Your mother always said that you were different. That’s why she never let you play with the other kids, or let you stay out past 9 PM until you were 20, and because of that you may have become a socially awkward and emotionally crippled mess. You’ve grown to learn that different isn’t always good, but did you ever think it could be profitable? Tune in and find out how some people took advantage of their own uniqueness and are now making big bucks:
Crime Scene Cleaner
People love shows like CSI, NCIS, and Monk, probably because they have some sick justice fantasy. Anyway, it’s always really cool to see how real-life detectives work. Who knew that your man juice turns blue under a black light? Woo, science!
But what happens after the investigators leave? What happens to the splattered brains, severed limbs, and random chunks of people? All the glory and spunk of guys like Sherlock Holmes and Leroy Jethro Gibbs vanishes, and all that’s left is what used to be a human being. That’s where crime scene cleaners come in. Like extreme housemaids, they tidy everything up so that there isn’t a dead body on Main St. for the rest of eternity. They mop up the blood and gore, sweep up everything that doesn’t count as evidence, and clean up possible health hazards (toxic chemicals, gasoline, your mom et cetera).
Wow, that’s really damn disgusting. But it might just be worth it: expect to make $100-$600/hr ($35K/yr that turns into $80K after a few promotions) in this business for all the crime scenes you clean up (and let’s face it, there is no shortage of murder in today’s world). However, most of the time you’ll probably be on call because criminals do whatever they want, when they want. You might have an irregular sleep schedule, which might affect your social and family life. But that’ll be the least of your worries. You won’t sleep anyway because of all the nightmares.
World of Warcraft Player
Salary: At least $70,000 (estimated)
Making virtual dough is no new phenomenon: People have been using real money to buy and sell online goods pretty much since the advent of the civilian Internet with online gambling, games like Second Life, online tutoring, etc. Blizzard’s World of Warcraft is a prime example of virtual commerce: Not only does the company charge a usage fee, but members can also earn cash by playing the game. There are two main ways to make real world money in WoW: power leveling and trading.
Trading in World of Warcraft (and similar MMORPGs) is no joke. These markets are vast, complex, and have actual exchange rates and cycles, just like the real-world stock market. Players use gold found from mining to buy in-game assets, trade them, and in return get real-life profit (or bankruptcy).
Power leveling is when a player or company plays hours upon hours, building up skill and progressing in rank. Once his character’s level is enough, the player can sell it online for great profit—online services can sell high-level characters for as much as $3,000 and as “little” as $300, depending on the class, particular traits, etc. Online retailer eBay used to be a popular medium for WoW users to sell their high level characters, but the site has since banned the practice for reasons explained later in this article.
Some players may be too “busy” (read: lazy/incompetent) to spend so much time and effort on actually playing the game. Lucky for them, a few smart WoW addicts have created a business of helping them achieve what they could only dream of! There are dozens of companies that provide 24/7 professional power leveling for your character: prices start at “just” $330 to level from level 1 to 90 in just one week. How long would it take you, the average person? CNET reports that the average time to complete that feat is in the 300-700 hour range. For “normal” people who work full time or are students, this equates to an eternity.
As a professional WoW player, be prepared to face trolls and assholes in your daily grind. There is a very negative stigma against power leveling in the MMORPG community, and this might also extend to those who provide the service. For miners, beware of scam artists and cheats, just like in real world business. Imagine how mad you’d be after all your gold was swindled away!
Also be prepared to face potential litigation: Blizzard, the developer of the game, has made professional power leveling and related services punishable by account termination. If you’re found to be engaged in the practice, your client (or you yourself) could see hours of work and hundreds of dollars gone down the drain.
Are legal action and scam artists not extreme enough for you? In May 2011, several Chinese prison guards were reprimanded for raking in $800 to $900 a day in the game (no, they were not executed at dawn for violating communist principles against free trade). The action itself wasn’t the issue. Rather, it was the method: The guards were reportedly forcing prisoners to mine gold in World of Warcraft for 12-hour shifts in the most modern concentration work camp ever.
