While company CEOs, lawyers, and doctors make good money, finding unique jobs that pay well isn’t such an impossible task, with some paying as high as $150,000+ a year.
Some of the odd jobs that pay well are so unique and you’ll be forgiven if you thought it wasn’t a worthwhile career.
If you’re planning to join college, how about thinking outside the box and going for one of these nontraditional careers?
As you will realize, some of these jobs have little-to-no stress yet still pay well. Nothing is more precious than being happy while making a good amount of money each month.
Unique jobs that pay well
High-paying unique jobs include ice cream taster, hippotherapist, clinical ethicist, master marijuana extractor, genetic counselor, veterinary acupuncturist, podiatrist, and human mannequin.
Being a farrier is one of the few high-paying animal jobs perfect for animal lovers. Farriers provide a range of equine foot care services, including trimming, modifying, applying shoes, and evaluating potential causes of lameness in horses.
Experienced full-time farriers earn a mean annual salary of $92,650. The best-paid farriers are those working with thoroughbred racehorses and can earn as high as $200,000 a year.
2. Ice Cream Taster
The task of an ice cream taster, also called a tastemaster, sensory analyst, food scientist, or flavorologist is to taste-test ice cream and assess the quality of each flavor based on texture, appearance, color, smell, taste, and other factors. Full-time tasters are expected to stick to aggressive daily sampling schedules.
Some employers can also require an ice cream taster to invent new flavors and products or serve as a marketing representative of the company. Ice cream tasters can earn anywhere between $40,000 and $100,000 a year, with the mean annual salary being about $56,000.
Being an embalmer is one of the unique jobs that pay well in the United States. Embalmers prepare bodies for interment. This includes washing and disinfecting the bodies of the deceased, replacing body fluids and gases with preserving agents, washing and styling the deceased’s hair, and creating a natural appearance using restorative processes and makeup.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage of an embalmer is $50,100, with the top earners making as high as $76,110 a year. The top five paying states for this occupation are Connecticut, Wisconsin, Florida, Illinois, and Missouri respectively, where the mean hourly wage range between $25 and $35.
According to the American Hippotherapy Association, hippotherapy involves combining knowledge in occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech-language pathology with a purposeful manipulation of equine movement to provide therapy to patients and engage their sensory, neuromotor, and cognitive systems with the goal being to promote functional outcomes.
To become a hippotherapist, you have to be a certified therapist with knowledge of different forms of disabilities and be good with horses. Hippotherapy helps improve patients’ interaction, socialization, and recreation with others. The mean annual wage of hippotherapists is $64,210.
5. Clinical Ethicist
Another unique job that pays well is being a clinical ethicist, which involves taking an unbiased position on medical matters and decisions to help patients, families, and doctors make informed decisions. Because people have strong and often differing opinions on sensitive medical issues, clinical ethicist provides an unbiased, neutral perspective of the issue.
You need a master’s degree or a doctorate in medical ethics or a related subject to become a clinical ethicist. The mean annual salary is $72,813, but the top earners earn more than $100,000 a year.
6. Master Marijuana Extractor
Master marijuana extractors work with extraction technicians to extract cannabis concentrates from cannabis and produce edibles, oils, and other marijuana products. You need a degree in a related field to pursue a career and become a master marijuana extractor.
According to Weedmaps, the average wages of master marijuana extractors range between $90,000 and $120,000, which makes this profession one of the unique jobs that pay well in the U.S. Cannabis extraction technicians earn between $75,000 and $125,000 a year, according to Investopedia.
Being a flavorist is one of the unusual jobs that pay well in 2023. As a flavorist, you will be tasked with creating natural and artificial flavors. You need extensive knowledge of botanical extracts, essential oils, flavor aromas, and essences to be able to recreate flavors from nature.
Apart from a Ph.D. in biochemistry or chemistry, you need extensive experience as an apprentice with flavor companies. The mean hourly wages for flavorist in the U.S. is $25.97 and the mean annual salary is $54,018. Top earners in this profession make as high as $72,718 a year.
