14 weird jobs you probably didn't know exist

Jen GlantzCourtesy of Jen GlantzYou can pay an ‘undercover bridesmaid’ to stand next to you on your big day.

It seems as though we can pay people to do anything for us these days: walk our dogs, build our furniture, organise our homes … cuddle with us when we’re feeling lonely.

That’s right: You can hire a professional cuddler to snuggle with you for about $US60 an hour. You can also pay an “undercover bridesmaid” to stand next to you on your big day, or a professional mourner to cry with you at a loved one’s funeral.

Those are just a few of the weirdest jobs we found while compiling our list of the most unusual professionals.

Keep scrolling to see all 14.

Snake milker

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 antivenom for hospital or laboratory use, and can be sold for up to $US1,000 per gram.

Professional bridesmaid

Courtesy of Jen Glantz

Professional bridesmaid Jen Glantz is the cofounder of Bridesmaid for Hire, a company that offers 'undercover bridesmaid' and personal assistant-type services to brides and their wedding parties.

'Essentially I'm there as the bride's personal assistant and on-call therapist,' Glanz tells Business Insider. 'I help her manage and execute her personal to-do list of tasks, which can often be over 100 tasks long.'

She charges anywhere from $US300 to $US2,000 per wedding.

Professional mourner

Professional mourners attend funerals and grieve for the deceased. A company in England called Rent A Mourner specialises in the industry, offering mourners for two hours for roughly $US70.

Dog surfing instructor

Dog surfing instructors, whom you can find at certain ocean resorts, are people you pay to teach you and your dog to surf. Some locations even offer classes strictly for dogs.

Professional mermaid

Professional mermaids can make a decent amount of money performing at parties and teaching others how to 'swim like a mermaid.' They typically charge $US300 per hour at birthday parties. But becoming a licensed mermaid and learning how to start your own mermaid business is pricey. Montreal-based company Aqua Mermaid charges entrepreneurs $US3,800 for a five-day training course.

Face feeler

Face feelers, also known as 'sensory scientists,' are trained to use their hands and judge the effectiveness of products like lotions, facial cleansers, and razors. Face feelers work part-time, but they can earn up to $US25 per hour.

Professional cuddler

Carla Axtman
Professional cuddler Samantha Hess relaxes with Portland musician KaiKani Seven Vanity.

Professional cuddlers charge up to $US80 an hour to snuggle with strangers. The downside: This work comes with its share of emotional burdens, says Portland-based cuddler Samantha Hess.

Professional TV watcher

Professional TV watcher is a real job -- but it's not necessarily as easy as it sounds. According to an Investopedia.com article, pro TV watchers 'usually scan through different shows and news clips, and find the right clips that can be used on a television show or news program.' The article also says when Jimmy Kimmel was looking for a TV watcher back in 2005, his show was offering pay of $US500 to $US600 per week.

Ash artist

Ash artists get creative with the remains of our loved ones. Following cremation, some people choose to hire these artists to create a token of remembrance, like a necklace or glass sculpture.

Professional foreigner


Some Chinese companies will pay men $US1,000 a week to don a business suit and shake hands with Chinese businessmen, while others will hire foreigners to attend real-estate events and pose as celebrities.

'It is a widespread belief in China that if foreigners are hired at an event, the whole thing is bumped up to another level,' a real-estate agent from the outskirts of Chongqing told The Times.

Dog food taster

Human dog food tasters are hired by pet food companies to test the quality of their products. They also evaluate the nutritional value and usually spit out the food once they taste it.

Chicken sexer

Chicken sexers determine the sex of a chick, relying heavily on intuition. Usually hired by commercial hatcheries, these professionals (who are more common in the UK and Japan) make up to $US60,000 a year.

Professional line-stander

Professional line-standers do one thing most of us have no patience for: wait in line. These professionals are especially busy during big sales (think Black Friday) and product launches (new iPhone releases, for example). Rates vary, but one professional line-stander told Business Insider he earns up to $US1,000 a week.

Fortune cookie writer

Fortune cookie manufacturers usually hire freelancers or in-house writers to come up with inspiring or witty fortunes. EHow.com estimates that these professionals earn around $US40,000 a year.

Steven Benna and Jacquelyn Smith contributed to an earlier version of this article.

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