Over 1,000 job titles are listed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, covering a broad range of industries ranging from healthcare to business to sales to social, life, and physical sciences. These various titles reflect the diverse needs of our culture. On a basic level, these needs include food, shelter, transportation, and clothing.
However, we also have other needs, such as the need for social interaction, attention, and physical contact. The rise of technology has opened many doors of communication, but it has also produced a level of isolation, since interactions by digital devices are more impersonal than human interactions.
Social networking also involves a high level of maintenance, and the more time people spend online, the less time they tend to have for real-world relationships. Ironically, studies show that despite the rise of social networking, and the opportunity to make countless contacts online, Americans report having 33 percent fewer friends than they did 20 years ago. In addition, life in the 21st century moves at a more rapid pace, which can also limit time for real-world social interactions.
As such, two of the occupations on the list of jobs that sound illegal but aren’t, are specifically designed to meet the needs of people who want or need a greater level of attention, and are prepared to pay for these services. These occupations capitalize on the desire of human beings to feel that they are wanted and special.
Two other effects of digital technology and globalization are increased competition and decreased security. A few bad Tweets can wreak havoc on a company’s reputation, so many businesses are taking a pro-active approach to counter these effects. In addition, storing and transmitting personal information online leaves consumers and businesses vulnerable to cyber attacks. Two of the other occupations on this list are deliberate attempts to thwart computer crimes and to gain a competitive edge. The final job on the list, although not related to digital technology, also represents the fast pace at which businesses need to move in order to remain competitive.
5 Professional Cuddler
While the title may sound questionable, the job itself is not illegal. Professional cuddlers have therapy sessions in which they actually snuggle with clients for extended periods of time. During these sessions, both the cuddler and the client are fully clothed, and there’s no sexual contact between the two. The length of the sessions is determined by the client’s pocketbook.
According to Laura Stampler of the Business Insider, one cuddler charges a $1 a minute, and makes an average of $260 a day. A double couple session, in which the client is cuddled by two professional cuddlers at the same time, is $2 a minute. Not surprisingly, there are no professional certifications required to be a professional cuddler.
4 Computer Hacker
According to General Keith Alexander of the Department of Defense’s U.S. Cyber Command Division, between 2009 and 2011, attacks on U.S. computers increased seventeen fold. And the December 2013 credit and debit card breach of 40 million Target customers is just one example of the widespread and expensive cybercrimes committed against businesses, consumers, and the Federal government. As a result, the NSA has started recruiting skilled hackers and is also partnering with a handful of schools - Dakota State, Tulsa, Northeastern, and the Naval Postgraduate School – to create cyber operations programs that train students in cyber warfare. However, self-trained hackers won’t be turned away – as long as they don’t have a criminal record.
The average annual income for computer hackers and other types of cyber security experts is $90,000.
3 Chick Sexer
Chick sexers are charged with determining the sex of newborn chicklets. The first question that comes to mind is, “Well, wouldn’t a chicken’s sex be obvious?” Yes, when they’re five or six weeks old. However, according to author Richard Horsey, commercial egg producers want to distinguish the sex of the chicks as soon as possible.
Since males cannot reproduce, they are killed almost instantly and their meat is sold to supermarkets and other poultry distributors. However, since females can reproduce, they are injected with hormones and given food that enhances growth and speeds up the process of producing eggs. Salaries for chick sexers range from $16,000 to $28,000 annually, and there are actually classes that teach this art form.
2 Phony Reviewer
It’s unethical, but not necessarily illegal for hired writers to post phony reviews praising a company’s services or products. Writers report making anywhere from $5 to $20 to write positive reviews for companies. In an interview with the New York Times, one freelance writer says she was paid $10 for each positive review she wrote for a major online retailer. While she says those writers were not explicitly instructed to provide a five-star review, they were asked to decline assignments for products reviews when they couldn’t give a five-star rating.
Some companies have even posted Craigslist ads offering up to $50 to those who write and post positive reviews about their companies. This practice is so prevalent, it has been estimated that at least 30 percent of reviews on the Internet are fake.
1 Shooter Girl
Most people know what shooter (or shot) girls, are, but the name would undoubtedly confuse some non-native English speakers. No, shot girls are not illegal gunslingers. A shot girl serves alcoholic beverages to patrons at bars, nightclubs, and other events. In some establishments, they only serve shots, hence the origin of the name, “shot girl.” However, some of them handle all of the alcohol and non-alcohol needs of patrons. In addition, some shot girls handle cash and credit card transactions, clean serving stations, and ensure that drinkers are of the legal age to consume alcohol products.
Shot girls need great customer service and interaction skills since it’s their job to persuade patrons to purchase shots. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, shot girls, who are usually young, attractive, and scantily-clad, can make anywhere from $300 to $600 a night. They receive 25 cents from every shot they sell, and the rest comes from tips.