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25 Most Bizarre Jobs
Published on 4/14/2006

Fantasy Broker

A postal clerk wants to be a stand-up comedian for one night. A businessman wants to drive a freight train across a western State. A psychiatrist wants 20 dates on 20 weekends with 20 girls from 20 different countries. How do they do it? They see a fantasy broker whose business is making dreams come true. Originally pioneered in Chicago by an advertising executive, fantasy firms in several cities now do a booming business, charging from $150 to thousands to turn dreams into reality.

Ball Picker
Picks up unclaimed baseballs, golf balls and the like to keep recreation areas clean.

Ant Catcher
Digs up live ants for use in pastic ant farms.

Brain Picker
Places animal head on a table or on hooks in a slaughterhouse, splits the skull and picks out the brains.

Forest Fire Lookout

This is the perfect job for solitary types with no fear of heights and the ideal opportunity to write the great American novel. The job consists of manning a tower in a national park or forest preserve and watching for signs of fire. It can be lonely work; for years the Forest service sought newlywed couples for this job. Pay is based on civil service wage levels (starting around $6,000) and includes generous health benefits. Author Jack Kerouac did this.

Furniture Tester
Want to relax for a living? The La-z-Boy Company (and probably others) employs furniture testers to check out their recliners.

Odor Judgers
Odor Judgers get to smell armpits all day to help make deodorants that will work well.

Queen Producer
Raises queen bees.


An Oklahoma City man makes a living finding unusual things for people--like a pair of fleas dressed as bride and groom, a baseball signed by Jim Thorpe in 1933, and a client's missing brother. Finders Keepers, Inc., was started by an ex-advertising agency employee who discovered he had a knack for finding odd props for TV commercials. "I have always been able to locate the rare and unusual with an uncanny facility," he says. "Suddenly it dawned on me that I could capitalize on my ability." Finders Keepers will look for anything, provided it's legal. The company's manager boasts a high success rate; however, he's still looking for an electric clock motor that runs backward.

Egg Breaker
Separates yolks and thites of eggs for use in food products by striking eggs against a bar. Pours contents of broken eggs into an egg-separating device.

Hooker Inspector
Inspects cloth in a textile mill for defects by using a hooking machine that folds the cloth.

Foot straightener
Straightens and screws into place the feet on watch and clock dials during assembly.

Chicken Sexer

Sorts through baby chicks to determine if they are male or female, and then segregate them. The chicken sexer puts the chicken hatchlings on the appropriate track early, enabling those chickens to receive optimal nourishment for their likely commercial role from an early age.

Wrinkle Chaser
The person that irons wrinkles from shoes as they are being made to ensure they are perfectly smooth when you buy them.

Inserts stays (bones or steels) into prepared pockets of woman's foundation garments, such as corsets and brassieres.

Cowpunchers herd, castrate and brand cattle. When you get bored castrating cattle, you get to repair fences, watering troughs and do other maintenance work on the ranch.

Card Dealer

If you like to play cards, are manually dexterous, and hate working a 9-to-5 day, you have the qualifications for a casino card dealer. Contrary to the stereotyped shady gambler myth, casinos prefer to hire responsible people, train them carefully, and pay them middle-class incomes. Gambling is a business, and dealers are business representatives. One ex-bank teller started dealing blackjack as the result of a Las Vegas vacation. "Dealing," she says, "is like bank work. You handle money and you're on your feet all day. But the pay is better, the atmosphere is exciting, and the hours are flexible." Where to apply? Las Vegas. Or Reno. Or anywhere else that gambling is legal.

Top Screw
Supervises cowboys --called screws.

Weed Farmer
Grows weeds for sale to universities and chemical companies to be used in herbicide research.

Celluloid Trimmer
A Celluloid Trimmer shaves down a golf club and then adds celluloid bands onto the golf clubs to make the leather grip stay in place.

Chimney Sweep

Sweeps are respected professionals in Europe, with an official uniform--black funeral suits, top hats, and turban--that reflects the romantic image of the trade. Sweden's sweeps (both men and women) must serve a 2-year apprenticeship before being licensed to practice. The occupation is almost nonexistent in the U.S., but one Southern California sweep, formerly in the beauty supply business, charges $25 per 1 1/2-to-2-hour cleaning job and plans eventually to have sweeps all over Los Angeles working for him. "Chimneys in Southern California are terribly neglected," he says. "There are just no sweeps to clean them."

Sets up and operates a closed-die forging machine that expands the ends of hot metal bars.

Egg smeller
Smells eggs agter they are broken open to check for spoilage.

Pillowcase turner
Turns pillowcases right side out and stretches mterial to remove wrinkles.

Easter bunny
Impersonates Easter bunny to promote sales activity in retail stores, at conventions at conventions and exhibits, hospitals and private parties.

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