The world's best job could be closer than you think

You don't have to go to Australia to find a cushy job. How about beer taster, or 'director of sleep' perhaps?

As you slog to work this week, spare a thought for Tommy Lynch, Helen Moores and Leigh McCarron. And then dismiss them from your mind. Like Ben Southall, who last week was awarded "the best job in the world" on an Australian island, they need little of your sympathy. And like him, they are being paid handsomely to do "jobs" that barely qualify as what the majority of us would call work.

Ms Moores, chief buyer of world and speciality beers at Tesco, has a job that most men could only dream of. Ms Moores tastes beer. Often as early as 9.30am and is employed to drink – and swallow – beers from around the world. "Sometimes I sample more than 20 beers in a session – so I have to watch it. My boyfriend is very jealous of my job."

Tony McLaughlan would argue that his role as an electrician in Antarctica for the British Antarctic Survey is the best. The -50C temperatures and the fact that Mr McLaughlan is 9,000 miles from home in an almost uninhabitable wilderness mean that demand for an electrician will be low. However, the £23,000 salary, free food and paid rent meant that thousands of people jammed phone lines when the job was first advertised on the BBC.

For those who prefer warmer climes, then work as a waterslide tester might be more appealing. Tommy Lynch spends his working days touring his holiday firm's "splash resorts" to monitor quality control. For some of these he has to struggle to locations in Cyprus, the Algarve, Egypt and Mallorca. "I do have the best job in the world," said Mr Lynch, "but no one believes me when I tell them what it is."

Leigh McCarron is paid to take a night's rest at a Travelodge three or four times a week to ensure that the beds are up to standard. The position of director of sleep pays a salary of £60,000 a year.

But perhaps the job that really takes the biscuit when it comes to "job satisfaction" belongs to Betto Almedia, during the Rio de Janeiro carnival. The Brazilian goes to work at 11am each day and spends his time painting the bodies of some of the carnival's most beautiful women. It takes about two hours to paint each living artwork, and most days he will have two blank canvases to turn into masterpieces, for which he charges £660 a day. "You wouldn't believe how many applications I get for an assistant," Mr Almedia said. "But it's hard work, man, I take my job seriously."