Work & Career
The Strangest Job in Every State
When they asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up, you probably didn’t say “beach gang boss” or “grain sampler.” But what if it turns out that was what you were meant to do? Here are the states where you can perform these truly “odd” jobs.
How we determined the list
Not long ago, the website 24/7 Wall St. reviewed job listing sites, online databases, and occupation data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to identify the weirdest job or job opening in every state. Curious, we checked it out, only to find ourselves wondering: Are these really the weirdest jobs out there? We did a bit of digging, and sure enough, we found all of these strange jobs, one for each state, many of which were hiring in the not-too-distant past.
Alabama: Singing fudge-maker
“Do you want to have fun AND get paid?” asks the Indeed job-posting for The Fudgery, an ice cream and frozen yogurt store in Foley. “The Fudgery is looking for FUN, LOUD, HIGH ENERGY, salespeople, candy makers, and shift leaders [who can sing].” If you fit that extremely specific job description, then head on over to The Fudgery and get ready to “throw your fudge in the air like you just don’t care.” Don’t miss the strangest roadside attraction in Alabama… and all 50 states.
Alaska: Beach gang boss
Ever dreamed of living on the remote Kodiak Island in Alaska and being the “Beach Gang Boss” for the local salmon cannery? Well, this was a real opportunity at Larsen Bay Salmon Cannery, where your responsibilities would include:
- operating fish pumps (whatever that means)
- building, managing, and creating and executing a training program for dock crew
- dealing with the Coast Guard vis a vis oil spills, etc.
According to the Indeed job listing, candidates had to be willing to work 16 hour days up to seven days a week and not mind working around loud machinery and moving mechanical parts.
Arizona: Scorpion sweeper
We ain’t afraid of no… scorpions? Arizona-centric pest-removal company, Scorpion Sweepers, is looking for the scorpion equivalent of a Ghost Buster to go out at night, hunt down (using Ultra Violet Light), and remove scorpions from people’s properties. “Depending on performance Sweepers can continue working for years,” the job listing boasts. Must know scorpions and the Sonoran Desert. See if you can guess which now famous actor held the position of “armadillo murderer” in his youth.
Arkansas: Blending manager
Martin Resource Management Corporation, an independent provider of marketing and distribution of fuel oil, asphalt, sulfuric acid, diesel fuel, and high-quality naphthenic lubricants, employs a “Blending Manager,” whose job it is to work with the on-site chemist to oversee all blending operations, including maintaining the integrity of all blended products, and overseeing all junior blenders.
“The High Note is a vertically integrated seed-to-sale cannabis enterprise which operates licensed dispensaries in the Los Angeles area,” and it’s looking for its next “budtender” (marijuana has been made legal in California). “The High Note’s budtender will be a friendly canna-whiz who will help our customers understand, select and purchase our full offering of cannabis products, including flower, concentrates, edibles and topicals.” Please be knowledgable about “bud,” as well as friendly and compassionate. Never knew you could get paid to be a budtender? Here are 12 other really cool jobs you probably didn’t know exist.
Colorado: Hot tub technician
Did you know your hot tub is harboring all kinds of dirty, germy stuff? That’s why states like Colorado, which have a lot of ski resorts, are always in need of hot tub technicians. In fact, Summit Hot Tubs in Breckenridge is looking for a full-time hot tub technician, and the benefits include ski passes.
Connecticut: Seasonal oystercatcher steward
The National Audobon Society looks for technicians who will be responsible for aiding the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection in monitoring and stewarding oystercatchers, a waterbird that is indigenous to the Connecticut shoreline. This job is seasonal, from April 1 through November 15.
Delaware: Meat smoker
The meat smoker is the “unsung hero of this show we call BBQ,” writes Wilmington’s Limestone BBQ and Bourbon, a Delaware restaurant specializing in—you guessed it—barbecue and bourbon. “If we don’t have the smoked meat—we can’t sell the BBQ. The Smoker is responsible for the smoking of the meats as directed by the Pit Boss in the wee hours of the morning for the current day.” Well, someone’s gotta do it. If this sounds appealing to you, you’ll want to check out these 10 really strange food jobs you won’t believe exist.
