6 weird West Country jobs you probably didn’t know existed
You won’t find many people offering surfing lessons in central Birmingham. That’s because job markets react to the primary industries of their respective regions. Location dictates need. Similarly the West Country’s employment sector is uniquely attuned to the demands of a tourism-heavy, rural environment. That can often mean occupations and trades you might never have encountered.
Here’s 6 of the most unusual jobs in Devon & Cornwall…
1. Wolf Trainer
The Wolf Centre, Combe Martin, North Devon
Less running with the pack and howling at the moon than it is tending to the specific needs of a demanding creature full time. Working with wolves takes commitment, care and more than a little bravery too. The coastal-based education centre runs courses on all behavioural aspects of wolf-kind and gets up close and personal with the carnivorous canines, so a veterinary background is pretty much essential.
2. Stunt Driver
Scott May’s Daredevil Stunt Show, Penzance, Cornwall
If the thought of squashing cars under tyre or driving very fast under very controlled conditions appeals, then this might be the job for you. A full clean UK driving licence and surgical precision behind the wheel could get you in the driver’s seat to wow crowds with your rubber-burning antics. The famous show tours the country annually and finds their services used often by the TV and film industry. So you’ll need a flexible diary as well as nerves of steel.
3. Lighthouse Keeper
Start Point Lighthouse, South Devon
While the lighthouse looks after the ocean liners and vessels of the south coast, it takes a dedicated person or two to look after the lighthouse itself. And whilst automated operation has done away with the full-time manning of a century ago, this Grade II listed building requires daily maintenance as well as the provision of guided tours for knowledge-thirsty tourists. Oh and then there’s the two adjoining holiday cottages to run. Good management skills and an enthusiasm for English heritage are a must.
4. Island Warden
Lundy Island, Bideford, North Devon
A candidate who wanted an opportunity to be stranded on a sparsely-populated three mile stretch of granite outcrop would find themselves right at home on this charming coastal attraction. The role requires boat handling skills, relevant management experience and, ideally, diving qualifications. A full time live-in position with full time responsibilities, it’s a chance to be immersed in the unspoilt nature of a unique landmass and care for its fields, shrubbery and, of course, puffins.
5. Chilli Chef
South Devon Chilli Farm, Loddiswell, South Devon
A taste for sizzly stuff and the aptitude to do something creative would stand a candidate in good stead for raising a chopping knife at Devon’s hottest farm shop. As well as preparing locally-sourced produce for the café and making sure you don’t run out of their exclusive chilli jam (for the scones, naturally), there’s a plethora of pepper-based recipes to conjure up in the kitchen ready for sale. Previous experience in cookery and a flame-retardant tongue are a must.
6. Gnome Carer
The Gnome Reserve & Wild Flower Garden, Bradworthy, Devon
The ability to polish a pint-sized ornament and work green-fingered magic are essential skills if you want to work for one of the West Country’s quaintest places to visit. With over 250 species of wild flowers, herbs, grasses and ferns, the ideal candidate will need to know their dandelions from their daisies. Being game for dressing up in a pointy hat and holding a fishing rod is pretty much non-negotiable!
You may also be interested in:
>> Exeter: unexpectedly, unashamedly fantastic for digital careers
>> West is best: the greatest regions to work in the West Country
>> Then and now: salaries snowball in Exeter and beyond