Today, more people are choosing to become independent and work from the comfort of their homes. According to recently released data from the US Census, 5.2% of the population, or 8 million people, worked from their homes in 2017 alone. Whether it be working from home or sitting behind a desk all day in an office, jobs are important in our lives. They provide us with the stability we need to survive in this world. But, not everyone is cut out for the boring desk jobs. There are many who make a living by standing in line for days when the latest iPhone is released. Like so, we have gathered a list of some weird jobs that require a unique set of skills to maintain them.
1. Professional sleeper
As weird as it sounds, a professional sleeper is a real job where a person voluntarily lays in bed for months, all in the name of science. Researchers from different space agencies require professional sleepers in order to study the long term effects of laying in one position and how it affects the muscles in our bodies. The study helps scientists determine the necessary steps to counteract the negative effects of weightlessness in space; such as muscular atrophy. According to Vice News, one man made $18,000 for laying in bed for a period of 70 days. While the job sounds simple and catchy, candidates have to meet several requirements.
One such requirement is that they speak German fluently, since the study is based in Cologne, Germany. Selected candidates will spend two months in DLR’s :envihab, a “one-of-a-kind, highly sophisticated medical research facility”. The facility recreates the conditions experienced by astronauts in space, thus allowing researchers to simulate the displacement of bodily fluids in a microgravity environment. (source 1, 2)
2. Shark tank cleaner
A shark tank cleaner is someone who spends hours every day, keeping the tanks clean and tidy for visitors. Some aquariums adopt these magnificent creatures for us to see them up close. While most of us want to see the sharks up close, it’s also necessary to maintain the eco-system created to house them. Most aquariums employ shark tank cleaners, who spend 35-40 hours a week, cleaning the tanks. Those who wish to take the job have to undergo special training and also be familiar with shark behavior so that they know exactly when to leave the tank by reading the signs of agitation. (source)
3. Slot machine music composer
Among the list of weird jobs, slot machine music composer is surely one of them but very few people are even aware of the fact that such a job actually exists. Digital music is big business and those who make a living by making high-pitched jingles you hear in casinos and slot machines are crafted musicians and engineers. These people analyze and create sounds that are not only fun and enticing, but syncs with our heartbeat. According to Ben Long, a sound engineer who makes a living by making sounds for slot machines, most of the music is written in the same key: “The funny thing about casinos is that every slot machine plays their jingles in the key of C. The result is a hypnotizing cacophony that keeps the players hooked. I have actually played live gigs at casinos before and been instructed to keep every song in the key of C. This is surreal, much like playing alongside a choir of robots!”. (source)
4. Iceberg mover
As most parts of the planet are facing severe droughts and limited amounts of drinking water, the United Arab Emirates is trying to import icebergs from the Antarctic to tackle these issues. Since most of the planet’s fresh water is locked away in icebergs, turning towards Earth’s natural reserves for help is the only solution. An average iceberg contains more than 20 billion gallons of water, or enough for one million people over five years. So, UAE is planning on hiring a crew who would be tasked with the duty of hauling icebergs from the Antarctic to the coast of the eastern emirate of Fujairah.
According to the company that is tasked with the duty of moving icebergs, it will take up to one year to tow an iceberg to the UAE and those wishing to be part of the team could apply to become crew members. The tourism department of UAE also believes that the sight of an iceberg floating around in the coast will also attract visitors from around the globe. (source)
5. Professional snuggler
For those who feel lonely or simply want to spend time with someone, there are people called professional cuddlers, who will not only spend time, but improve their mood. There are many people who take this profession, which is strictly limited to cuddling or snuggling. One of the most famous snugglers is Samantha Varnerin, a woman from Massachusetts, who makes more than $40 an hour, cuddling with her clients. “It’s just cuddling, and that’s the extent of it,” she says. She works with an agency that sends interested clients and once someone reaches out to her, Varnerin gives them a questionnaire to determine if the client is the right fit.
“Sometimes I get somebody who’s like, ‘I want a massage and to cuddle,’” Varnerin says. “I’m not a massage therapist. I don’t want to be responsible in case I break your back”. Once she finds the right fit, the two set up a time and venue for the cuddle session. There are many other professional snugglers out there who make $80-$100 an hour with nothing more than just a few hugs. (source)
6. Professional mourner
Losing a loved one can be hard but what happens when you don’t have anyone to weep for you when you leave this world? That’s where professional mourners come to play and make your funeral look ordinary. The practice is largely carried out in Egypt, parts of Africa, Greece and China. In China, professional mourners are big business and people pay thousands of dollars in advance for their funeral. The mourners arrive at your funeral and act as if they are your loved ones, who cannot fathom the fact that you are leaving forever. Some even pretend like they are fainting, for a few extra bucks.
In Greece, professional mourning is a tradition that dates back to centuries. Today, there are eight women in Greece, who have been part of the mourning tradition for decades. These women arrive at all funerals throughout Mani, Greece, and whale as loud as possible. At the end of the funeral, the family pays them a good sum for their outstanding performance. (source)
7. Professional line stander
Professional line stander is a real job where people who don’t like to wait in lines for the latest iPhones or anything else hire pros to take their place. These pros who are also called “professional line sitters”, will wait for anything for $25 an hour. According to Robert Samuel, New York-based line stander, he easily makes more than $1,500 a week by standing in line for other people. When the iPhone 5 was released, Samuel stood in line for 19 hours and sold his spot during the day of the release for $325. In 2012, he started a company that allows you to hire people to stand in line for you day or night. (source)
8. Water slide tester
Water slide testers are people who travel around the world testing slides at water parks before they are deemed ready for the public. The testers are not simply paid for going down the slides and having fun, but also for for determining the adrenaline factor of a slide, for precisely predicting the splash it will generate and to make additional changes if necessary, that will make the water slide enjoyable. No degree is required for the profession and anyone can become a water slide tester. However, the dream job that earns a salary of $34,000, also comes with several responsibilities such as finding weak spots in a slide and taking measures to correct them. (source)
9. Stunt tester
In shows like X-Factor or Fear Factor, contestants have to perform extreme stunts such as jumping off moving trucks, laying in a snake pit or eating bugs. Before the stunts are carried out by the contestants, the shows hire professional stunt testers, whose job is to perform the same stunt to ensure that it is safe. Depending on the severity of the stunt, the tester gets paid handsomely. According to some reports, they make an average salary of $70,000 a year or at least $800 a day. Since Hollywood is a big industry, there’s fierce competition to become a recognized stunt tester. (source)
10. LEGO master builder
LEGO’s are one of the most popular toy products sold worldwide. 19 billion LEGO elements are produced every year, 2.16 million LEGO elements are molded every hour, or 36,000 per minute, and an average of 7 LEGO sets are sold every second in more than 130 countries. For advertising purposes and for fun, LEGO often hires people who are extremely skilled at making structures, cities or products using the tiny bricks. LEGO master builders are also hired at 7 LEGOLAND theme parks, 132 retail stores and the many different events the company holds. According to some reports, the average salary of a LEGO master builder is $37,500 a year for playing with LEGO bricks. (source)