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All the Jobs You Can Have at a Club, Rated by Coolness and Salary

From runner to doormen to Resident DJ, we've got the low-down on the clubland gigs that suck the least.

Ideally, your clubbing life will proceed through three phases. First you have to pay to get in. Then, you get in for free—until at some point, if all goes according to plan, someone will actually be paying YOU to go to the club. Sadly, most of us don't make it past the first level—though getting a job at a club can certainly help. To that end, we've compiled this advanced breakdown of clubbing professions, broken down by how much money you'll make and the level of coolness you'll obtain. Follow these tips closely, and if all goes according to plan, you'll eventually reach that coveted third level of clubbing. When you finally get there, don't worry: you won't implode like Mario in the final level of Donkey Kong.


1) Resident DJ

You can actually get this job just by having a lot of friends—friends who like you so much that they're willing to schlep out to the club at 10PM to see you play to what is probably a meagerly occupied room. To make matters worse, you won't be able to talk to any of those friends, because otherwise you'd ruin all of your crucial crossfades. So if you want to make your friends come back the following weekend, you might have to bribe them drink tickets—even though the biggest part of your salary consists of these vouchers. You'll probably spend any actual money you make—if you make any money at all—on new records. But hey, at least you're a real DJ now! Over time, you'll start selecting new records just by the length of their tracks, so you can finally talk to some of your friends. And about half a year later, you'll notice you're getting too old for this shit.

Coolness 9/10 Pay 0/10

2) Coat Check Attendant

There comes a point in everybody's life where you're just like: "Fuck this, I'll move to Costa Rica and open up a shelter for abandoned baby sloths." We experienced one of these moments on New Year's Eve at the coat check of a popular hip-hop club in Berlin. Let me paint you a picture of the situation: Imagine a narrow hallway. That hallway is full of people. The stairs, that are leading to said hallway, are also filled with people. All can you see is masses of people everywhere, and there is no end in sight. And they are all drunk. And they are all screaming at you.

Welcome to a nightmare called "coat check," which is really just a kaleidoscope of worst-case scenarios. Half the time, nothing is happening at all, and you're bored to death, not making any money because you rely on tips from incoming guests to supplement your crappy hourly wage. The other half of the time, you're confronted with the concentrated hatred of drunk people. The reasons for all the hate are varied: that you're not fast enough; that the coat check is too expensive; that you refuse to give someone a jacket or bag back because that person lost his or her ticket/his or her friend left with their ticket/he or she claims to never have gotten a ticket at all, etc. Females at the coat check also have to enjoy getting hit on by all the drunk idiots who weren't successful inside the club. Ultimately, coat check attendants are like the single-parents in the family of jobs at a nightclub: lots of work, nobody helps you, everybody screams at you, and on top of it all, the kids are ungrateful.


Coolness 1/10 Pay 5/10

3) Sound Engineer

The best way to qualify for the job of sound engineer is being able to constantly shun any guests who linger near the mixer and try to ask you questions. If someone should go ahead and ask you for an adapter or a cable, you'll request a lengthy explanation on why they need it at all. Then, you'll ask them how they could be so stupid to not bring such a crucial piece of equipment and explain to them that you're not renting out your stuff. "Maybe you'll find an electronics store nearby," you'll say. "Sorry, I have important things to take care of right now." But then you end up handing over the cable anyway, because, the club owner is saying you have to, or else there won't be a show tonight.

Coolness 5/10 Pay 8/10

4) Runner

I have no idea why, but in order to get this job you should be a well-liked stoner. Your job is to provide the staff at the bar, door, and coat check with a fresh supply of drinks and change. You're the red blood cell pumping through the veins of the club, and all of your colleagues appreciate that. Everybody is just annoyed by you. You smell like sweat and all of the spilled drinks that you couldn't avoid while marching through the dancing masses. The likelihood of hooking up with someone as a Runner is almost zero, but at least you can light up a joint at the production office whenever there's a little downtime.

Coolness 4/10 Pay 5/10


5) Promo

MONDAY MORNING EMAIL BLAST FROM OUR SOCIAL MEDIA DIVISION: Coming from the deepest and darkest corners of his underground office, the one and only RONALD!!! This New York native from SMALLESTLABELONEARTH has shaped the history of music with his album, TUESDAY NIGHT IS LADIES NIGHT! ALL LADIES FREE ENTRY 'TIL MIDNIGHT + ONE FREE DRINK, and now he's coming to visit us!!! Back2back with the ill DJ who always creates our event pages on Facebook: M !!!, who despite all of the RANDOM USE OF UPPER CASE and POOR SYNTAX, couldn't be more average and dull!!!

Coolness 1/10 Pay 6/10

6) Manager

You're responsible for coordinating all staff members during a night of partying, which actually isn't that easy, because your staff consists mostly of drunken freaks. You have to break it to the barkeeper that he only gets to tend the small bar tonight, or that you're all out of limes. You'll have to tell the girl at the entrance why its quitting time for her—and more importantly, explain to the club owner why you're going to need 400 liters of beer in the next 20 minutes or there won't be any party. There's always a bored security guy sitting next to you in the production office who is on his break, but everybody else desperately needs to talk to you RIGHT NOW, because they somehow "lost" all of their drink tickets and need new ones. It's possible to beat the stress of managing with a combination of experience and hard alcohol, but somehow this job kinda makes you happy, and nobody knows why.

