45 Unusual Jobs That Actually Exist, As Shared By Folks In This Online Group
The rise of automation (don’t stress it, I’m not talking about Skynet!… not yet, at least) has allowed humans to get away from the more manual, menial tasks and specialize in ways that make work rather interesting.
So, it should come as no surprise that if there is something that is very specific that needs to be done and someone is paying good money for it, it will certainly become an actual job.
Well, turns out, there are still loads of jobs that are so niche, odd or just plain bizarre that nobody would probably ever think of them actually being a thing. And Redditors have been sharing such jobs that many of them were actually doing at some points in their lives.
Scroll down to read some of the most interesting jobs and experiences people have shared on Reddit here, here, and here, and while you’re out there, leave a comment, or smack that upvote button cause we appreciate it.
#1I'm a prop shopper for a popular tv show. Basically I show up to work, the designer will tell me that the show needs a specific prop for the taping and it's my job to go buy or rent it. It's a fun job because they ask you to get ridiculous stuff sometimes and it's a challenge to find it.
Image credits: 77Columbus
#2A few years ago my job was to timestamp Netflix videos for the "Skip Intro" button.
It was the single best job ever until they stopped allowing remote work for what I was doing. I would wake up, login to a special page and have a list of videos/series, etc. to timestamp.
Image credits: TexasCplL
#3In Japan my wife got a job as "Designated Foreigner at Weddings". Apparently they like the idea of foreigners at their weddings as it makes the photos more interesting. She used to earn up to 20,000 yen a day. Also met a Canadian guy there who had a job as "Designated Foreigner at Bar". He used to get pissed and make conversation with salary-men.
Image credits: james_james1
#4Once got paid for a month of 40-hour work weeks for sitting at a gate and watching to make sure no cows got out. I was a "Bovine Identification and Exit Prevention Specialist." Never saw a f@#$%g cow. Read some good books, though.
Image credits: thehumanscott
#5My mom is a horse braider, not a breeder but a braider. She braids horses manes and tails for horse shows, it’s quite lucrative as people who own horses know, everything to do with horses is expensive.
Image credits: illbethegreatest
A person who travels around checking that gas stations actually pump one gallon of gas when the pump shows that one gallon has been pumped.
Ah, the department of weights and measures. Unsung heroes of the consumer.
Image credits: Stimperonovitch
#7I sell private murder mystery events.
I learn about your event (birthday party, corporate event, holiday party, etc. ) and then I send out trained actors to perform an interactive murder mystery.
It's literally such a killer job.
Image credits: imaf@#$%^gmessdude
#8I used to build hiking trails. A lot of people assume they just are naturally formed or something, but that's the goal of a good trail builder.
Image credits: Lo-def
#9Im an IT guy at a buddhist retreat center.
Image credits: manifoldmandala
#10You know those fire evacuation maps that are entirely useless because no one's gonna stop and look at a map on their way out of a burning building?
Yeah, I design those.
Image credits: Stebraul
#11Service to drive people with a fear of bridges over the bridge in their own vehicles...
I attempt to read addresses on mail that machines can't.
So basically you take those CAPTCHA tests all day long and get paid for it?
Image credits: aziraphale60
#13I used to make fake children's art for a TV show set in a kindergarten classroom. Every episode had new, themed art. Real kids aren't good enough artists. Sorry kids.
Image credits: doctor_puppet
#14I compose music and design sound effects for slots. I live in Vegas, but still, few people outside of the slot industry know my job exists. Makes for a bit of interesting conversation.
Image credits: musicman702
#15I work as a falconer, using birds of prey to keep other birds away from train tracks, airports, farms, you name it. it's like being a bird bounty hunter.
Image credits: [deleted]
#16I walk up and down city streets inspecting trees planted and/or maintained by municipalities for damage, risk factors, condition, diseases, pests, and structural issues. I get to talk to a lot of homeowners, homeless people, a few cops, a few hookers, and generally every other order of mankind considering I walk about 4-6 miles each day from tree to tree spanning any neighborhood in whatever city I get assigned to for my company (usually 1-3 month travel assignments with one long weekend a month to fly/drive home that gets paid for). I can identify about 300 species of trees and woody shrubs, most of which are native to eastern North America.
