When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Whether it was a footballer, pop star or doctor, chances are you probably plumped for something quite conventional. Likewise, once you finally entered the world of work, you’re likely to have ended up in a mainstream role, whether that was working in an office, a retail position or industrial environment.
However, are there are some people out there who have shunned traditional job roles and found something a little more niche. So if you’re looking to find a career that’s a bit different and you need some inspiration, take a look at our list of extraordinary jobs and see if there’s anything that tickles your fancy!
High Rise Window Cleaner
If you’ve got a head for heights, love working out in the open and you’re a bit of a daredevil, high rise window cleaner could be the gig for you. With space in cities at a premium, architects are increasingly looking to build taller and taller structures, so you’re never likely to be short of work! An agency in London was recently looking to recruit brave souls to clean windows up to 72 stories high on The Shard. Whilst the view would be absolutely incredible, you will have to contend with gusts of wind and some wild weather so it’s not going to be all plain sailing. Salaries start at around £20,000 per year.
According to recent research, the average person in the UK spends more than three months of their life queueing, but did you know it’s possible to make a living from standing in line? If you’re incredibly patient, happy to brave the elements and willing to sleep outside, you could earn up to £15 per hour providing a queuing service. You may find yourself filling in for people who want concert tickets, the latest hot gadget or access to the New Year sales but don’t have the time or inclination to line up themselves. Instead, they’ll pay you to queue!
Ash Portrait Artist
If you’re a skilled artist but you’re bored of using the traditional paints and pencils, how about crafting portraits using the ashes of cremated people? One artist has been doing it since 2008, using a scalpel to apply each particle of ash to a layer of beeswax, eventually creating a monochrome mosaic of the deceased person. Another artist grinds up ashes and brushes them over the top of pencil drawings of people and pets. Portraits start from around £200 and you’ll need to be a gifted portrait artist who’s not spooked out easily to consider this as a career!
It’s not glamourous, but somebody has to keep our sewer system flowing freely and that’s the job of a Sewer Flusher. Entering the dark tunnels underground, their main task is clearing blockages caused by congealed cooking fat and oil, which merge with baby wipes and other debris to cause ‘fatbergs’. These obstructions can be up to 100m long, are often riddled with flies and worms and smell awful! On the plus side, you’ll get to admire some impressive Victorian brick architecture and follow in the footsteps of several celebrities who’ve tried their hand at sewer work, including Scott Mills, Dan Snow and Neil Morrissey. Plus, a salary of up to £45,000 is not be sniffed at, so to speak!
Professional Iceberg Mover
Following the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, the International Ice Patrol was founded to prevent any further incidents. Around 20,000 - 40,000 icebergs drift across the North Atlantic each year, where they become a danger to both ships and oil installations. Once an iceberg has been identified as a potential threat, specialist contractors rush to the area and use a tugboat to tow the offending iceberg out of harm’s way, a job that can take up to 72 hours. If you love being out in the fresh air, have a sturdy pair of sea legs and don’t mind a chilly working environment, you could earn a tidy £100,000 per year. ‘Ice’ work if you can get it!
Pet Food Taster
If you’ve ever enviously eyed up your cat’s breakfast, this could be the career for you! Much like when testing human grub, the Pet Food Taster is checking to make sure flavours are perfectly balanced and the texture is appealing. The tester will also check the food visually to make sure it’s enticing and sniff it to ensure it has an appealing aroma. In addition to wolfing down Fido’s dinner, the Pet Food Taster is also responsible for developing new recipes and flavours and keeping abreast of regulatory matters. With salaries ranging from £20,000 for an entry-level role up to £50,000 for an experienced taster, this could be a ‘paw-some’ job for the right candidate!
Snake Venom Collector
Known as ‘snake milkers’ these courageous people handle some of the most dangerous reptiles on the planet on a daily basis. Their role mainly involves extracting venom from poisonous snakes in order to create anti-venoms and other medicines, including treatments for high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. In order to extract the venom, ‘milkers’ have to encourage the snake to bite through a latex cover and inject venom into a jar, so it’s certainly a risky role. Collectors are also in charge of breeding snakes and ensuring they’re healthy, for which you’ll earn a ‘fang-tastic’ salary of around £30,000 per year.
If you’re looking for a career that’s a little bit different, hopefully these extraordinary roles will have fired your imagination and inspired you to think outside of the box when it comes to landing your dream job. We won’t be able to help you become a Pet Food Taster or Sewer Flusher, but we do work with some of the best companies in the region, so click here to view our latest jobs if you’re seeking something a little more conventional.