The 25 Dirtiest Jobs on Planet Earth

by Shenron on October 5, 2009

That mediocre office chair you’re probably slouched in right now is the source of misery in your day to day world. Sure, bad posture may not be your dream side-effect to getting to sit all day but at least you have a chair to take a load off in. But there are people out there in the world, the ones that make your day to day life tick over that only dream of your office chair. To them it’s more of a throne than a cheap piece of manufactured, uncomfortable plastic. Quit your whining! Let’s take a look at the men and women that do the dirtiest jobs in the world so that we don’t have to. Without them, we’d crumble. I warn you though, some of these leave political correctness in the dust.

1. Garbage Man:

Garbage Man

If you couldn’t guess, the garbage guy is the one that picks up your waste every week. He gets a flimsy pair of gloves to keep those old eggs and cat litter off of his hands. You obviously don’t want to touch it, so kudos to them.

2. Sewer Cleaner:

Sewer Man

All of that waste that goes down you toilet ends up in a massive series of pipes under the ground to be transported to a processing planet. But on occasion, things get stuck. And when things get stuck there are two possible outcomes. The waste will either spew right back out of the drain or some lonely soul has to climb down into the sewer to unclog it. Since you’ve probably never seen sewage spew onto the street I’m sure you can guess which option is usually chosen.

3. Egg poo cleaner:

egg poo

“What the…” You’re right. It’s weird. But when chickens pop out eggs for our consumption they’re covered in a not so enjoyable substance. You get the gist.

4. Dishwasher:

dirty dishwashing

Putting things into the dishwasher is not what we’re talking about. Before dishes can make their way into the dishwasher at restaurants, the dishes have to be cleaned off. It’s usually left to some pimply teenager to do. But after a long shift of scraping half eaten food off of plates, you might actually feel sorry for them.

5. Cow Insemination:

Cow Insemination

Believe it or not, this is an actual job. On cow farms, the ones that produce the meat you eat, waiting for cows to reproduce on their own can often take too long. So through a little genetic engineering, scientists figured out how to artificially inseminate a cow to make farming go a little faster.

6. Zoo Keeper:

Zoo Keeper

Those animals surely aren’t going to clean themselves. I’m sure they look really nice in their cages but that’s only because the kind folks that work behind the scenes keep the animals clean and fed. Next time you’re at the zoo, thank them. Actually….don’t. That may be a little weird.

7. Roughneck:

200365861 001 The 25 Dirtiest Jobs on Planet Earth

No, it’s not the same thing as redneck. A roughnecker is someone that works on an oil rig. While you may not thank your local zoo keeper, thank the guys that risk their lives every day just so you can drive your Hummer to and from work. They put in one hell of a job on the rigs and deserve a lot of credit, not just for what they produce, but for their courage.

8. Concrete Truck Cleaner:

 The 25 Dirtiest Jobs on Planet Earth

Operating a concrete truck is a delicate balance between using and cleaning. Because concrete dries rather quickly it’s important that it doesn’t dry while inside the truck. So after every job and an almost life-support type system to keep the concrete wet inside, the truck has to be cleaned out. And unfortunately, there’s no easy way to do it.

9. Disaster Cleanup:

photo bob duncan sb oil cleanup The 25 Dirtiest Jobs on Planet Earth

After a huge storm rolls through, someone has to do all of the dirty work and clean everything up. It can take months to clean up a disaster area, such as the Hurricane Katrina aftermath. Imagine getting dirty in your garden one dreary Sunday afternoon. Now imagine doing that again. And again. And again….for months at a time.

10. Demolition Expert:

demolition services cincinnati The 25 Dirtiest Jobs on Planet Earth

Blowing up buildings is no easy feat. Working in a hard hat zone for a few weeks before a building is set to tumble can get pretty grimy. It isn’t just throwing a stick of dynamite into the middle of the structure. The building has to be stripped of everything but its bare bones before any progress can be made and that lengthy process can get some dirt under the fingernails.

11. Mechanic:

diesel mechanic The 25 Dirtiest Jobs on Planet Earth

Speaking of getting dirt under the fingernails, mechanics never get the credit they deserve. Yeah, they can be a little pushy when they insist your tires are a little worn and you need an entirely new set otherwise your car will fly off the road, but give them a little credit. They climb under your car and get oil in places you would never even dream of just so your kids can get to soccer practice on time and safely.

12. Fuel Tank Cleaner:

FuelTankSludge w The 25 Dirtiest Jobs on Planet Earth

Unlike small planes, large aircraft burn copious amounts of fuel in any given trip. Over time this fuel dries and clings to the side of the fuel tank inside the aircraft causing danger to the new fuel as well as to the integrity of the wing and tank. Not to fear though, right? There’s always someone around to clean it up. Often by climbing into the wing itself, cleaning crews will scrub tooth and nail to get the innards clean only to make a few more rounds before they’re at it again.

