10 Surprisingly Profitable Careers

The world of work is changing. Workers all around the world are asking their employers for more than just a living wage, but for a challenging and stimulating workplace too, whilst others have simply stopped asking.

They are out there forging a way for themselves in quirky and novel careers. If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut at work, then read on to find out about 10 surprisingly profitable career options that you could use for inspiration.

  1. Professional Gambler

These two words might seem like somewhat of an oxymoron but, if done right, gambling can provide you with a lucrative income stream. The world of professional gambling is a lot more than simply having a flutter on your favorite games though.

It’s a serious, intense side hustle that requires hard work, nerves and plenty of study. It’s swapping those tedious spreadsheets for tedious blackjack charts, it’s substituting that tough chat with your boss for a tough examination of your finances but it’s also swapping the tedium of regular work for freedom.

The Pay: Done right, you can expect to earn anywhere up to around $27,000 in your first year as a professional gambler. Done wrong, you can lose everything.

  1. Cleaning

You might initially turn your nose up at this career path, thinking of cleaning as a part-time job your Mum used to do when you were growing up. You’d be wrong to do so though, because cleaning businesses are thriving.


Professionals are officially too busy to clean, and with families enjoying more disposable income than ever before there is money to be made for those willing to go in and clean residential properties.

The Pay: The average base salary for a professional house cleaner is $16.96/hour, giving you a healthy annual income of over $35,000 if you work full-time.

  1. Chief Listening Officer

Do you spend an inordinate amount of time on social media? If you do, you could be well suited to a career doing just that. As a chief listening officer, you will be employed by a brand to monitor the public discourse about their products on social media.

If a product is getting rave reviews, it’s up to you to feed that back to your employers. Likewise, if something is kicking up a storm online, you need to be able to step in and let the company know.

The Pay: The average salary of a chief listening officer in the US as of May 2022 is $80,081 per year.

  1. Golf Ball Diver

Looking for a really quirky job that you can do on your own? Look no further because this job has you covered. Millions of golf balls are lost from courses every year, so much so that people are investing in diving gear to retrieve the lost balls from lakes and rivers.

The second hand balls are then sold on for a profit, so if you like the open water and golf this is the job for you!

The Pay: Pay typically depends on the number of balls retrieved – anecdotal information suggests a high of around $200 per day.

  1. Billboard Installer

If you’re okay with heights and don’t mind being the center of attention, then a career in installing billboards could be just right for you. With no education requirements and on-the-job training offered, anyone with the right attitude can excel in this role.

The billboard industry is expected to grow by 6% in the next decade too so there’s money in it as well.

The Pay: The US average wage for a billboard installer is $60,655 a year.

  1. Online Dating Ghostwriter

Ever tried to find love on an online dating app and struggled with your profile? What if I were to tell you that you could pay someone to write you a snappy, appealing introduction that would guarantee you matches?

Or that you could be paid to do just that. It’s not that hard to get into either; just set up a freelance account online and you could be started in as little as 10 minutes

The Pay: If you’re good and a witty writer, expect to receive between $13 and $30 per hour.

  1. Voice-over Artist

Fancy yourself as a good impressionist? Or do you have one of those voices that makes everything you say sound like good, honest advice? If you do, there could be money to be made providing voice-overs for adverts.

The Pay: If you have a good voice, you can make up to $250,000 a year as a voice-over artist, while the base average salary in the US is $31.50/hour

  1. Computer Hacker

No, it’s not a job that’s going to wind you up in prison, even if it sounds like it will. If you have the ability to hack, then there are companies out there that need your talents.

They’ll use you to make sure that their systems are safe and secure whilst you look for areas of weakness.

The Pay: The median salary for a Certified Ethical Hacker is $168,948, with top earners reaching $786,676 every year!

  1. Private Investigator

Fancy yourself as the next Sherlock Holmes or Agatha Christie? Do you surprise yourself with how quickly you can find out about someone’s life from their social media? If the answer to any of those questions is ‘yes’ then you could put your skills to use as a private investigator.


One job could see you completing a background check on a potential employee for a company whereas the next could see you trailing a suspicious spouse!

The Pay: An average of $23.56 per hour.

  1. Arboriculturist

You’ve heard of a tree surgeon but what about a tree doctor? Someone needs to go out and inspect trees to monitor their health and condition. That’s what you would be doing on a daily basis if you were an Arboriculturist.

It’s not just health and condition reports you’d help with either, you’d also be brought in as an advisor in planning applications as your expertise on how to look after trees and safeguard them would be vital.

The Pay: A good Arboriculturist can earn up to $53,000 per year.

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