Human paintball tester: is this the world's worst job?

Sarah Coles
'Paintball player
'Paintball player

If you're comfortable with a certain amount of pain, and were born with a natural ability to cope with fear, then there's an unusual job to suit you. UK Paintball is looking for a tester to try out new batches of bullets. Your job will be to stand there and take the potential pain while paintball bullets are fired at you. In return for this weird job, you'll be paid an impressive salary that's equivalent to £40,000.

The advert states that "the role may pose a small risk of pain, discomfort and some bruising." Justin Toohig, founder of, said in a statement: "We want to hear from people with a high pain threshold and those to whom fear is a foreign concept."

On the plus side, the role of 'human bullet impact tester' will be a seasonal role this Christmas and New Year. The successful candidate will work for one or two hours a day, five days a week, from London, and will be well rewarded for their effort. Toohig adds: "With an extremely competitive pro-rata salary, the role is perfect for any students looking to make some extra cash, or perhaps a gap year student wanting to fund some international travel."

According to The Independent, the risk of pain hasn't been enough to put people off, as the thought of flexible seasonal work with a big salary has so far attracted 40 applicants.

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Terrible jobs

Being shot with paintball bullets, therefore, clearly has enough attractions to save it from the indignity of the title of the worst job in the UK, so who takes that particular crown? A recent survey by Career Cast identified the worst jobs in the world as:

1. Lumberjack - which has the triple whammy of being poorly paid, highly dangerous, and an industry in decline.

2. Newspaper reporter - this takes such a lowly position because it's a dying industry. As newspapers close and circulations dwindle, the industry is expected to shrink another 13% in the next eight years.

3. Enlisted military personnel - this takes the third lowest spot as a result of the inherent risk of working in a combat role.

4. Taxi driver - a stressful and lower paid role with some inherent dangers. The rise of the sharing economy could also mean that in many areas this is a job with shrinking prospects too.
5. Broadcaster - this position will be hard to believe for many people who think of it as glamorous and highly-paid. However, the survey found it was stressful and in long term decline, which means few prospects for aspiring broadcasters.

6. Head cook - the lowly position on the list is almost entirely down to the stress - although the long hours don't help either.

7. Flight attendant - this is not the attractive job it once was apparently, with high stress, low pay, and a jobs market that's expected to shrink 7% over the next eight years.

8. Rubbish collector - the work environment and income levels are responsible for this ranking - as well as fluctuating employment levels which have made it an unreliable career.

9. Firefighter - the danger and stress are responsible for this position in the list.

10. Prison officer - the dangers inherent in this role, along with the relatively low salary, mean it's not a popular choice.

But what do you think? Are these the world's worst jobs? Or are there other contenders?

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