#17I work as a stand-in bridesmaid. Basically: If a bridesmaid decides not to arrive at a wedding you can hire a stand-in bridesmaid. Stand-in bridesmaids do everything a normal bridesmaid does except you pay them and they usually do it better since it’s their job. It’s a lot of fun going to a wedding as a stand-in bridesmaid, even if I don’t know anyone there. A wedding I attended had an open bar and the real bridesmaid bailed LAST SECOND because she apparently just realized she was worried things would get too crazy with the open bar. Her loss. The people there were really great, and the bride just told everyone that I was the one who encouraged her to start dating her (now) husband. Me and the bride ended up actually becoming great friends and we are still in contact to this day. They (the bride and groom from the wedding) are now happily married and have a beautiful daughter.
Image credits: Vivian-Valerie
#18When certain, highly expensive pieces of jewelry are sold to buyers in different countries (say a $300,000 watch, for example), often times the company selling the watch will send someone to wear it on the plane over to said buyer country, since to import it would cost them a lot in taxes, but to pay for someone to wear it as their own watch costs significantly less.
#19I get paid to be a living mannequin. No, not a model that poses in pictures, gets her make up done, and gets put in magazines. I'm a completely different type of model. I work behind the scenes, in the warehouse- designers for huge chain stores will use my frame to show of their looks to the CEO of the company who approves or rejects the looks. Clothing on a mannequin looks totally different on a real person.
Image credits: julieannluna
#20I make virtual clothing and sell it for money on a dress up chat game.
Image credits: exhilarance
#21Planetary Protection Officer.
Sounds like a kinda awesome job title, even if it's only about making sure that we don't contaminate other planets with Earth microbes when landing or crashing spacecraft on them.
#22I program the moving/vibrating seats in 4d movie theaters. My official job title is "motion designer."
#23I caption telephone calls In real time for the deaf and hard of hearing as my part time job.
To those who are worried my job is in jeopardy because of automation etc. this is my part time job not my career. I do this because as I learned more about the deaf community, I wanted to do everything I could to help them. They are a truly amazing community who do not get enough support from the government or the hearing community. I want you all to think of the last phone call you made. Now imagine you can’t hear the other person. How much more difficult would your life be? Thanks for all the comments!
Image credits: castironskilletmilk
#24Trucking companies employ people whose job it is to recover abandoned trucks and cargo. Apparently truckers will just be like "f@#k it" and leave their trucks and trailers on the side of a road. These companies pay pretty well and you are on call 24/7. But they fly you all over the country to retrieve their stuff and pay well. Sounds kinda neat really.
Image credits: Smitesfan
#25I program simple video games for monkeys, complete with a joystick and pellet dispenser.
Image credits: PabstBlue_Gibbon
#26I’m a commercial diver, I do underwater construction/ salvage /inspection. People don’t think about it, but pretty much any job that requires something be done underwater we get a call. It’s loads of fun and the pay is great!!
Image credits: 19jos95
#27I know someone who is an agent for pets. When you see a pet on tv they have an agent, and she does that.
#28If you’re white and happen to be in China, you can do "white monkey gigs".
That’s the term used to describe jobs in which white people are hired by Chinese companies to do random jobs to enhance its image.
Foreigners = international = connection = money.
These jobs include:
- Pretending to play instruments in a fake band at gigs.
- Being a fake emissary of Barack Obama.
- Pretending to live at a luxury apartment complex.
- Posing as the company director at a ribbon cutting ceremony.
- Nodding and smiling at business meetings.
#29Not any more, but when I was a kid, I had a job where I'd wander around llama pastures and scatter their s@#t out. They have a habit of pooping in communal piles, which, if you don't scatter them, get quite large and end up nitrogen burning the grass. Then the grass around them grows really well, but they won't eat it, because it smells strongly of their poop. So, instead, you go out with a snow shovel and scatter the poop and all the grass in the pasture grows really well and none of it smells too much like poop for the llamas to eat it.
TL;DR: I'm not too fond of llamas.
Image credits: Fearlessleader85
#30Underwater lumberjacks, harvest old growth trees that have been covered over by diverted/dammed waterways.
#31I was talking to a dad in my scout troop a few years back who said that one summer while he was in college he got hired by the government to drive along freeways and verify that mile markers were accurate. They paid for his gas and lodging, so he basically just road tripped with with two of his friends for the whole summer and earned a profit.
#32I seriously have the job of trying to contact people who place orders on a very, VERY popular website and then try to cancel their card before it actually gets charged.
See we don't charge until right before the item ships which is sometimes a day or two. Some people have figured out that occasionally... not even close to every time... but OCCASIONALLY one will slip out and ship before we've actually charged the card. There are literally thousands of people out there who go on our site, make a purchase, and then try to cancel or somehow block the charge going through and hope that the product will ship out. I call 25-40 people per day trying to get them to update their payment method.