Florida: Comic grader
If you’re super into comic books and looking to parlay that passion into a career, you’ll want to consider this unique job in Florida: comic grader with the Certified Guaranty Company, a service that assesses the value of comic books and comic-related collectibles.
Georgia: Herpetology field researcher
The Jones Center of Ichauway had a listing for a herpetology field researcher to assist in the Center’s ongoing studies of reptile communities, with a particular focus on ecological concerns. If you’re an expert in reptiles, this could be the job for you. Did you know that venomous snakes and these other animals are illegal to keep as pets?
Hawaii: Battleship Missouri tour guide
World War II history buffs know that it was on the deck of the USS Battleship Missouri that the Japanese officially surrendered to the Allied Forces in September of 1945. And someone has to tell the story to visitors to the “Battleship Mo’,” which sits docked at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. That’s where this job comes in. “The goal of the position is to provide visitors an educational, insightful, and fun experience as they learn about the historical importance of the Battleship Missouri Memorial, a world-class museum,” the job posting states.
Idaho: Ranch massage therapist
At the Red Horse Mountain Ranch, you’re not just an ordinary massage therapist. You’ll also become a specialist in “the perfect sheet tuck” in the resort’s cabins, saddling up the horses at the barn, and helping the resort guests “Reconnect to the Important Things of a Life Well-Lived.” Be assured whoever gets hired will be playing “a very fulfilling role in that.”
Illinois: Thinning-hair hair model
You’ll never have to lament that you’re losing hair now that there’s officially a job market out there for thinning-hair hair models. Sam’s Beauty, an online beauty retailer based in Illinois, was recently looking for men and women with thinning hair to model hair extensions, wigs, and the like for photographs, presumably to be displayed online and in stores.
Indiana: Hypnotist’s Assistant
Who knew one could get paid to assist a performing hypnotist on stage? Well, there was an opportunity to do just that. For this particular Indiana-based professional hypnotist, the assistant’s responsibilities include setting up equipment, videotaping the performance, and fielding questions from the audience. Before you seek out more information, you’ll want to check out these completely crazy things that have actually happened during hypnosis.
Iowa: Hydroblast technician
“Hydroblasting [using highly pressurized water to clean stuff] is a challenging and dirty job but filled with opportunities for advancement,” according to the Indeed job listing. “Hydroblasting requires you to be willing to travel and be open to learning new skills. If you are someone who enjoys a challenge and wants to experience something new and exciting, hydroblasting may be the career path for you.”
Kansas: Experienced tree climber
Who knew you could get paid for climbing trees? But if you’re really good at that sort of thing, and you don’t mind doing it with a clipper in hand or occasionally doing so with the aid of a bucket truck, then there might be a job waiting for you in Merriam, Kansas.
Kentucky: Distillery Tour Guide
Bourbon aficionados know that Kentucky is the birthplace of bourbon and the source of 95 percent of the world’s bourbon supply. So if you’re interested in sharing your passion for all bourbon-related knowledge, then there’s no better place in the world. Specifically, the Barton 1792 Distillery is seeking a tour guide to lead “lead accurate, informative and fun tours” and otherwise provide exceptional customer service to visitors to the distillery.
Louisiana: Experienced psychic
If you’ve got psychic powers, you might want to consider taking them to Louisiana to make your fortune. It’s famous for its haunted spots like the LaLaurie Mansion, and generally speaking, it’s a state that’s as steeped in the paranormal as it is in its chickory coffee. Just take a look at Indeed, and you’ll see some promising job listings for psychics. Lots of growth opportunity and the pay is seriously good. Just have at least three years of experience. Don’t scoff at the field—these 13 mysteries were actually solved by psychics.
