- ImageCatcher News Service/ Getty
- There are several jobs in the White House that some may consider unusual.
- There’s an entire office of calligraphers who handwrite invitations, menus, and certificates, while there’s also a team of stenographers who record the president’s every word.
- The White House also employs people who construct world-famous gingerbread houses and someone to walk the president to his residence at night.
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All over the US, there are weird jobs that you probably never knew existed, and the same can be said for the White House. While President Trump’s White House employs over 400 people, some positions are just plain unusual – yet most pay fairly well.
Here are seven of the more unconventional White House jobs, from the highest-paid to the lowest.
A “body man” is hired to assist and keep close tabs on the president, including walking him home at night.
- SAUL LOEB/ Getty
The special assistant and personal aide to the president is typically referred to as the “body man.” In many ways, this person is like an assistant, organizing the president’s daily life. Oftentimes, the body man is one of the first people to greet the president in the morning, and he walks the POTUS to the residence at night. The body man often travels with the president, and is also his go-to person if he needs newspapers, briefings, and even pens, according to Politico.
President Trump’s first body man, John McEntee, made $115,000 in 2017.
The stenographers are responsible for following the president around and taking a written record of everything he says.
- Saul Loeb/ Getty
White House stenographers are responsible for recording everything the president says, especially when speaking to the press or the public. President Barack Obama’s former stenographer, Beck Dorey-Stein, told NPR that she had to “stalk” the president to ensure that she didn’t miss a word. The recordings are submitted to the presidential archives to make sure there is no “miscommunication or confusion.”
In the Trump administration, the director of stenography makes $95,500 per year.
The White House employs several calligraphers just to handwrite special invitations.
- The Washington Post/ Getty
The White House has a calligrapher office, which began in the 1860s, that holds an entire staff of people devoted to handwriting invitations, menus, certificates, documents, and letters for the president. The calligraphers also specialize in personalizing fonts and symbols for certain cultures and guests.
In the Trump administration, the chief calligrapher makes $99,400 per year.
Presidential correspondence teams are devoted to answering letters sent to the president.
- The Boston Globe/ Getty
The White House receives thousands of letters and emails every day from members of the general public. President Barack Obama’s former director of writers for presidential correspondence, Fiona Reeves, said she would have to read 200 to 400 letters each day. She was also required to choose 10 letters that would be included in the president’s briefing book at the end of the day. For the other letters, she would have to answer them in President Obama’s voice.
In the Trump administration, the director of writers for presidential correspondence makes $72,700 annually.
The records management analyst’s sole purpose is to organize important documents.
- Spencer Platt/Getty Images
According to its job description, records management analysts analyze, scan, and index documents that come through the White House. Also, they must track documents “to offices and agencies within the Executive Office of the President and the rest of the federal government.”
In Trump’s administration, records management analysts make $66,900 per year.
Most know the White House has a private chef, but it also has an executive pastry chef who focuses on building the famous gingerbread house.
- SAUL LOEB/ Getty
The current executive pastry chef is Susan Morrison, and she told Oprah Magazine that she spends most of her day baking desserts, which can include pies or miniature pastries.
Morrison said she also spends all year thinking about and planning the famous White House gingerbread house. In November, the gingerbread house becomes her main responsibility, which will be presented in the State Dining Room for 60,000 guests.
Although Morrison’s salary has not been released to the public, a head chef usually makes $52,160 annually.
Military social aides volunteer to greet, chat, and dance with dignitaries visiting the White House.
- The Washington Post/ Getty
Social aides are members of the military that attend functions at the White House with the main purpose of making guests feel comfortable. Dating back to 1902, social aides entertain guests by dancing with them if necessary, providing small talk, and helping to facilitate conversations with the president.
Military social aides are traditionally not paid positions.