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ESL/EFL Lesson Plan – Unusual Jobs

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Lesson Plan Contents

This ESL Lesson plan is all about unusual jobs and focuses on speaking.


  • Warm up
  • Article about unusual jobs
  • Table fill
  • Conversation questions
  • Role-play

Levels: Suitable for intermediate, upper-intermediate and advanced.

Time: 60 minutes

Unusual Jobs


Warm Up

  • What did you want to be when you were a child?
  • Has that changed now?
  • What is the weirdest job you can think of?
  • Do you think people are becoming more or less creative when it comes to professions?
  • Think of a close family member or friend. What kind of job would you like them to do?

Very few people know with 100% certainty what they want to be when they leave school or college. Conventional professions like nursing, engineering or information technology are not for everyone. Thankfully, there are many unusual jobs out there for the people who do not want to work for someone else or who have abandoned traditional occupations. Below is a list of careers that you've probably never even considered before, but can bring home a decent salary.

Sell hot dogs as a living


So many jobs... what to do?

  • Embalmer

Average pay: $43,680 a year.

Embalmers get bodies ready for public display at funerals or for medical and scientific purposes. You need to spend 2 years studying and having an artistic or creative background is also useful.

  • Hot Dog Vendor

Average pay: $30,000 to $100,000 a year.

The money you make all depends on your location.

Scroll to Continue

  • Fishing Boat Crew in Alaska.

Average pay: $2500 per week or nothing at all.

This is a dangerous job and involves taking a risk because you could end up taking nothing home.

  • Personal Shopper

Average pay: $25,000 to $100,000+ a year.

Give fashion advice and suggestions to customers. No educational requirements necessary, but you must have retail experience.

  • Funeral Service Manager

Average pay: $79,930 a year.

Manage funeral homes and determine prices for products and services.

  • Ice Cream Taster

Average pay: $56,000 a year.

Ice-cream tasters usually work for large corporations and usually have food science, business or chemistry degrees.

  • Virtual Head Hunter

Average pay: $250 to $10,000 per referral.

A virtual head hunter finds the perfect employee for an employer and receives a commission. Networking and sales experience needed.

  • Genetic Counsellor

Average pay: $55,820 a year

These professionals assess the risk of genetic disorders and birth defects amongst families who want to have children.

  • Live Mannequin / Human Statue

Average pay: Up to $100 an hour.

These street artists wear very realistic make-up and have to pose for hours a day, but the work is entertaining.

  • Body Part Model

Average pay: $20 to $1,000 for an afternoon.

Do you have the most beautiful hands in the world? Then maybe this specialised type of modelling is for you. The images are then used in adverts to sell products.

  • Cruise Ship Entertainer

Average pay: $3,000 to $4,500 a month, plus food and accommodation.

Perform for live audiences on stage, cabaret or comedy. You don't need any particular skills for this jobs, but you need to be confident, outgoing and have an act that holidaymakers will enjoy.

Other ESL lesson plans by the author

Fed up of your job? How about becoming a video game farmer, paid protester or even a professional troll?

Check out my ESL lesson plan about Weird Chinese Jobs. It contains a reading activity, vocabulary match, discussion questions and a fun speaking activity.

  • Lipstick Reader

$25 - $200 an hour.

This obscure jobs involves going to parties and reading an imprint of lipstick on a piece of paper. It's a cross between palm-reading and handwriting analysis.

Based on article:

Conversation Questions

  1. What job would you like to do from the list and why?
  2. What job would you least like to do and why?
  3. Would you be embarrassed to have any of these jobs?
  4. Which job is the most and least exciting in your opinion?
  5. Which job do you think is recession-proof?
  6. Why do you think career advisers do not suggest these types of professions in school and university?
  7. Would you personally take the risk of doing an unusual job like the ones outlined above?
  8. In pairs discuss the pros and cons of each job. Put these into the table.
  9. What physical or mental characteristics would you need for each job? Put these into the table.
  10. Name some low-paying jobs that people do not value, but are indispensable.
  11. Think of some other obscure jobs e.g. Santa Claus, snow-maker, crime-scene cleaner...
  12. Brainstorm 5 advantages and 5 disadvantages of working for yourself.

Fill in the table






Hot Dog Vendor




Fishing Boat Crew




Personal Shopper




Funeral Service Manager




Ice Cream Taster




Virtual Head Hunter




Genetic Counsellor




Human Statue




Body Part Model




Cruise Ship Entertainer





Entrepreneur - You are a very successful entrepreneur. You came from a modest background and fought your way to the top. Now you are the owner of a multinational corporation, with offices and factories in 10 countries and 20,000 employees. You are going to be interviewed by a journalist about your experience. Try to use some of the vocabulary and phrases from the list below.

Journalist – You are a journalist writing an article called 'How to Become a Successful Entrepreneur'. You are going to interview one of the wealthiest and most prosperous business people in the country. Prepare questions about your partner's road to success. Try to use some of the words and phrases from the list.











Business savvy

Thinking outside the box

Tired of the 9 to 5 grind

Creative profession

Flexible hours

Looking for opportunities

Dogged determination

A natural leader

Words and Phrases















On the ball



© 2015 Muttface

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