhat displaced the need for bike couriers to deliver paper mail and other hard-copy documents, cyclists are still used for errand-running by various industries, such as the food and fashion industries. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects -2% growth in this occupation over the next decade—a slower-than-average rate. In 2019, the median annual wage for all couriers was $29,690, according to the BLS.
Body painters usually work at fairs, festivals, parties, or other events that draw large numbers of people. Some specialize in face painting, which is especially popular among families with children. Other body painters may work at concerts or music festivals, offering their services to adults.
Body painters might also be employed on a photo or video shoot that requires clothing to be painted on, as part of the designers' artistic concept. Most body painters work on a freelance basis.
According to Colorcom, a "color expert" organization, a color consultant “combines color psychology, current trends, demographic statistics, and color design theories” in order to best incorporate color into a project, whether it be designing the layout of a room or the logo of a company.
The International Association of Color Consultants (IACC) offers both training and membership for color consultants.
Feng Shui Consultant
Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese art and science based on Taoist principles. Feng Shui focuses on the flow of energy, or "Chi," in order to ensure the health, wellness and ultimate good fortunate of an area's inhabitants.
Feng Shui can be used in any space—home, office, garden, store, etc. Accordingly, a Feng Shui decorator will account for color, lighting, and organization in a room. Feng Shui consultants can be self-taught, but may also have formal certification or training.
According to HomeAdvisor, a typical pay range for a feng shui consultant is around $600 to $1200 per job.
It’s against Facebook’s terms of service to create a Facebook account under false pretenses. But that hasn’t stopped some folks, who use sites like Fiverr and Craigslist as a platform to sell (or buy) actions on Facebook.
For example, a clever computer whiz might create multiple fake accounts that can serve a variety of purposes—whether it be posing as someone's fake Facebook girlfriend, increasing someone's number of Facebook friends, or even "liking" a company's Facebook page—and then sell such services to anyone willing to pay.
According to a Washington Post story, dedicated fake Facebookers can make thousands per month.
Flavorists are chemists who formulate both natural and artificial flavors. Flavorists often have a Ph.D. in biochemistry or chemistry, but many take apprenticeships with flavor companies, known as "flavor houses," in addition to their formal schooling and certification. This offbeat job can also be lucrative—some flavorist jobs pay six-figure salaries.
Fragrance chemists are scientists who specialize in the study of odor molecules and how such molecules can be used for perfumes. Fragrance chemists may develop and test scents for women's and men's perfume, soap, lotion, and other toiletries. They often have backgrounds in chemistry, and often have high-level degrees, such as a master's or Ph.D.
In 2019, the median annual salary for all chemists was $78,790, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Originating from the Latin word "hippo," or horse, hippotherapy refers to therapy that uses the natural movement of a horse as part of a patient's treatment plan.
Because a horse's pelvis has a three-dimensional movement that mirrors the physiology of the human walk, horseback riding can be highly beneficial for patients with both physical and neurological disabilities.
Hippotherapy may be used in physical, occupational, psychological, or even speech therapy, and is becoming a popular option for children with multiple sclerosis, autism, Down syndrome, and other conditions.
The American Hippotherapy Association provide educational resources and certification.
Horticultural therapy, also called ecopsychology, is the use of plants, and the process of planting, in psychological or physical therapy.
Horticultural therapists may use the act of gardening as either a treatment strategy for troubled mental patients or as a physical strengthening tactic for patients in occupational therapy.
Horticultural therapy may be used in rehabilitation clinics, prisons, schools, hospitals, or psychology offices.
Nail Polish Namer
Anyone who paints their nails has probably wondered where those unique – and sometimes silly—nail polish names come from. (“Suzi & the 7 Düsseldorfs,” anyone?)
As it turns out, there's no one answer. Some companies leave it all up to the higher-ups—Essie Weingarten of the famous "Essie" brand christens all of their polishes, for example—while others employ creative professionals in the advertising or marketing departments to do the job.
Thanks to review sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp, the Internet has become a highly valuable resource for consumers looking to get a sense of a restaurant, hotel, or product they might be interested in.
But, as a result of the anonymity of the online world, it's possible to post "fake reviews," in which a real person makes a secondary account and writes positive or negative reviews that have little—or no—basis in reality, but might have a serious bearing on a business' reputation.
Accordingly, there have been instances of freelance "reviewers" advertising their services on websites like Craigslist or Fiverr, as well as business owners offering to pay writers to post false reviews.
Pick-up Artist Instructor
"PUA," or "pick up artist" training is sometimes sought after by men who have difficulty meeting women. A "PUA boot camp" can be expensive, and versions are held in locations all over the world. The most prominent PUA instructor is James Matador, whose "Mystery Method" of attracting women was made famous by his reality television show on VH1.
Professional Ethical Hacker
When you hear the word "hacker," you probably think of a kid on a computer, cooped up in a dark room. But, there are professional hackers who "test-hack" a company's software to make sure it is secure.
Also known as ethical hackers or "white hat hackers," these "good guys" are paid to break into a network and then offer recommendations on how to make sure a real hacker can't access it in the future.
Acupuncture is part of traditional Chinese medicine that involves using needles to stimulate different parts of the body. The needle placement depends on what the aim of the acupuncture is—for example, it can be used to treat chronic pain, fertility issues, allergies, and other syndromes.
Interestingly, acupuncture can also be used to treat ailments in animals. Veterinary acupuncture is most often used on dogs, cats, cows, and horses, but can also be used on smaller animals like birds, ferrets, and rabbits.