Five dream jobs to be found in Scotland

Leave the office behind with jobs that involve taste-testing, getting paid to sleep or even playing video games for a living.

Dundee's 4J studios handled the development of Minecraft for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in 2011.

ANIMAL THERAPY HANDLER

Volunteer owners of dogs and cats can share the joy their animals bring with those in hospitals, residential homes, special needs schools and even universities by bringing their pet along to animal therapy days. Canine Concern Scotland Trust and Pets As Therapy are just two organisations that are always looking for volunteers.

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Their pets will meet new animals while helping to combat the stress or loneliness felt by recipients. While the job is usually not salaried, recent “Puppy Rooms” held by the University of Aberdeen have increased the profile of the work meaning that there is rarely a shortage of volunteers.

Therapet Organiser of the Year 2015, Marion Livingston, is pictured with whippet Benji. The organisation provides dogs for universities, residential homes and schools to promote positive relationships between animals and humans as well as fend off stress or loneliness.

ICE CREAM TASTE TESTER

Aberdeenshire ice cream firm Mackie’s is currently advertising “the sweetest job in the world” - the role of Chief Tester at the company’s new factory in the North-east of Scotland. The successful candidate will be paid in chocolate for the year-long role and will get the chance to create a new flavour combination for the company.

SENSORY ANALYST

Are you much of a beer drinker? Those who love alcohol will be paid to smell and consume beer while recording and judging the best attributes of each product.

Scottish start-up BrewDog is looking for someone to collate and analyse the data gleaned from their beers throughout the production and packaging process, through an analytical framework designed by the successful candidate. Though a science degree isn’t strictly necessary, previous experience is necessary to land the job with an undisclosed wage.

VIDEO GAMES TESTER

It sounds like the stuff of dreams, but gamer geeks really can be paid to race, shoot, score or play their way through a new release in order to hunt out bugs and coding mistakes. While Rockstar North is well-known for seeking testers to play out new releases such as Grand Theft Auto or Max Payne, a host of independent Scottish game developers are in need of dedicated testers.

Salaries can vary wildly through the industry, but those with the right experience and digital knowledge can expect to be paid between £12,000-£18,000, rising to £25,000-£30,000 for the most experienced digital guinea pigs.

SLEEP RESEARCHER

Those who find it hard to get out of bed in time for work may not need to again if they become a sleep researcher. While no opportunities were being advertised in Scotland at the time of publication, NHS Lothian has a dedicated “Department of Sleep Medicine” which researches sleep patterns and quality of sleep across the country.

Sleep researchers traditionally sleep for varying lengths of time during a study and describe the quality of their sleep to researchers. Data collected from their night-time rest, such as eye movement, is also collated by the researcher.

In addition to this, clinical research roles are available across the country, offering part-time or occasional work for those involved with the testing of new drugs or research into medical conditions.

Regardless of which profession you choose to work in, the most recent figures by the Scottish Government dated for 2013 show that 2.5 million people in Scotland are currently employed. Average weekly earnings standing at £544.30 for men and £454.00 for women.