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Average Salary: $43,480

With any luck, most of us won’t see a dead body too often, and on the rare occasion when we do, it will be at a memorial service. In this context, the deceased has been cleaned up, dressed immaculately and made to look as though he or she is merely sleeping, an effect achieved for the benefit of the living by the embalmer.

Embalming dates back to mankind’s earliest cultures. As the years have passed, the art has undergone scientific advances that have made it safer and more sanitary for its practitioners. Be that as it may, many people just don’t want to hang around dead bodies all day, and the vocation is perceived as creepy by wide swaths of the population.

The median annual salary for embalmers is $43,480, according to a May 2010 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Shuji Kobayashi | Stone | Getty Images