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10 creepy careers--and the secrets to snagging them

Imagine this: you're creeping down a deserted hallway under bare, swinging light bulbs. There's a pause as you fumble for your keys before opening the door to a room full of dead bodies. To some, this is just another day in the office.

In honor of the spookiest month of the year, we've rounded up a list of the creepiest jobs in America. If all things scary appeal to you--or if you're just as interested in knowing which creepy careers to avoid--check out our list of the top 10 spooky jobs. Who knows, maybe you'll be inspired to make a creepy career change.

 

 Taxidermist

Taxidermist

  • Why it's creepy: When you come into the office and your latest project is towering over you, dead.
  • Training: Taxidermists learn the trade through schools, workshops, conventions, magazines or books.
  • Taxidermist wages: Varies by location. Larry Whitney, owner of Braggin' Rights Taxidermy in Arizona, charges $75 for squirrels and $1,200 for bears and mountain lions.
 Phlebotomist

Phlebotomist

  • Why it's creepy: When you drop a cooler of blood samples and it sloshes out of the elevator, "The Shining" style.
  • Training: Certificate training in phlebotomy.
  • Number of phlebotomists in the U.S.: 156,480 total medical and clinical laboratory technicians, including phlebotomists, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
  • Expected job growth for phlebotomists: 14 percent job growth for clinical laboratory technologists and technologists is projected between 2008 and 2018.
 Caterer

Caterer

  • Why it's creepy: Not that spooky of a job until the day you cater hors d'oeuvres… to a séance or funeral.
  • Training: Culinary training is popularly found in the form of certificates, associate degrees or bachelor's degrees.
  • Number of caterers in the U.S.: 90,510 chefs and head cooks in 2010, according to the BLS.
  • Popular employers: Hotels and special food services industry.
Funeral director

Funeral director

  • Why it's creepy: Mortuary consultant Ryan M. Lee knows from experience: "Dead bodies dot the landscape. You never know what you will find behind any door."
  • Training: Morticians must be licensed where they practice, and most earn a two-year associate degree in mortuary science.
  • Number of funeral directors in the U.S.: 30,000 in 2008, according to the BLS.
  • Expected job growth for funeral directors: 12 percent between 2008 and 2018.
Obituary writer

Obituary writer

  • Why it's creepy: Lesley Clayton, a former obituary writer in Austin, TX, remembers: "When the family members leave the deceased person's photographs behind. I had quite the collection."
  • Training: Journalism is a common bachelor's degree to secure any writing job in the newspaper industry.
  • Number of writers in the U.S.: 40,980 writers and editors in 2010, the BLS reports.
  • Expected job growth for writers: 15 percent growth between 2008 and 2018 for writers and editors.
Forensic science technicians

Forensic science technicians

  • Why it's creepy: The perp could return to the scene of the crime to check up on your work.
  • Training: A bachelor's degree in forensic science is a common path towards this spooky crime-fighting career.
  • Number of forensic science technicians in the U.S.: 12,390 in 2010, the BLS notes.
  • Expected job growth for forensic science technicians: 20 percent growth between 2008 and 2018.
Security guard

Security guard

  • Why it's creepy: Holding the graveyard shift at an actual graveyard could come with greeting some unexpected visitors.
  • Training: On-the-job training makes this an appealing career for moonlighters.
  • Number of security guards in the U.S.: 1,006,880 in 2010, the BLS reports.
  • Expected job growth for security guards: 14 percent growth between 2008 and 2018.
Nurse

Nurse

  • Why it's creepy: The patient who comes into the emergency room could be someone you know or a family member.
  • Training: Choose between a diploma, associate degree, bachelor's degree or master's degree
  • Number of nurses in the U.S.: 2,655,020 registered nurses in 2010, according to the BLS.
  • Expected job growth for nurses: 22 percent growth between 2008 and 2018.
Crime scene cleaner

Crime scene cleaner

  • Why it's creepy: You could be scrubbing brains off a panel of drywall and you realize you're not alone.
  • Training: On-the-job training is most common for this labor-intensive job.
  • Certification/job requirements: Cleaners must be Hepatitis B vaccinated.
  • Average wages for crime scene cleaners: $39,000 in 2011, according to SimplyHired.
Paranormal researcher

Paranormal researcher

  • Why it's creepy: Professor Darryl Caterine, author of Haunted Ground explains: "I'm knee-deep in … spirits of the dead, aliens, and weird earth energies. Although by profession I am a scholar of American religion who works in a college, it's impossible not to be a little creeped out by some of this research."
  • Training: Professors typically need a PhD in their chosen field, but researchers in the paranormal have no official formal training.
  • Earnings: Authors like Caterine earned mean annual wages of $65,960 in 2010, the BLS reports.

 

The jobs above may be spooky, but there's nothing scary about a steady paycheck. With a little training, you could be drawing blood like Dracula before you know it.