Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

The 10 creepiest jobs and careers in the world, according to science

women writers.jpg

It may come as a surprise to hear that there has never been a scientific study into the concept of “creepiness”.

Until now, that is.


Read more: The jobs that are most often linked to depression


To celebrate the return of winter – with all of its wild weather, darkened nights, and shorter days – a group of scientists have decided to get their creep on. 

And, after surveying 1,341 individuals from around the world, they came up with surprising results; there are certain jobs which are more strongly linked with creepiness than others.

Scientists have unveiled the creepiest jobs in the world

Scientists have unveiled the creepiest jobs in the world

Explaining how they gauged whether a job was creepy or not, they explained that it was based on people’s reactions; they would often find their trigger response to be “both unpleasant and confusing”, and it “may be accompanied by physical symptoms such as feeling cold or chilly”.

With that in mind, what was the job that left people feeling the most creeped out? 

Yup, you guessed it; clowns topped the chart as the creepiest job at all – which should come as no surprise, considering the spate of ‘Killer Clowns’ that have been spotted across the UK and the USA of late.

They were followed closely by taxidermists and sex shop owners.

However, some of the ‘creepy’ jobs unveiled by scientists at Knox College in Illinois were very unexpected.


Read more: These are the countries with the happiest workers


Seriously, what’s wrong with writers?

You can find the full list of the world’s creepiest jobs, ranked in order of creepiness, below:

  1. Clown
  2. Taxidermist
  3. Sex Shop Owner
  4. Funeral Director
  5. Taxi Driver
  6. Clergy
  7. Janitor
  8. Garbage Collector
  9. Guard
  10. Writer 

Explaining the results, the researchers said that it has a lot to do with ambiguous threats, particularly when its related to “non-verbal behaviour” – which explains the cold pit of fear we feel in our stomachs at the sight of a wordless clown.

They added: “We are placed on our guard by people who touch us or exhibit non-normative non-verbal behaviour, or those who are drawn to occupations that reflect a fascination with death or unusual sexual behaviour.”

Clowns were ranked as the creepiest jobs

Clowns were ranked as the creepiest jobs

People who collect items as a hobby, particularly objects which we are naturally predisposed to (such as dolls, spiders, or skulls) also tend to trigger our ‘creepiness’ radar.

However certain behavioural traits can cause us to react fearfully to others, the scientists added, saying that “individuals who display unusual patterns of nonverbal behaviour, odd emotional responses, or highly distinctive physical characteristics are outside of the norm, and by definition unpredictable.”

They continued: “This may activate our ‘creepiness detector’ and increase our vigilance as we try to discern if there is in fact something to fear or not from the person in question.”


Read more: The 10 bestselling horror books of 2016


Unusual behaviour, such as working odd hours, can contribute to this – which may go some way towards explaining why taxi drivers and garbage collectors made the list.

Researchers concluded: “Everything that we found in this study is consistent with the notion that the perception of creepiness is a response to the ambiguity of threat.”

Images: Rex features, iStock

Related

office stunt creativity.jpg

Revealed: the jobs that are most often linked to depression

how-to-ask-for-a-raise-dos-donts-2.jpg

The two little words you should never use when asking for a raise

languages.jpg

Revealed: the most profitable second languages that we need to learn

Latest...

This unexpected town has been voted the best place to work in the UK

We didn’t see this one coming

by Moya Crockett
22 Sep 2017

How to use Instagram to boost your career (and land your dream job)

It’s time to make your Instagram account work as hard as you do…

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Sep 2017

Harry Potter fans can now apply to work in the real life Hogwarts

Calling all Potterheads

18 Sep 2017

These are the eight words you should avoid when writing your CV

Are you guilty of falling back on these overused phrases?

by Megan Murray
14 Sep 2017

These are the world’s best countries to live and work abroad

And surprisingly, no Scandinavian countries appear on the list

by Moya Crockett
07 Sep 2017

Why your boss needs to start taking your migraines seriously

According to the experts

by Sarah Biddlecombe
06 Sep 2017

Prioritise these relationships on LinkedIn if you want a job offer

Not all LinkedIn connections are created equal, according to new research

by Moya Crockett
06 Sep 2017

New back-to-work scheme targets gaping gender pay gap

One small step in helping mums return to work - but is it enough?

by Anna Brech
28 Aug 2017

This nannying job comes with seriously mind-blowing perks

But even Mary Poppins might struggle with these requirements

by Moya Crockett
25 Aug 2017

What is cyberloafing and how is it affecting your career?

Guilty? Here's how to get back on track

by Sarah Biddlecombe
24 Aug 2017