Ten weird and wonderful jobs that really do exist
We look at some of the strangest jobs you can get paid for doing.
Bored of your current job? Would you prefer to get paid for building lego sculptures or teaching dogs yoga? How about training monkeys to help the disabled?
Here’s our guide to 10 of the weirdest and most wonderful jobs that actually exist.
1. Lego sculptor
This is my husband’s dream job. And it really does exist. In fact, there are eight Lego ‘master model builders’ around the world, based at the Legoland Discovery Centres.
However, competition for each role is fierce - the last person to get a job as one had to beat off 45 other applicants on Youtube and go through a three-round Lego build-off in front of judges and the public.
2. Pet food taster
The next time you see a job advert for a ‘senior food technologist’, be wary. It could actually be a post for a dog food taster. What, did you think dogs did all the tasting? Think again. Marks & Spencer, at least, employs a human to try each of its concoctions. He says he loves his job, and it is “just the same as if I was working in the ready meals department”. I don’t know which statement is more worrying.
3. Bed bug host
Bed bug infestations are on the rise, with pest control associations reporting they are getting more calls about bed bugs nationwide than ever before and infestations in London up 30% year-on-year.
The trouble is, bed bugs are difficult to kill, as they only come out of their hiding places if they can sense carbon dioxide in the night.
This is good news if you would like a new career as a bed bug host (skip to 2:13s for the interview). All you have to do is be prepared to sleep in other people’s beds when they are infested with bed bugs. Gives new meaning to the phrase “don’t let the bed bugs bite”, doesn’t it?
4. Professional granny
As a new mum whose parents and in-laws live far away, I love this new site grannyandi.co.uk.
It places experienced grandmothers with families as nannies, babysitters, mothers’ helpers, housekeepers and maternity nurses. With decades of experience looking after their own children and grandchildren - as well as being Criminal Record Bureau-checked and trained in First Aid - these professional grannies for hire really are the next best thing to your own mother or father looking after your kids. And the bonus is, they don’t drive you mad!
5. Dog Yoga Teacher
When I recently saw an advert for Dog Yoga - known as Doga - in a cafe in London, I laughed so hard I thought I would have puppies. But apparently yoga classes with your dog is the latest craze to hit London from New York. Why not start your own local class and make some extra cash? You can learn how to become a Doga instructor at dogadog.com - or just watch some hilarious video clips of doga in action.
6. Nude cruise worker
Fancy getting paid for cruising off around the world, surrounded by naked people? Then why not work for the aptly named Bare Necessities Tour company, which offers cruises for nudists. Staff are not expected to go clothes-less themselves - it's “against Coast Guard regulations” - but they do have to police the decks as passengers are not allowed to sit on the ship’s furnishings.
7. Placenta cook
Possibly the very last thing I wanted to do after I gave birth was to eat my daughter’s placenta in order to replenish my blood supply. Yet this ancient Chinese practice is growing in popularity in the West, with celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver joining in.
If these seriously disgusting placenta recipes don’t turn your stomach, why not make a career out of preparing placentas for consumption like this lady? Her top tip is that it is best to digest the placentas raw, in a smoothie. Ugh...
8. Monkey trainer for disabled
What could be a more fun and fulfilling job than training a monkey to help disabled people? This is exactly what the charity Monkey Helpers does, teaching monkeys to perform everyday tasks for people living with injuries that prevent them from using their hands.
The monkeys are taught to open bottles, switch on lights and even scratch their owners’ noses. Rewards come in the form of peanut butter or whipped cream, plus I believe they are occasionally allowed time off to monkey around.
9. Presidential poison taster
You might have known that the ancient Egyptians and the Romans employed them, but were you aware that poison tasting is still a potential career option today? Both Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin are reported to engage the services of ‘food tasters’ who travel with them and, um, taste their food.
10. Professional queuer
Don’t mind standing in a queue for hours? For $36 (£22.40) an hour, American company linestanding.com will provide lobbyists with someone to wait “in line” at busy Congressional hearings, while in China (where half a day’s wait in a bank queue is not uncommon), the job of a professional queuer is becoming increasingly popular.
Immoral or a perfectly acceptable way to make some extra cash? Let us know your thoughts using the comments box below!
And finally... UFO Desk officer
OK, this job officially no longer exists, but then again, that could be a UFO conspiracy, so I thought I would include it just in case. Nicknamed ‘the strangest job in Whitehall’, until 2009, a UFO Desk Officer was employed by the Government to investigate UFO reports, record alien sightings and liaise with ‘UFOlogists’.
You can even read some of the briefings they gave to Tony Blair in the National Archives.
What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever come across? Can you top my list?
More on jobs from Lovemoney:
Minimum wage: could you live on £6.19 an hour?