Perhaps you would think that most high-paying jobs are in extremely high demand and that many people would be competing for just a limited number of job openings.
The fact of the matter is, however, that there are so many high-paying positions out there that are so dirty or dangerous that these jobs aren’t attractive at all and are hard to get filled.
Most people want to secure a decent-looking job that pays well, but there are professional options that allow you to make more money if you are ready to take on an “unattractive” career. Check out this video to get an idea of some jobs that are dirty and/or dangerous but let you bring home lots of dollars:
Although for most people, the jobs listed on this page may seem rather uncomfortable, there are still lots of people who don’t mind doing these jobs and get paid handsomely.
More and more corporations are experiencing hard times finding people with the right knowledge and skill sets, and they are willing to pay top dollar for those ready to do the “dirty” or “extremely dangerous” jobs.
These workers sign up for the dirtiest or most disgusting jobs out there, but they will get paid a lot. Most people don’t even want to hear just about these jobs because of, for example, the occupational hazards, and for many, it’s just icky and revolting. So what are these jobs? In this post, we take a closer look at 15 of the dirtiest but highest-paying jobs around.
15 High-Paying Jobs Nobody Wants
So even when the earnings are good, why is it that nobody wants to do these jobs? Well, among the most common answers we get is that they are dangerous, dirty, and lack respect. Sure, every job comes with its own dignity, but these elements are most responsible for the fact that, even though the pay is high, people will refuse these jobs.
The following is an overview of the 15 most dangerous and/or dirty positions that nobody wants though they may pay (extremely) well:
Crime scene cleaner
A crime scene cleaner has the disgusting and tedious task of cleaning a crime scene when the necessary investigations are completed. That means cleaning up after an incident and clearing things that usually are scattered all across the crime scene.
This job is definitely not for those that get easily nauseous or intimidated by seeing such gore sights, and the job may easily lead to post-job traumas or clinical depression. Crime scene cleaners also have to worry about getting diseases or infections because they may get in contact with dead persons’ body fluids.
To carry out this sort of dangerous and dirty work, protective gear is usually required. There is a bright side, however, to the job of crime scene cleaner, and that’s the salary as they can easily make $78K annually or more than $100 an hour, and the work hours are generally very flexible.
Portable toilet cleaner
A portable toilet cleaner has to clean up human excrement. That’s an everyday element of their grind. Portable toilets don’t come with mechanisms for eliminating human waste that’s dumped, so the method that’s used for cleaning portable toilets is manual cleaning.
Portable toilets need to be cleaned from top to bottom, including the floors, walls, and ceilings, and the toilet compartments must be disinfected completely as well before they can be reused. Portable toilet cleaners usually clean as many as 60 portable toilets per day using pressurized water hoses.
Portable toilet cleaners may have occupational hazards because they come in contact with human excrement, meaning they may get nausea, diarrhea, hepatitis, or even typhoid. So these professionals must wear protective gear and be sure to get properly disinfected when the job is done. The working conditions may be hard, but at the end of the day, they will take home around 60K per year!
Sewage inspectors usually work long hours locating leakages, cracks, or clogs in our underground sewer systems. Sometimes, they literally need to swim through wastes like human excrement just to check if sewage systems work properly. Sometimes, they’ll need to swim through a pool of toxic waste just to check if there are perhaps some hidden flaws in our sewage systems.
Sometimes, sewage inspectors have to work underground for a longer period of time. Then there’ll be hardly any oxygen for breathing and no source of natural light. This may even cause them to suffer from breathing issues and asphyxiation. But there are more disadvantages and risks associated with this job.
Often, sewage inspectors need to deal with creepy crawlies like sewer rats, bugs, mites, fleas, or life-threatening microorganisms. There are also inspectors that have reported encountering dead human corpses or dead animals while performing their dirty and dangerous tasks. The bright side, however, of this job is the pay which may be as high as 50K annually. There are, however, also some less dirty jobs out there that let you earn $50k annually; just check out the linked page to learn more.
Working as a gastroenterologist is definitely among the most flattering occupations we know. Although the job may pay extremely well, gastroenterologists have to deal with human excreta every day. On top of that, gastroenterologists require more than 10 years of education and training, and you can imagine the student debt that usually comes with that
Gastroenterologists are specialists in the field of digestive system disorders and diseases. This includes the human gastrointestinal tract (anus, rectum, large and small intestines, stomach, and esophagus) as well as the gallbladder, bile ducts, liver, and pancreas.
So gastroenterologists examine and treat patients that have problems with the bowel or suffer from hepatitis or colon cancer. Most people think of this profession as rather dirty and dangerous since gastroenterologists get into contact with human excrement, but the job pays around $300K annually, which makes it one of the highest-paid jobs around.