13. Pig Farmer:

pig farmer

It’s often said that there’s nothing dirtier than pigs in this world and for pig farmer’s that’s probably true. It may seem sad that the human race has lowered itself to playing in pig poo and mud for a day’s work but someone has to get it done. It’s not all fun and games ya know. Someone has to raise the pigs so that we all have lovely bacon and sausages for breakfast.

14. Wastewater Treatment:

Waste Water Cleaner

Once all of your toilet water makes it out of your house and passes through the hands of the sewer cleaners, it makes its way to the wastewater treatment plant. Here the water gets treated to become usable sprinkler water in parts of the U.S. or is treated so that it is safe to release into the wilderness. Most of the process is automated but being part of the crew that gets down and dirty with the smells and waste on a daily basis is probably something most of us want to stay far away from.

15. Food processing:

wvrattlesnake The 25 Dirtiest Jobs on Planet Earth

This one covers a wide array of jobs. Those poor souls that pick apart our meat and fish for our consumption deserve a gold medal. It’s not just as simple as cutting the animal into small pieces and sending it off to stores. No way, all of the “waste” products must be disposed of. That’s where the people in food processing plants come in. There are those that actually cut the meat into smaller portions and then there are those that endure pounds of fat, waste, and slop just to find the edible parts in between.

16. Oil Spill Cleanup:

oil spill 3 The 25 Dirtiest Jobs on Planet Earth

Natural disasters can’t be prevented but man made ones like oil spills can. In most cases, oil spills are even more of a nightmare than any hurricane that rolls through. If you’ve ever gotten a little bit of oil on your fingers after working on your engine and can remember how difficult it was to get it off then you can appreciate the effort that goes into cleaning up an oil spill. But it’s not just the water that ends up looking disgusting, there are many animals that get covered in oil when a disaster like this occurs. Cleaning them up one by one is a massive job. And as a result, cleaning yourself up, head to toe, from an oil spill CAN’T be fun either.

17. Roofing Tar:

tar and gravel roofing The 25 Dirtiest Jobs on Planet Earth

Here’s one you’ve probably never heard of. Most industrial building go without the traditional roofing tile structure on their exterior for expense reasons. As a result, an alternative method had to be developed. That method is called roofing tar. It’s essentially road tar that garnishes the roof and protects it from the elements. But, hot roofing tar doesn’t lay itself. Like hot, messy Playdoh, roofing tar is dangerous to work with and can get you covered in black in no time flat.

18. Nurse:

General India Nurses treating womans leg in the hospital attached to Nursing school at Muttuchira Kerela

Not all parts of nursing are messy but when it comes to caring for patients that can barely open their eyes, things can get a little hairy. Obviously their bodies don’t stop functioning just because they’re not conscious of it. Cleaning them up takes dedication and a real love of our fellow human beings.

19. Porta-Potty cleaner:

RV Store 145 800x600 718294 The 25 Dirtiest Jobs on Planet Earth

Go to any huge public gathering and you’re sure to see a portable toilet. They’ve been around for ages and most of the time, they’re unbearable to even use. But what about the people that have to clean all of that mess up? By now you’re probably enjoying that pitiful plastic office chair of yours.

20. Colonoscopy:

worstjobs01 The 25 Dirtiest Jobs on Planet Earth

There’s no way you want to hear about this one but since this is a list of the worst jobs on the planet, it had to be mentioned. Doctors provide an invaluable service by examining your colon for cancer polyps but while we don’t like to admit it, they’re looking at some very disgusting stuff. If there’s one doctor’s bill you shouldn’t mind paying, it’s to the guy that puts his hand where even you’re afraid to.

21. Swamp Boat Operator:

airboat The 25 Dirtiest Jobs on Planet Earth

There are only a few places in the country in the world where this is applicable but wherever there are swamps, there are swamp boat operators. Swamp boat operation could be anything from recreation to necessity if anyone ever gets lost in the swamp. Being on the boat is the safest part of the whole journey. It’s when you actually have to step off of the boat into the muddy, mysterious swamp that things get a little hectic. Go on, you try it.

22. Road Work:

road paving The 25 Dirtiest Jobs on Planet Earth

Similar to the job that requires putting tar on the roofs of new buildings, laying new roads for us to drive our air conditioned cars down is hot work. The tar is smelly and grimy and in blistering heat, it could be considered the most terrible thing a human could possibly conceive. (OK, maybe not).

23. Semen Analysis:

Semen Analysis

This one goes beyond the boundaries of political correctness but here we go. Semen samples are taken all of the time for either scientific research or for sperm donation banks. But to ensure that the sperm is healthy and fit for use, someone has to comb through it and make sure it’s alright. You can put this one at the bottom of the list of things I’d like to see myself doing in the near future.

24. Exterminator:

exterminator The 25 Dirtiest Jobs on Planet Earth

Rats and insects don’t get rid of themselves all too often, that’s why we have specialists that can do it for us. The dirt doesn’t normally accumulate very quickly but the stench of rats, mice, other insects, and insecticide floods your nostrils and stains your clothes faster than you can blink.

