This week is National Careers Week, where the importance of good careers education in schools and colleges is promoted across the UK.
However, for those who are already working and didn’t follow a clear path like degree to internship or apprenticeship to job, a ‘career’ can seem unachievable. So, we thought it would be good to share some weird, but also some wonderfully accessible careers that don’t require you to have a degree or enter a very low-paid training programme.
These vacancies are unlikely to crop up on job boards regularly, nor are they roles you’re likely to search for, but it’s interesting to know such weird jobs exist!
Drying paint watcher
For one man, watching paint dry is exactly what he’d rather do – or did. In an old online article, mainstream news sites such as the Daily Mail told of how Keith Jackson was paid to assess the drying time of industrial paint. Other online articles claim that you can get paid more than £30,000 for noting colour changes and drying times of various paints.
If you have nimble hands and can work fast, then the British Poultry Council pays £40,000 a year to those who are able to check the gender of chicks so they can be reared appropriately – for meat or eggs. We’re not sure it offers much variety, but if you get your playlist sorted, that could help pass the time while you examine more than one million chicks a year.
Box set binger
If you love movies and box sets, then you’d love a job as a professional viewer. Netflix has been employing people to watch and feedback on their original series before being released for public consumption for some time. Earlier this year, NowTV advertised for a similar role which was paying an attractive annual salary of £35,000.
Apparently, people who have better things to do than standing in a queue are willing to pay up to £20 per hour for someone else to do it for them. It makes sense if that person gets paid more than £20 per hour and really wants whatever is at the end of the queue, but for the person queuing, they need to have patience and enjoy their own company.
In 2013, travel agent First Choice employed a 22-year-old from Leeds to test waterslides. It doesn’t seem other companies have followed suit, but it would certainly be a great job for a thrill-seeker, and one who likes to travel.
Wonderfully accessible careers
Whether you choose to work your way up or train on the job, these career options offer reasonable starting salaries and aren’t dependent on you already having specific qualifications
You often have to pass a series of aptitude and physical tests, but there are no formal education requirements if you want to become a police officer or fire fighter. Starting trainee salaries are between £19,500 and £23,000 and career prospects are brilliant.
Becoming a paramedic is a little trickier. If you don’t have a degree in paramedic science, there are a handful of student paramedic courses available which require you to have at least 5 GCSEs at grade C or above (including Science) and they usually pay salaries of £18,000+ while you train.
Whether you deliver goods or people, if you have a clean driving licence and like the idea of being out and about rather than stuck in an office or factory, then a driving job could be a great choice. How much you can earn is often determined by how many journeys you do or deliveries you make, but with extra driving qualifications and permits, you could boost your income and earn more than £35,000 per year.
If you’re organised, patient and have great people and communication skills, then there are tonnes of opportunities in customer service-led roles that can quickly lead to promotion. These can be phone-based or face-to-face and often require no qualifications. Entry-level jobs pay around £18,000 per year, with the option to earn more with overtime, but you can expect to double that as a Customer Service Manager.
Perfect for people who are motivated by money and can sell ice to Eskimos. Sales roles offer low starting salaries, but if you can hit and exceed targets, then commission can quadruple your take-home pay. These types of jobs suit a particular type of person, but if that’s you, it could be the perfect career choice.
You might think that domestic work is dirty work and that cleaners and gardeners don’t get paid all that much. However, butlers and house managers can earn substantial salaries with the right employer and if you go down the self-employed route, you could charge more than £20 per hour for things like ironing and dog walking!
Start your career search here
We may not recruit for theme park ride testers or the emergency services, but we definitely have suitable vacancies for those looking for long-term career opportunities. Search our latest jobs here.