Unusual Jobs That Pay Surprisingly High Salaries

underwater welder salary

We were often asked about our dream occupation when we were in school. However, as we grew up, graduated from university, reality sets in.

A couple of years in the job market and taking on more debt than wealth have many people second guessing their dream profession. Most school leavers decide on their tertiary courses based on peer pressure, trend and parents’ advice.

Do you know how much more you could have earned if you persevered to take up these unusual professions? Here are some of the five uncommon professions that rake in the cash!

Underwater welder

With the recent viral news about the lucrative income earned by underwater welders, this job not only brings in the money but also comes with big risks.

This highly specialised profession requires the person to carry out physically dangerous tasks while deep underwater in remote locations. However this mentally and physically taxing job can rake in over £71,000 a year (≈RM420,000)

Deep sea divers are often employed by the oil and gas industry  to carry out welding repairs and generally do any maintenance work needed on underwater structures like pipelines, oil rigs and ships.

Aircraft repossession specialist

In layman description, it’s airplane repo. This is another high risk job where the job description includes being held at gunpoint or thrown into a foreign country prison.

Aircraft repossessors can earn commissions equal to 6 to 10 percent of the resale price of a plane, which usually fetches millions of dollars. If you do the math, that means potentially earning almost a million dollars (≈RM4.6 million) per job. In fact, airplane repo rakes in anything from  US$20,000 to over US$3 million for each successfully completed job.

White hat hacker (ethical hacker)

Using their talent to ‘legally’ access confidential computer systems can be quite lucrative.  Being a cybergeek has it’s advantages in our increasingly digital world as governments and global companies have to constantly be on the lookout for online security breaches.

Top certified ethical hackers can command over US$100,000 (≈RM460,000) per year in base salaries alone. There are even certifications for those who want to pursue this career as a professional although they do not publicly advertise their services publicly for obvious reasons.

Puppeteer – Caroll Spinney (Big Bird from Sesame Street)

The actor who has played Big Bird for more than 40 years is building himself quite the nest egg with his 2012 earnings reported to be US$308,161 (over RM1 million).

With that sizeable income, Spinney is not even the highest paid muppeteer, with the highest paid being Joseph Mazzarino at US$792,229 (about RM2.6 million)!

Pro-gamer (professional eSport player)

Wish you can quit your day job and spend the whole day levelling up in an online game? Or enter some gaming tournaments and take home millions of ringgit? It’s not impossible.

In 2022, Singaporean gamer Koh, Daryl Pei Xiang raked in over US$215.8 million (≈ RM992,680). 22-year-old UK gamer Jake Brown found himself earning more than his parents after signing with German esports organisation Cowana. He told BBC in an interview that players in the professional circuit can take home 20,000 euros (≈ RM992,680) a month. Not bad for someone in their early twenties to take home that kind of pay!

Legendary professional gamer, Johnathan Wendel, also known by his screen name, Fatal1ty, had famously earned US$454,544.98 (that’s close to RM1.5 million!) from 35 tournaments in eight years!

Bored with your job and tired of your meagre pay? If you’re willing to ignore societies demands to pick up traditional job you might find the above options appealing to pave your way to becoming a millionaire!

This article was first published in August 2014 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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