15 Best Unknown Careers That Pay Well in 2021

Best Unknown Careers That Pay WellWhile millions of people go for the most common jobs, others choose to pursue a career in a field only a few can dare.

Some of the best unknown jobs are dangerous, unglamorous, and don’t pay as much as those in the medical, science, or cybersecurity industry.

However, some of these little-known jobs pay as high as $175,000 a year. Since only a few people are willing to pursue these careers, there is less competition for jobs.

The Best Unknown Careers to Pursue

As mentioned, these little-known careers have little competition and can pay really well. Let’s have a look at 15 unknown careers you can consider if you’re struggling to find a well-paying job. Keep in mind that factors that determine how much one earns include education qualification, job-specific certifications, professional experience, job title, and location.

1. Snake milker

A snake milker is a trained expert whose job is to extract venom from poisonous snakes. The venom is used to make antivenom for snake bites and for medical research, with studies showing snake venom helps in treating strokes and malignant tumors.

Being a snake milker is probably one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. A snake milker often works in a serpentarium (an enclosure where snakes are kept) and extracts venom from snakes such as cobras, mambas, copperheads, vipers, corals, and rattlesnakes among others.

Medical research laboratories and pharmaceutical companies use the venom to create drugs that help treat high blood pressure, blood clots, heart attacks, and to create antivenoms for snake bites.

This is one of the best unknown careers where you can earn an entry-level salary of $35,000 a year. Although there are limited options for career advancements, you can still earn as high as $50,000 a year.

Here’s a short video of two Snake Milkers in Deland, Florida (Carl Barden and Mara) who handle 50 to 100 snakes a day. Video courtesy: Brave Wilderness.

2. Chicken sexer

Back in 2015, NBC News published an article on their website titled “Chicken Sexer: The $60K a Year Job Nobody Wants” while BBC reported there’s a shortage of chicken sexers despite the jobs £40,000 a year salary.

A chicken sexer’s role is to distinguish between male and female hatchlings. They work in poultry production farms and large commercial hatcheries to distinguish hundreds of thousands of hatchlings based on gender, which will define the feeding program the chicks will be subjected to.

The feeding program for females (hens) differs from that of the males (cocks). The female hatchlings will receive proper nourishment that will ensure they produce commercial-grade eggs and if the male hatchlings are kept for meat, then they will also get the appropriate nourishment.

A chicken sexer will also be involved in separating male and female lines for breeding purposes. This is done to ensure the quality of poultry eggs and meat meet commercial standards.

Although it is one of the many high-paying jobs nobody wants, the entry-level salary of a chicken sexer in the United States is $30,000 while experienced experts can earn as high as $65,000 a year.

3. Luthier

A luthier is an artisan who repairs, restores, and builds string instruments such as violins, cellos, guitars, mandolins, banjos, and dulcimers.

Apart from string repairs, restorations, or replacements, they also repair physical damages such as fractures or dents. They clean, patch, and refinish the damaged parts and ensure the wear and tear is barely noticeable.

Luthiers can work in factories, repair shops, or be self-employed. Some self-employed luthiers own and manage full-service string instrument shops.

The mean annual salary of a luthier in the United States is $51,185 a year and the highest-paid earn more than $85,000 a year. Apart from paying well, it is also one of the least stressful jobs in the world.

4. Librettist

Librettists are storytellers and writers who specialize in writing the dialogue and lyrics in an oratory, opera, musical, ballet, or cantata. They are fascinated by the relationship between music, text, and theater and no musical or opera can come to life without their input.

The texts they produce are called libretti and go hand in hand with a musical performance. Librettists often collaborate with other composers, depending on whether they are working on an opera or a musical.

In an opera, they collaborate with an opera composer while in a musical they work hand in hand with the musical composer or a lyricist.

According to Comparably, the average annual salary of a librettist in the United States is $64,148. Their median annual salary is $60,250 while the highest earners get paid more than $114,530 a year.

5. Jingle writer

This is one of the best unknown careers where you can earn more than $60,000 a year. A jingle writer creates catchy, memorable tunes and lyrics for radio and TV commercials. They can also compose, arrange, and record the songs.

