Fortunately, there are quite a few career options for those looking to branch out, and they pay more than you think! They won’t make you millions, but they pay more than the county’s national average. If you’re considering a career change, then you just might want to give one of these odd jobs a try.
Median Salary: $40,090
If you’re unfamiliar with how soap is made, then you’ve likely never heard of a soap boiler, yet it’s an essential role for soap production.
The multistep process requires soap boilers to transform fats into a substance called neat soap. This is then used to make liquid, bar, and powdered soaps. Small and large manufacturers alike all need someone to fill this odd role! The only requirement is a high school diploma.
Median Salary: $40,520
Ever notice those large billboards when driving along the freeway? Well, someone has to put them up! While there are no educational requirements for those seeking the position, applicants should expect lengthy on-the-job training.
With many billboards now converting to electronic big screens, job positions may be on the rise. Job growth is expected to increase as much as 5% between now and 2028.
Median Salary: $40,630
All written documents require an editor or a proofreader, so it only makes sense that a document written in braille would receive the same attention. Just like any other editor, a braille proofreader reviews books, pamphlets, newspapers, and more before they go to print.
This job is especially important as a blind person relies on what’s written in braille to receive information. In addition to a Bachelor’s degree, those pursuing this odd job must obviously also be fluent in Braille.
Median Salary: $41,410
Ever wonder how performers manage to change their outfits so quickly during shows and concerts? Well, they’re assisted by a costume attendant. In addition to fitting performers for their different costumes, someone in this role will stand backstage and assist entertainers when it’s time to change their outfit.
While it might sound like an easy thing to do, the job is actually extremely high pressure. Applicants only need a high school diploma and an interest to work in fashion.
Automatic Door Repairer
Median Salary: $41,570
We’re all familiar with automatic doors as they’re at the entrance to most buildings. Despite being useful to get into hospitals and supermarkets, it’s not uncommon for these kinds of doors to malfunction.
They require regular maintenance and occasional repairs. While it’s certainly not an exciting job, the requirements are minimal and those in the industry can expect to see job growth of up to 10% by 2028.
Median Salary: $41,850
Commercial airplanes often need a fresh coat of paint, because let’s face it, no one wants to get on a plane that looks like it’s about to fall apart.
Additionally, airlines will occasionally partner with other brands to have their logos painted on their wings. This could be anything from Disney characters to promote a new movie to animals that brighten up the exterior. Applicants only require a high school diploma and on-the-job training to get this odd job!
Median Salary: $44,650
Also known as a lumberjack, a faller cuts down large trees. More than just chopping them down though, a faller needs to understand the making of different types of trees and recognize signs that will indicate which way it will fall.
The only requirements for applicants are a high school diploma and on-the-job training. Unfortunately, the industry is expected to experience a 14% decline in job growth by 2028, but that doesn’t mean it’s not the right industry for you!
Forest Fire Inspector
Median Salary: $45,270
As a forest fire inspector, your main concern would be to do everything necessary to prevent forest fires. This means inspecting wooded areas for fire hazards, enforcing prevention regulations, and recommending what further measures can be taken to ensure the public’s safety.
Unlike some of these other odd jobs, an associate’s degree is required to apply for a job as a forest fire inspector.
Acoustic Ceiling Tile Installer
Median Salary: $45,700
Who knew that rooms with particularly good acoustics were installed intentionally? Acoustic ceiling tile installers do just that. They’re responsible for installing acoustical tiles and other shock-absorbing materials to walls and ceilings.
The purpose of these installations could be either to reduce the sound in a room or to reflect the sound to improve acoustics. With no education requirements, music lovers flock to this odd job!
Median Salary: $46,250
Have a fascination with explosives? Then you may want to consider a job as a seismograph shooter. This job allows you to set off explosives, intended to loosen the ground so that seismograph readings can be performed. There are a number of reasons this is done, but most often it’s done to reveal petroleum deposits.
In addition to a high school diploma, applicants will also need lengthy job training that includes five years of apprenticeship. The industry is expected to see a 6% job growth increase between now and 2028.
Median Salary: $47,760
Embalming is the ideal career path for anyone who enjoys working alone. While preparing the deceased for viewing all alone in a dark basement sounds like the setting of a horror movie, it can be much better than having to deal with nosy colleagues.
It may not be the job for everyone though, as most people wouldn’t be able to stomach working with dead bodies. However, the job pays well and only requires an associate’s degree to apply.
Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator
Median Salary: $47,760
Once we flush the toilet, we rarely think about where our waste goes. However, it has to go somewhere and when it gets there, someone has to deal with it. That’s where a wastewater treatment plant operator comes into play. It’s a dirty job, but it needs to be done.
