Top Story: 5 Unusual Jobs That Pay The Bills


The current trend in education is to graduate from college and walk into that dream job that you have been training for. FALSE! Those days are over. Graduates who come out of college are less likely to find a job immediately after graduation than those graduating ten years ago. Due to the economy over the last five years with companies cutting back and not adding to their workforce, many graduates find themselves standing in line behind hundreds of experienced candidates, battling for one or two positions.

While the economy is starting to recover (debatable but we’ll say it is), companies are not adding as many jobs as expected. This not only leaves laid off workers but also recent graduates looking for careers in fields other than their expertise. Many are forced to freelance or find jobs that are not considered your normal “run of the mill” type employment. Here is a list of five such nontraditional jobs that I found interesting.

Live Mannequin:

Live mannequins can earn up to $100 per hour simply modeling products for companies. They are used mainly in department stores to model clothing are said to attract more attention than plastic mannequins (obviously). Depending on the store, you can interact with customers while practicing your modeling pose. Many aspiring models take jobs as live mannequins as they are able to model in front of people while working out any “butterflies” they may potentially have for stage modeling. Many stores also allow the live mannequins to keep what they wore for the day which also makes it an attractive job.

Voice-Over Artist:

The voice-over industry has grown by leaps and bonds over the past decade. This is due to the rise in international movie sales, corporations expanding into global markets, and animation films. Voice-overs are often needed for fifty or more languages for television commercials such as McDonalds, Pepsi, and Coke. While there are many companies who provide such service, many people are getting into the game and freelancing their services. A five minute voice-over can net someone up to $325 while even artists who are not that well-known in the industry can make up to $80,000 a year.

Casino Junket:

Many locations pay for referrals. Refer a friend to Vonage; get $20 off your next bill. Refer a family member to Dish Network: receive HBO free for 6 months. Of course these are just made up examples, but you are familiar with referral programs and how they work. However, did you know that a casino will pay you a referral fee for referring someone to their casino? Referred to as junkets, they bring high rollers into a casino to gamble. Depending on the arrangement with the casino may pay a percentage of the person’s loss or simply give them a flat fee per person. Junkets focus on high rollers and are often not paid unless the high roller actually loses money at the casino. The casino often allows a junket to offer promotional items to the high rollers such as free meals in order to entice them to the casino. There is a huge market for junkets in Macau, but the junket system is in place in the United States and many people make 6 figures or better to be one.

Wikipedia Editing:

While Wikipedia does not charge anyone to edit, it has become more and more difficult for people to write or edit on the website. Many people and companies who try and fail to post their profile on Wikipedia turn to paid Wikipedia editors for help. There are not that many out there, but running a Wikipedia page creation service can net you some serious income. Companies such as offer such services to people and companies. Although he would not disclose his current income, founder Mike Wood did tell me that he no longer works for his former employers where he made $100,000 per year and concentrates solely on Wikipedia editing. That’s some serious cash for editing articles on a free website.

Mystery Shopping:

Being a mystery shopper used to mean having a few extra bucks in your pocket. However, companies are so in need of accurate customer feedback that the mystery shopping industry now gives people the opportunity to make up to $100 per assignment. So, for going in and taking notes on locations and their employees you can wind up with more than a “few extra bucks.” This job will not make you a millionaire, but with the little amount of time you spend on each assignment, you can average making $50 to $100 per hour.

Rex Miles is a freelance writer from Orlando, Florida. He writes about any and everything he sees that sparks his interest. He has a bachelor degree in journalism from the University of Florida and enjoys traveling.

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