Jingle writers understand the target audience, the product or service being promoted, and customer expectations. The jingles need to suit the product/service being promoted and should harmonize with the words and phrases the client wishes to be included in the commercial.

Most jingle writers are either good music arrangers or have a deep understanding of music and how to create persuasive, customer-centric tunes and lyrics.

The average annual salary of jingle writers in the United States is $57,000. The salaries range between $36,000 at entry-level and $89,000 for established jingle writers. Jingle writers who own recording studios make more than 100,000 a year.

6. Cybercrime investigator

Just like there are the usual criminals that police detectives have to deal with, there are also cybercriminals and it’s the task of cybercrime investigators to nail them down.

Cybercrime investigators conduct investigations against cybercriminals and the crimes they commit, which can include crimes against children, identify theft, illegal downloads of copyrighted materials, and harassing emails.

They can also work on the recovery of data from compromised computer systems as a result of cyberattacks. They can also recover data from computers that can be used to prosecute cybercrimes.

As a cybercrime investigator, you can work for law enforcement agencies, financial firms, or consulting firms. Sometimes you can be hired as a white-hat hacker to carry out penetration testing and identify vulnerabilities in the system that cybercriminals can exploit.

The average annual salary of a cybercrime investigator in the United States is 105,947 and the highest-paid experts in the industry earn more than $165,700 a year.

7. Ethnomusicologist

Ethnomusicologists study musical sounds and instruments from different cultures all around the world. They seek to understand the role of culture in shaping a people’s music and how the two are entwined.

Ethnomusicologists can work in art museums, where their roles may include the acquisition of cultural instruments, curating museum exhibitions, and holding educative public workshops.

Others can work in post-secondary institutions such as colleges and universities teaching ethnomusicology programs and conducting research in related fields such as jazz, Indian, and African music.

The average annual salary of ethnomusicologists in the United States is $72,630. Entry-level positions pay about $32,000 a year while the highest-paying roles pay more than $124,000 a year.

8. Hypnotherapist

Hypnotherapists are skilled professionals who help people use their subconscious minds by inducing a trance-like state called a hypnotic state, the process itself called hypnosis.

The hypnotic state allows one to explore painful feelings, memories, thoughts, and experiences they might have hidden from their conscious mind.

Best Unknown Careers That Pay Well
Hypnotherapist helping a client

Prior to hypnotizing a client, the hypnotherapist will take time to understand the problem the person is going through and what the intended goal of the procedure is.

The hypnotherapist will also explain what to expect during hypnosis and how it will help them address the problem. Hypnotherapy can have a greater impact when the hypnotherapists share in their clients’ experiences.

The average hypnotherapy hourly pay in the U.S. is $101.50, which translates to approximately $65,000 a year. The highest-paid hypnotherapists earn more than $117,000 a year.

9. Cryptanalyst

Cryptanalysts decrypt hidden messages by deciphering secret codes. They are the ones tasked with decoding coded messages into plain readable texts.

It’s worth noting cryptographers and cryptanalysts are different. Cryptographers focus primarily on making codes to create coded messages while cryptanalysts break the codes to make the coded messages readable. However, they both can do both roles of encrypting a normal message and decrypting a coded message.

Cryptanalysts work for government agencies (e.g. FBI, NSA, DHS, and CIA), the military, law enforcement agencies, and private entities. They help decipher encryption codes used by criminals to communicate and coordinate illegal activities.

For instance, those that work for government agencies sift through encrypted data being transmitted between known and/or suspected criminals.

The mean annual salary of cryptanalysts in the United States is $77,350 while those working for government agencies earn as high as $125,000 a year.

10. Digital colorist

This is one of the newest careers thanks to incredible advancements in digital technology. Based on growth projections, it will continue to grow in demand as the film and entertainment industry grows.

Digital colorists alter the look and feel of colors in movies and the appearance of the characters. They coordinate with the director, director of photography, and other relevant parties to make color modifications to certain segments of the movie.

When making the modifications, they have to ensure there is balance in color saturation and luminance to ensure different scenes match one another. They also even out the characters’ skin tones and make appropriate enhancements that make-up missed.