25. Dumpster Washer:

indian waste pickers 080807 The 25 Dirtiest Jobs on Planet Earth

To finish off the list we’ll throw in another job that you’ve probably never heard of. Dumpsters, even though they’re home to all of our trash, still need cleaning out. If they don’t get cleaned out, mold and infectious material can gather and over time can become harmful. The stench alone would probably be enough to drive a sane man to do crazy things. But just imagine if that month old sandwich or cream made its way onto your arm. You probably wouldn’t be too happy.

So there it is. Do you have anymore to add?

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Pharmacy Schools October 6, 2009 at 10:07 am

I’ll take the most trusted profession of a pharmacist over all of these positions any day :D


Fiona Regan October 6, 2009 at 2:12 pm

Some of them jobs make my stomach turn just looking at them. Sewer Cleaner is the worst for me tho.


Bob October 6, 2009 at 2:16 pm

This is awful its as if the author scratched his ass and thought of jobs he didnt want and wrote them down in no particular order.


wankooo October 6, 2009 at 2:43 pm

there’s worse: there are divers specialised in diving in sewage plants – shit divers…


Ayaz October 6, 2009 at 2:45 pm

yea all theses jobs are dirty but Nursing you cannot say like this. I would Prefer Nursing.


Chis October 6, 2009 at 3:42 pm

I think Exterminator job is much hard and Food Processing too.. rest are ok.


Jon October 6, 2009 at 4:51 pm

Erm egg poo cleaner?

My uncle has 8 chickens, 4 bantams and a duck.

Never has an egg come out with even that smallest amount of anything like that on it. someone must be pulling your leg with that, the most you get is a couple of feathers on it.


Dan October 6, 2009 at 4:51 pm

Cow Insemination :D


John Woods October 6, 2009 at 5:00 pm

Wow, Sewer cleaner i would not want to be!



Jeff Maas October 6, 2009 at 6:26 pm

Chicken Catcher!! Neal down on chicken droppings and ‘collect’ 14 – 16 chickens carry them back to the loader – repeat. Done in near darkness with an amonia conent in the air that would make a normal person choke. It dusty its dirty its disgusting.


D October 6, 2009 at 6:44 pm

A friend of mine operates a business as a dumpster cleaner for companies. It’s mostly done using cleaning machinery/high pressured water hoses. Makes a lot of money from it too. Even in a recession companies are going to need their dumpsters cleaned!


Joe October 6, 2009 at 7:55 pm

Wow…nearly all of these have been done by Mike Rowe on the show Dirty Jobs. Pretty decent list.


Cock October 6, 2009 at 8:05 pm

You do realize that Mike Rowe covers dirty jobs on a weekly basis. This article and associating pictures was a waste of my time.


Sylvia Kafura October 6, 2009 at 10:39 pm

You think everybody knows Mike Rowe? They don’t. It wasn’t waste of time for them.


El Tenning October 6, 2009 at 8:42 pm

I empty the abandonned dwellings of junkies for a living. Once made an application for the sewage cleaner position.


Jeffery October 6, 2009 at 8:43 pm

Sewer cleaner is the nastiest thing I’ve ever seen. Made me drop my electronic cigarette right out of my hands.


Happypants78 October 6, 2009 at 10:35 pm

I would like to add one, since the year I spent working at an adult bookstore cleaning out “The Booths” was beyond horrible. Couple that with the fact that they had to be cleaned at six o’clock AM since that was the slowest part of the day, AND you have to be the one to knock on the doors asking them to please leave for cleaning. It all makes for a really bad morning. Every morning.


FOMSG October 6, 2009 at 11:18 pm

US Army Graves Registration

Hands down. Worst. Job. Evar.


Acky October 7, 2009 at 2:09 am

There’s one job that you’ve missed off your list.

My ex-wife used to test medical samples, you know semen (mentioned above), but also blood, urine and feces.

The team would rotate, so you got to work on a different substance each day. Everyone dreaded working on feces on a hot day, when the substance had fermented, knocking the top off the specimen bottle and frothing down the side.



Hannah October 7, 2009 at 4:05 pm

Being a mother to small children is a pretty disgusting job, cleaning up vomit, poop etc. Of course that is only a small part and the rest is quite rewarding.


Swordfish1174 October 11, 2009 at 1:58 am

I think number one should be 15 and number 15 should be number 1 and also the port a potty should be in the top 5 that is really gross and i surely wouldnt want that job ever. I seen another article like this on this site where people were actually doing this and the jobs wrere just as gross even if not grosser.


anonymous October 19, 2009 at 9:22 pm

Actually, there are people who specialize in scuba diving into cow manure lagoons to unclog pipes and vents. I think that wd count as a winner. That or Doctor.


Ayyaz November 26, 2009 at 4:49 pm

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