Maine: Lobster warehouse worker
Maine is known for its lobsters—and for its wealth of opportunities for those interested in the lobster business. Take this one, for example, loading lobster into crates, unloading crates of lobster, sorting lobster, and delivering lobster. If you can lift 50 to 100 pounds and love the idea of working with lobsters, then check out this job listing.
Maryland: Guinness beer brewer
Yes, Guinness beer is associated with the Emerald Isle, but in 2018, Guinness opened its first U.S. brewery in 60 years in Maryland. There are lots of opportunities connected with the Baltimore-area business, including this one, for an “experienced, creative, solutions-oriented brewer with a deep passion for beer” and a desire to “create new world-class beers from scratch…for the Guinness brand.”
Massachusetts: Seasonal harbormaster
There’s very little danger of a Boston Tea Party these days, but that doesn’t mean the job of Harbormaster is any less important in the Boston area’s busy maritime hub. If you’d like to get a taste of it, this job is seasonal—from April to Labor Day.
Michigan: Medical marijuana consultant
Although Michigan has legalized recreational marijuana, selling medical marijuana requires a specific set of knowledge and skills. This particular job calls for someone to assist patients with finding the proper marijuana products to help treat what ails them and requires a strong knowledge of Michigan’s Marijuana program and of cannabis, its concentrates, and its use in edibles. Find out high paying jobs that aren’t for everyone.
Minnesota: PR manager for the Weird Sh*t Art Show
Weird jobs don’t get much weirder than doing PR for Minneapolis’s Weird Sh*t Art Show. The show is an annual festival featuring 100+ artists, vendors, sponsors, and draws attendances of up to 1,000 people. How weird is the Weird Sh*t Art Show? Well, unlike Austin, Texas, Minneapolis isn’t known for its weirdness, so virtually anything “weird” in Minneapolis is going to seem very weird in Minneapolis.
Mississippi: Bird’s nest protector
As part of the Audubon Mississippi Coastal Bird Stewardship Program, this job is officially referred to as “Anchor Steward,” but what it consists of is helping to protect bird nesting sites from the threat of human disturbance. And that includes assisting in the installation of “symbolic” fencing around nesting bird colonies.
Missouri: Part-time grain sampler
The Missouri Department of Agriculture was hiring a grain sampler for its night shift. The job involves obtaining and inspecting rail cars, barges, trucks, and other grain carriers for leaks, odors, and infestation. Whoever got this job should have the ability to perceive distinctions in grain color and odor. Here are more of the weirdest jobs you had no idea you could apply for.
Montana: Jurassic Quest event staffer
Montana (along with Wyoming and the Dakotas) is considered “ground zero” for paleontological discoveries in the United States, which means if you’re into dinosaurs, fossils, and, well, dinosaur fossils, and looking for a way to turn it into a career, you’ll want to consider working for Jurassic Quest the next time they have an active opening, a “traveling animatronic dinosaur exhibit,” which currently has an opening on its event staff. Responsibilities include greeting guests, telling stories, and assisting kids at the “excavation station.”
Nebraska: Drone operator/photographer
Where better to operate a drone than in a state known for its vast open skies? Nebraska has some sweet drone operator opportunities for those who have a drone license or a desire to get one, including this one at Next Door Photos.
Nevada: Jousting stunt performer
It’s not just card-dealers and bodyguards who are in high demand in Nevada. There are also quite a few interesting opportunities for those who wish to make a career in the performing arts. But one particularly unique Nevada job is as a stunt performer for a Las Vegas-based medieval-themed jousting show, Tournament of Kings. Only physically fit men need apply for this particular job, according to the listing on Indeed. Find out how 10 people found their dream jobs—and how you can, too.
New Hampshire: Fire alarm lead technician
If you aren’t afraid of heights or tight spaces, this job installing and maintaining fire alarms could be the gig for you. That is if you can lift up to 40 pounds, have three to five years experience in the fire protection industry, and live in the Hudson area.
