Published in The Sun-Herald on August 7, 2016
Boris Joy is a bungy jump master – a rare find in Australia, with only three recorded in the 2011 census.
The profession tops the list of the 10 least-reported jobs nationwide last time ahead of this year’s census, on Tuesday.
After 10 years in the business, Mr Joy thinks he has one of the best jobs in the country.
“I had been in banking for eight years and decided to do something I’d never imagined I would do,” he said. “I just answered a job for a receptionist, funnily enough, and there you go.”
Being a jump master means that Mr Joy controls the bungy jump deck and is responsible for equipment and the safety of jumpers who visit AJ Hackett in Cairns, Queensland.
He loves being able to engage with people and see how they handle stressful situations.
Mr Joy says there are so few bungy jump masters in Australia because there are only two companies that offer the activity.
“People are always surprised to hear that we’re one of the only ones,” he said. “It’s a difficult business to start up without specialised knowledge of the industry.
“It’s basically as per a need basis. If we need more, then more will get trained up.”
Mr Joy thinks that people may be deterred by the dense Bungy Jumping Code of Practice and complicated insurance process for businesses.
This may explain the remainder of the top 10 most unpopular jobs in Australia – five are in the adventure sports industry.
2. Hunting Guide – four people
This job requires employees to be properly licensed hunters. Hunting licences are difficult to obtain, and guides are mostly required to work out of fully-licensed outfitters who are responsible for staff and insurances. Potential business interests are deterred by complicated processes and hunters often work independently without the assistance of a guide.
3. Mountain or Glacier Guide – 16 people
These guides have the task of leading groups or individuals through mountain ranges and glaciers, where they often partake in high-risk activities such as fishing and hunting, climbing and whitewater rafting. They are responsible for equipment and the safety of participants.
4. Trekking Guide – 24 people
Their work requires them to lead groups or individuals over long walking distances, often through hazardous terrain. Trekking guides must assess the risks involved in a trek and ensure the safety of patrons.
5. Whitewater Rafting Guide – 28 people
Guides, usually employed by licensed outfitters, are responsible for ensuring the safety of participants during this hazardous activity. The adventure sport also relies on a specific natural environment to work; rapids that are particularly dangerous may pose too many risks to customers.
6. Plastic Compounding and Reclamation Machine Operator – 51 people
Operators control mixing and grinding machines to prepare powders and liquids used to make plastics. They are also responsible for the recycling of materials. Machine operators are now largely redundant as most Australian manufacturing is done by machinery.
7. Deer Farmer – 56 people
Deer farms serve as hunting attractions or for the production of livestock. There is relatively little demand in Australia for venison in comparison to other meats such as lamb, beef and chicken. Hunting is generally done on larger grounds, and deer farms only provide limited game.
8. Electrician (special class) – 62 people
Special class electricians service and repair intricate or complex circuitry. They are typically called upon when tasks exceed the capabilities of general electricians.
9. Clinical Haematologist – 72 people
Haematologists are concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of blood disorders. As this is a specialist field, demand for these practitioners is less than general medical personnel.
10. Paediatric Surgeon – 76 people
These surgeons deal with fetuses, infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. Although general surgeons are equipped to operate on most younger patients, there are some cases where paediatric surgery is ideal or necessary.