Despite what you’ve been told, not every job has to be boring, bland, and…office-y. There are so many jobs that hardly anyone knows about, even ones that are actually enjoyable! If you’ve been thinking about switching jobs, why not choose one that’s a little out there?
Here are ten jobs that you didn’t know you wanted.
Related: 10 Unexpectedly High-Paying Jobs
10 Becoming a Norland Nanny
I know what you’re thinking…nannying? Really?
Despite their comical first impression, these ladies are tougher than bodyguards when it comes to protecting their kids. Why? Well, they train relentlessly across a four-year period to become the best of the best at what they do; they’re amongst the most exclusive and highly trained nannies in the world, so highly skilled that they’ve even been hired by the British Royal Family.
Norland College has stated that their nannies are essentially “Mary Poppins mixed with a little James Bond.” While stereotypical homemaking skills like sewing and childcare are heavily instilled into the curriculum, there are some classes that may take you by surprise—high-speed drifting, for example. Not only are the ladies instructed on how to control a car as it drifts around a bend, but they’re also trained in other extreme practices, such as martial arts and self-defense. Due to the nature of working for wealthy employers, they’re expected to deal with potential threats, most notably attempts to kidnap the child.
A typical Norland education costs up to £14,990 ($20,150)annually, which is higher than the cost of studying at either Oxford or Cambridge University. The idea is once they graduate, they’ll work for high-profile employers and be able to command salaries of up to £126,000 ($170,000)! Norland College even goes a step further by offering 100% guaranteed employment opportunities. Seriously. The institution has its own in-house recruitment agency, The Norland Agency. While a guaranteed job after graduation seems almost impossible, the demand from families for qualified Norland graduates outstripped supply from day one and continues to do so today. Those must be some really good nannies…
9 The Ravenmaster
NASA scientists, world leaders, and billionaires alike all agree that the “Ravenmaster” is the coolest-sounding job title in the entire world. The job of a Ravenmaster is to take care of the Tower of London’s famous ravens; legend has it that the birds and the Tower are connected, and should all six ravens go missing, the Tower will crumble to dust while great harm installs itself within the kingdom. The current Ravenmaster is Chris Skaife (since 2011), who keeps a total of eight ravens at the Tower grounds “just in case” one goes missing.
The birds are incredibly well looked after, and they’re regularly supplied with special “enrichment” toys (aka cool bird stuff). The job was a relatively new invention, as only five other people had been appointed the title. It used to be the job of the Yeoman (more commonly known as the Beefeater) Quartermaster but became a separate position as of 1968.
8 Golf Ball Diver
Imagine sitting on the bus with your diving suit on, snorkel in hand, telling the driver that you want to be dropped off at the local golf course. There goes the town lunatic, right? Wrong! There goes the town golf ball retriever.
These professional recyclers have a rather unique role when it comes to being environmentally friendly. They wade around in golf course ponds and water features to retrieve balls, which are then cleaned, repackaged, and resold. Since the average course has between four and twelve ponds, divers typically spend around 8–10 hours per day in the water!
The job is surprisingly dangerous, though; divers may face low visibility, sharp objects hidden underwater, and adversity from wildlife (that means alligators!). For safety reasons, divers will usually take shifts in pairs to minimize the risk of danger. In order to become a professional golf ball diver, you first need to be a certified, professional diver with training in both first aid and dive rescue. It’s also incredibly hard work; lugging around 30-kilogram (65-pound) sacks of used golf balls is highly taxing.
7 Car-Plate Blocker
Hiring someone to block your license (number) plate is a truly intuitive solution when breaking the law.
In Iran’s capital city of Tehran, vehicle congestion is at over six times the city’s capacity, meaning something had to be done to rectify the numbers. Luckily, Iranian officials conducted a plan to reduce the traffic nightmare: every other day, all the cars with license plates that ended in even numbers would be allowed to drive, and vice versa for the odd-numbered plates.
On paper, this sounds good, but in reality…Iranian drivers weren’t too thrilled. Drivers came up with the ingenious idea to outsmart the city’s traffic cameras: hire a pedestrian to run behind the car and block the plate from view! It may not be the most glamorous job out there, but it certainly would incite that I’m-breaking-the-law thrill that always livens up a boring week. Some number-plate blockers use motorbikes to closely follow a car driving at higher speeds, while in more traffic-stricken areas, pedestrians (or “human shields” as they’re known colloquially) are hired.
6 Professional Pusher
Japan has outdone itself with its solution to subway congestion—hiring people to forcefully shove other people into train cars! Given the fact that Tokyo Metro has a total of 6.84 million people using their transport services every day, it is actually very effective. The trains are regularly overloaded by a whopping 70%…so imagine how lucky you’d be to get a seat! Granted, this technique is not practiced on all Toyko’s subway lines—of which there are many in operation around the metropolitan area.
