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Top 10 Weirdest Jobs With High Salaries

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands
When someone asks you what you do for a living… why not surprise them? For this list, we’re looking at jobs that are somewhat off the beaten track, and yet still pull in respectable yearly salaries or hourly wages. WatchMojo counts down the Top 10 WTF Jobs That Pay BIG MONEY.

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#10: Crime Scene Cleaner

$35-80,000 Per Year
There are plenty of shows about those who investigate crimes, but the real money is made by those who clean up after all the detectives and police have left. Crime scene cleanup involves harsh chemicals to clean up what dead bodies leave behind, and that includes blood, waste and flesh. There’s always a huge amount of risk for disease when dealing with human detritus (in particular, blood), not to mention the strange hours you’ll likely have to keep, since crime can obviously happen at any time of day. Still, coming home with roughly $80,000 a year might actually make this job worth it, if you’ve got the stomach for it.

#9: IMAX Screen Cleaner

$45,000 Per Year
Cleaning jobs aren’t usually very high paying, but when you specialize in cleaning something specific that poses a particular challenge, you can make some pretty good money. What about IMAX and other large format movie screens? Well, they certainly pose a unique challenge. Standard movie screens can be cleaned with an extension pole and special towel-based cleaning heads. For the massive screens however, a motorized head on a pulley system is used, and it requires some skill to handle. According to Michael Quaranto, screen cleaner and co-founder of 1570 Cinema Services, it pays between $40,000 and $50,000 if working full time.

#8: Horse Exerciser

$55,000 Per Year
To be clear, we’re not talking about a horse trainer. That’s an entirely different career with a whole lot more name recognition. A horse exerciser on the other hand is a person who regularly rides a horse in order to keep it in good shape. This is a position that is especially important when dealing with race horses. A horse exerciser, sometimes simply referred to as a horse rider, will typically work in close proximity with the trainer. The trainer outlines the larger plans for the horse in question, and the exerciser executes that plan daily to keep the horse race-ready. Though well-paying, it often involves early hours.

#7: Food Stylists

$63,000 Per Year
Food items always look undeniably tasty on TV, billboards, and in magazines. But when you actually come face to face with the dish in question, it’s usually a pale reflection of what the advertisement promised. Since you’re never going to beat the system, why not join it and make some decent money? You can get paid to be one of the professionals perpetuating this cycle of deception and disappointment. Seriously, we don’t hold it against food stylists… marketing is everything, especially when it comes to selling processed and fast food. And quite frankly, their work is fascinating. As an added bonus, you’ll learn the skills to make your home cooking picture perfect too.

#6: Dog Food Taster

$40-73,000 Per Year
Sadly, this is not a way to supplement your dog food budget or force your canine companion to start pulling their financial weight in the household. If you’re a human with an open-mind and a refined, but not easily offended palate, then we’ve got a job that pays decently and is sure to stimulate conversation. Since our four-legged friends can’t provide detailed feedback on the dinner put in front of them, when dog food companies are developing new formulas or flavors, they turn to human testers for input. So if you think you know what a dog likes in terms of taste, texture and smell, why not apply? And like most jobs, the more experienced and/or educated you are, the higher your salary!

#5: Paper Towel Sniffer

$19-$52,000 Per Year
Well… there’s not much ambiguity to that position title. Odor testing is actually a fairly diverse field. Think about how many scented products are on the market. Whether it’s a product designed specifically to release odor, like an air freshener, or purpose driven product for which smell is secondary, like a cleaning agent, the aroma it lets off can make or break it with consumers. One of the most specific sniffer jobs to be found is in the paper towel industry, where the goal isn’t to make sure that the product smells good, but rather that it doesn’t smell at all, before, during, and after use. Only truly keen noses need apply.

#4: Face Feeler

$25 Per Hour
Sorry, but face feeling just isn’t a skill that gets you a full-time salaried position. If you’re willing to put in the facetime though, you can still make a nice side hustle out of it. What, are you not already familiar with the face feeler profession? Well, then… allow us to explain. Also referred to as “sensory scientists,” face feelers are trained and paid to comment on various cosmetic, skincare and face-specific products in terms of viscosity, texture, and other effects on the skin. They’re not testing them on their own face though… they’re touching the faces of other participants to evaluate how these different products work on various complexions and skin types.

#3: Golf Ball Divers

$50-$100,000 Per Year
Do you like golf? Are you a fan of underwater exploration? If you answered yes to both, then have we got the profession for you! Though ponds and other water features on a golf course might not provide the most thrilling of underwater scenery, they are overflowing with your new livelihood… lost golf balls! For every missed stroke on the fairway that ends up in the water, a golf ball diver gets a little richer. Because lost balls can still be reused, recycled balls are a lucrative industry. At an average of about 10 to 20 cents per ball, with proper technique, the numbers add up surprisingly quickly. Of course, it’s not without risks... (gator).

#2: Water Slide Tester

$25-34,000 Per Year
You might not make as much money in this position as you would diving for golf balls, but hey, this aquatic employment opportunity comes with significantly less chance of a close encounter with an alligator. It also sounds like a childhood dream job come true. It certainly was for Seb Smith, a technology design student who beat out some 2,000 interested applicants who applied for the position back in 2013. The job involves travelling around the world, testing out slides and rating them. The company’s last tester, Tommy Lynch, was apparently with them for several years. Why he left the position, we can’t possibly imagine, as there are certainly worse ways to make a living!

#1: Professional Snuggler

$40-$85 per Hour
Hey, when you need a hug, you need a hug… there’s no shame in paying for it. Nowadays, there are a number of online services offering professional snugglers for hire. There’s no funny business, just a good old fashioned cuddle for a price. If you’re not in need of a snuggle, but would be willing to engage in one with a stranger and make a little money while you’re at it, this just might be the part time job for you. Because it’s such a private and intimate service, you can still charge quite a premium, and if it goes well, you’ll likely develop regulars.

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