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15 Dirty Jobs That Pay Very Well

15 Dirty Jobs That Pay Very Well


If you took time to ask students about their dream careers, they probably would not hesitate to throw in a couple of presumably admirable professions such as neurosurgery, law, astronaut, business, management, or architecture. In addition to the prestige that these titles command, they are also high paying jobs. In fact as reported by parenthood site, Fatherly, kids aged between one and ten often list these professions because they want to be rich, or famous.

Conversely, there are other ‘dirty’ professions that students, and non-students alike, often despise. According to them, these jobs are not prestigious, and attract low remuneration. Well, sadly, the public could be right. A quick lifestyle audit on people who do ‘disgusting’ jobs around you could reveal that they not only lead pathetic ‘stinking’ lifestyles, but also suffer immense stress, caused by comparatively long working hours on multiple jobs.

While the general public perception is that only blue collar jobs are dirty and outright disgusting, some ‘prestigious’ white collar jobs, as we’ll establish, are arguably way filthier. Even more shocking, is the fact that some of these ‘repulsive’ jobs pay very well.

Now, let’s look at 15 dirty jobs, which are worth the time and effort.

15. Crime Scene Cleaner


If you have watched the CSI series, then you probably understand what happens after a crime has happened. Certain people stand out, due to their ability to get into the criminal’s mind, to understand why and how, the crime was committed. These people such as FBI agents and the forensics experts, serve as a source of inspiration.

What we don’t think about, is the person who has to clean the mess after the ‘posh’ professionals have left. This is a crime scene cleaner, who has to pick up the pieces, and contend with a disgusting scene, which could lead to emotional and mental disorders. Shockingly, you need a college degree to advance, earning more than $75,000 per year.

14. Coal Miner


In addition to being listed as one of the top dangerous jobs in the world, coal mining is definitely a dirty job. Literally, the job paints you black, in more ways than one. First, your clothes will be covered in the black dust, and your lungs will not be spared. Coal dust is fine, easily contaminating the air, which then gets into your lungs. As a result, coal miners develop a condition referred to as black lung, which leads to cardiovascular complications, such as shortness of breath and emphysema. Coal mine owners seem to understand the risk, so offer a competitive package of an annual salary of $64,000.

13. Gastroenterologist


In our introduction, we listed medical practice as an attractive career path. However, the job can get very dirty, depending on the area of specialization. A gastroenterologist, for example, specializes in the structure, function, pathology and diseases of the stomach and intestines. Basically, this kind of doctor also deals with stools.

So, how disgusting is it?

While giving a talk at his daughter’s school, one gastroenterologist confessed to coming across disgusting sights and seriously pungent smells. The doctor actually confessed that he at first did not want to reveal what he did, because his job sounded, ‘unacceptable’.

No matter your perception of this doctor, he sure brings in better bacon at home, earning over $400,000 annually.

12. Plumber


All kitchen sink waste, and spit when brushing our teeth, flows out of the house through a piping system. While our kitchen and bathroom sinks remain clean, there is a whole world of filth in the pipes underneath. Years of use lead to formation of sludge and gunk, which eventually block the system, and you have a clogged sink problem at home.

In such a case, we call a plumber, to sort out the issue. At that point, it dawns on us how dirty this seemingly ‘simple’ job can be. Depending on how complicated the plumbing was initially done, a plumber would have to crawl underneath surfaces, risking sludge spillage on their faces and clothes. All, this combined with an unpleasant smell, earns this professional over $40,000 per year.

11. Garbage Collector


Garbage, even in your own trash can is disgusting enough. Truth is, you experience just a fraction of how filthy garbage can be, considering that we have waste from patient dressings in hospital, and biohazard waste in research institutions. No matter the type of waste, someone has to collect the garbage, to achieve a clean and healthy environment.

A garbage collector is tasked with collecting all waste produced, in the aforementioned areas, among others. Clearly, apart from the filth, there are also health risks. Additionally, one can be emotionally disturbed when they find a disposed foetus from an abortion clinic. Despite all these disadvantages, the job is quite lucrative, with an average annual salary of $40,000.

10. Portable Toilet Cleaner


There is a huge difference between cleaning your toilet at home, a hotel room and a portable toilet facility. While the first two examples require you to flush the toilet, clean it and mop the area, a portable area demands more.

Since the toilet is movable, this means that human waste is collected somewhere in the system, and someone has to suck it out. The filth is collected in a tank, and the toiler cleaner has to find a place to dispose of this waste, of course without causing environmental damage. This disgusting job could earn you $47,000 annually, with a potential to grow.