Within two weeks, someone can become a professional pusher. They wear sleek suits, fancy white gloves, and a hat so that passengers are very clear about who’s a pusher. Surprisingly, passengers hardly complain about being rammed into an overcrowded train carriage, so there is no need to worry about having someone yell at you. Because there is no required qualifications and the pay averages at $10 per hour, the main demographic for Pushers is students who’re working part-time.
5 Venetian Gondolier
Okay, how awesome does being a gondolier sound? In case you’re unfamiliar, Venetian gondoliers are people who navigate the canals of Venice by boat; it’s one of the most highly regarded and highly sought-after professions in Italy! Why is the demand to drive what is effectively a thin piece of wood so high? Well, gondoliers can command salaries of up to $150,000 each year!
It’s no easy accomplishment, though. Trainees must first find an experienced/established gondolier to be their mentor, then complete 400 hours of instruction, and THEN pass a rigorous examination. For over 900 years, Italian tradition has strongly favored men as captains. To this day, there’s only been one officially licensed “gondoliera”—her name is Giorgia Boscolo, and she passed the Gondolier examination in 2010. The training covers navigational skills, knowledge of other languages, and most importantly, knowledge of Venice’s culture and sights.
4 Ethical Hacker
Hollywood often portrays hackers as isolated, black-hoodied, dark-room-dwelling individuals, but in reality, they’re actually the complete opposite! Ethical hackers, often called “white-hats,” are people who assist companies by breaking into their software and databases. They do this to highlight vulnerabilities so that the company can fix them before malicious hackers, or “black-hats,” can’t exploit them.
Because networks are mostly designed to be tough to break into, ethical hackers provide ways to strengthen systems from the inside. Along with doing online penetration attempts, white-hat hackers must also consider physical hacking attempts. Sometimes companies are so large that infiltrating it could be as easy as printing off an ID badge.
Professional ethical hackers earn on average $102,000 in the U.S.
3 Hand Model
Imagine being able to point to the cover of Vogue and say: “Those are my hands.” Pretty cool, right?
That’s what life is like for some professional hand models. Established modeling agencies like Sandra Reynolds offers this unique job as a form of “parts modeling.” Professional portfolios are created specifically for hands, feet, legs, arms, even collarbones! Essentially, hand models act as another person’s hands…but professionally.
The typical daily routine of a hand model is no easy task…especially as hands need to be treated very well and stay moisturized. Elaborate measures need to be taken to ensure their hands are protected at all costs. This means maintaining a healthy diet, avoiding injuries, and never, ever washing the dishes without gloves. It seems a little extreme, but it’s important to remember that any scratch or blemish can result in a lost job.
Models are freelancers who are paid per job, but day rates are really unpredictable and can range from $150 to $1,500+.
2 Concert Promoter
Concert promoters get to independently produce live concerts! As a holder of this job title, you get to produce single shows, tours, festivals, and special events. Salaries average at around £31,600 ($42,500) yearly. The best thing about this job is that anyone can start at any time; most concert producers start out small with concerts or festivals in their local areas, then go on to find success with their own independent companies within the DIY music scene. Because experienced concert producers advocate that on-the-job training is best, getting any practical experience is really, really valuable.
Producers need to be resilient, patient, and all-around disciplined. While it’s definitely glamorous, it’s also a numbers game at heart, so success depends entirely on the promoter’s music and market savvy. Because promoters need to continuously be networking, it can become a pretty time-consuming job; expect constant business meetings during the week and a lineup of concerts on the weekend. Patience is another huge factor in this job… Promoters need to be content with starting small and working their way up to bigger artists and venues.
The bond between a Mahout and their elephant is unbreakable; these skilled elephant riders are often paired with a single animal for life, meaning they’re as close to their elephants as they are to family members!
Though their past is controversial (mahouts traditionally lead elephants into war), their role has recently been defined by conservation. Professional mahouts are repurposing their skills to become habitat keepers and forest protectors. Ecotourism has become their new focus; it’s a model that prioritizes the welfare of the domesticated animals, as well as protecting wild species.
Alternative (and definitely more colorful!) roles of the mahout include decorating their elephants for special cultural events…the Elephant Festival, for example. For this festival, elephants are nicely groomed and clothed with colorful rugs, huge elephant jewelry, and anklets decked with bells. Their tusks also get jeweled up with gold and silver bracelets and rings—it’s customary for mahouts to match their elephant in fancy dress.
Unfortunately, the salary is pretty…non-existent. It’s definitely only a job for those who really bond with elephants and are willing to take care of them.