Work & Career
The 20 Dirtiest Jobs in the World
Your desk job won’t sound so bad after seeing these dirty jobs.
Sewer inspectors have a tough job, to say the least, and it can certainly get messy at times. When things get clogged or tree roots start growing into sewers, sewer inspectors get called in to clean it up.
Pig slop processor
Buffet food from Las Vegas and other places gets transformed into pig slop. Plastic, glass, and other items have to get separated from the trashed food that comes in. The leftovers get recooked into a slop. The process was featured on an episode of Dirty Jobs. You can cut down on your food waste with these composting tips.
Bloodworm hunters head to mud flats where they sift through the mud to find bloodworms, which anglers like to use as bait. Hunters can make a few hundred dollars in one day if they have a good haul, but the work is tough. Hunters will work year-round to harvest the worms.
Seal coating is just plain old messy work when you get right down to it. The seal coating can get under fingernails and stick to skin exceptionally well, making it a chore to clean off after the work is done.
Crime scene cleaner
It’s probably not always like a scene out of Dexter, but you can imagine a crime scene cleaner has a tough job. They have to decontaminate scenes and deal with bodily fluids, not to mention any kind of odors that might arise.
It’s dangerous work and a tad messy. Meat processors have to get the animal carcass ready to sell, beginning with the slaughter. It can be gruesome work.
Biodegradable flower pot maker
Dirty Jobs did an episode where Mike Rowe visited a cow farm that made gardening pots out of cow manure. Handling manure on the farm is a darn dirty job, and some farmers even hire someone to come pick it up. See how one of the British royal family’s gardens uses manure.
Animal skull processor
Courtesy WIN Home Inspection
Companies that clean animal skulls for displays have to use a chemical process to remove the remains of the skull. It’s a stinky job with rotting remains and the chemicals. Check out the grossest things exterminators have ever found in homes.
It’s not an enviable job, but it’s one that has to get done on farms. Restraining an animal and then performing the incision is dirty work.
Lift pump remover
When a lift pump goes down, it becomes a messy job for the technician who gets sent in to fix it. A lift pump is part of a wastewater treatment facility, and when the pump goes out, the chamber fills with waste and someone must manually filter the chamber. Check out these plumbing nightmares that will make you cringe.
Oil rig worker
Oil is a slippery, messy material, so working on an oil rig is no picnic. Oil stains in the garage are unsightly, but here’s how to get rid of them.
It’s a dangerous job that leaves workers covered in soot at the end of the day. Coal miners also have to worry about the health impact of working in the mines, too.
Animal urine collector
You may find it hilarious that you can buy coyote urine at Home Depot, but did you think about how they collect it? An animal urine collector is a unique job for sure. According to a Wise Step article, deer have to be kept in rooms overnight. The floor in the room has tiny holes where the urine drips and gets collected. Urine collectors have to come up with a gallon each night, but they typically earn around $80,000 a year, Wise Step reports. Learn about more bizarre high-paying jobs that aren’t for everyone.
In an interview with Fox News, former Dirty Jobs host Mike Rowe revealed the five worst assignments he did for the show, and he named chicken sexer as one of them. In order to determine the sex of a baby chick, someone has to squeeze excrement from the chicken to get an unobstructed view of the organs by looking up its rectum.
Bat guano collector
Dr Morley Read/Shutterstock
Bat guano turns out to be a pretty good fertilizer, but someone has to harvest that guano. Someone has to build bat houses or head to a cave to collect the guano. Even if you don’t have a fear of bats, it’s a dirty job. If you don’t want to start harvesting bat guano, find out how to keep bats out of your attic.
Oil, grease, dust, everything a bus picks up off the road. Bus garages have sludge pits, and people have to come clean them out. It’s shown in season one of Dirty Jobs. Some of the liquid can be sucked out, but the rest has to be shoveled out, and it’s hot in the pit. The sludge goes to an incinerator because it can be burned.
Horse breeding has the potential to be a messy job, but when Dirty Jobs featured it, there were plenty of preventative measures put in place to make it relatively tidy. Here are some other strange (but much less gross) jobs you didn’t know you could apply for.
Septic tank technician
There’s a lot going on with a septic tank, and if it fails, well, you’ve got a dirty job ahead for you or for the tech.
Garbage pit technician
Take rotten food and put it through a trommel and then a grinder where it turns into a green sludge; then it gets put into a digester where it’s converted into energy. Converting unused food into a flammable gas and a source of energy. These are the craziest things garbage collectors have ever found in the trash.
A Geoduck is a large saltwater clam that can be three feet long. They can sell for up to $100 apiece, according to Modern Farmer, and are native to the Pacific Northwest. Geoducks bury themselves in the sand, about three feet deep before they can be harvested. Next, check out the most dangerous jobs in the world.