The 20 Dirtiest Jobs in the World

Updated: Jan. 30, 2024

Your desk job won't sound so bad after seeing these dirty jobs.

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Sewer Inspector

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. Find out how to keep tree roots from fouling up your sewer line.

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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.

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Blood Worm Hunter

Blood worm hunters head to mud flats where they sift through the mud to find blood worms, 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. Get your fishing gear in order with these easy storage tips.

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Family Handyman

Seal Coater

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. Here’s how to seal coat a driveway, should you want to tackle the chore.

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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. If you ever have to deal with a carpet stain, these tips will get it out in a hurry.

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Meat Processor

As far as dirty jobs goes, this is 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. Check out some really cool grilling tools you can add to your barbecue.

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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 even some farmers hire someone to come pick it up.

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Animal Skull Processor

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. Bad smell in the house? We’ve got the answers that will pinpoint bad smells in a house.

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Animal Castrator

It’s not an enviable job but one that has to get done on farms. Dirty jobs are still jobs. Restraining an animal and then performing the incision is dirty work.

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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 waste water treatment facility and when the pump goes out, the chamber fills with waste and someone must manually filter the chamber. It has to rank toward the top of the list of dirty jobs. If your sewage ejection pump fails, see what goes into fixing it before calling a repair person.

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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 oil stains in the garage.

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Coal Miner

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. Do you know why old houses have a tiny iron door leading to the basement? The answer might surprise you.

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dfh17aug028_coyote-urine buy at home depot
Home Depot

Animal Urine Collector

You laughed when you found out coyote urine is one of 20 weird things you can buy 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 said.

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Chicken Sexer

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. Flip out over these 14 wonderful and wacky chicken coop ideas.

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Bat Guano Collector

Bat guano turns out to be a pretty good fertilizer but someone has to harvest that guano. Someone has to build bat boxes 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, see how to keep bats out of your attic.

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Sludge Cleaner

Oil, grease, dust, everything a bus picks up off the road. Bus garages have sludge pits and people have to come clean it 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.

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Horse bit
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Horse Breeder

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.

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Family Handyman

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 of you or for the tech.

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things your garbage collector wants you to know

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.

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Geoduck Farmer

A Geoduck is a large saltwater clam that can be 3 ft. long. They can sell for up to $100 a piece, according to Modern Farmer, and are native to the Pacific Northwest. Geoducks bury themselves in sand, about three feet deep, before they can be harvested.