To provide inspiration to those dissatisfied with their conventional, nine-to-five desk jobs, Bloomberg Businessweek profiles hard-working professionals who earn livings in the most unusual ways.

Photograph by DreamPictures/Getty Images

To provide inspiration to those dissatisfied with their conventional, nine-to-five desk jobs, Bloomberg Businessweek profiles hard-working professionals who earn livings in the most unusual ways.

Photograph by DreamPictures/Getty Images

Odd Jobs: From Space Travel Agents to Professional Mermaids

Doctors and Lawyers Need Not Apply
Doctors and Lawyers Need Not Apply

To provide inspiration to those dissatisfied with their conventional, nine-to-five desk jobs, Bloomberg Businessweek profiles hard-working professionals who earn livings in the most unusual ways.

Photograph by DreamPictures/Getty Images
Odd Jobs: Sky Writing
Odd Jobs: Sky Writing
Suzanne Asbury-Oliver and Steve Oliver, a husband-and-wife team of scribbling pilots, recount their adventures working for clients from PepsiCo (PEP) to Cindy Sheehan.
Odd Jobs: Beverage Flavor Scientist
Odd Jobs: Beverage Flavor Scientist

You may not enjoy Flavorman’s Fish Taco and Canned Ham sodas, but you can’t say flavor scientist David Dafoe didn’t get it exactly right.

Odd Jobs: Professional Balloon Twister
Odd Jobs: Professional Balloon Twister
Todd Neufeld is America’s most popular artist of latex and helium.
Odd Jobs: Private Monkey Trainer
Odd Jobs: Private Monkey Trainer
Lisa Whiteaker has risked life and limb to train 6,700 privately owned monkeys.
Odd Jobs: Car Cup-Holder Designer
Odd Jobs: Car Cup-Holder Designer

For the past 12 years, Chris Shinouskis’s job has been to make sure your beverage doesn’t spill.

Odd Jobs: Luxury Porta Potty Attendant
Odd Jobs: Luxury Porta Potty Attendant
Marvin Hyer Jr. has one of the worst jobs on the planet. But he’s not complaining.
Odd Jobs: Turning Your Ashes Into a Vinyl Record
Odd Jobs: Turning Your Ashes Into a Vinyl Record

And Vinyly (rhymes with “And Finally”) brings new meaning to the phrase “spinning in your grave.”

Odd Jobs: Space Travel Agent
Odd Jobs: Space Travel Agent

After booking flights for 30 years as a successful travel agent, Craig Curran turned to the stars.

Odd Jobs: This Clown Will Make You Pregnant
Odd Jobs: This Clown Will Make You Pregnant
Medical clowns—think Patch Adams without a doctorate—seem to be especially useful during the in vitro fertilization process.
Odd Jobs: White House Chimney Sweep
Odd Jobs: White House Chimney Sweep
Jeff Schmittinger has been at it for 19 years and hasn’t been paid a dime.
Odd Jobs: Prosthetic Dog-Testicle Maker
Odd Jobs: Prosthetic Dog-Testicle Maker

Gregg Miller’s implants offer neutered dogs an emotional Band-Aid for a procedure that “adds insult to injury.”

Odd Jobs: Burlesque Danger Artist
Odd Jobs: Burlesque Danger Artist
Tonya Kay routinely puts her life and limbs on the line in the name of entertainment.
Odd Jobs: Professional Dog-Poop Remover
Odd Jobs: Professional Dog-Poop Remover

As it becomes accepted to bring your pets to work—or unacceptable to clean up after them at home—DoodyCalls provides an ever-more-essential service.

Odd Jobs: Professional Mermaid
Odd Jobs: Professional Mermaid

It might seem easy to glide around underwater, smiling at tourists. It can be arduous, chilly work.

Odd Jobs: Convention Masseuse
Odd Jobs: Convention Masseuse

Tucked away at trade shows, the convention masseuse tries to create calm in an environment that’s anything but relaxing.

Odd Jobs: Animal Colorist
Odd Jobs: Animal Colorist

Where did the movie zebra get its stripes? There’s a good chance Rose Ordile painted them on.