14 Dream Jobs You Never Knew Existed
There are several standard dream jobs that just about everyone covets — we’ve all had the urge to become an astronaut, a photographer, an actor and a marine biologist at one time in our lives (admit it). But what about jumping on mattresses or rappelling off wind turbines? If you’re thirsty for a new fantasy job, wet your whistle with these 14 obscure dream careers.
1. Panda Nanny
Sadly, this position isn’t available at the moment, but for a few brief months earlier this year, panda-loving hopefuls had a chance to apply for a job as a panda cub caretaker at the Giant Panda Protection and Research Center in China’s Sichuan province. According to China Daily, the job pays 200,000 yuan (the equivalent of about $32,000) a year; panda nannies are also provided with free meals, free housing and an SUV for their personal use. Normally, this job would be done by volunteers, says Fast Company, but the center wanted to increase global awareness of panda conservation.
“Your work has only one mission: spending 365 days with the pandas and sharing in their joys and sorrows,” said organizers of the campaign.
So what’s necessary to be a panda cub caretaker? You have to be at least 22 years old, have good writing skills, the ability to take pictures and “some basic knowledge of pandas.”
2. Feng Shui Consultant
Feng Shui, otherwise known as the ancient Chinese art of focusing the flow of energy in a space to promote health and wellness, can be practiced just about anywhere. Feng Shui consultants work with color, lighting and organization, according to About.com, and apparently can be self-taught, although formal certification does exist. If you dream of getting paid to reorganize other people’s personal space, Feng Shui is calling your name.
3. Tropical Island Caretaker
In 2009, British man Ben Southall made thousands of people worldwide nearly drop dead with envy when he was declared the temporary caretaker of Great Barrier Reef Island. Southall won the six-month job — created to promote tourism in Queensland — over almost 35,000 applicants. His responsibilities included swimming, snorkeling, relaxing and blogging.
4. Waterslide Tester
Last year, British university student Seb Smith landed a six-month job as a waterslide tester for SplashWorld Resorts. Owned by vacation brand First Choice, SplashWorld resorts and their accompanying water parks are situated all around the world, according to ABC News; Smith got to fly to places like Majorca and Turkey to test slides and flumes for things like “biggest splash” and “adrenaline factor.”
5. Fake Facebook Maker
This one really depends on what your definition of “dream job” is; however, if all you want in life is to work from home, be bothered by no one and make money doing something incredibly easy, then fake Facebooking might just be your dream job. According to About’s job searching section, some companies are willing to pay for extra likes on Facebook, or, if you’re willing to be creepy, individuals sometimes pay for fake girlfriends and boyfriends.
6. Drone Photographer
Due to the increasing availability and advanced technology of microdrones, photographers can now get amazing aerial shots while keeping their feet firmly on the ground. Models like this little Phantom 2 Vision copter even have a built-in camera of their own, allowing photographers to be a combination of pilot and artist.
7. Mattress Jumper
Professional mattress jumper Reuben Reyoso says that jumping on mattresses is not a game, according to SFGate; he doesn’t jump on mattresses in order to test their bounciness, but rather to compress the 28 layers of cotton batting that go into a handmade mattress at the McRoskey mattress factory. However, this doesn’t mean there aren’t thousands of people out there who would kill to get paid for jumping on mattresses every day.
8. Chocolate Taster
Many of the coolest jobs are surprisingly hard to get; chocolate tasting is one of them. Becoming a chocolatier and/or chocolate taster often requires a degree in chemistry or food science; it also requires a lot of working with chocolate and eating chocolate, which sounds pretty awesome.
9. Professional Lounger
According to Bustle, professional loungers get paid to test furniture, sometimes testing up to 200 pieces in a day. Aside from the part where you have to get up and moving from couch to couch and chair to chair, this sounds like the perfect job for everyone’s inner couch potato.
Let’s be honest: Even if all they’re doing is making lamps and decorative figurines, glassblowers get to use blowpipes to shape blobs of molten glass, and that’s insanely cool. Plus, glassblowers in the big leagues get to make amazing things like stained glass and octopus figurines.
11. Wind Turbine Technician
Wind turbine technicians often attend two-year technical schools, followed by 12 months of on-the-job training provided by employers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. After this, they get to climb wind turbines for inspection and repairs; oftentimes, they must rappel down to whatever part of the turbine blade needs servicing, making this a dream job for outdoorsmen and climbers.
Apiarists, also known as beekeepers, get to wear creepy white suits and hats with veils. They also get to maintain hives, recapture swarms of bees, grow special plants for the bees to feed on and open up beehives to harvest honey. Plus, they get to charge exorbitant prices for honey afterward.
This movie industry job may have a name that sounds like it belongs on a golf course, but, says the Huffington Post, a greensman is actually in charge of all plant material on a film set. Huge gardens, alien planets, tropical jungles… as a greensman, you can embrace your inner gardener and go wild with plants.
14. Parabolic Expert
Parabolic experts train people in how to handle a microgravity environment — basically, they get to be astronauts without going to space. In a profile of parabolic expert Tim Bailey, Wired describes his work environment: An aircraft that goes up and down at steep angles to create a weightless environment. Like in space!