At least when you have to deal with sewage all day, the pay is decent. Even though the industry is expected to see a 5% drop in job growth by 2028, it’s one that is guaranteed to always be around.
Median Salary: $49,330
A dinkey operator is responsible for controlling the dinkey engine, which is a small locomotive engine used to draw trains along railway tracks.
They’re often used to transport large materials like rocks, coal, and timber in construction areas, industrial plants, quarries, and similar areas. The only qualifications include a high school diploma and on-the-job training.
Underwater Demolition Diver
Median Salary: $49,980
If you’re a skilled diver, then you might enjoy working as an underwater demolition diver. The job requires people to dive into the ocean and set up explosives underwater. Detonation is often intended to remove some kind of obstruction in ports or waterways, and can also be used during ship salvage operations.
To become an underwater demolition diver, you will require a special certification as well as on-the-job training. Job growth is expected to increase roughly 7% between now and 2028.
Median Salary: $50,110
Have you ever wondered who is controlling those bridges that allow boats to pass? That person is a bridge tender. They’re responsible for watching out for boat signals and raising the bridge when they need to pass underneath it.
While it’s not exactly the most exciting career path, it’s relatively easy and comes with a decent salary.
Median Salary: $50,510
Working as a private investigator may not be the easiest job, but it’s certainly an odd one. You will likely learn some of the most interesting things about the people you investigate though.
Unlike some of these other odd jobs, however, being a private investigator requires some serious skills. Not only would you need to physically research your target by following them, but you’ll need to have the technical skills needed to analyze their digital footprint as well. In addition to some experience, you’ll also need a high school diploma. Job growth is expected to increase by 8% by 2028.
Median Salary: $51,670
Not all young ballerinas grow up to be professional dancers. However, if your love for the art form doesn’t disappear with age, then you may want to consider becoming a ballet composer.
The profession requires both a bachelor’s degree and roughly 5 years of ballet experience. After that, you can work on composing the next big thing in ballet!
Median Salary: $52,910 Wind turbines are quickly becoming a much-needed solution to energy efficiency. As a wind tech, your job would be to maintain and repair wind turbines, often dealing with electrical, mechanical, or hydraulic issues.
As energy efficiency becomes more essential, we expect to see more wind tech positions arise. In fact, job growth expects to increase by 60% before 2028. Applicants are required to complete a certificate program and can expect long-term training after being hired.
Median Salary: $53,370
If being a car mechanic doesn’t sound challenging enough for you, then you might want to look into becoming a bulldozer mechanic. Used in numerous industries, bulldozers are large vehicles designed to crush large objects.
Just like a car or truck, bulldozers require regular maintenance and repairs, but your average mechanic usually can’t manage to do them. A bulldozer mechanic is specially trained to work on bulldozers and only requires a high school diploma to apply.
Hearing Aid Specialist
Median Salary: $53,420
A hearing aid specialist is responsible for fitting people with new hearing aids and testing the device to ensure the user is able to hear properly. This means taking impressions of someone’s ear and creating a model for their hearing aid to be made from.
Applicants only need to have a high school diploma and can expect to receive some training on the job. Over the next few years, job growth is expected to increase by roughly 16% before 2028.
Median Salary: $54,150
Also known as funeral directors, an undertaker has the difficult task of having to be there for people while they’re mourning. While some may find that this odd job offers the opportunity to console people when they need it most, not everyone is designed for this kind of work.
In this position, you can expect to plan funeral services with the deceased’s family members, arranging transportation for the body, and more. Those interested are required to have an associate’s degree, a program certificate, and on-the-job training.
Median Salary: $60,130
Also known as a stenographer, a stenocaptioner uses shorthand techniques and a special machine to transcribe trial proceedings.
Not only is it an odd job, but it’s quite interesting as well, especially if you like true crime. Imagine all of the stories you will hear! The role requires the completion of a certificate program to learn how to type in shorthand.
Median Salary: $61,660
Where there was a fire, there must be an investigation. This is done by a fire investigator whose job is to search for hazards and determine the cause of a fire. Their decision can be especially important if a crime is thought to have been committed or an insurance claim was made.
Often those with experience as a firefighter will go into this career later in life. In addition to this experience, a certificate program is also required for applicants. There is an estimated job growth rate of 8% by 2028.
Median Salary: $63,200
For those looking for an odd job in the sciences, you may want to consider a career as a soil scientist. As the title alludes to, the job simply requires analysis and testing of soil for a variety of reasons. A soil scientist can be needed to improve agricultural production, ensure the public’s health, and maintain the environment.
