Five Crazy Ways to Make Money

By - May 25, 2013

Here are four high-paying jobs you may not have considered, and a scheme to make money from your wedding. We start with something similar to a position I had when younger, then move on to pearl diving and other crazy ways to make money.

Airplane Repo Agent

I was a auto repossession agent when I was younger, and had a gun pulled on me more than once, so I know it can get a bit crazy. Now, you might think that repossessing airplanes instead of cars would be a more civilized affair, but this isn't necessarily true. According to an article on, airplane repo man Nick Popovich has, in the course of his work, spent time in a Haitian jail, and has had guns pointed at him more than once

How much can you make in this exciting/dangerous position? That, of course, depends on how good you are at it (and perhaps on how long you survive). The article from Forbes says that when working for banks that specialize in aircraft loans, and helping to resell the airplanes taken back, the profit can exceed $600,000 per plane. Perhaps the strategy here is to get good fast, make a few juicy repossessions, and then quit while you are ahead.

Pearl Diving

All of the diving careers require some training and certifications, but a career in pearl diving can be worth the time and money invested. According to the Australian company TUCF, their divers (who might be diving for pearls, working on oil rigs, or in any number of other positions) are covered by union rules, and so the pay is determined by previous agreements. It is about AUD $250 per day for "onshore casual pay rates," and much higher for offshore work. They say that pay starts around US $500 per day for overseas jobs.

Shot Girl

This is not a sexist title, but merely a description of the reality. You just don't see many men selling shots in night clubs. If you are a pretty woman in your 20s or so (and again this is just the reality of who gets hired and who makes the tips), you might excel at this job. Some places simply pay you your regular hourly wage while you collect tips from the customers. Other arrangements I have read about include a payment per shot sold, usually something like 25 cents each. These are not the usual shots you order at the bar, but things like Jello shots or other fancy concoctions (sometimes in test tubes) that typically sell for $2 to $4. Smile, sell the shots several at a time to groups of young men, and rake in the tips. Short shorts and revealing tops help. Some shot girls make hundreds of dollars per night doing this.

Submarine Cook

A recent article in the Daily Telegraph reports that in Australia the top cook on a submarine can make as much as $200,000 per year. Though the base pay is just under $60,000 annually, that's not the end of the matter. Because they are categorized as "individuals critical to the navy" the cooks get $50,000 annually just for showing up for work. Then there are the capability bonuses (up to $40,000) seagoing allowances (as much as $22,000) and submarine service allowances (around $26,000).

You'll have to cook three meals a day for as many as 60 people, and you'll be living in tight quarters for long stretches. This is another of the jobs you might work for a few years as a way to save some money before quitting.

Wedding Sponsorship

This is a new trend in the making; having a company sponsor your wedding in order to save or make money. It might seem like a crazy idea, but your wedding, especially if it is large, provides a great marketing opportunity, and there are companies who want to promote their products and services to your wedding guests. Now you could try to get sponsors on your own, but unless you know how to do it, this could be very difficult. Fortunately there are intermediaries who will set it all up for you.

For example,™ has "ready-and-waiting sponsors," and says that "Our customers are getting free engagement rings, wedding dresses, wedding invitations, wedding cakes, and so much more." Advertisers might have their logo on various things at the wedding, or provide their products in order to promote them (providing free coffee to get their name in front of the guests on cups, for example). Some might even ask that there be a "Thank You" toast to them from the bride and groom, but the details of each sponsorship can be negotiated for each wedding.

This is more of a way to spend less than to make money, but who knows? Perhaps if your wedding is large enough and you get enough different sponsors you can find ways to actually net some cash from the deal.

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