6 Unusual Jobs that Pay Surprisingly Well

We all know the traditional jobs that come with a hefty paycheck, but what about those well-paying careers that aren’t discussed as often as doctors or lawyers.

Take a look at six jobs you may not think of when you are considering your career path. Discover what each job entails, the training required, and the generous salary that accompanies them.

1. Embalmer


Average pay: $45,000/year

Education: College-level biology and anatomy classes (to understand the physical body and the outward appearance). Cosmetology classes are often preferred.

Skills: Hair and makeup styling.

covered body on a medical slab

An embalmer may not be the first idea that comes to mind for a makeup artist or hairstylist, but those who have passed on still need these services. An embalmer is in charge of the sanitization, presentation, and preservation of a human body after death. It’s the embalmer’s job to make a body presentable for loved ones to say their final goodbyes.

For those who enjoy hair and makeup, this is an excellent career choice, allowing you to avoid dealing with high-maintenance customers. The American Society of Embalmers is a great place to start for more information about this career.

2. Ice Cream Taster

Average pay: $56,000/year

Education: Food science and nutrition classes, preferably a college degree in one of these fields, as well as experience working in an ice cream shop.

Skills: A clean palate and a love for sweets.

lady eating multiple bowls of ice cream

Instead of spending your hard-earned money on sweets and treats, why not make those treats pay you? An ice cream taster typically has a college degree in food science or nutrition. A typical day includes creating new concoctions and testing flavor concepts; knowledge of chemistry doesn’t hurt either.

Before starting out as an ice cream taster, get some experience in an ice cream shop. Not only will you be surrounded by ice cream every day, but you can also get a feel for the type of flavors the public prefers.

3. Voice-over Artist

Average pay: $50,000 – 80,000/year

Education required: No college degree required, but a background in acting or English is preferable.

Skills: Awareness of your voice, including inflection, pronunciation, and diction. Memorization skills help as well, along with demo tapes and recording samples.

voice actor speaking into a microphone

Professionals in this area do voice-overs for TV, radio, and movies. Some jobs pay as much as $300 for five minutes of finished audio work. Not too bad for a day’s work!

If you can read well and articulate, you could land a high-paying job in this field. You could start by getting some practice at a local recording studio or reading books out loud. You can also find a lot of resources at your local library.

4. Body Part Model

Average pay: $55,000/year

Education: No college degree required.

Skills: Awareness of your body and positioning. Clean, symmetrical and well groomed body parts. A portfolio of work is preferable.

pair of posed lady hands

You don’t have to be six feet tall and tiny to have a career as a model. In fact, there are over 250 body parts that people get paid to model. Well-proportioned feet, beautiful hands, or full lips are just some of the body parts needed for modeling gigs. Body part models will model things like watches, ring, makeup, hand creams, or shoes. You can practice by modeling something from your closet and then having a friend take a picture for you. Start by offering your services to local businesses for advertising shots. Remember, even if you do a few modeling jobs for free to begin with, you can add those photos to your professional portfolio to help you land full-time, paid gigs.

5. Master Sommelier

Average pay: $80,000 – 160,000/year

Education: No college degree required, but an extensive knowledge of wine is required.

Skills: Love and knowledge of wine, along with excellent customer service skills.

A Master Sommelier works in upscale restaurants and helps customers find the right wine to go with their meal. A Master Sommelier is not a waiter or a restaurant host; their sole job is to assist patrons with their wine choice. You may also create wine lists for the restaurant as part of your job description.

sommelier reading a wine label

6. Ethical Hacker

Average pay: $92,000/year

Education: Information Technology degree, along with practical computer development and technical skills.

Skills: Extensively know your way around a computer.

Yes, there is such a thing as an ethical hacker. If you enjoy solving problems and getting around obstacles, then an ethical hacker may be a good career choice for you. There are companies that will hire hackers to try and find any problems or weak spots in their systems. Companies want an experienced hacker to help them ward off those who may want to harm their company.

man opening buttoned shirt to reveal shirt with hacker on it
Are you ready to start a new career? If you’re on the path to starting a career or looking for a change, consider one of these job choices. Or if you’re an employer looking to hire for these positions, try posting on one of the best job posting websites.