10 cool jobs you probably never thought of

Lou-anne Daniels

10 ways to relieve stress while waiting for your matric results

If you're finishing matric but are not interested in tertiary studies you're probably job hunting right now.

Perhaps the idea of being stuck in an office environment or a formal workplace with set hours does not appeal to you. In that case, it's time to think outside the box.

There are a number of really great jobs out there that you may never even have heard about. Yes, these are real jobs in South Africa.

1. Tagger

If you love watching TV and fancy a job where you get paid to sit around watching movies and TV shows all day this is your dream job. As a tagger, you help decide which categories content fall into by assigning "tags" or keywords to shows. Broadcasters use the tags to help suggest additional shows to customers based on their viewer history.

2. Personal shopper

Imagine being paid to shop! Okay, it's for someone else, but still. Your core function is to keep your client's wardrobe up-to-date with the latest fashion. A number of model agencies and fashion brands offer basic courses for personal shoppers. Usually, personal shoppers with no experience can start out earning around R200 per hour. While this sounds like a lot of money, you have to remember that your success depends on how good you are at interpreting the client's style and needs.

3. Golf ball diver

Well someone has to fish out all those balls from the water hazards on golf courses! The job requires you to be in peak physical condition because you have to dive into dams and lakes wearing scuba gear. It also entails heavy lifting and of course hauling all the recovered golf balls back to the clubhouse. Remember though, that you have to be an excellent swimmer.

4. Chocolatier

A chocoholic's dream come true. Spend your days making chocolate of all types. Chocolatiers are highly skilled and usually train for a number of years to perfect their craft. They can work for an established studio under the tutelage of a master chocolatier or start their own business offering handmade sweet treats. Designers are constantly experimenting with edible fashion and chocolate is no exception - you could combine your love for chocolate with your passion for fashion and develop your own candy couture. There's loads of money to be made supplying the restaurant and catering industry, but the possibilities are endless.

5. Crime scene cleaner

Here's a job you won't see advertised in your local newspaper. If you're squeamish, don't even think about this as a career option. After the crime scene technicians and the coroner have done their bit and the body is removed, someone has to get rid of the bloody mess that is left behind. That's where professional crime scene cleaners come in. No training is needed and usually, the forensics experts recommend a cleaner to the property owner based on their past experience of the person's work.

6. Aid worker

There are a number of voluntary as well as paid jobs in this sector depending on the organisation you decide to join. An aid worker usually assists communities in dire need of basics such as medical care, education and training. What you earn depends on what your qualifications are and where you are based. Foreign aid work can be dangerous but it can also be extremely rewarding if you're looking for a job where you can serve others less fortunate than yourself.

7. Make-up artist in the TV and film industry

A professionally trained make-up artist can write their own paycheck and mingle with the stars while doing so! The film industry in South Africa is rapidly expanding and that means that there's a demand for skilled artists. Be warned that this is definitely not a 9-5 job though. There are many reputable companies where you can train as a make-up artist, and a number of them offer earn-while-you-learn opportunities.

8. Greenkeeper/groundsman

If you're the outdoorsy type, then a job maintaining sports fields, golf courses, gardens and greens will be right up your alley. This is a year-round job and you'll find yourself at the mercy of the weather gods. While a horticulture degree or diploma is preferred it is not essential, as many companies offer inhouse training. Earnings depend on whether you opt for formal employment or set yourself up as a service provider on a contract basis.

9. Au pair

I know! You've heard all the horror stories about slave labour and bosses from hell. BUT there are great au pair opportunities available for young people, and you don't have to leave South Africa to land one of these jobs. Many professionals want a young, trustworthy person who will ferry their children between school and extramural activities, take them on outings or to schoolmates' parties. You do need a driver's licence and loads of patience. This job is extremely rewarding but requires dedication and great interpersonal skills.

10. Furniture tester

Work for large furniture manufacturers testing the comfort, durability and safety of their designs. Imagine spending your days comparing the pros and cons of armchairs, couches, mattresses and more. These jobs are not easy to come by but they pay really well and could be an interesting conversation piece when meeting new people.