Top 10 Strange Jobs
At CareerGlider, we exist to connect people with the best jobs and the training to help them get there. There are all kinds of people in the world, and all kinds of unusual jobs to suit them. Today we look at some of the jobs you won’t see on many job boards or careers websites. Weird as some of them are, though, people working in these fields help people, entertain us, or save lives.
#1 Medical Tattooist
You might associate tattoos with self-expression, or regret, but medical tattooists play an important role in helping people recover from injuries or illnesses. Their work disguises scars using the colors of the skin’s natural pigments, and helps complete breast reconstruction after breast cancer surgery. Better-looking skin helps patients recover their confidence after difficult experiences.
A profession at least as old as Ancient Egyptian mummies, embalming a deceased person’s body is still a strange task. Embalmers ensure that bodies are well-preserved so they can be viewed by family and friends at a person’s funeral. Using their experience, they decide the right fluids to use, then apply their manual skills and attention to detail to prepare a body.
Where open caskets are the norm, embalmers’ work is especially important, because it gives loved ones a chance to say goodbye. That’s especially important where a deceased person has died tragically.
# 3 Lab Rat Breeder
Lab rats and mice are used in a wide variety of scientific experiments, often when experiments on humans wouldn’t be ethical. Scientists want to ensure they’re working with rats and mice whose genetic history is well-understood; they may also want the rodents to have specific mutations. Labs often have their own rodent colonies, but lab rat breeders can provide specially bred rodents, although a deep understanding of genetics and biology is needed.
#4 Child Wrangler
You’ve seen children or even babies smiling adorably in magazines. But have you ever thought about what it must take to keep a kid concentrating, and not crying, in a stressful environment like a photo or film shoot? The likely answer: a child wrangler.
Child wranglers help kids feel safe and comfortable on sets and coach them into the right facial expressions or emotions. They need to be understanding and caring, and be able to turn a director’s requirements into something a child can understand. Many people come to the job from other roles in film or media, though some knowledge of developmental psychology helps.
#5 Dog Psychologist
Or if you prefer, veterinary behaviorist. Dog psychologists treat dogs who are overly aggressive, fearful, or disobedient, or suffer from separation anxiety or, yes, depression. Many dog behaviorists have no formal qualifications, but veterinarians can be state-certified as specialist behaviorists.
Exo-meteorology is the study of weather on other planets. It’s how we know, for instance, the weather on this gas giant planet 260 light-years away is forecast to be 2,700℉ on the planet’s bright side (a cooler 900℉ on the dark side). It’s also how we know what the cloud cover looks like on planet Kepler 7b, and that Saturn’s moon Titan has tropical lakes—of methane.
#7 Horse Exerciser
Horses need exercise for their health, and specialized equipment exists to provide it to them. But horses involved in equestrian sports like jumping or hunting, in particular, need a little more loving care than that. There are plenty of horse lovers ready to help.
#8 Pirate Fighter
Pirate fighter would not be your official job title, but it would be your job. With the rise in Somali piracy in the Indian Ocean, cargo ships are increasingly turning to armed guards to protect themselves from armed pirates on small motorboats. You can’t just strap on some pistols, however—most pirate fighters are former professional soldiers, usually from the special forces.
#9 Spider Venom Extractor
Spider venom is used to create antivenom to treat spider bites, and for scientific research. Chemicals from spider venom may one day be used to treat everything from muscular dystrophy to Alzheimers. To get venom, spiders need to be—this is the technical term—milked, which requires manual skills and fearlessness. You can see a relative of the brown recluse spider being milked in a lab here, and an Australian funnel-web spider being milked here.
#10 Sports Mascot
Sports mascots fire up the home fans and mock their opponents, while wearing a giant furry costume. There’s even a mascot school to train them.
But a mascot’s job isn’t easy. To start with, the costumes are hot —according to ESPN, half of all mascots have suffered a heat-related injury. The costume heads are impossible to clean. Provoking fights is an occupational hazard, and injuries are common. You’re also competing with mascots with skills like these.
These are jobs not everyone can do, even if they wanted to, but courses leading to less unusual jobs, be sure to check out our schools pages.