When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Did you achieve your dream? If that’s got you thinking about a career change, you may want to look to the Land of the Rising Sun because in Japan there are some unusual employment opportunities available. From human dog food testers to bad smell specialists, we’ve found seven surprising jobs for you to consider.
1. Dog Food Tester
How far would you go to show your love for pooches? If you’d go as far as testing their food to ensure they’re eating right and getting a tasty meal at the same time, then this is the job for you.
Estimated income: 10,000 yen – 20,000 yen a day.
2. Vinegar Sommelier
Mitsuyasu Uchibori is Japan’s premier vinegar specialist, and he’s being touted as Japan’s first summelier (a pun on the Japanese word for vinegar, “su”). His qualifications for the job? Uchibori’s family has been making vinegar in the mountains of Gifu Prefecture for more than 130 years and his nose and palate have been trained to detect and distinguish various levels and notes of acidity.
Expected income: Unknown. Mr Uchibori is the first summelier in Japan and he’s keeping his cards close to his chest.
- International Hand Carrier
This is not the macabre job involving carrying human hands internationally, but rather the job of carrying things internationally by hand. From boxes to briefcases, secret documents and prized possessions can be delivered door-to-door anywhere in the world thanks to this special delivery service. The upside for workers? Free international travel! Although you may end up carrying a hand in a briefcase without knowing about it.
Expected income: 15,000 yen – 50,000 yen.
4. Insect breeder
Insect breeders are required for sales and research and can be expected to look after and rear all types of creepy-crawlies like cockroaches, flies, weevils, termites, and even blood-sucking bugs and dangerous beetles.
Expected income: 3 million yen – 5 million yen.
5. Bad Smell Specialist
Known officially as Olfactory Measurement Operators, this job actually requires national certification. As Japan is one of only a few countries to have a law applying to odours in the environment, known as the “Offensive Odor Control Law”, odour operators are required to find the source of bad odours and help ensure odour limits are maintained to safeguard residents. Currently, there are over 2,000 Olfactory Measurement Operators in Japan.
Expected Income: 2.5 million yen to 5 million yen.
6. Shoe Fitter
Shoe fitters are expected to be all-round experts when it comes to footwear, giving advice on a wide range of topics from choice of shoes to the walking style of adults and children. In Japan, shoe fitters are divided into three grades – Primary, Bachelor and Master, according to their level of qualification.
Expected annual income: 3.9 million yen – 10 million yen.
7. Wedding Ceremony Attendee
What do you do when you only have a few close friends but you want the church overflowing with guests on your wedding day? The answer is simple – you rent a guest! Companies offering this service are becoming more widespread throughout Japan, with “guests” available to give speeches, help out at the reception desk, and stand in as friends and co-workers.
Expected income: 5,000 yen per wedding, plus you’ll receive food and wedding gifts for free.