15 of the Most Interesting, Unique, and Weird Jobs

© The Balance, 2018

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 Healer

Young woman getting a Kizhi treatment
Visage / Getty Images

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 Courier

Bicycle messenger speeding down urban street
Caiaimage/Robert Daly / Getty Images

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 3% growth in this occupation over the next decade—a slower-than-average rate. In 2018, the median annual wage for all couriers was $28,720, according to the BLS.

There are apps you can use to quickly and easily find courier, delivery, driving, shopping, and other tasks to boost your income.

Body Painter

Face painting | Kids party
Stefan Cioata / Getty Images

Body painters usually work at fairs, festivals, 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. 

Color Expert

Creating a professional color scheme for their brand
PeopleImages / Getty Images

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

Asian woman sitting on floor
Plush Studios/Chris Gramly / Getty Images

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 $500 to $900 per job.

Fake Facebooker

social networking
John Lund/Blend Images/Getty Images

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 2016 Washington Post story, dedicated fake Facebookers can make thousands per month.

Flavorist

scientific food group
px photography / Getty Images

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 Chemist

Perfumer smelling scent in perfumery, Fragonnard, Grasse, France
Picavet / Getty Images

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 2018, the median annual salary for all chemists was $78,330, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Hippotherapist

A riding lesson for a disabled boy
Tina Stallard / Getty Images

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 Therapist

Women smelling flowers
Maria Taglienti-Molinari / Getty Images

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

a rainbow of cosmetics
Rebecca Van Ommen / Getty Images

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.

Online Reviewer

Woman working on laptop in kitchen
kupicoo / E+ / Getty Images

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

Man and woman drinking in bar
Steve Duchesne / Getty Images

"PUA," or "pick up artist" training is sometimes sought after by men who have difficulty meeting women. A "PUA boot camp" can cost thousands of dollars, 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

businessman using computer
David Lees/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

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.

Veterinary Acupuncturist

Labrador with acupuncture needles in skin
Gary Ombler / Getty Images

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.

Article Sources

  1. WebMD. "What Is Ayurveda?" Accessed Jan. 28, 2020.

  2. GlassDoor. "Ayurvedic Doctor Salaries." Accessed Jan. 28, 2020.

  3. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Data for Occupations Not Covered in Detail." Accessed Jan. 28, 2020.

  4. Colorcom. "What Does a Color Consultant Do?" Accessed Jan. 28, 2020.

  5. HomeAdvisor. "How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Feng Shui Consultant?" Accessed Jan. 28, 2020.

  6. Facebook. "How Do I Report a Fake Facebook Account?" Accessed Jan. 28, 2020.

  7. The Society of Flavor Chemists. "Become a Member." Accessed Jan. 28, 2020.

  8. Flavor. "Median Flavorist Salaries." Accessed Jan. 28, 2020.

  9. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Chemists and Materials Scientists." Accessed Jan. 28, 2020.

  10. Manes & Miracles. "What is Equine Therapy, Hippotherapy, and Therapeutic Riding?" Accessed Jan. 28, 2020.

  11. American Horticultural Therapy Association. "Horticultural Therapy." Accessed Jan. 28, 2020.

  12. Fashionista. "Ever Wonder How Nail Polish Gets Named?" Accessed Jan. 28, 2020.

  13. IMDb. "James Matador." Accessed Jan. 28, 2020

  14. Mayo Clinic. "Accupuncture." Accessed Jan. 28, 2020.