The 3 Strangest Jobs in the World

Rear view of a woman with her mother

By Peter Swanson

Sometimes job hunting can make you pine for careers you never considered before. Six months of rejection emails can get you thinking, "Maybe I'll just join the circus." And despite what your mother thinks, that's actually not the worst or most far-out job you could take. If you think you've got it weird at work, there's a whole world of strange jobs waiting for you. We found some really weird ones, and maybe you'll be inspired to find the career you never knew you wanted.

Inspired by the collections already online, we rounded up some of what we thought were the truly strangest jobs you can hold these days. If you're looking for a real challenge: find the college degree that best gets you prepared for each one!

1. Professional Cuddler

If you're looking for a job that gets you close to your customers, then look no further than the, er, cuddling industry. Professional cuddlers, as it were, are people who quite literally cuddle their paying customers on an hourly basis. It's a mostly in-home solo service that provides emotional intimacy for clients.

Sounds like a lot of wasted time? This exposé on the world of professional cuddling by Micshows that it is indeed lucrative: one pro cuddle-bug reported $80/hour rates, while another service boasted bringing in $100,000 per year. Yes, over $8K, every month, for snuggling.

If physical touch is your thing, you may have found your niche.

2. Professional Pusher

Sure, mom can be a nudge from time to time, but even the pushiest parents are no match for Japan's Oshiya. They are effectively professional pushers: people who are meant to corral passengers on to the busy, over-packed subways around Tokyo.

According to CNN, these workers don white gloves and uniforms, and expertly pack even the fullest subway car to capacity, ensuring that as many people as possible can catch their train on time. Thankfully, Thrillist was able to dig up a video of them in action.

3. Professional Smeller

Alas, no country — not even China — is immune to wonky health crazes. And this may be the king of them all: according to an article by Gizmodo, there are real people in China who are making roughly $50,000 each year by smelling and analyzing human flatulence.

The idea is that, much like a good sommelier, these expert noses can dissect the finer notes of bodily gasses to determine health issues that could arise in the patient. This author will kindly stick to the annual checkup with his MD.

Originally published