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Scary ways to make money

Scary ways to make money
You don't need Halloween to know that there are many scary ways to make money out there. Some are obvious; bomb disposal expert, steeplejack and any armed forces.
But others aren’t so clear. Did you know, more people are afraid of public speaking than they are of cancer? And what about being a professional mourner? So long as you're not spooked by graveyards, you're OK, but it's not for everyone!
Here's our round-up of scary ways to make money.

Bomb disposal expert

There's no denying that defusing a bomb makes for great edge-of-the-seat entertainment. When did you last watch an action film that didn't have the classic ticking time bomb, red-wire-or-green-wire scenario forming part of its climatic scenes?
However, being a real-life bomb disposal expert is hardly as glamorous as Hollywood makes it out to be. Heroic, for sure. But that whole process of choosing the right wire on gut feel? Not by a long shot!
Kim Hughes, a British Warrant Officer who diffused no less than seven Taliban bombs with his bare hands in a single day, shared a few truths about his profession with The Telegraph, highlighting the fact that following the Standard Operating Procedure is central to your and everyone else's safety. He also said that, while you may have disposed of hundreds of bombs successfully, you never know which will be the one that blows you up. Not a fun KPI to have in your job description.
In the private sector you can earn up to £60,000 a year in the UK and £100,000 outside the UK.

Professional mourner

Oddly enough, there’s already a market here for professional mourners in the UK. Many ‘mourner’ rental services will have full-time staff who all attend the funerals of strangers for different reasons. While the idea might seem unfamiliar, it is an idea that people are willing to consider.
What's so scary about all of this, though? Well, it could be terrifying for people who:
Have social anxiety - a great deal of social skill is required to be a professional mourner - it’s essential to be able to engage with fellow mourners and be part of the occasion.
Suffer from necrophobia or thanatophobia - at a funeral you'll be confronted with mortality - your own and that of others. If you're afraid of either dead or dying people (necrophobia), or the thought of your own death (thanatophobia), this job will leave you a wreck.
Suffer from tristophobia - the fear of sorrow or sadness.
However, if you're comfortable in your skin and don't have any phobias related to your own or anyone else's transience or tears, you could expect to earn between £60 and £90 a day.

Armed forces, police, firefighters, paramedic

At one point or another, every child dreams about growing up to be the 'good guy': a police officer, a firefighter, a paramedic or a soldier normally being the professions that best suit this bill. It's easy to understand why - these are the people who save lives, fight for justice and keep things orderly.
However, each of these jobs also has a serious dark side: long hours, too-close-for-comfort interactions with criminals, natural disasters, dark nights, blood, bullets, fire and high expectations from others, just to mention a few.
If all of this sounds more exciting than it does scary, you may be the perfect person for the job. Here's a round-up of the type of annual starting salary you can expect from each, according to Prospects:
  • Police officer - starting salary £21,402 
  • Firefighter - starting salary £24,191 – rising to £32,224 upon full training 
  • Paramedic - £25,655 to £31,534 
  • Armed forces - starting salary around £28,000

Public speaker

Known as glossophobia, the fear of speaking in public can be a real stumbling block for anyone with hopes of following one of these careers:
  • Teacher Professor 
  • News anchor 
  • Actor 
  • Politician 
  • Motivational speaker 
  • Advocate 
  • Judge 
  • Sports referees 
  • Auctioneer
But if you've got the guts to stand in front of countless people and say what you've got to say, one of these could be the career for you!


Never heard of the term before? Well, steeplejacks are the brave fellows who scale buildings, chimneys and church spires to carry out repairs and do general maintenance work.
To do their jobs, steeplejacks are often required to confidently construct and navigate scaffolding dozens of metres above the ground and dangle precariously from abseil ropes, bosun's chairs, or access cradles.
Daily tasks may include:
·       painting jobs
·       installing lightning conductors
·       repairing or demolishing old chimneys
·       fitting aircraft warning lights onto skyscrapers
·       repairing roof glass
While all of this may sound thrilling to some, it would be an absolute nightmare for anyone with even an inkling of acrophobia. If you fall (maybe wrong word choice!) into the former group and want to give steeplejacking a bash, you can expect to earn up to £35,000 per annum.

Crime scene cleaner

Just about as grizzly as it gets, crime scene cleaners are routinely called in to deal with the sorts of messes the rest of us don't even want to think about. While it may seem as simple as arriving with a mop and bucket to scrub away a few unsightly stains, the job is technical, requiring skills as diverse as the safe removal of bio-hazardous material, assisting in trauma counselling of survivors, family members and witnesses, knowing the rules of police investigations inside out.
If blood, guts, awful smells and being on call at unexpected hours doesn't scare you - but the thought of wearing a police uniform daily puts you off - this might just be for you. Salaries range from £26,000 to £60,000 a year.

Snake handler

Even though these slithery reptiles are hardly a commonplace occurrence around here, snakes still inspire an almost primal fear in many of us. But not all of us.
Although it may seem unbelievable that there are actual people out there who don't suffer from ophidiophobia. The proof is in the many hundreds of snake handlers and keepers enjoying every moment of their jobs at zoos, parks and reptile shows out there.
Depending on where you work and the type of danger you put yourself in daily, snake handlers can earn a salary of anything between £16,000 and £30,000 a year. Possibly even more.


Apart from the obvious fear of being stung by a hundred buzzing insects all at once, beekeeping could also prove to be a challenge for another surprising reason: trypophobia.
People who suffer from this phobia have an acute aversion to the sight of small holes or bumps all clustered together. Now, can you image what peering into a beehive daily will do to them?
Nonetheless, it could prove to be a rather lucrative pastime, as beekeepers have been known to earn up to £30,000 a year.

Deep sea saturation diver

Saturation divers are highly skilled artisans who can work up to 2,000 feet below the surface of the ocean. Their jobs mostly revolve around the intervention, installation and decommissioning of oil tankers.
Before descending into the ocean depths, divers spend up to a month in a pressurised chambers at the surface to prepare their bodies for the shock.
All in all, a pretty uncomfortable profession, but with earnings ranging between £120 and £1,000 a day, we can see why people will put themselves through the trauma.


Compared to almost all the jobs listed above, being a salesperson hardly seems scary, now does it?
Yet having to convince strangers to buy products can only be a nightmare for anyone with a severe fear of rejection or who suffers from social anxiety.
But maybe after reading about all the other scary jobs, you might just feel more confident to give this one a go - after all, it could be worse!
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Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.