10 Jobs That Are Surprisingly Well Paid


One way to get a better job than the one you’re doing right now is adding more skills to your overall portfolio, gradually climbing up the ladder and raising your value in your respective field. While that would surely get you to a better, higher-paying position, it’d take a while. For those without time or patience to do that, there is another, quicker way: looking for an obscure high-paying job most people don’t know about.

Many of these weird occupations require little to no qualification to apply and pay more than most entry-level, unskilled careers. The only caveat is that they’re difficult to get, mostly because they require some very specific skills to do. If you can put in the work, though, you can get paid much more than equivalent jobs in other sectors. 

10. Bed Warmer

Warming up the bed doesn’t even sound like a thing you actively do, let alone a whole job you can get paid for. Yet, there are no rules when it comes to the free market; if there’s demand for it, the job will show up sooner or later. 

Bed warmers are – in all seriousness – professionals that undergo serious training to do what they do. They also happen to be some of the highest paid individuals in the hospitality industry, as the top salary for the really experienced ones can get up to around $200,000.

Bed-warming as a job may seem like a joke to most, but if you think about it, it has some legit uses. They may be employed at film sets to get the bed ready for the actors, or high-end hotels to warm the bed before the guest.

9. Hackers

Whenever we think about hackers, we imagine a black-clad operative working in the shadows in a shabby house. That mental impression would be accurate, as quite a few malicious hackers may actually fit that stereotype. They’re not the only type of hackers, though, as there’s also the good guys.

Known as ethical – or ‘white hat’ – hackers, these are professional coders well-versed with the high arts of hacking. They’re responsible for finding security loopholes in major corporate networks, as well as dealing with hacking attacks in real time. As corporations get bigger and more willing to pay for cyber-security services – owing to the recent rise in the number of major attacks – these are also some of the highest-paid coders around, with average salaries reaching up to around $92,000.

8. Clinical Ethicist

If clinical ethicists sound like the kind of people that go around and preach about ethics in the medical profession, that would be correct, except they’re certified professionals instead of just concerned citizens. That means that while you can claim to do the same thing, these are certified professionals who do this for a living, and are hence really good at it.

A big part of a clinical ethicist’s work is counseling patients as well as their families on ethics in the industry, which is a pretty important job if you think about it. Of course, that’s only one part of it, as clinical ethicists could specialize in further technical fields to add to their resume. 

On an average, a clinical ethicist earns an average of somewhere close to $100,000, though it can go a lot higher if you’re experienced and skilled in additional areas.

7. Professional Sleepers

Are you one of those people who can fall asleep at any place on command without any effort at all? While most people can’t say that they can, those who said ‘yes’ can easily convert this talent into money, as professional sleeper is a legit and highly-paid profession.

Of course, you’d have to do a bit better than just going to the office and falling asleep, which is how we assume you’re imagining it. Professional sleepers are usually employed in an experimental setting, as many scientific studies require their subjects to fall asleep for one reason or the other. You’d have to be able to sleep whenever you’re asked and multiple times in a day, which is even more difficult to do when someone is constantly looking at you the whole time. 

While that’s hardly the only place professional sleepers can make a living, it’s only one of the examples of how difficult the job can be. That’s why they’re paid well above the median wage; a senior sleeper can hope to earn anywhere between $100,000 to $200,000.

6. Fortune Cookie Writers

Fortune cookies are served in restaurants around the world, usually as a small snack at the end of the meal with an uplifting note inside. While it can be a plain old ‘you’re beautiful’, many restaurants get creative with it. It’s not uncommon to find genuinely witty messages in fortune cookies these days, though have you ever wondered who writes them?

That’s right, ‘fortune cookie writer’ is a full-time, specialized job that’s surprisingly well-compensated. An average fortune cookie writer can hope to earn anywhere between $40,000 – $80,000, which can go as high as $100,000 if you’re really good at it. 

5. Futurist

‘Futurism’ may sound like something your stoner friend recently got really into. If you go into the job market, however, you’d see that it’s actually a serious and coveted profession, and is paid surprisingly well for something most of us don’t even know is a real job. 

Futurists are just what they sound like; they study the current and past trends to predict future data. Needless to say, that’s a skill of high value to a variety of companies, like insurance firms for risk management, content firms for predicting user trends and so on. 

More importantly, as the field is still in its infancy and the number of skilled professionals still quite low, futurists are paid better than their other counterparts in the industry, with a top salary of over $100,000.

4. Bingo Manager

If you’ve ever gone out gambling, it may all seem like fun and games. You go there, put some money in, have some fun and a couple of beers, and come out with either more money or an empty bank account. Casinos count on you having a good time regardless of whether you won or lost, as they win either way. For them, it’s serious business, and managing it is one of the highest paid jobs around.

Known as a ‘bingo manager’, these professionals usually work for the casinos on contracts, though the more experienced ones are hired full-time. They take care of the daily finances – including winnings – as well as ensure compliance with state gambling laws, among a bunch of other important things behind the scenes. That’s why the top 90% earn close to $140,000, with an average pay of around $65,000. 

3. Golf Ball Diver

Golf ball diving isn’t exactly something you’d want to make a career of, as golf courses are infamously huge and varied. Depending on where you’re playing in the world, a typical golf course can have cliffs, marshes, lakes, alligators, bugs and a bunch of other unpleasant features. If you do somehow manage to learn how to find a lost golf ball amidst all that, though, you’re in for a pretty well-paid career.

Golf ball divers can earn anywhere between $50,000 and $100,000 per year, which can go even higher depending on where they work. One diver on YouTube, for example, claims to have made over $15 million. While we can’t vouch for its accuracy, it doesn’t seem like a high amount given how huge the golf diving industry is.

2. Gum Tasters

Trying out different flavors of chewing gum and getting paid for it is essentially every kid’s dream job, only if they knew it existed. It definitely exists, and is exactly as it sounds, though you may be overestimating how awesome it is.

Think about how many experimental chewable materials gum companies have to go through before settling on the final product. Now think about who tries them all. Yes, that’s a gum taster’s job, who has to taste all of the flavors before deciding on an edible one. It’s not an easy job to do and is compensated accordingly; per estimates, gum tasters can earn anywhere between $74,000 and $107,500 per year.

1. Oil Rig Worker

A job on an offshore oil rig is no one’s perfect idea of a workplace. The hours are long, it’s risky, and there’s really not much to do the whole time you’re there, which may be months depending on your specific role. While it may sound like a good deal for experienced, highly-skilled engineers, an unskilled worker on an oilrig may not look to be in the best place in his career. 

That’s until you hear how much they make. On an average, an oil rig worker – even at the most basic level – earns around $100,00, which is higher than almost any other industry around.

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