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9 of the world's weirdest jobs, with surprisingly high pay

Samantha Menzies
Senior editor – Finance
Which weird job would you do? Source: Getty Images

Are you bored of your 9-to-5 office job and want to embark on something a bit different?

Whether you’re an animal lover, keen cleaner or you want to get paid to blend into the background, here are nine of the strangest jobs around, and they pay surprisingly well too.

1. Panda nanny

Estimated pay: 200,000 yuan (A$41,532) annually plus free meals, accommodations, and a company SUV

Who wouldn’t want this job? A handful of organisations, including the Giant Panda Protection and Research Center in the Sichuan province of southwest China, actually employ a category of workers known as panda nannies, the primary responsibility of whom, as the job title suggests, is to play with painfully adorable panda cubs.

2. Iceberg mover

Estimated pay: US$20,000 (A$27,860) starting salary for Coast Guard recruits

You can thank the sinking of the Titanic for the creation of this occupation just one year later, reports Business Insider. Operated by the US Coast Guard, the International Ice Patrol helps ships by locating icebergs in their routes — and yes, sometimes towing them out of the way.

3. Pet psychologist

Estimated pay: $62,000

Do you love your pet? You might be interested in becoming a pet psychologist.

Pet psychologists or behaviourists analyse the behaviour of animals and help owners discover the cause of problem behaviour. This role does however require a qualification – individuals need either a Ph.D or a qualified doctor of veterinary medicine.

4. Professional bridesmaid

Estimated pay: $300-$2,000 per wedding

Yes, there is a job where you get paid to wear an ugly dress and act as Bridezilla’s on-call assistant for her special day. You could even charge extra for the speech, Business Insider reports.

5. Offshore underwater welder

Estimated pay: Up to $180,000

An Australian underwater welder – someone who repairs, installs and inspects pipelines – can earn up to $65,000 per year, but for those who are willing to take the added the risk and take the jobs offshore to deeper, scarier, oceans can see their annual salary rocket to $180,000.

6. Professional foreigner

Estimated pay: $1,000/week

Apparently, it’s a big business in China to hire foreigners to attend big events because it makes the event seem like a big deal. “Some Chinese companies will pay men $1,000 a week to don a business suit and shake hands with Chinese businessmen,” Business Insider says, “while others will hire foreigners to attend real-estate events and pose as celebrities.”

7. Flavourist

Estimated pay: $80,000

A flavourist who uses chemistry to engineer artificial and natural flavours in food and drink has a job title most people wouldn’t think exist, and a $80,000 salary to match.

8. Crime scene cleaner

Estimated pay: $80,000

You’d need a strong stomach for this one as some crime scenes can be pretty gruesome. But if you’ve got a strong disposition and an inclination to clean you could land yourself when a decent $80,000 per year.

9. Snake milker

Estimated pay: US$1,000 per gram

Snake milkers extract venom from some of the world’s most dangerous snakes, like rattlesnakes and cobras. The extracted venom is often used to create anti-venom for hospital or laboratory use, and can be sold for up to US$1,000 per gram, Business Insider reports.

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