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Nicole Lapin: Unusual Jobs That Pay Surprisingly Well

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Looking to change careers or use your skill set in a new way to make more money? Financial Expert Nicole Lapin stopped by today with helpful tips on 5 unusual jobs that pay surprisingly well.

1. Embalmer
Average pay: $45,060 a year
Education qualifications: College-level biology and anatomy classes; cosmetology classes preferred but not required
Skills requirements: Hair/makeup styling; a strong stomach!
Job resources: American Society of Embalmers: www.amsocembalmers.org

Maybe you're into doing makeup and hairstyling, but what about for those who have passed? Embalmers are in charge of the sanitization, presentation and preservation of human remains to make them suitable for public display at a funeral. Sounds a little creepy, but it will get you hair and makeup experience-without dealing with high maintenance customers. Just like any art or science, an understanding of the physical body as well as its outward appearance is important for this job, so I'd recommend brushing up on a few biology and anatomy classes at your local community college. You can also check out the American society of embalmers  website for tutorials and conferences in your area. If you can stomach the creep factor, there is definitely money to be made here. And, hey, you could have a valuable impact on someone's beloved, which isn't a bad thing either!

 

2. Ice Cream Taster
Average pay: $56,000 a year
Education qualifications: College-level food science and/or nutrition classes; experience in ice cream shop or manufacturer
Skills requirements: A clean, healthy palate.
Job resources: Start with listings at local university or teaching hospital.

Do you find yourself spending lots of dough on sweets? Well in this case, the sweets are paying you! Typically, an ice-cream taster has a degree in food science or nutrition. They spend their days devising new chemical concoctions and flavor concepts for the public. And you'll save money on your grocery bills, too: You'll be full by your lunch break, having already tasted around thirty-one ice-cream flavors! After taking your food science and nutrition classes (try a seminar at your local community college for a few hundred bucks-it's worth it!), get some real life scooping experience in an ice cream shop. This will give you a better feel for what customers like, as well as the physical qualities-hello, taste and texture!-of the product. And be sure to keep your tasting abilities objective by avoiding spicy foods and alcohol, which can damage your palate's sensitivity.

 

3. Body-Part Model
Average pay: $55,000 or more/year
Education qualifications: No degree required
Skills requirements: Awareness of body and light positioning; familiarity with major ad campaigns in desired field; clean, remarkably symmetrical, well-groomed body parts and appendages; portfolio of work
Job resources: www.hiredhandsmodels.com

When you hear the term "model," you probably think of the beautiful people in magazines or on runways. Maybe you don't have the total package (hey, we can't all be 6-feet tall!) but you have a particular body part that's model material, like beautiful hands or perfectly proportioned feet. There are actually up to 250 body parts people get paid to model. Body part models are needed to model things such as watches, hand creams, pantyhose or shoes. Tear out the "body part only" ads from your favorite magazines and practice the body positioning. Then have a friend take a few body shots; like with any modeling gig, you'll need them for your portfolio! Offer your services to local or family businesses to add some advertising shots to your portfolio, and then try hired hands models  for body-part specific jobs in your area.

 

4. Voice-Over Artist
Average pay: $50,000 to $80,000 per year, depending on level of experience
Education qualifications: No degree required, but background in English preferred
Skills requirements: Awareness of inflection, pronunciation, and clear diction; speed-reading and memorization skills help; demo tape of recording samples
Job resources: www.voice123.com

Experienced professionals who do voice-overs for television, radio or movies can earn $300 for 5 minutes of finished audio work, according to dailyfinance.Com  Sounds like some easy cash, right? In the past, the sound of your voice was the most important factor for this job, but now it's actually how well you can you read copy, get a point across, relate a feeling, and nail it the first time. Basically, if you can read and articulate your words well, you don't need a movie star voice to land this high-paying position. Get some practice by volunteering at a local recording bank, like learning ally  which records textbooks and other educational tools for the hearing impaired. Then check out voice123.Com to record a demo and check out local work listings. Gone are the days of strict studio work; some jobs will now let you record right from your home computer, meaning less time and money spent commuting to gigs.

 

5. Mystery Shopper
Average pay: $20-$30 dollars per assignment, plus perks
Education qualifications: No degree required
Skills requirements: Background in retail and/or merchandising preferred
Job resources: www.shopperscritique.com

If shopping and fine dining are your thing, you should check out this job. Instead of blowing all your cash on fancy clothes and the latest restaurants, you can actually get paid to try them out on the sly. Mystery shoppers are hired by companies such as shopperscritique.Com to pose as customers and go to stores to report on the quality of the service provided. You can stand to receive coupons, special offers, even free swag. And better yet, if your assignment is at a restaurant, you eat for free!

Fun Facts About Nicole Lapin:

  • She is known for being an anchor on CNBC and CNN Live who regularly appeared on CNN Headline News, CNN, and CNN International.
  • Lapin founded the girls guide to finance called Recessionista, which served as the inspiration show on Ora TV, Carlos Slim and Larry King's network.
  • She became interested in journalism while watching coverage of the Gulf War on CNN, which her parents barred her from watching due to "the perceived negativity and carnage."
  • She joined CNN in May 2006, becoming one of the youngest anchors in the network's history.

(Source: Wikipedia)

You can follow Nicole on Twitter: @NicoleLapin

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