If you are into out-of-the-box job options, then you have a lot of opportunities to make some great bucks. While most gig workers settle in to rather standard work (e.g., content writing, IT consulting), there are some unique and off-the-wall gigs that pay well and allow some fun at the same time. Others require specific skills, but are still unique and highly in-demand. Here are the top five unusual gigs you may want to consider.
1. Ethical Hacker
Everyone understands the security issues that even large enterprises have experienced – Target, Experian and more recently Capital One. And smaller businesses such as healthcare providers are even more susceptible to security breaches.
One of the best preventive measures that businesses can take is to hire an ethical hacker – a skilled techie who can probe the company’s systems for potential vulnerabilities and report back the findings, so that companies can take corrective measures.
Most hackers have computer science degrees, many with Masters in network and security. Though there’s also plenty of self-taught pros who got their experience from ‘breaking things’ for years. The compensation you can expect is about $71,000 annually. You can extrapolate an approximate hourly or project rate from there.
2. Medical illustrator/animator
Doctors need illustrations and detailed atlases for learning about and planning various procedures such as hair transplants or corrective plastic surgeries. Attorneys commission medical illustrations as ‘demonstrative evidence’ to present them during trials to the judge and the jury. Healthcare institutions also regularly need new visuals for marketing and educational materials. So yes, there’s quite a few different customer groups you can cater to. And a digital illustrator who can also provide AR and VR experiences can earn up to $90,000.
Do you love wine? Have you really studied wines? Most sommeliers have degrees in culinary arts, but go on to further study of wines.
Whoa – is there such a thing? Yes, actually there is. Suppose the groom comes from a very large family/friends’ community and has selected a large number of groomsmen. The bride is coming up short as an only child with a small circle of friends. She can hire bridesmaids, many of whom have branched out by giving wedding day advice. A ‘rented’ bridesmaid usually earns up to $1,000 per gig for several hours of communication with guests and event assistance.
5. Golf ball diver
If you’re a risk taker and an experienced scuba diver, you may want to consider this gig. Basically, you dive into ponds and lakes on golf courses and retrieve golf balls. Sounds simple, right? Not so fast. A bag of golf balls can weigh up to 70 pounds, so you need to be physically fit. And those ponds and lakes can be filled with some critters that are poisonous. Still, it’s lucrative. You can earn up to $2500 per dive at high-end courses and skip paying for gym. And one professional retriever is said to have earned as much as $15 million from fetching those balls.