A bachelor’s degree is necessary and we can expect to see 7% job growth in the agriculture and food scientists sector by 2028.
Median Salary: $30.39 per hour
Clearly, a career path in opera isn’t for everyone, as you need to have singing abilities. However, if you have vocal skills, then you may want to consider becoming a professional opera singer.
Most people in this profession hold a bachelor’s degree and have extensive training in opera. Of course, you will also need to have the drive to entertain on stage in front of large crowds and work odd hours.
Median Salary: $71,820
There are so many sectors within the police force, so you may not have even heard of the railroad police. Their responsibilities are to patrol train stations and railroad yards, especially secured areas. They might also work undercover on trains or subways to prevent theft, assault, and other crimes.
In addition to a high school diploma and some college credits, those interested in this career will also require training in the police academy. Job growth is expected to grow roughly 5% before 2028.
Median Salary: $75,650
Another odd job in the sciences revolves around the analysis and testing of algae. As an algae scientist, you could work in a number of industries because algae have quite a few uses.
In addition to being an essential part of our ecosystem, it’s also used to treat wastewater and to create biofuel. Applicants are required to have a bachelor’s degree and should have an interest in science.
Theatrical Makeup Artist
Median Salary: $ 75,730
You don’t have to be a makeup artist to the stars to make good money doing what you love.
There are a number of types of entertainers that are in need of theatrical makeup artists, including dancers, stage actors, singers, and more. Over the next few years, a 7% increase in job growth is expected by 2028.
Median Salary: $84,990
Like automatic doors and elevators, escalators also require attention from specially trained workers. Installing them may be more difficult though, as an escalator installer earns quite a hefty salary.
The job also requires maintaining and repairing escalators and requires an apprenticeship to get the job. By 2028, there is an expected 10% job growth in the industry.
Median Salary: $92,040
Likely you’ve seen crystals being sold claiming to protect and heal those who hold them. They come in the form of decor, necklaces, and so much more.
A crystallographer’s job is to study the composition of these types of crystals, as they’ve made advancements in science and medicine. You only need a bachelor’s degree to get started, and the field is expected to see a 6% job growth increase by 2028.
Median Salary: $53,185
A bingo manager works in a casino and is responsible for the activities going on in a bingo room. This includes ensuring that all games comply with federal and state gaming regulations, overseeing staff members, approving jackpots, and making payouts to winners.
While it may mean spending most of your evenings with the elderly, it’s an odd job that pays pretty well. The position doesn’t require a college degree, but applicants will likely need five years of experience in management.
Median Salary: $51,826
If you’re interested in therapy and have a love for horses, there is a unique profession that combines the two. Hippotherapy is a form of therapeutic horseback riding designed for individuals with a disability. If done properly, it can help patients to improve their focus, socialization, positivity, control, and physical well-being.
There are several methods that would provide you with the proper certification including college courses and a certificate program.
Median Salary: $38,044
Acupuncture isn’t only used to treat humans. While it may not be common, acupuncture has been used to treat animals with certain health conditions as well.
As a non-surgical option, a veterinary acupuncturist uses a combination of needles and massage to treat issues like arthritis, neurologic disorders, reproductive disorders, gastrointestinal issues, paralysis, muscle injuries, and more. Those interested should have an associate’s degree.
Median Salary: $97,750
Ever wonder who creates the chemical makeup of the ingredients in your favorite foods and candle scents? That would be a flavorist!
Someone in this position uses essential oils, botanical extracts, and flavor aromas to create new flavors. They could work in a variety of industries including food and beauty. The requirements for applicants interested in becoming a flavorist though are hefty. In addition to a Ph.D. in chemistry or biochemistry, a lengthy apprenticeship is also needed.
CBD oil Extractor
Median Salary: $80,000 A CBD oil extractor is responsible for converting the CBD plant buds into oil concentrate, which is used to make edibles and smoking cartridges. Despite sounding like a dream job for some, the position actually requires a ton of laboratory work.
Since it requires advanced scientific knowledge, the position can pay up to $100,000. However, it can pay as much as $180,000 a year for candidates who have a Ph.D.!
Median Salary: $71,331
Skilled computer hackers can be on either side of the moral compass. Those who don’t wish to work on the black market can make a pretty penny and work in practically any industry that largely relies on technology to function.
Companies keep computer hackers on staff to test the security levels of their software and networking systems. Also referred to as white hat hackers, those interested in this kind of work will need a bachelor’s degree in a related field.
Voice Over Artist
Median Salary: $64,012
Ever wonder how people get jobs voicing radio commercials or audiobooks? Well, it’s actually not so hard. While having a distinct voice will help you to stand out from the rest, there are no skills required other than reading a script.