Proctologists are surgical specialists that diagnose and treat disorders and diseases of the colon, rectum, and anus. Often, proctologists are consulted for more complex issues regarding the lower digestive tract or when specialized surgery is required for treatment.
The term “proctologist” is actually somewhat outdated. Today, the preferred word for these specialists is “colon and rectal surgeon” or “colorectal surgeon.” It is a fact that discussions about issues related to our gastrointestinal tract, rectum, or anus are often highly sensitive, but this is what colorectal surgeons talk about all day long, every day.
They are the specialists that are familiar with this sort of symptom, and they are trained to listen without expressing any judgment. Proctologists are among the highest-paid specialists in the medical field, though their work is often considered to be dirty and dangerous because they deal with issues related to the colon, stomach, and rectum. They can easily bring home $400K every year.
Mortician or Embalmer
Morticians and embalmers prepare bodies for burial. As their professional titles already indicate, they actually embalm the bodies. They remove the body fluids and replace that with embalming fluids which will slow down the body’s decomposition. The job differs from that of a funeral director, and many states require professional licensing.
Working as a mortician or embalmer asks for a large amount of patience and concentration because they work with dead bodies and with people from all walks of life at difficult times. The profession of embalmer or mortician is quite demanding and essential to the entire funeral industry. The job requires these professionals to be available 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
Morticians and embalmers prepare dead bodies for funerals and the last rites, and besides replacing blood with embalming fluids, they also apply necessary makeup to dead bodies. The job is quite dangerous as embalmers are continually involved with infections and life-threatening diseases from dead bodies, but the financial rewards are considerable as they can easily make $60K annually for their services.
Death row executioner
The job of death row executioner is definitely among the most undesirable jobs in the United States. I guess there are not that many people that would feel comfortable legally ending another person’s life. The most widely-used execution method is lethal injection, but there are states that still authorize other execution methods such as electrocution, hanging, gas chamber, or firing squad.
There is some controversy, and there are executioners who later regret taking on the job because, in the US, there are hundreds of convicts that were previously on death row that have been exonerated. So they are bothered by this question, “what’s the number of prisoners that were executed but didn’t commit the crimes they were charged with?”
The Florida Department of Corrections reports that usually, prisoners on death row will be executed by private citizens that may get paid up to $150 per execution, but these citizens remain anonymous. Then there are also professional executioners, and some of them have administered death penalties over 75 times.
Oil rig worker
The life of oil rig workers can get extremely tiring and harsh because their entire work lives include living in offshore oil rig structures in the middle of oceans or seas, working long 12-hour shifts a day in often intense heat or extreme cold. The job includes working with drilling equipment and explosives, so oil rig workers must wear proper safety equipment such as hard hats, special suits, and even steel-reinforced safety boots.
The job also comes with working in dangerous circumstances and lots of noise caused by, among others, the drilling equipment. So oil rig workers are required to wear special protective eyeglasses and earplugs to make sure they won’t encounter any permanent problems with their eyes or ears after having worked for long hours in grime and dust.
The job of an oil rig worker is physically and mentally quite demanding, but most oil rig workers get paid well. The starting pay is already around $40K per year, and experienced workers that hold professional certifications can easily be rewarded over $60K annually. This is definitely not a low-stress, slow-paced job, and you’ll have to be able to stand pressure and heat!
Coal miners perform one of the most dangerous jobs these days. Coal miners are extracting coal from underground or surface mines. They operate expansive, complex machinery to drill, scrape, cut, or shovel earth and coal in order to collect the fuel.
The job comes with occupational hazards that may even claim the lives of these professionals. Most coal mines have deposits of methane that may cause underground explosions caused by sparks due to falling rocks or friction, and this is the main reason why the job of a coal miner is so dangerous. There are many highly unstable coal mines, and there’s always a high risk of collapses and the killing of coal miners.
Another health issue related to coal mining is breathing and ingesting large amounts of coal dust by the miners. This may cause black lungs, which can create emphysema and breathing problems. So the job of a coal miner comes with serious occupational hazards, but it is actually one of the highest-paid jobs in basic industries that pay at least $65K annually.
A garbage collector has the tough and dangerous job of collecting trash from street corners. They must work long shifts, and there’s always the risk of getting hit by the raging traffic during their work in the streets. Herein lies the main reason why garbage collectors are among the best-paid workers around.
There are not so many people that are attracted by this dirty and dangerous job, but most sanitation workers and garbage collectors are used to the dirty smell of waste and rotting food which may include the smell of rotten eggs and used diapers, just to mention some options.
