Crazy Careers That Earn Serious Cash

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(Courtesy of CNN)

Become a voice-over actor and you can end up making upwards of $75,000 a year

( — Despite August’s lamentable job growth numbers, you could actually earn money going on a wild goose chase. Similar to this, but probably with more tools and a bit more professional decorum.

Yes, there are such things as geese-centric pest control companies. Typically small, family-run businesses, they hire employees to help rid golf courses, public parks and office complexes of the hissing pests. I know what you’re thinking. “Am I really going to chase geese?” Sadly, no. Instead you’ll be implementing sonic deterrents or if you’re lucky, working with border collies. Yes, this position just got even weirder.

Turns out trained collies are great in scaring off the fowl beasts, even endorsed by animal rights organizations as one of the most humane methods of goose removal. Income range depends on the number of clients and length of contracts you’re working with, but it can be a great fit for someone who wants to work outside and with animals.

However, should chasing geese be altogether too bird-brained of an idea, Steve Gillman offers up 100 other positions for you to mull over when it comes to your next career move in his book “101 Weird Ways to Make Money.”

Here are 10 opportunities you might be interested in that I bet none of your friends are doing:

Re-po man — Stealing cars back is really for the thrill-seeking type only, with the potential rate for awkward and potentially dangerous altercations very high. Typically you work with a tow truck company, so you could make anywhere from $15,000 as part-time status and upwards.

Bounty hunter – If your favorite book is The Most Dangerous Game, you may love the excitement that a bounty-hunting career can offer up. Annual income is anywhere from $50,000-$80,000; some states require licensing or training. It could even satisfy that need to slide over the hood of a car that you’ve got buried deep inside of you.

Bicycle-taxi driver — A one-person, fare-only operation can yield upwards of $62,000 a year, not to mention your quad and calf muscles will be the envy of all you meet; startup costs are $2,000-$4,000 for your ride, liability insurance, city permits, etc.

Cricket farmer — Apparently a cricket paralysis virus may send the prices of the insects sky-high so this could be your meal ticket; it’s estimated that cricket farms can make anywhere from $1 million to $20 million per year, depending on the size of the operation.

Crime-scene cleaner — Bit of a neat freak? Why not use those housekeeping skills at the scene of a crime. Depending on the city and amount of crime, expect to make anywhere from $30,000 to $75,000. Be prepared to wear a biohazard suit and have a strong stomach.

Online review writing — You can get paid for testing or investigating products and telling people what you think. Startup costs are minimal, with your requirements being to setup a blog and run it. You may have to develop multiple niche sites for specific categories (like workout equipment, makeup, hats, whatever else…) but all these little endeavors can add up to big bucks — income of $80,000 is not out of the question.

Expertise adviser — Maybe you are an expert at some niche topic such as dating, overall efficiency or cat herding. Fees for services vary greatly depending on your area of wisdom, ranging from $40 for home decorating to thousands of dollars for marketing consultation.

Voice-over actor – Been told your voice is liquid gold and that Barry White may not hold a candle to you? Try lending your audible talent to radio or television commercials, which on average makes $27,500 but can lead up to $75,000+ a year.

Surveillance worker – Bit of a voyeur, are you? You may get a kick out of this gig that pays you to watch people. Gaming surveillance officers average $32,500 annually, with higher wages in government offices or office building of some corporations.

English teacher abroad — Get paid to travel and speak English. What could be better? While some employers don’t require a college degree, some do and most require a TESL certificate. Pay varies based on the location you’re teaching in and how high the demand is. Currently, Japan is huge for these types of jobs.

The great part of Gillman’s books is that even if you’re already employed, you can use some of his ideas for side-jobs that can just supplement your current income. Truly for people with an entrepreneurial spirit, he gives readers links and advice on how to get started in each business and the opportunity for scalability and how much money you can make.


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