What are odd jobs that pay well?

December 2, 2022
December 2, 2022 Terkel

What are odd jobs that pay well?

From a haunted house actress to a wig maker, here are the 16 answers to the question, “What was the oddest job you ever had, that actually paid well? “

  • Haunted House Actress
  • A Clean Out Job
  • Massage Therapist
  • Caricature Artist
  • Game Tester
  • Being a Color Expert for a Company
  • Valet Parking
  • Flavorist
  • Preparing the New York Times Every Sunday
  • Professional Cuddler
  • Ghostwrite 200 Tinder Bios for An Agency
  • Bingo Manager
  • Lawn Mower
  • Clown
  • Wig Maker
  • Hot Dog Salesperson

Haunted House Actress

I once had a job working at a haunted house. It was one of those popup attractions that only operated around Halloween, and it was situated in an old warehouse on the outskirts of town. My job was to dress up in a costume and jump out at people as they made their way through the maze. It sounds like it would be fun, and it actually was most of the time. But it could also be pretty creepy, especially when I was sitting in the dark waiting for my next victim. And the pay was surprisingly good. I made more money in those few weeks than I did working at my regular job the rest of the year. So, all things considered, it wasn’t a bad gig.

Lorien Strydom , Executive Country Manager, Financer.com

A Clean Out Job

Summer job where I was hired to clean out a warehouse that a company had sold to another. Apparently, it was cheaper for them to simply destroy all the leftover products than it was to have them move.

Spent most of my work days putting the proverbial torch to perfectly good merchandise. It was a point to make sure that everything was thoroughly ruined to the point that no resale was possible. The job paid surprisingly well for something geared so perfectly to the sensibilities of a teenage male.

Who wouldn’t want to get paid for some sanctioned deconstruction after all?

Boye Fajinmi , Co-Founder & President, TheFutureParty

Massage Therapist

Working as a licensed massage therapist in college paid surprisingly well. I was able to pay my bills and save for the future on the income I made from giving massages. It was a unique position that paid well because of the skills I had and the level of training I had. I was able to provide a service that others my age weren’t able to provide, and that it much easier for me to cover my rent and food expenses.

I was able to charge a bit less than others because my clientele were college and graduate students, and because of that I was able to make good money. If you have a unique skill, you can make good money working in a job that may seem odd or strange to others.

Matthew Ramirez , CEO, Rephrasely

Caricature Artist

When I was attending college I got a summer job doing caricatures at a theme park. I had never done caricatures before but I had been drawing cartoons my whole life. I got a crash course that summer on how to draw live subjects quickly. After the summer job ended, I began doing freelance caricatures at events; weddings, birthday parties, office events etc. By the time I graduated college I was supporting myself completely with caricature art.

Julia Kelly , Managing Partner, Rigits

odd jobs that pay well

Game Tester

It may not sound as odd to most now as it’s generally regarded as a solid and needed job. However, when I was a young adult, it was astounding to me that I could make a decent amount of money with something I did in my free time, for free. Having had extensive experience with games on multiple platforms, I was the ideal user to point to areas that could be improved regarding the gaming experience and user-friendly interfaces. The reviewing part was a minor challenge initially, but it’s an easy hurdle to overcome once you start doing more reviews. Needless to say, it was a great way to capitalize on something I did in my free time and a choice that greatly differed from the career path I had established and ultimately pursued.

Nicole Ostrowska , Career Expert, Zety

A Color Expert

I once had a job as a color expert for a paint company. It sounds like a pretty straightforward job, but it was actually pretty strange. I would spend my days looking at paint samples and matching them to color standards. It was surprisingly difficult, and it paid pretty well.

The oddest part of the job, though, was the dress code. Since I would be working with color all day, the company wanted me to wear clothes that were as neutral as possible. That meant no white, no black, no patterns, and no bright colors. Needless to say, it was a bit of a challenge to find appropriate clothing. But it was a great job, and I loved it.

Jim Campbell , Founder, Wizve Digital Marketing

Valet Parking

Imagine this: Parking cars, oftentimes luxury cars, in a parking garage with up to four levels. The fastest way to get to the car was by using the stairs. Imagine getting the car at one location, parking it at the top level and running back to park more cars. In the end, you’re running the length of a 15K and running up and down stairs in the process.

During the course of that job, which paid handsomely, you realize that distance running comes easy to you. It should, considering all of the running you’re doing. You enter races and it becomes a passionate hobby of yours. You even go on cross-country runs that raise money and awareness for various causes. That’s what I experienced – a high-paying job that boosts endurance and distance-running performance. Can’t beat that.

