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11 jobs beyond the familiar

Jobs beyond the familiar - woman holding pencil sketch looking out into the distance

It’s always interesting to learn about careers you’ve never thought about, and if you don’t know they exist or what they’re even called, you might miss out on the perfect job. Here are 11 jobs that might be a bit beyond what you’re familiar with – could they be worth exploring in more depth? Let’s take a look.


Stevedores are the people responsible for the loading and unloading of cargo on ships at ports and rivers. They’re essential to maintain port productivity and play an important role keeping the international supply chain going. It can be hard work, but these days you’ll also get to work with heaps of cool machinery to help you get the job done.

Urban bat tracker

Bats aren’t exactly the most popular animals (especially in the last few years), but their populations are a good indicator of environmental health. So when they’ve been displaced from their natural habitats and end up in cities, there’s a lot of information these species can provide. Usually with a background in biology, urban bat trackers map bat flight paths and behaviour, and contribute to research that’s vital for urban ecosystem conservation.


Not just masters of making wigs, wigologists are specialists in the care and maintenance of all kinds of wigs. They carry out repairs, cleaning, colouring, and even creating new designs and styles using different techniques and materials. You might find yourself working on TV and film sets, as a costume maker for a theatre company, or even providing services through a hair salon.

Picture hanging specialist

These professionals spend their days hanging pictures, paintings, and other art objects in museums, galleries, hotels, corporate offices, and other venues. The work of these trained art handlers is very important when it comes to professional artwork installation, and their services are often in-demand. They might even work with architects and interior designers to complete smaller custom projects.

Hand pollinator and harvester

Certain types of plants (saffron, vanilla, or orchids, for example) have a small window of time for pollination and harvesting – sometimes as little as just a few days each year. So farmers need to employ specialists to control the pollination process, resulting in consistent blooms and higher yields. Hand pollinators and harvesters have to be fast, delicate, and highly trained.

Pine cone gatherers

Working in sustainable forestry, pine cone gatherers – you guessed it – collect pine cones. Why? They send them to tree planters to germinate and plant for the next generation of timber. You may get paid based on how much you pick, experienced gatherers can fill up to two and a half five gallon buckets per hour. Like any kind of fruit or veggie picking, you’ll need to be hardy and prepared to get your hands dirty.


A caulker is a skilled worker who seals joints or openings to make them water or airtight using caulking materials and other sealants. They can work in the construction and shipping industries, sealing up windows, doors, and roofs. So the next time you travel on a boat and it doesn’t fill with water, make sure to thank a caulker.

Forensic odontologist

Because teeth often stay remarkably in-tact after death, forensic odontologists are most commonly need to help identify victims of crime or their perpetrators by comparing dental records with human remains and bite marks. You’ll most likely be working with law enforcement, laboratory technicians, medical examiners, and other dental professionals. This job definitely isn’t for the faint of heart.


Here we’re referring to the British version of a haberdasher. These merchants used to sell all the little bits and pieces for custom-made outfits – think things like buttons, pins, thread, ribbons, and zips. While they still exist today, they’re certainly not as common, and they’re often known by other names (like outfitter, tailor, modiste, stylist, or seamstress).


Flavourists (or flavour chemists) blend essential oils, botanical extracts, and essences to create natural flavourings. They also use chemistry to engineer artificial flavours for a variety of foods, beverages, and other products. You’ll probably need an advanced degree in chemistry or biochemistry, and it can be competitive work, but if you have sublime taste, it could be perfect for you.

Interested in exploring other jobs?

If these more unusual jobs aren’t quite for you, head to our Job Spotlights page to read more about lots of other different careers in detail.


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