6 More Odd Jobs That Pay Big Bucks

High-Paying Jobs You Might Not Have Ever Heard Of

You do WHAT for a living??

A couple of years ago we combed through our vast database of more than 4,000 jobs and picked out 11 of the oddest among them that paid a decent salary. To this date it’s one of our most-read pieces. So we figured it was time for Round 2.

Some of these were left off the list last time around and some of them are new jobs that have been added to our jobs salary library since the first article was published. But unless you’re someone who already works in these occupations, most of you will be saying “Huh? I didn’t know that was a job,” and “Holy $%*&, that job pays how much??” We searched through our extensive library of job titles and came up with some off-the-beaten-path occupations that all pay approximately $40,000 and above.

Who knows, you might just find something you like in here and consider a career change.

6. Log Grader & Scaler

JOB TITLE: Log Grader & Scaler
ANNUAL MEDIAN SALARY: $39,467

We’re sure you know logging is a huge industry, but have you ever thought about the intricacies of what has to happen after the trees are cut down? That’s where log graders and scalers come in.

Think about it. Someone has to eyeball everything and get the ball rolling so all that timber can be turned into the useful products we rely on every single day. Log graders use a variety of measuring techniques to determine total volume, check for defects, and evaluate the characteristics and grade of the logs. It’s also the job of the grader/scaler to make sure the logs are cut up to minimize the amount of waste left over. Despite not requiring a college degree and only a few years of experience needed, it still pays a living wage when residing in most parts of the country.

5. Scientific Illustrator

JOB TITLE: Scientific Artist
ANNUAL MEDIAN SALARY: $42,533

If you’re thinking the rigid and exacting confines of science don’t exactly mesh with an artist’s creativity, I’m sure you’re not alone. However, the two can coexist.

Welcome to the field of scientific illustrator — where science and art combine in one big bang. Simply put, scientific illustrators create realistic and detailed drawings that often go in textbooks and research articles. Since a picture is worth a thousand words and science can be hard for some people to understand, a scientific illustrator lets you see a visual representation of what the text is describing. Often this is helpful to illustrate processes that are invisible to the naked eye, or that occur in space far from the average person’s ability to see.

4. Aerial Tram Tender

JOB TITLE: Aerial Tram Tender
ANNUAL MEDIAN SALARY: $43,998

It’s a niche job for sure, but if you’ve ever taken an aerial tram at a vacation resort or amusement park, you’ve benefited from an aerial tram operator.

These are the people who operate and maintain the tram buckets that carry people high in the air along cables. They have to monitor the tramway for regular tram traffic and look for signs of malfunction, safely load and unload passengers from the tram buckets, and repair the trams (and the control system) when something malfunctions. While you’ll likely need an apprenticeship and some training for this job, it only requires a high school degree.

3. Food Scientist

JOB TITLE: Food Scientist
ANNUAL MEDIAN SALARY: $66,031

Food companies like to market themselves as organic this and all natural that. But most of the time, it’s not the growers of the food who play the most vital role — it’s the scientists behind the food.

Yup, that’s right. Food scientists. And while this sounds like a delicious gig wherein you get to taste test all day long, that’s far from the truth. Food scientists develop and maintain our food supply. They are skilled in areas such as chemistry, nutrition, and biology and use that knowledge to develop packaging, preserving, processing, and distributing many of the foods we consume on a daily basis.

2. Genetics Counselor

JOB TITLE: Genetics Counselor
ANNUAL MEDIAN SALARY: $67,019

In a perfect world, you won’t ever run into a genetics counselor or have to know what they do. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

Genetics counselors examine a patient’s individual and family history to be on the lookout for a variety of inherited conditions, such as genetic disorders and birth defects. They assist in providing information and advice to healthcare providers, or to people and families concerned with the risk of inherited conditions. Many expectant parents have to go through genetics counseling if they have family or personal histories of diseases like multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and cystic fibrosis (to name a few), so they can know the risks inherent in passing those conditions on to future generations.

A master’s degree will generally be required for this job, along with state certification and potential licensure.

1. Industrial Hygienist

JOB TITLE: Industrial Hygienist
ANNUAL MEDIAN SALARY: $79,536

If I mentioned dental hygienist you’d likely recognize that job from your time at the dentist’s office. But industrial hygienist? Probably not so much.

Yup, that’s right. It exists. Industrial hygienists develop, implement, and maintain health programs at industrial plants to recognize, eliminate, and control occupational health hazards. That often includes collecting dust, gas, and vapor samples for analysis, or investigating ventilation systems, exhaust equipment, lighting, etc that may impact the health of employees. Basically, industrial hygienists are right in the thick of things, acting as the first and most important line of defense for employees regarding the environmental health of their workplace.

It’s Never Odd to Negotiate Salary

No matter how odd your job, negotiating your salary during a job interview or performance review should be a common occurrence. And for that, Salary.comcan help you get paid fairly what you do.

The first thing you should do is research, so you’re able to come to the table armed with the knowledge of what your job is worth. Use our free Salary Wizard below to find out what’s a fair salary for your position. You can enter your location, education level, years of experience and more to find out an appropriate salary range before you negotiate.

Good luck.