Apart from working in the movie industry, digital colorists can also be part of the creative minds behind features and TV commercials.

The mean annual salary of digital colorists in the U.S. is $71,253. The highest-paid professionals earn more than $128,000 a year. Digital colorists in the movie industry can earn more than $208,000 a year.

11. Log grader

This is one of the odd jobs that pay well, as high as $65,000 a year. Just as the name suggests, a log grader inspects and grades logs, and based on the data gathered, they can estimate the amount of value in the pulpwood or logs within a sorting yard, log deck, or millpond.

Log graders inspect logs for defects such as splits, rotten spots, broken ends, and water damage. These factors determine how marketable a log will be. The data collected also helps identify the most ideal market for the wood. They use specific colors to identify the species and grades of the logs.

Log graders also use different measuring devices to take measurements of the pulpwood loads in order to calculate the weight, value, and dimensions of the logs. If provided with specifications, they will ensure the logs must meet all the requirements.

On top of this, log graders are also responsible for identifying special and substandard grade logs and determine the ones that should be regarded, returned to shippers, or transferred for further processing.

It is one of the most demanding jobs, which explains why the highest-paid log graders earn close to $65,000 a year. Their mean annual salary is $43,982.

12. Gaffer

The gaffer is the head of the electrical department in film and TV production sets. He/she supervises all the electricians on set and ensures the perfect lighting is achieved based on the lightning specifications outlined in the script.

The gaffer coordinates with the director, producers, as well as director of photography to get a better understanding of their lighting requirements. Based on their recommendations, he/she will then come up with a plan to execute their vision, which includes deciding the lights and lighting equipment to use.

The gaffer has to assemble the lighting crew and communicate the plan to the best boy electric, who is the second in command and is responsible for leading the lightning technicians in setting up the lights and lighting equipment.

The gaffer can also make lighting adjustments during filming to ensure the vision of the director, producers, and director of photography is achieved.

The mean annual salary of gaffers in the United States is $54,700 while the highest earners get paid more than $129,000 a year. Gaffers who are part of a union earn more than those working independently because the union sets a pay scale for its members and productions must comply with it.

13. Energy broker

Energy brokers act as intermediaries between energy suppliers or producers and their clients or consumers. They do not own energy and are not allowed to distribute it directly to the clients/consumers.

Their role is to present energy rates to clients. They play a key role in lowering the bottom-line cost of energy between the aforementioned parties.

An energy broker working for a company is tasked with helping them minimize day-to-day operational expenditures relating to energy usage while for homeowners, these experts help them enjoy reduced monthly electricity bills.

According to PayScale, the average annual salary of energy brokers in the U.S. is $80,186. The highest-paid brokers earn more than $135,000 a year.

14. Falconer

A falconer is someone who uses a highly trained raptor, such as a falcon, hawk, or eagle to hunt and capture wild animals in their natural state and habitat, including rabbits and squirrels.

Falconers are bound by comprehensive laws and regulations that ensure the raptors are well taken care of and that falconers do not abuse the freedom to hunt accorded to them.

Falconers use several tools such as falconry hood, falconry telemetry, falconer’s glove, block & bow perches, leash & swivel, knife, bells, Aylmer anklets, and scale.

The average annual salary of falconers in the U.S. is $51,826 and the top earners enjoy more than $122,000 in wages or revenue.

15. Geodesists

This is not only one of the best unknown careers but also one of the best-paying jobs in the world. Geodesists are experts who take earth measurements to determine the exact coordinates of any point.

They use the principles of applied mathematics and physics to measure and monitor the earth’s gravity field, size, shape, and geodynamic phenomena such as polar motion and tides.

Here are some of the things geodesists can do? As you can see, I couldn’t rephrase any of the statements and still do justice to what these scientists can do.

According to FederalPay, the average annual salary of geodesists in the United States is $123,329 and the highest-paid experts earn more than $178,000 a year.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, there are many little-known careers that pay well in the United States. We have highlighted just fifteen of the best unknown careers that pay as high as $175,000 a year. I believe you can fancy one of these jobs and set yourself on a lucrative career path.

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