It is a dirty job but somebody’s got to do it. According to a recent report on Salary.com, the people who do some of the dirtiest jobs in the country actually collect a nice pay check to do the dirtiest work. They provided a list of the top dirty jobs that collect a median salary of at least $40,000 a year. Most of the dirty jobs on the list don’t require a college degree—or the astronomical student debt that typically comes along with it.
Five dirty jobs that made the list:
1. Garbage Collector
Sanitary workers all over the country make a living from the garbage we throw away. Garbage men spend long hours making sure our streets are free from rotting, stinky garbage. Garbage collectors earn up to $40,000 to $60,000 a year.
2. Toilet Cleaner
Public restrooms are some of the dirtiest places on earth; full of grim, dirt, urine and excrement. Someone has to clean them and the people who do this never-ending task earn $50,000 a year.
3. Sewer Inspector
The average person flushes the toilet five times a day totaling nearly 2,000 flushes per person per year. That same person probably thinks about the sewer system an average of zero times a year. If the system is working well, we don’t even think about it. Well, the sewer inspectors and cleaners are the people who go down in the tunnels of the sewer to make sure the sewers don’t flood the streets of your city. For doing this necessary yet disgusting job, sewer inspectors can collect over $60,000 a year.
4. Coal Miner
Coal miners have a notoriously dirty job you can do and make a good living without a college degree. They leave clean and come home dirty from head to toe. These workers not only have a dirty job but also a dangerous one. They often cheat death from getting buried alive or contracting deadly diseases from the fumes they breathe in the mines. The hefty $64,000 a year is a heavy price for this dangerous and dirty job.
Keeping our pipes up and running can be a wet and dirty job. Residential plumbers often find themselves under houses and in tight dirty places keeping our modern living comfortable and convenient. Indoor plumbing is a luxury that we often take for granted and often goes unnoticed—unless of course there is a problem. We owe it to these skilled handy men that make about $35,000 to $47,000 a year.
All the dirty jobs we mentioned not only make a decent living but they are necessary to our modern society. Interestingly, even with unemployment at its highest there are 200,000 vacant positions in trades, transportation and utilities—i.e. the dirty jobs.
Mike Rowe, the creator and host of Discovery Channel’s show “Dirty Jobs” spoke to the U.S. Senate’s Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee in May 2011 proposing a national public relation campaign for skilled labor to close the skills trade gap.