Sometimes it's honestly innocent and you can always tell. Like their card expired or got lost during the interim. But most of them play stupid and hang up on you.
Image credits: CDC_
#33That's a lot of military jobs that most people wouldn't realize exist.
For example, in the Marine Corps, there's a civilian employee called a Family Readiness Officer (FRO). They do a lot of different things in support of the families of servicemembers, but are most known for handing the family readiness plans, which all Marines are required to have. They're basically an official contingency plan in the event that they are deployed, which are very important for families where both parents are military, so the continued care and education of their children is laid out in advance. It makes one less thing to worry about or plan last minute when orders to deploy come down.
#34I'm a sound effects librarian for films, TV, commercials, and games.
Basically, I maintain a high quality searchable database of every sound you could possibly imagine so that they can be used in whatever entertainment medium we're working on. We've got everything from military aircraft to superhero fight sounds, footsteps on almost any surface in almost any type of shoe, nearly every type of gun out there...whatever is needed for the work we do.
The fun part is that I get to run around recording custom stuff for many of the shows. Most recently were some really high end cars and a few surround sound ambiences from various places around the state that I live in. It's almost like taking a vacation for work every few weeks!
Image credits: FrskyDng0
#35Essentially I watch TV all day.
It's actually digital archiving of old video tape, but it's for major networks who have massive tape libraries of stuff like BETA, VHS, umatic, 1" and 2" tape and anything else in between. All the old magnetic tape is starting to expire so they ship pallets of tapes to the company I work for and we record them in real time then send back the files.
It takes years to completely digitize a tape library. Some of our older big clients have been sending us pallets every month consistently for the past 5 years, and there's still roughly another 5 years left.
Its pretty interesting, and I never knew about it before getting into the field, so if anyone has any questions I'll be happy to answer.
Image credits: PresidentCheeto420
#36Not the only thing I did at the job, but definitely the weirdest.
I worked at a Grocery Store last winter, right around Christmas time. I had to sprinkle dirt on the potatoes in the produce section to make them look freshly picked.
Then the customers would get home and erase all my hard work.
Image credits: big_fella672
#37Funeral homes need to run 24/7, 365, except that's unrealistic in today's society. Funeral directors and embalmers already suffer from massive burn out and piling weekends, night calls, and mandatory working on holidays just makes it more miserable.
So you basically open Uber for the dead. They are called "pickup companies" or "commercial embalming facilities" depending if they only do pickups and deliveries or also embalming. I worked at one while I was in school for embalming and it is brutal work. Funeral homes fax over the call sheet and you take the call instead of the funeral home staff. It's 100% legal and incredibly common.
You drive around in a van all day or all night depending on your shift with 2 cots and just pick up and drop off bodies. Sometimes you get to embalm if the embalmers are nice, and it's slow, otherwise it's mostly driving as a student, until you get your embalmers license.
Image credits: CorpseJenga
#38Not any more but, for a while I was an ocular procurement technician. I would harvest corneas or entire globes from recently deceased people for transplant or research.
Image credits: toastie2313
#39I work at a company which will remain nameless that gets rid of commercials in sports bars and now in the home, replacing it with endless amounts of media customizable by the consumer. My job as quality control is to push a button on an iPad when espn for example switches to commercial from the program. which triggers the change in all restaurants/bars using the service. (btw every Dave and Busters in the nation uses our program).
Image credits: heny935
#40I'm a demand planner. My job is to make sure when you walk into a store or order online we have that specific thing you want in stock. Most jobs I've worked required us to have 95%+ product in stock at all times. Usually when we have a stock out it's because some genius decided he needed 64 hammers or 500 gallons of milk at once screwing up the demand model.
Image credits: braaibros
#41Underwear cockroach inspector.
Guy or gal in a factory, inspecting garments for insects before they get shipped out to the retailers.
It's a thing.
#42When companies have paperwork that they want to make digital, the documents need to be scanned. Before this can happen someone needs to go through all of the documents and remove EVERY. SINGLE. STAPLE. And that's how I spent my summers while I was in college. I actually liked it quite a bit though.
#43I had a job where I fed folded up and wrinkled dollar bills into test machines. I was surround by thousands of dollar bills and was constantly watched by a guard in a locked room. It was boring and weird, the guard didn't ever talk to me except when it was time to leave the vault for break or lunch.
Image credits: tigger880