New Jersey: Taste tester
Clearly, the state which has the most diners—on the planet—and which brought us Taylor Ham, salt water taffy, and the Jersey Joe, is serious about food. So is there a better place to get paid to be a food taste tester? This particular job requires not only a discerning palate but the ability to vividly describe how food tastes. Anyone who doesn’t have a huge appetite need not apply since it also requires “extensive tasting of large quantities of product.” Surprisingly, taste tester is not among these bizarre royal jobs that actually exist.
New Mexico: Hot air balloon chaser
A hot air balloon chaser’s primary responsibility is to follow hot air balloons around from the ground in order to help the balloon pilot and any guests to return to home base once a balloon tour is finished. Those who hope to be hot air balloon chasers should embrace physical activities like running and packing and unpacking equipment. They should also not be afraid to “get a little dirty,” at least if they want to work for Albuquerque’s Rainbow Ryders hot air balloon company, which recently placed an ad for a hot air balloon chaser that suggested that the person who gets the job will “rise above the rest.” If you want one of these jobs, you better move quick—they’re likely to be extinct within the next decade.
New York: Glasshouse specialist
Anyone with a knack for preserving and repairing glasshouses may feel the relevant job opportunities are limited, but not so in New York, where the New York Botanical Garden’s glasshouses are often in need of glasshouse specialists for maintenance and upkeep.
North Carolina: Boat builder
With North Carolina’s impressive coastline, it’s not surprising there’s a job market for boat builders. Hubert’s Winter Custom Yachts was looking for a whole bunch of experienced boat builders to fill multiple positions in hull construction, interior construction, fiberglass lamination, and parts construction. But they’re also willing to train enthusiastic newbies.
North Dakota: Potato grader
For those who really “get” what a quality potato is, this is the dream job for you in North Dakota, which ranks fourth in the nation in potato production. Those who wish to develop a career in potato grading should be prepared to sample lots of potatoes and have the ability to differentiate between different shades of beige and brown.
Ohio: Poison ivy control worker
In the landscaping industry, there are few careers that are quite so specialized as poison ivy control work. Those who wish to become poison ivy control workers for this Columbus-based poison ivy control company recently looking to hire on Indeed, must be able to identify poison ivy and other problem-plants, have great customer service skills, a general “respect for nature,” and have a license for doing this type of work.
If you live in the Sooner State, are experienced in handling livestock, capable of doing hard physical labor, and are willing to shower daily (seriously, that’s what the job listing says), it might be worth considering the herdsman position that was offered by Smithfield Foods. Tasks include farm sanitation, animal removal, and animal movement as well as the operation of farm equipment.
Oregon: Canvas stretcher
Love art and stretching canvas? Then you’re the perfect fit for this unique job in Portland. “We have several different stretching machines and look for productivity to be about ten per hour on average. Previous experience with high volume stretching is a plus.”
Pennsylvania: “Bubbly” bubble tea maker
Sugar Monkey Bubble Tea and Lemonade, based in North Huntingdon was seeking “FUN, OUTGOING, RESPONSIBLE, WELL PRESENTED and VERY AMBITIOUS individuals with bubbly (no pun intended) personality to work vendor shows, sporting events, etc. at all different locations and time frames throughout the year,” per the listing on Indeed. Also, please have food handling experience as well as the ability to set up and tear down kiosks. Just don’t make the mistake of drinking too much of the product—bubble tea isn’t exactly health food.
Rhode Island: Shucker
Legal Sea Foods is looking for shuckers—to shuck shellfish for its raw bar station and, not surprisingly, there’s an opportunity in Rhode Island, which is known for its maritime-centric economy. “Looking for a fresh opportunity?” management asks in its job listing on Indeed, begging the question, “pun intended?”
South Carolina: Ring spinning
The job posting basically reads like an instruction manual as to how to be a ring spinner, so if you don’t know how to do it, no worries. The job entails working with bobbins, spindles, and yarn—and while that might sound relaxing, note that you will be expected to stand for long periods of time and walk long distances daily.
