Business in the U.S. Odd & Bizarre Jobs: Chimney Sweep

About odd jobs and bizarre ways to make a living in the United States, being a chimney sweep.

Unusual Ways of Making a Living

Chimney Sweep: Sweeps are respected professionals in Europe, with an official uniform--black funeral suits, top hats, and turban--that reflects the romantic image of the trade. Sweden's sweeps (both men and women) must serve a 2-year apprenticeship before being licensed to practice. The occupation is almost nonexistent in the U.S., but one Southern California sweep, formerly in the beauty supply business, charges $25 per 1 1/2-to-2-hour cleaning job and plans eventually to have sweeps all over Los Angeles working for him. "Chimneys in Southern California are terribly neglected," he says. "There are just no sweeps to clean them."

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