Airplane Repo Man
Salary: At least $100,000 (estimated)
So, did you make too much money in World of Warcraft and buy yourself 3 tons of potato chips, a gold toilet, and an airplane? Falling behind on payments because your poor ass never learned how credit works? Fear not, the airplane repo man is here! (Just kidding, you might as well kiss that sweet Cessna goodbye)
Airplane repossession is a recently developed industry that arose after the decline of commercial airline flight due to 9/11 as well as the 2008 US economic recession. Basically, airplane repo men track down airplanes that haven’t been paid for on time, commandeer them (like bank-employed James Bonds), and fly them away to be auctioned off.
Sound fun? Sound easy? Guess again. Airplane repo men, like all repo men, face many dangers and challenges, and have to work on a very dynamic schedule. They have to actually chase these planes down while they are still in use, deal with angry clients, and then fly the planes back, often solo. And these angry clients are not just miffed, they’re angry: One repo man report being chased through a hangar by a lady with a huge rake, being hunted by African warlords, and even being imprisoned for just doing his job. Not fun.
But the death threats and prison fun might be worth it for you! Expect to take 6% to 10% of the total resale value of the plane. While 6-10% doesn’t sound like too much, remember that these are airplanes, not your “priceless” collection of empty Doritos bags. Each one is worth anywhere from the hundreds of thousands into the millions. A little of a lot is still a lot, i.e. anywhere from $10,000 to $900,000 for each plane. Multiply this rate by the 10-30 planes a year you’ll be repossessing, and you have yourself some real moolah.
Porta-Potty Business Owner
If you’ve been to any major public event ever, you’ll notice that there are usually porta-potties placed strategically around the venue. This is no coincidence, nor is this magic: entrepreneurs know what people want, and in this case, entrepreneurs know that people sometimes have to shit really badly.
While you were crapping your lungs out after 15 chili dogs and a side of jalapeno nachos, these porta-potty CEOs were raking in fat, fat cash: up to $100,000 a year. You can laugh at that, but when’s the last time you made 6 figures from your “shitty” (heh) job?
So, what are the dangers involved with this job? Poop-invoked vomiting inside, just the social stigma. Sure, being a CEO of a company that moves poop around may be funny to your friends, but what of the rest of the world? Will girls really want to date the CEO of Poop Scoopers, Inc. versus a Goldman-Sachs senior analyst? The job’s a little weird, but you’ll be fine as long as you don’t travel back in time to pre-colonial India (jobs that dealt with poop were relegated to the lowest caste).
Golf Ball Diver
Your rich uncle Randy invited you and your buds to his private golf club to tee off. You don’t have a damn clue how to swing, but this is the only change in your life that you’ll ever use a platinum-plated diamond-encrusted nine-iron. You tee off and, unsurprisingly, it goes backwards and into a lake. Repeat for every hole, and the club owner escorts you out. So what’s he to do about all those lost balls? Well, he does the rich people thing and hires golf ball divers.
Yes, golf ball divers. No, you won’t be a goalie diving for balls at the edge of a lake, though that would be totally awesome. Instead, you don a diving suit and, as the job title suggests, find the balls at the bottom of the lake or ocean or lava pit or whatever.
While this sounds pretty fun, all nice things come with risks. Diving itself isn’t for everyone; drastic changes in pressure and the general darkness underwater has both psychological and health effects that are potentially life threatening. Mess up underwater, and you’ll probably stay there, which would suck because your article in the obituary would probably read “Rest In Peace (you): Died while fishing for old mens’ balls.”
However, thanks to modern technology, diving is generally safe if you know what you’re doing and you’re not a huge idiot. The risks might even be worth it for you: Golf ball divers make on average $50 per hour, which translates to $100K to $120K a year depending on how much you work and how good you are at fondling for balls in the wet darkness.