South Dakota: Wildlife predator controller
This government job that’s fairly exclusive to the western agriculturally-driven states is not only strange but quite unpopular among conservationists. The primary responsibility of a wildlife predator controller, aka Wildlife Damage Management Specialist, is to “remove” wildlife that prey on livestock (like coyotes) and property (like beavers). It’s not entirely clear what “remove” means, but the Indeed job listing for this Bison, South Dakota position suggests that the best candidates will have experience with using “snares, live traps, M-44 devices…and shooting center-fire rifles to remove predators.”
Tennessee: Axe host
If you’re not afraid of splitting wood and are the life of the party wherever you go, then you’ll want to check out this unique opportunity to become a host at Class Axe Throwing in Madison. The exciting thing about this job is that you don’t have to have any experience axe-throwing. In fact, you don’t even have to know what axe-throwing is. Class Axe is willing to train newbies.
Texas: Work for the Museum of Weird
Austin is committed to “staying weird,” and so when it comes to weird jobs, it makes sense to pound the pavement in Austin. And it doesn’t get weirder than working for Austin’s Museum of Weird, which was looking for sales associates as well as tour guides. If this sounds like your ideal gig, you’ll also want to check out these other weird museums you never knew existed.
Utah: Pet cemetery caretaker
Pet cemeteries are becoming increasingly popular, but they’re still pretty much a novelty, so you won’t find a lot of opportunities like this one at Angels Rest in Utah, which describes itself as a “beautiful final resting place for our dearly departed furry and feathered loves ones. Far from depressing, it’s truly a place of healing.” Angels Rest is looking for a kind and compassionate caretaker with excellent organization and people skills.
Vermont: Overnight sleeper
Want to get paid to sleep in a nursing home? You can do that in Ascutney, where one such home was seeking individuals to sleep-in from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. The job literally entails primarily sleeping (and the occasional emergency wake-up), as there are other staff members who are paid to be awake during the night shift.
Virginia: Colonial Williamsburg Escape Room interpreter
If you’re passionate about colonial American history, then you’ve probably been to Colonial Williamsburg. But did you know they’ve started up an Escape Room (a fairly new live-action participation entertainment phenomenon that challenges people to solve puzzles in order to make their escape), and they’re looking for actors/interpreters to provide guests with “engaging experiences, memorable interactions and exceptional guest service” while performing as an 18th century character. Check out the most historic landmark in each state—we’re guessing the Escape Room didn’t make the list.
Washington: Freelance grave tender
Cemeteries require caretaking, so that’s not what’s unusual about this position with Heaven’s Maid, which is based in Seattle but offers its grave-tending services in 45 states. What’s unusual is that it’s freelance, so whoever took the job will be “on call” to tend to graves for families who can’t make it to the cemetery themselves. “We are looking for individuals that don’t mind going to cemeteries,” this job posting states. Get a leg up on the competition by learning the oldest cemetery in every state.
West Virginia: Mystery hole tour guide
It’s not that being a tour guide is so unusual. What’s unusual here is being a tour guide for this incredibly unusual place, Mystery Hole, a roadside attraction that purports to defy the laws of gravity with balls and even water that flow upward. Don’t miss these other kitschy and completely strange roadside attractions, one for each state.
Wisconsin: Cemetery lettering technician
There are lots of jobs around the country for those who don’t mind, or who would even enjoy, working in cemeteries. But it seems that only in Wisconsin is there a demand for those with a talent for sandblasting final dates and inscriptions on granite memorials that have already been placed in the cemetery. And right now there’s only one such position that’s open and seeking applicants.
Wyoming: Underage tobacco purchaser
Here’s a job for kids who haven’t yet turned 18 and who really want to help crack down on the sale of tobacco to minors. The federal government has contracted with ISN, a Wyoming company, to run non-confrontational compliance checks on tobacco vendors in order to ascertain which of them are knowingly flouting the law by selling to minors. Kids who want to get into this line of work must have ID showing their real age as between 16 and 17 years, a strong work ethic, and plenty of “free time to complete assigned inspections,” the recent Indeed job listing noted. Need to make some cold hard cash? Consider these quick ways to make money.