A voice-over artist can narrate films, television shows, commercials, social media ads, and so much more. Some people take acting classes or voice lessons to perfect their skills, but it’s not a requirement.
Median Salary: $202,000
A bed warmer is exactly what it sounds like. They’re responsible for warming up someone’s bed before they lay in it, as some people simply can’t stand jumping into a cold bed. This is done by wearing a special electrically powered sleeper suit.
At The Holiday Inn in the UK, bed warmers are offered to guests as a luxury service. They even carry around a thermometer to ensure the bed reaches 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
Golf Ball Diver
Median Salary: $50,000
Have you ever wondered what happens to golf balls that end up in the water? They used to sit and rot, but in more recent years people have been diving into the bodies of water near golf courses to dig them up. Surprisingly, this has become a reliable source of income for many divers, earning them anywhere between $50,000 and $100,000 per year.
Golf ball divers work for themselves and can earn as much as they want based on the time and effort they put into it. The only qualification is being a relatively skilled diver.
Median Salary: $54,091
If you’ve ever been to a race track, then you’ve likely contributed to the salary of a horse exerciser. Prior to each race, the horses require some training and exercise which is when those in this odd role come in. Horse exercisers take the horses around the track to help them get familiar with the route and ride them to ensure they get enough exercise.
Those who are interested in this career path only need a high school diploma, however, roughly seven years of experience with horses is required.
Fortune Cookie Writer
Median Salary: $60,000
Who knew people could make a living from writing cookie fortunes! Not only that, but you can make a decent amount of money. Most fortune cookie writers make between $40,000 and $80,000 depending on how many one-liners they’re able to write.
In addition to having a sense of humor, those who are seeking these kinds of jobs will also need some writing experience or a related degree.
Las Vegas Street Performers
Median Salary: $700-800 per day
Certainly not a job for everyone, Las Vegas street performers have been known to pull in a ton of cash. Even those without any talent or skill have been known to make $700 to $800 per day just taking photos with tourists while dressed in costume.
Before you pack your bags and move to Sin City, know that the scene can be a bit seedy. It’s also not exactly a stable income, but if you’re motivated and can stand out from the other performers, you’ll definitely be able to make some cash.
Median Salary: $64,500
More than someone wearing a big red nose and silly shoes, a clown’s job first and foremost is to entertain. Whether it’s at a birthday party or at the circus, people love to watch clowns do their acts. It may be considered an odd job by most people, but if you can land a steady gig, there’s definitely money in it.
Despite all the jokes you’ve heard about clown college, the only requirement for this gig is the right makeup and a good sense of humor.
Pet Food Taster
Median Salary: $ 40,000
Apparently, a lot goes into coming up with the perfect meals for our furry friends. While most of a pet food taster’s job consists of analyzing the food’s nutrition, texture, smell, and ingredients, at some point they do actually have to taste it as well.
The position typically requires a Ph.D. in science or a related field. While salaries start out on the lower end, they can reach over $100,000.
Median Salary: $42,000
Someone has to take all of those delicious looking photos that have us drooling on restaurant websites! A food photographer not only knows all the best angles to highlight different kinds of food, but they know all of the tricks to make food look more photogenic.
They can be hired by restaurants, bars, major food corporations, cookbook publications, magazines, and more. Despite not needing a college degree, more experienced photographers will earn more money.
Crime Scene Cleaner
Median Salary: $38,355
Have you ever wondered what happens to a crime scene once the police and investigators are done with it? They certainly don’t leave the family members of the deceased to clean it up!
Instead, they bring in crime scene cleaners who are specially trained to clean up hazardous materials such as blood spatter and fingerprint dusting remnants. If you can stomach this kind of job, all you need is a high school degree.
Median Salary: $50,000
Kind of like a rogue cop, a bounty hunter locates criminals who have a warrant out for their arrest. While it can be a dangerous gig, those who do it tend to find it exciting.
Comfortable shoes are highly recommended. Training and certification requirements depend on the state you wish to work in, but only a high school diploma is needed to get started.
Hot Dog Vendor
Median Salary: $100,000
If you’re looking to make some good cash with minimal effort, then opening a hot dog stand seems to be the way to do it.
With this kind of odd job, the salary is affected more by the stand’s location than the quality of the food. If you have a good location, you can make more than $300,000 a year!
Body Part Model
Median Salary: $70,000
Have nice feet? Or nice hands? Then body part modeling might be the best odd job for you! In addition to modeling shoes and jewelry, a body part model can be used in commercials to show off products and even in movies as body doubles for actors.
While there are no education requirements for this kind of work, the competition can be pretty stiff!