10 Weird Jobs That Can Pay Surprisingly Well

Two sommeliers, male and female tasting red wine and making notes at degustation card

Many more occupations are held roughly in the U.S. than the typical jobs that first come to our minds. If you’ve ever watched the show Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe, there’s a good chance it opened your eyes to the existence of a countless number of professions that fall way outside your typical nine-to-five.

As weird and unconventional as many of these jobs may be, it doesn’t mean they’re not good, respectable jobs. Many of these jobs come with salaries. They’re just different. And, like any job, they each come with their own set of rewards and challenges.


10. Commercial diver

Commercial diver
Commercial diver | Dive Magazine

Commercial diving is a weird job that can pay surprisingly well. The work is dangerous, but the rewards can be great. Commercial divers often make six-figure salaries, and they often have interesting and unique jobs. There are many different types of commercial diving, and each has its own set of risks and rewards.

Average salary range: $35,000-$96,000


9. Airplane repossession person

Airplane repossession
Airplane repossession

There are all sorts of odd jobs that can pay surprisingly well. An airplane repossession person is one of them. They are responsible for recovering airplanes that the bank or other lending institutions have repossessed.

This job requires a lot of knowledge about airplanes and how to fly them and a lot of mechanical and electrical skills. The pay can be good, but the hours can belong, and the work can be dangerous.

Estimated average salary range: 6%-10% commission on each plane’s resale price ($10,000-$900,000


8. Genetic counsellor

Genetic counsellor
Two young women scientists working together in genetics

Genetic counsellors are professionals that help individuals and families understand and adapt to the medical, psychological and social implications of genetic disorders. They work with patients and their families to identify risk factors, provide information on tests and treatments, and discuss options for managing a genetic condition. Genetic counsellors can earn a salary of up to $75,000 per year.

Average salary range: $52,000-$87,000


7. Body part model

Body part model
Body part model

Have you ever considered being a body part model? Believe it or not, this is a real job that can pay surprisingly well. The work can be a bit weird, but if you’re comfortable with your body and don’t mind being in the spotlight, it might be the perfect fit for you.

As a body part model, you’ll be responsible for posing nude or semi-nude for art classes, photography shoots, and other projects. You may also be asked to participate in live demonstrations or workshops. Therefore, it’s important to be comfortable with your body and have a good sense of self-confidence if you want to pursue this career path.

There’s no denying that being a body part model can be an unconventional way to make a living, but it can also be very rewarding.

Average salary range: $1,000-$10,000 for a day’s work, up to $75,000 per year


6. Ice cream taster

Ice cream taster
Ice cream taster

Ice cream taster is one of the weird jobs that can pay surprisingly well. The position usually pays around $35,000 a year, but the right candidate could make $60,000. The job entails tasting different flavours of ice cream and providing feedback to the company. It can be a fun job for someone who loves ice cream and has a discerning palate.

Average salary range: $35,000-$97,000


5. New York City hot dog vendor

New York City hot dog vendor
New York City hot dog vendor

There’s no doubt about it; hot dog vendors have one of the weirdest jobs. They spend their days on the street, selling hot dogs and other snacks to people who walk by. It’s a tough job, but it can also pay surprisingly well.

For example, in New York City, the average hot dog vendor makes around $50,000 a year. That’s not bad for a job that doesn’t require a lot of training or experience.

And if you’re willing to put in the hard work, you can make even more money. Some vendors earn six-figure salaries by catering to tourists and businesspeople in high-traffic areas. So if you’re looking for a weird job that can pay well, consider becoming a hot dog vendor.

Estimated salary range: $100,000-$300,000+


4. Bingo manager

Bingo manager
Bingo manager

Bingo is a classic game that has been around for centuries. It is still enjoyed by people of all ages today. In most cases, bingo is played in a church, community center, or another social setting. However, there is another side to bingo that most people don’t know about. That side is the business side.

Bingo managers are responsible for running bingo games in commercial casinos and racetracks. They are responsible for hiring and training staff, scheduling games, setting prize amounts, and dealing with customer service issues. The job can be demanding, but it can also be very rewarding.

Bingo managers typically earn salaries from $30,000 to $50,000 per year. However, they can also earn bonuses and commissions based on the amount of money they bring in.


Average salary range: $45,000-$100,000


3. Sommelier

Two sommeliers, male and female, tasted red wine and made notes on the degustation card.

Sommelier is a unique and interesting career choice that can pay surprisingly well. A sommelier is a wine steward, and their job is to recommend wines to guests, provide wine service, and manage the wine cellar. They must have extensive knowledge of various wines, grape varietals, wine regions, and wine-making processes. Sommeliers typically work in restaurants, hotels, or resorts. They may also work for wineries or liquor distributors. The median annual salary for a sommelier is $53,000. However, experienced sommeliers can earn much more than that. Some sommeliers earn six-figure salaries.

Average salary range: $40,000-$71,000


2. Nuclear power reactor operator

the simpsons
The Simpsons via Facebook

If you’re looking for an exciting and lucrative job, consider becoming a nuclear power reactor operator. Reactor operators are responsible for nuclear power plants safe and efficient operation. They must be able to handle complex machinery and make quick decisions in stressful situations.

Reactor operators typically earn between $50,000 and $100,000 per year. The job can be stressful and dangerous but rewarding and exciting. If you’re interested in learning more about this career, visit the Nuclear Regulatory Commission website.


Average salary range: $60,000-$120,000


1. Elevator inspector

Elevator inspector
Elevator inspector

Inspection of elevators is one of those weird jobs that can pay surprisingly well. The job usually entails inspecting the elevator for safety, ensuring all the parts are in working order, and issuing permits for the elevators to be used. The job can be dangerous, as it sometimes requires working in tight spaces or climbing ladders, but it also has its perks. Elevator inspectors typically work regular hours during the day and enjoy good benefits and job security.

Average salary range: $44,000-$81,000