Trevor Ford , Head of Growth, Yotta


I used to be a flavorist, which is where you would create natural and artificial flavors. To imitate natural tastes, you must be well-versed in essential oils, plant extracts, flavor fragrances, and essences. You will also be required to come up with appealing new tastes that consumers would enjoy in this employment. A Ph.D. in chemistry or biochemistry is required for this position. Furthermore, substantial training as an associate with taste corporations would be required as a flavorist.

Samantha Odo , Real Estate Expert & Chief Operating Officer,, Precondo

Preparing the New York Times Every Sunday

I started working in a baseball card shop when I was 12 making $4 an hour. In the early ’90s minimum wage was $4.27 an hour. I later worked for Baskin Robbins and a convivence store in New Canaan, CT. In high school, my oddest job was making preparing the New York Times every Sunday at 5:30 am. It would come in about 7 sections that you had to sort together. This local store would sell around 1,400 Sunday Times and I earned $60 and a free chocolate donut. It took about three hours. So that was like $20 an hour or 4x the minimum wage at the time. I enjoyed working for small businesses and am glad to now work for a 5th-generation family business.

Brian Hawkins , Marketing Manager, GhostBed.com

I Once Had a Job as a Professional Cuddler

I once had a job as a professional cuddler. It may sound odd, but it actually paid quite well! The job consisted of cuddling with people for an hour at a time. It sounds easy enough, but it was actually quite challenging. I had to be able to read people’s body language and adjust my cuddling accordingly. I also had to be a good listener, as many people used our sessions as a time to talk about their problems. Overall, it was a very strange job, but it was also strangely gratifying. I was able to help people in a unique way, and I got paid very well to do it.

Benjamin Basic , Content Writer, Fast Food Menu Prices

Ghostwrite 200 Tinder Bios for An Agency

The oddest job I had was to ghostwrite 200 Tinder bios for an agency. I was young, traveling, and really needed the money. It paid well.

Corina Burri , SEO Consultant, Corina Burri

Bingo Manager

The work of a bingo manager is to oversee everything in a casino or bingo hall. A college degree is not required for this role, however, at least 4 years of experience in a comparable managing position is frequently required.

As a bingo manager, your responsibility may include maintaining adherence to federal and state gaming rules, resolving consumer complaints, authorizing jackpots, and overseeing payments. You were also in charge of the casino’s employees and finances.

Nathan Hughes , Founder, Art Ignition

Lawn Mower

While saving up to pay for my mortgage, I took a lot of odd jobs. However, what I found the most fun and profitable was mowing people’s lawns, especially in spring or summer, when people care about what they look like. Once you get a hang of it, it actually goes by fast. And a lot of people don’t have time or just don’t want to mow their own lawns. Sure, it sounds like a teenager’s job, but people are actually more inclined to trust a grown adult, anyway. It helped me pay off a $54,000 mortgage, after all.

Derek Sall , Founder of Life and My Finances and Financial Expert, Life and My Finances

actually get paid for doing odd work


Trust me, there are plenty of ways. Like when I was working as a telemarketer for those sketchy home security systems. Or the time I was hired to be a human guinea pig for some new medication. But those jobs pale in comparison to the oddest job I ever had, which actually paid well: being a clown.Yes, you read that right. A clown. It was part of an advertising campaign for a local grocery store, and they were looking for people who could make balloon animals and do face painting. At first, I was hesitant; after all, clowns have always given me the creeps. But then I saw the pay rate: $25/hour! So I decided to give it a try.The best way to describe the experience is “surreal.” It’s like everyone around you is acting like it’s perfectly normal to see grown adults dressed up like circus performers, but to you it’s just completely bizarre. In the end, though, the novelty wore off and I moved on to other things (though I’m still tempted sometimes by those high pay rates)

Jamie Irwin , Director, Straight Up Search

Wig Maker

I’ve had a lot of odd jobs in my life, but the oddest (and most successful) was definitely running a wig business. I started the business after noticing that there was a distinct lack of good-quality wigs on the market, and decided to fill that gap by creating my own line of wigs. The business was a success from the start. I had a great product and I was able to market it effectively. I quickly built up a loyal customer base and the business grew.The oddest part of the job was definitely the wig-making process. I had to learn how to make wigs from scratch, which was a challenge. But it was also a lot of fun, and I’m proud to say that my wigs are some of the best on the market.If you’re looking for an odd (and potentially profitable) job, I would definitely recommend starting a wig business!

Adam Garfield , Marketing Director, Hairbro

Hot Dog Salesperson

There is so much money selling hotdogs on the side of the road. The average income I used to get was $100,000. Hot dogs cart rely heavily on food traffic for revenue, so just like a retail store, location is key. With that said a lot of dog stands can be very profitable. I would make around $300 to $400 per day because I was working near a huge construction site in the center of the town so I have steady customers and I provided very good products and services. If you are a dedicated hard worker you can make a very nice living with a hot dog truck.

Jennie Miller , Co-Founder, MIDSS

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