Eight unusual jobs that pay well

Eight unusual jobs that pay well

‘You get paid to do what?’ 

While every job is slightly different in its responsibilities, some jobs are just, well, a little unusual. However, just because these roles may be a little outside of the norm, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to sacrifice your salary. 

So, if you’re looking for a lucrative job that’s totally out there, here are 10 unusual jobs that pay well: 

Pet psychologist 

What a pet psychologist does: A pet psychologist is trained to understand why our animals act in certain ways, and then show their owners techniques on how to manage their pet’s behaviour. 

What you need to do the job: You’ll need a degree in a related subject like psychology, biology or animal behaviour. You’ll also need to be patient, as behaviour can take months to change and you’ll need empathy to understand what pet owners are experiencing. 

What you can earn: Around £30,000 per year

Perfect for: People who love animals 

Our advice: You’ll need to love all creatures great and small – and not just cats and dogs. You could be working with a variety of different animals like horses, guinea pigs or even snakes. Practical experience of handling animals is also important, so consider volunteering at an animal charity or refuge. 

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Tea taster

What a tea taster does: A Tea Taster seeks out new types of teas, samples tea to check on quality, and advises on how different teas should be brewed so that they can achieve the best possible flavour. 

What you need to do the job: Having sensitive taste buds is essential if you want to become a tea taster, as you’ll need to know the difference between different blends. An interest in botany or horticulture will also be beneficial. 

What you can earn: Around £34,000 per year

Perfect for: People who aren’t big on coffee

Our advice: Aside from being a genuine tea-lover (think tasting dozens of cups of tea every single day), you’ll need to really write an application that stands out from the crowd. While being a tea taster is an unusual job, some companies hiring for them see it as an absolute necessity, making it a popular but slightly competitive (see also: weird) career choice. 

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Golf ball diver

What a golf ball diver does: A golf ball diver dives into the ponds and lakes at golf courses to retrieve balls so they can be cleaned, and either resold or recycled. 

What you need to do the job: You’ll need a diving licence from a certified diving school and appropriate insurance to work as a golf ball diver. 

What you can earn: Around £38,000 per year

Perfect for: People who want to spend more time in the water than David Hasselhoff 

Our advice: Ponds and lakes aren’t typically warm, so you’ll need to have experience diving in cold water. Diving is physically demanding too, so you’ll need to keep fit to meet the demands of the job. 

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Ethical hacker

What an ethical hacker does: Also known as a ’white hat’ hacker, an ethical hacker is hired by organisations to hack into their computer systems, to test how secure (or not) they are. 

What you need to do the job: You’ll need a thorough understanding of programming, scripting, networks and hardware to know how to break into them. Problem solving and critical thinking are therefore essential skills to have. 

What you can earn: Around £50,000 per year 

Perfect for: People who don’t use ‘1,2,3,4’ as their password

Our advice: Experience in doing something similar is important, but much of the knowledge can be built outside of work – whether it’s by learning new coding languages or learning to build complex networks in your spare time. As long as you stay away from hacking until you’ve actually been given permission… 

How to become an ethical hacker

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Food stylist

What a Food Stylist does: A food stylist makes dishes look so good that the photograph or video makes you want to buy it. Ever had a serious food craving after seeing an ad somewhere? This is the person to blame.

What you need to do the job: To become a food stylist, you’ll need to be creative so that you can arrange food in a certain way, so it photographs or videos well. You also need to be organised and work well under pressure. 

What you can earn: Around £35,000 per year 

Perfect for: People who are picky about pickles

Our advice: A portfolio of previous photo projects you’ve worked on will always impress employers – and will be an expectation for many. If you have little commercial experience, raid your fridge and see what images you can come up with yourself. There are also lots of courses available online to help you learn more about the industry.

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Teddy bear doctor

What a teddy bear doctor does: Kids (and adults) love their teddy bears, and if they become damaged, you can get them patched up and cleaned by a certified teddy bear doctor to help make them look new again. 

What you need to do the job: You’ll need good listening and communication skills as your customers may be very young. A steady hand for sewing is essential, and a knowledge of treating different materials is also important. 

What you can earn: Around £38,000 per year

Perfect for: People who are obsessed with cuddly toys 

Our advice: Employers are looking for candidates who have good customer service skills, so be sure to highlight these on your CV. If you don’t have these skills, a customer service course will help give you the theoretical knowledge you need.


What a sommelier does: A sommelier is an expert on wine, and they advise guests on the best wine to accompany their meal – as well as advising bars and vineyards about the types of wine they should buy. 

What you need to do the job: Extensive training is required to become a sommelier, sometimes taking years to become qualified. A vast knowledge of wines and how they are produced is also required. 

What you can earn: Around £50,000 per year

Perfect for: People who know the difference between Sauvignon and Merlot

Our advice: As well as an in-depth knowledge of wine, you’ll also need world class serving skills (which are best gained in top-rated restaurants or hotels), as well as a good amount of business acumen. Start by finding out more by taking a wine tasting or introductory sommelier course. 

How to become a sommelier

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What a beekeeper does: Beekeepers manage colonies of honeybees that are kept in hives to produce honey, wax and royal jelly. 

What you need to do the job You’ll need in-depth knowledge of bees, their behaviour and how to care for them, so a qualification in Biology can be useful. However, it’s by no means a necessity, and patience and the ability to work well on your own are also important skills to have. 

What you can earn: Around £38,000 per year

Perfect for: People who get a buzz from nature 

Our advice: You’ll need to be able to put up with the constant buzzing sound and the occasional bee sting. However, the rewards far outweigh the risks, and there are lots of beekeeping societies that can help you take your hobby to the next level and turn it into a career. If you’re looking for clubs in your area, the British Beekeepers Association is a great place to start. 

How to become a beekeeper

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