Here’s flavorist Claire Murphy explaining more on how to become a flavorist and what the career entails. (Video Credit: Royal Society of Chemistry)
8. Genetic Counselor
Genetic counselors assess individual or family risk for inherited conditions such as birth defects and genetic disorders and provide information to individuals, families, and other healthcare providers concerned with the risk of the conditions. They also advise individuals and families to help them make good decisions and on coping mechanisms for those at risk.
The mean annual salary for genetic counselors is $84,310 with the top earners making as high as $114,750. The top five highest-paying states for genetic counselors in the United States are California, Connecticut, Nevada, New York, and Colorado.
9. Gambling Manager
This is also one of the odd jobs that pay well as high as 100k a year. Gambling managers plan, direct, and coordinate gambling operations in a casino. They ensure the business operates by state and federal laws. The mean annual salary of a gambling manager is $84,700, with the top earners raking in more than $136,650 a year, according to the U.S. BLS.
If you intend to become a gambling manager, the states of Nevada, Maryland, California, Ohio, and North Carolina pay the highest. The mean annual wage for a gambling manager in Nevada, for example, is $101,190. If you’re looking for something close to this, then you can consider becoming a bingo manager.
10. Mortician, Undertaker & Funeral Arranger
While most people won’t consider a career as any of these professionals, the reality is morticians, undertakers, and funeral arrangers are among the unique jobs that pay well.
They perform various funeral-related duties to arrange and direct funeral services. The tasks include coordinating transportation of the body to the mortuary, interviewing family to arrange details, selecting pallbearers, providing transportation to mourners, and selecting individuals for religious rites.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the mean annual wage of morticians, undertakers, and funeral arrangers to be $58,360. Top earners take home about $89,880 a year, with the top-paying states being Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Vermont.
11. Veterinary Acupuncturist
Veterinary acupuncture involves the use of non-surgical and non-drug approaches to treating animals. You will use techniques such as massages, blood-moving approaches, and polarity devices. This job requires one to be a trained and certified acupuncturist. A love for animals will make it a fulfilling career for you.
Veterinary acupuncture is one of the well-paying odd jobs with a mean annual salary of $72,368. Top earners take home as high as $97,375 a year.
A podiatrist diagnoses and treats diseases of the human foot. They also help prevent and perform surgeries to correct deformities on these body parts as well as helping relieve pain in the feet and treat infections. You need a degree from an accredited medical college to become a podiatrist.
The latest occupational data shows the mean annual wages of podiatrists to be $142,680, with the top earners getting more than $178,690 a year, which makes it one of the unique jobs that pay well in the United States. The states of Maine, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Wisconsin are the top five highest paying states for podiatrists.
13. Funeral Home Managers
As a funeral home manager, your duties include planning, directing, and coordinating the resources or services of a funeral home. This includes determining prices for services and/or merchandise and managing the facilities of the funeral home.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary of a funeral home manager is $95,220, with the top earners making as high as $161,870 a year. The top five highest-paying states for this profession are Michigan, Virginia, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Connecticut.
14. Human Statue/Live Mannequin
Being a human statue or live mannequin is one of the many unique jobs that pay well, with the potential of earning as high as $100 an hour. You might have spotted an artist covered in silver or gold paint posing as a human statue on busy streets, and in return, they get free tips from passers-by.
Some companies and businesses such as clothing stores occasionally hire live mannequins and pay them as high as $100/hr. While standing still or motionless for one hour is a tough assignment, I bet getting paid a hundred bucks for it is worth the hassle.
15. Movie Extra
Have you ever considered being an extra in a movie? Well, you can earn anywhere between $100 and $200 per day to just be an extra in a movie. Some agencies can connect you with available gigs, but you can also check for advertisements in the papers and on digital platforms.
We have highlighted just a few of the unique jobs that pay well, but we believe this list can come in handy if you’re looking for a nontraditional career path. Feel free to contact relevant parties for more personalized information if you’re interested in any of these careers. Watch this video by Psychology Success about unusual jobs that pay well.