Garbage collectors need to work throughout the year regardless of rain, heat, snow, or hail, and garbage deposition can be a real hotspot for many dangerous viruses or life-threatening bacteria. Although many view the job as dirty and disgusting, it pays rather well, and garbage collectors, on average, can take home some $60K annually.
Landfill operators, much like garbage collectors, also need to deal with huge varieties of garbage and waste every day. The key reason why the job of a landfill operator is dirty and dangerous lies in the fact that they need to work in and with the dirt of a landfill all day, irrespective of external conditions and the weather.
Landfills are actually perfect breeding grounds for bacteria, pathogens, viruses, disease-causing microorganisms, rats, and also small creatures like vermin and rodents that are so often the cause of life-threatening diseases for humans.
The key responsibility of landfill operators is removing or collecting methane gas formed at landfills. This makes the job highly dangerous because methane gas is highly inflammable and methane gas, a byproduct of decomposition, really stinks, which makes the job even more undesirable.
The good thing is, though, that landfill operators make some $100K annually, which makes it one of the highest-paying positions in the industry. If you want to see how much $100K is in hourly pay, go to this page that translates hourly pay to weekly, monthly, and annual earnings and vice versa.
Hazardous material removal worker
Hazardous material removal workers usually are employed in the field of removing toxic substances like asbestos, lead, or radioactive waste. They often work in dangerous circumstances and with life-threatening materials.
Often, crime scene cleaners need to deal with hazardous materials as well. They may have to clean up a crime scene after investigators have collected the required information. Crime scenes can be psychologically and emotionally disturbing as they may include details related to violent attacks, gruesome murders, or suicides.
It doesn’t come as a surprise that the job of a hazardous material removal worker may take a toll. For many people, it is quite challenging to separate themselves from their daily tasks, especially after being confronted with wrecking scenes. Herein lies the reason that so many people find this job highly unattractive, even though annual earnings may go up to $70K.
Head lice technician
A head lice technician inspects people’s heads and screens for lice. If needed, they provide lice removal treatment and educate their patients on how to best keep lice-free heads. This job is not so appealing, and can you envision yourself working to remove lice from a person’s head? This surely is not a fancy job! But on the other hand, it pays pretty well, and you don’t need years of training and schooling.
Usually, head lice technicians, when needed, provide all-natural removal treatment to get rid of lice. Lice removal technicians are the primary caregivers that families rely on to make sure their family will become entirely lice-free. If you think about taking on this job, keep in mind that your main responsibility relieving a family’s stress.
Head lice technicians must exude calmness. They must take control of any stressful situation while dealing with the issue of head lice. They must give the families peace of mind while putting all their expertise to work. They are responsible for removing all signs of lice infestations from all the family members’ heads. The mean salary of head lice technicians is $43K, while experienced, top-notch professionals can take home over $68K a year.
Urine collector or Urine farmer
As the job title already suggests, urine farmers or urine collectors farm and collect urine from animals like deer to create highly effective hunting lures. There are even urine collecting farms, and usually, urine collectors are involved in the process of urine collecting. Often, urine collecting farms have rooms where the deers will be kept overnight.
In these rooms, there are tiny holes in the floor where the urine drips through to be collected into storage containers. The urine that’s collected is subsequently refrigerated and packaged so it can be sold and shipped. White-tail deer farmers, for example, are collecting urine from these animals. They use the undiluted urine, which is packed with pheromones, to attract bucks. So the urine is used as a lure which makes it a lot easier to hunt them.
Urine farmers can easily make over $100K annually per deer based on the estimation that one deer can produce around half a gallon of urine each day, while deer urine costs between $4 and $13 per ounce (around $256 and $832 daily).
Bovine semen collector
It is quite simple: bovine semen collectors are collecting bull semen. These professionals are using electro-ejaculator devices that are inserted into the bulls’ rectums. These devices apply mild electrical stimulations of the animals’ accessory sex glands, which will induce ejaculations.
The bovine semen collectors subsequently collect the semen with an AV (Artificial Vagina). An often-used method is to freeze the bull’s semen. Freezing bovine semen is actually a good method of conserving and preserving bovine semen for the purpose of future artificial insemination, even after the semen donor has died. There are not that many people, I guess, that would love to spend their entire working day inducing ejaculation in animals and collecting semen, but the job comes with decent pay, and I guess you’ll get used to it, like with everything, right?
Bovine semen collectors may have, in the eyes of many, a rather disgusting job, but the earnings are quite well, and these professionals average around $44K annually, while top-rated experts can make more than $63K a year.