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What did you want to become when you grew up? I am sure most of us, if not all, aspired to be doctors, engineers, lawyers and the likes.

The reason why people go for such careers is because they are perceived to be prestigious and pay really well.

But from the doctors’ strike that has been there in the past few months, you would agree with me that this picture we have always painted is far from the reality.

Have you ever sat and thought about those other odd jobs in Kenya that pay equally well? Have you ever thought that you could be engaged somewhere as you look for that white collar?

Here are five odd jobs in Kenya that pay really well

1. Smokies Vendor

When it comes to thinking outside the box, this is one of the lucrative businesses that pay really well. Most people perceive this line of a career as odd but at the end of the day, aren’t we all here to make money?

Selling smokies and hot dogs can guarantee you at least 500 on a bad day.

On a really good day, you can be sure of taking home 2,000 shillings. Not bad, right? At the end of the month, you could be earning around the 60K.

The only thing you have to do is get a good location and get the necessary permits to operate.

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2. Online writing

For those of us who have been looking for jobs without much success, have you considered online writing? The world of online writing continues to grow and as such money keeps increasing.

The good thing about this job is that you don’t have to wake up early, beat traffic on Thika Road or Mombasa road to get to work. You just work from the comfort of your home. Take it from me; I have been doing online writing for so many years especially when I was in a school where I would make up to 20K in two weeks.

Instead of sitting idle at home, waiting for a recruitment manager somewhere to look at your CV, try making money through online writing. There is so much potential in this industry.

3. Plumbers

Water and Sewerage companies rely on plumbers to repair broken pipes and as it stands Kenya has a shortage of these awesome men and women. How much does a career in plumbing pay?

Plumbers now charge between 1K to 2K per day. Do the math and calculate how much you could be earning in a month or even in a year from this career that people think is for the lowly and uneducated.

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4. Garbage Collection

Garbage has been nothing but a topic for most Kenyans to complain about on social media or to anyone who cares to listen about poor service delivery in Kenya.

However, to people like Richard Karimi who runs a garbage collection company, this is a career that he is not likely to leave any soon. To him, it’s a career like any other but way better because he does what others don’t want to do hence earning really well.

A survey conducted by Frost and Sullivan, estimated the value of solid waste management in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania to be 32.9 million US dollars in 2008 alone and this value has since increased.

This is the market where people like Karimi have tapped into. Odd and dirty as this career may seem, there are people making millions from it.

5. Welding Services

This is one of the highest paying odd jobs in Kenya. Thanks to the booming construction industry, welders have become indispensable.

To make sense of how well this career pays, let’s dig a little deeper. A metallic gate would cost you something around 50-80K, a bar seat goes for around 1,500, while salon people pay around 3,000 for a good seat.

Let’s assume that it’s a good day and you make sales. You could be looking to take home more than 50K in a day. This is not even close to what you will be making in a month in an entry-level position.

6. Matatu drivers and conductors

When most people think about matatu drivers and conductors, they instantly think that this is a job for the uneducated. This couldn’t be far from the truth. I have a friend of mine, an economics graduate who started as a bus conductor and now has his own 62 seater bus that commutes the Githurai route.

Another colleague of mine has a driver friend who operates the Ongata Line Sacco and makes 30K a month not counting his salary, after giving the owner and fueling the bus daily. And to think that most of us are still complaining about joblessness.

7. Motorbike operators

One of the odd jobs in Kenya, that most of us wouldn’t think of going into. Someone once said that the only limit to success is ourselves. A motorbike guy will make at least a thousand shillings on a bad day and mark you 100 shillings worth of fuel is enough to operate in a single day.

Let’s say you operate in the CBD, the least those guys charge clients is 100 bob. Get 20 clients in a day that 2,000 you have made.

So many people think that living a prestigious life requires one to land a white collar job at one of those big companies. However as you have seen, there are so many odd jobs in Kenya that pay even better. You only have to change your attitude.

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The writer is a Communications and Digital Marketing Officer at Career Point Kenya. Contact her via lilian@careerpointkenya.co.ke.