It’s 0300. You’re in an underground bunker in an undisclosed part of Finland. The external security cam footage on your computer shows the SWAT time kicking down your front door, just as you finish typing the last few lines of code that will grant you access to the Area 51 files. You pick up your Glock 17 and show the first cop in the head and—
Wake up. Sorry Eugene, but your mom says that your Poptarts are ready and you’ll be late for school, where Michael the quarterback will break your glasses again, just for the heck of it. You’re a nerd whose brain sucked all the nutrients from his penis, but you want to do something for the world. What does the future hold for you, besides Hot Pockets and free porn?
Meet the ethical hacking profession. As an ethical hacker, you’ll be asked to purposefully expose security holes in new software before it’s released to the public. You’ll try to think like a computer criminal, finding weaknesses and exploiting them before others can.
This is the 21st century: the information age. Everything in the world relies on computers. As such, software reliability and security are serious concerns for private companies as well as the governments of the world. Tremendous responsibility rests on your shoulders: if you miss one hole that another hacker could find, this could mean that a power grid shuts down, or millions of computers are infected with viruses, or maybe even that embarrassing video of you dancing to Japanese pop gets posted on the White House website. Can you take the heat?
Well, if you can, it’ll be worth it: ethical hackers make on average $120,000 a year. That’s enough to buy your way out of jail after inevitably exploiting your skills to actually hack the US Department of Defense database. Oops.
Love alcohol? Want to get paid for it? This job is for you! Sommeliers (also known in colloquial as wine snobs) have the lovely job of indulging in everything. Typical tasks include tasting wine, smelling it, analyzing it, and pairing it with the right dishes like filet mignon for maximum rich guy satisfaction. Yes, you actually get paid to eat fine cuisine and drink booze for sweet, sweet cash. You really can’t ask for anything better, except for maybe free blowjobs and massages to be thrown in the package.
But it does get better! This job isn’t just a cheap pretentious job that your friend Ricky does to sound fancy and sophisticated: average income for sommeliers is $160K. While you will need special training and education to get this job, the payoff is mad money and daily high roller luxury. Plus, you can show off to your friends at parties!
However, if wine is too sophisticated for coarse old you, you can also get a job as a beer taster. It has the same overall duty as a sommerlier, but your job will focus more on actually evaluating beers for their flavor, hop content and quality, etc. rather than how well they go with various dishes. Expect to be paid “only” $44,000 a year (which is pretty good for just drinking beer all day).
If you’ve outgrown the “woman in the kitchen” phase and finally learned to make your own damn sandwich, this job may be for you. Cooking is pretty fucking manly, especially if you’re doing it underwater in a military vessel. You’ve probably never done anything even 1% as cool as that.
As a cook in a submarine, prepare to run a race against the clock to feed hundreds of hungry sailors under great pressure, both physically and mentally. Mess up, and the whole crew is pissed and grumpy, and what happens when a submarine crew is pissed and grumpy? Accidents happen.
Obviously, this job is very important. While men do make the crew, the crew is useless without fuel, much like the submarine that they use. In history, wars have been lost due to food supply and quality: the cook is the silent hero behind all successes of man. That is awesome and glorious.
And apparently the military realizes this! As a submarine cook, be prepared to make $180,000 to $200,000 a year after 6 years. Yes, that is $180K to $200K, which is way more than anything else on this list. To put that salary in perspective, junior admirals make the same amount.
Sound good? Then go ahead and enlist to satisfy needy seamen!
Your first grade teacher always said that you could be anything you wanted. But who knew that “anything” could make big bucks? With a little creativity, hard work, and luck, you too, can roll in the big boys’ club with your weird and wacky skills. Able to summon vampires out of the ground? Know how to surf on a refrigerator? Have an uncanny skill of making plastic bottle houses? Do that shit and do it well. You are your own man, and your success is your product. Good luck!