What a way to make a living: 5 unusual jobs

The Momentum UK Team 31 March 2014

To mark the 15th anniversary of the National Minimum Wage this month, here at we’ve been busy talking all things work! While some of us see our careers as a means to an end, others are lucky enough to find their true calling. If you’re thinking of a career change, why not look into some of these weird and wonderful jobs? You never know, you may be able to tap into a talent you never knew you had…

Pet Food Taster

These days many pet food manufacturers employ human tasters to make sure their product is top quality - the thinking being that if it tastes bad to a person, it tastes bad to a pooch! Pet food tasters can have long and successful careers, with a few managing to find fame through their work; Simon Allison tastes pet food for Marks and Spencer, and regularly appears in the press. He says he’s trained his taste buds to recognise what our furry friends will and won’t like:

“I have trained my palate to look for materials that we will not allow in the recipe, such as tripe - pet owners react badly to the smell of tripe. I’m looking for a paté texture, almost to the point where you could spread it on crusty bread.”

…we’ll pass on that particular snack, thanks!

Dog Yoga Teacher

We promise you, this is an actual thing!

Dog Yoga - or “Doga” - involves a yoga class in which participants are encouraged to bring their dogs along, and incorporate them into the poses. As well as a small dog making a great set of weights for a human, yoga apparently has health benefits for dogs too! It also seems to be good for bonding between dog and owner.

Doga originated in Florida in 2001, when yoga teacher Suzi Teitelman noticed that her new puppy kept climbing onto the mat while she was practising. She started developing ways to add him into the postures, and eventually started teaching Doga in 2002. It’s now starting to take off in London, and people will pay a premium for it!

Professional Queuer

We’re all leading busier lives than ever, and some of us will go to extreme lengths to avoid waiting for things. If you’ve got a lot of spare time and need some extra income, you could consider becoming a professional queuer. Whether it’s queuing for the latest iPhone release, the best seats at a concert or Wimbledon tickets, you can be sure that there’s someone somewhere willing to pay you to wait in line for them. There are even recruitment companies dedicated to queuing; the American company says

“We provide persons to stand in line anywhere in the greater Washington DC area, and specialize in United States Congressional hearings and their respective committees as well as the US Supreme Court.”

Body Part Model

If you want the glamorous lifestyle and potential high earnings of modelling, but don’t think you have the required physique, have you thought about modelling a specific body part? Models are needed for hands, eyes, lips, legs, feet and more, so play to your strengths! Depending who they’re working for, body part models can earn anything from £500 to more than £3,000 a day! If you have beautiful hands but enjoy the occasional piece of cake, this could be the job for you.

Odour Judge

Think of products that are designed to make unpleasant things smell better. Have you ever wondered how the manufacturers know their product is really working? The answer is an odour judge. These are people with a particularly keen sense of smell, whose job it is to sniff things like deodorised armpits, cat litter and nappies, to make sure they’re effective. Odour judges go through rigorous training, and are tested monthly to make sure their senses are still accurate. If you can sniff out a sweaty person at fifty paces, this could be your calling!

Do you have an unusual job? Let us know on twitter @YourWealthUK!

Whatever your career and income, it’s important to keep track of your finances in order to plan for the future. Our Money Hub tool allows you to budget, track and grow your money in both the short and long term - why not try it free today?

Remember that on April the 6th, the Income Tax personal allowance threshold will increase to £10,000 - use our interactive salary calculator to work out how this will affect your take home pay.