9. Mine Management


Generally, mining is a very dirty job. You have to excavate through heaps of earth just to get to the valuable mineral. Additionally, it is extremely dangerous, especially when these mines cave in, or miners are exposed to dangerous gases and dust. Worse still, middle men in this business, tend to have the lion’s share of the profits. While such difficulties have caused people to run away from a job that was considered for the middle-class years ago, some have held on. Depending on where they work, mine managers could earn up to $200,000.

8. Adult Entertainer


Strippers, adult film actors/actresses and escorts, have one thing in common-their job can get really dirty. Additionally, they are easily manipulated into acts that they wouldn’t normally do, all in the name of attracting traffic and driving up sales.

As much as these entertainers usually have admirable bodies, they suffer silently. As one porn star confessed, she was forced to get into a coffin, got buried underground for 15 minutes, as night vision cameras caught the act. A different lady, had to stay with bodily fluids on her face, while a man withstood kicks on his balls. The sad bit is, there is no pay when you decline the producer’s demands. If you comply, you could earn $2500 per day or $10,000 per feature-dancing appearance, which lasts two days.

7. Podiatrist


Pedicure professionals have an easy time, because the worst feet they could deal with at the spa, are heels full of dead skin. While this job sounds gross to some extent, it is not close to what a podiatrist goes through.

A podiatrist treats feet suffering from ingrown nails, bunions and ulcers. In extreme conditions, these feet problems are characterized by oozing blisters, pus and a pungent smell. Expectedly, such a dirty and risky job description pays well. According to, an experienced podiatrist earns $174,469 annually.

If you can withstand the situation, try your luck, but note that this job can be very difficult to get into.

6. Roughneck


For an average of $46,867, a roughneck subjects himself under extreme dirty conditions that most human beings would rather avoid. Usually, this person spends 12 hours a day, underneath an enormous oil drilling rig, an environment that is too noisy, that they only communicate via hand signals. In addition to risking the eardrum, a roughneck exposes his cardiovascular system to very dangerous toxins and chemicals.

The job description gets worse when this personnel is tasked with changing scalding hot drill pits, or connecting sections of pipes, to form a network. People who can withstand such conditions can rise up the ladder, to the position of specialized supervisor, earning more than $100,000 annually.

5. Crop Duster Pilot


Most people enrol in aviation schools, hoping to fly the biggest airplanes in an international airport. As they sit through different units in class, they can’t help but visualize themselves cruising at over 20,000 feet above sea level, as they get mesmerized by the scenery beneath.

While their dreams are valid, they get crushed when their pilot’s license can only earn them a job as crop duster pilots. Contrary to a Boeing pilot, a crop duster pilot will fly at the lowest altitude possible, avoiding obstructions along the way, as they breathe in fine dust and toxic chemicals. Those who survive, and gain vast experience, earn as much as $80,000 annually.

4. Sewer Inspector


From the title, you can guess what a sewer inspector does. The unpleasant job description demands that a sewer inspector works in damp, dark, cramped spaces, which are full of vermin, cockroaches and human waste. In case of a leakage, these professionals are forced to crawl in a maze of connected sewer lines, to find the leakage source, and repair it.

The starting salary, which is an annual average of $34,960, is not so high. Gladly, those who withstand the conditions, stick around and get better skilled, earning a better salary of up to $61,000 annually.

3. Construction Worker


A construction worker’s working environment is very dirty, especially because construction paraphernalia include concrete, and construction waste. This, combined with project locations such as beside a busy highway, exposes these people to a dusty environment.

Additionally, the job is a very dangerous one. Imagine laying out a bridge across a huge water body, or building a skyscraper, where one wrong miscalculation could cost your life. On the other hand, inaccurate structural engineers’ analyses have been known to cause collapse of buildings under construction. As a result, several construction workers have lost their lives. If you manage to see beyond these risks, and venture into the craft, you could pocket an annual salary of $49,517.

2. Embalmer


Do you wonder why a corpse looks so clean and presentable at funerals? Why don’t they stink yet, decomposition started as soon as death occurred? First off, a mortician, who is a corpse beautician, is usually tasked with applying make-up on a corpse, to make it presentable.

An embalmer, on the other hand, is responsible for ensuring that a body is clean, and well preserved, before it’s taken to a mortician. On a normal day, an embalmer will drain blood from the corpse, replacing it with embalming fluid. The job can be very dangerous, especially when the deceased succumbed to an infectious disease.

1. Landfill Gas Operator


If you think a garbage collector’s job is bad, then you don’t know what a landfill operator goes through. All trash collected by garbage collectors is deposited in landfills, where landfill gas operators sift through the filth, to remove methane gas, a product of decomposition.

While the job rids the environment of a serious green house gas, it is very dirty and risky. Methane gas is usually funneled through pipes, while the operator deals with the extremely pungent smell, and exposure to harmful bacteria. Ultimately, the risk is worth it, with an average annual salary of $95,000.


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