What Can They Teach You About Your Aspirations?

Customer service representative… technical support specialist… administrative assistant… snore! Are you tired of empty job titles that just don’t get you out of bed in the morning? From banana gassing to wrinkle chasing, check out 10 of the most unusual jobs you’ve never heard of and stimulate some fascinating career field exploration.

Unusual Job #1: Ice Cream Taster
John Harrison has the most delicious job in the business. As Official Ice Cream Taster for Dreyers Ice Cream (not to be confused with Breyers), John gets paid to sample three cartons of each flavor daily to check product quality. He claims the gig isn’t all fun and games since he must maintain a strict, spice-free diet; however, being surrounded by Rocky Road sounds like a sweet deal nonetheless.
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Unusual Job #2: Hair Simulation Supervisor
Believe it or not, those proficient in the art of creating 3-D hair are hot commodities in the world of animation. Just ask Mark Thomas Henne, the man responsible for every follicle flip in Pixar’s CGI blockbuster, ‘The Incredibles.’ According to Nathan Pieratt, Director of the Online Animation Program at Westwood College, the industry has shifted from 2-D design to 3-D digital media, giving rise to highly specific jobs. “This industry is huge,” Pieratt says. “Students are blown away by how hard it is and how exciting it is, too.”
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Unusual Job #3: Palliative Care Technician
A cross between M.D.s and hospice workers, palliative care technicians ameliorate symptoms, but don’t cure disease for terminally ill patients. On top of medical training, technicians must be prepared to handle the legal, psychological, and ethical issues associated with death. Online courses like the End of Life Issues Program at the University of South Florida provide medical professionals with background to help patients and families cope with grief.
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Unusual Job #4: Banana Gasser
Less flatulent than it sounds, banana gassers finish off what Mother Nature started. To make sure the bottom of your split is tasty, bananas are shipped while they’re still green to prevent bruising. Gassers for the JFC Fruit Company are in charge of moving new shipments into hermetically sealed chambers where the fruit is sprayed with an ethylene gas to catalyze ripening. According to the company Web site, trained gassers use the computer program “Probe” to determine how much gas should be applied and for how long. The process can take anywhere from three to eight days, after which bananas hit grocery store shelves yellow and ready to be eaten. Bon appetite!
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Unusual Job #5: Fire Scientist
Specializing in experiments involving flame, fire scientists do everything from checking gas pipe leaks to blowing things up. Grads from the University of Maryland’s University College online fire science program not only learn the science behind smithereens,but are also trained in emergency management and arson investigation.
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