Coolness 10/10 Pay 7/10


7) Security/Bouncer

This job can be all yours if you have really really big muscles, and if can hack working a job where nobody likes you—which is unfair, because in reality you do have an emotional and sensitive side, though you can never show it to anyone. With this job, you'll have to channel all that sensitivity into assessing if that dancing guy over there is allowed to buy another $14 drink before he beats up that hyperactive hipster dancing next to him. Sometimes, all of this pressure is just too much, and you may decide to beat up that hipster dude yourself.

Coolness 6/10 Pay 4/10

8) Bartender

Real talk: no other job in the world can reward you with more money and happiness. It's not even a real job, but more of a steady state of happiness, for which the dictionaries still need to invent a proper word. It's better than paradise. Lots of happy people are handing you huge amounts of cash, and most of them would probably like to have sex with you. In addition to your tips, you can get drunk on the best stuff around, and at the same time (ideally) listen to awesome music. Good luck, we're already jealous of you!

Coolness 9/10 Pay 12/10

9) Booking Agent

Until a couple of years ago, your main job was to supply successful DJs with drugs and then take them to a string of afterparties while they were still high. These days, your job consists in trying to out-rival other bookers in the neighborhood who may or may have not already made deals with that DJ months ago. Unfortunately, DJs are not as dumb anymore, and they all let some tough, British managers take care of that stuff. Generally, you spend your time trying to figure out how the venue will break even after shelling out all those steep, non-negotiable guarantees.

Coolness 8/10 Pay 7/10


10) Door person

Door people need the ego of a bouncer, but not necessarily the physique. We have a lot of admiration for these (often female) staff members, who instead of a scepter wield a stamp, our fate for the evening resting upon whether or not they choose to use it. To be fair, though, they might have the easiest job in the whole club ecosystem: just sitting around, collecting money, and trying to look incredibly busy. Still, they probably don't get paid that well, because they check out first and don't get any tips. So think about that the next time you're getting stamped by one of these people.

Coolness 8/10 Pay 3/10

11) Club owner

Naturally, if you want to own a club, you'll need a lot of money. The costs of buying or renting the building—and making sure it's up to code for business—are high enough to deter most people from entering the business at all. And if you do manage to raise the money, you have to deal with all of the aforementioned freaks who work at your club and stay on top of them so they don't rip you off. You have to find a way of hiding all those bags of cash in your production office from the IRS, or else you'll be broke really fast. You have to set aside your own musical preferences in favor of acts who will attract as many guests as possible, or you'll also be broke really fast. And you definitely have to pay your bills, or else you might end up at the hospital.


Coolness 9/10 Pay 5/10

12) Party photographer

The most thankless job in clubland is being the guy who takes pictures of all the drunk, dancing strangers. If you're mildly autistic, club photographer might the perfect job for you, because you're able to annoy people who are actually having fun—first by catching them off guard with your camera's flash, and then by watermarking those pictures and uploading them to Facebook. Of course, you're not making any money, but you can go to these parties for free and not have to talk to people because you're so busy snapping awful photos. You might even impress some wannabe-model by showing her your huge lens, but at the end of the day, you're probably a lot more comfortable just looking at her through your extremely expensive DSLR. Beware of selfie sticks and the current vogue for Berghain-style photography bans.

Coolness 1/10 Pay 1/10

13) Silencer

We've all spent time lamenting the jacked-up rents in gentrifying urban neighborhoods—uprooting people who have lived there their whole lives to make room for condos and, of course, bougie nightclubs like the one you attended last weekend—but there's one problem that has gotten a lot less air time than it should: the emerging job of the "Silencer." The Silencer is still relatively rare, but he or she can be spotted in cities like New York and Munich, when you go out for a smoke and find yourself being shooed away from the door. The Silencer's job consists primarily in hissing an annoying "SHHHHHHHHHH" into your face to avoid complaints by sensitive neighbors. People who used to remind the teacher of yesterday's homework back in elementary school and who think that middle-class singles who voluntarily moved to a hip part of town should be protected from the real world will find happiness in being a Silencer.

Coolness 7/10 Pay 2/10

14) Accountant

You're the only one who gets paid on time, but that's the only perk of this job. Your staff will come banging on your office door on Tuesday and introduce themselves by saying something like this: "You are the biggest Fuckers in this whole city, seriously! I worked until 7AM on Saturday, your stupid boss took my last coke, and you dipshits seriously want to compensate me with 45 shitty dollars? Give me my fucking money right now or I'll break your ugly MacBook and tell everybody on Facebook with a shitty place this really is." In addition to all the hate, you might have to break a few laws if you want to prevent your employer from going out of business. We say you'd be better off looking for a decent job instead.

Coolness 0/10 Pay 8/10
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