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The Dirtiest Jobs That Pay


The Dirtiest Jobs That Pay

Posted by Bridget Quigg
Dealing with death, bodily fluids and feet may not be the most pleasant experiences, but if your ick tolerance is pretty high, some of the dirtiest jobs can make it worth your while to get your hands dirty.  Curious about what you're worth? Calculate your salary.
1. Veterinarian
Puppies and kittens are cute, but, their bodily fluids? Not so much. Veterinarians diagnose and treat the dysfunctions and diseases of animals, but, according to Megan Lantz, registered veterinary technician at Northwest Veterinary Hospital in Seattle, Wash., sometimes working with animals can seem like a "flash flood of poop." If that doesn't deserve a ranking among the dirtiest jobs, what does?

"A strong stomach is definitely needed in this field," Lantz says.

Median Veterinarian Salary: $75,650

2. Waste Management Engineer
The most obvious dirtiest jobs involve a little bit of garbage, and waste. Waste is a thankfully more non-descript way to refer to the materials that Waste Disposal Managers have to think about and deal with every day. But, whether it be garbage, hazardous substances or human waste, these brave individuals must devise ways to dispose of that waste or reduce its volume. This is why Waste Management Engineers fill a rightfully earned spot on the list of dirtiest jobs.

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Median Waste Management Salary: $47,600

3. Trauma Surgeon
The job facts about trauma surgeons, aren't always pretty. Trauma surgeons are exposed to plenty of blood and guts, while treating patients who have been critically injured, but Dr. John Morris, professor of surgery at Vanderbilt University, wouldn't use the word "gross" to describe his job.

"When I see people who are severely injured, my response isn't 'that's ugly.' I look at it as a challenge to the skills I've developed over the years."

Median Trauma Surgeon Salary: $333,100

4. Coroner
Death is a fact of life, but for people in this field, it's also an integral part of every workday. Coroners investigate death to determine cause. They perform autopsies, conduct interviews, conduct pathological and toxicological analyses, and investigate circumstances of death. They may also testify at hearings and trials. Although it's one of the dirtiest jobs, job prospects for coroners in the United States continue to grow.

Median Coroner Salary: $46,700

5. Certified Nurse Midwife
Babies are beautiful, but birth is another story. The sight of a baby emerging from its mother's womb is both awe-inspiring and, let's face it, a little gross. With home births on the rise, certified nurse midwives, who oversee prenatal care as well as assist mothers with delivery, are in higher demand. Like most of the dirtiest jobs, it may not be too clean, but certified nurse midwives definitely fill a necessary role in society. 

Median Nurse Midwife Salary: $80,200

6. Forensic Scientist
The popularity of shows like CSI have audiences fascinated with crime scene investigation. But, while the work is certainly interesting, it can be far from pleasant. On TV, it may not look like one of the dirtiest jobs, but forensic scientists must collect, identify, classify and analyze physical evidence from some pretty gruesome crime scenes, and depending on their specialty, may routinely handle human blood, hair and tissue.

Median Forensic Scientist Salary: $48,100

7. Podiatrist
A list of the dirtiest jobs wouldn't be complete without mentioning feet.  For podiatrists, dealing with foot diseases and deformities is no sweat, but if feet gross you out or if you suffer from podophobia (the fear of feet), this job could give you the heebie jeebies.

Median Podiatrist Salary: $112,900

8. Oil Drill Worker

When price of gas is up in the U.S., the oil industry stands out as a great place to be. But, working in the oil fields is one of the dirtiest jobs, and sometimes dangerous. Drillers set up or operate a variety of drills to remove petroleum products from the earth and to find and remove core samples for testing during oil and gas exploration.

Median Oil Drill Worker Salary: $41,800

9. Gastroenterologist
Performing colonoscopies might not be your cup of tea, but for some, it's a living. When Dr. Michael Kreines, gastroenterologist at the Ohio Gastroenterology & Liver Institute, was exploring specialties in medical school, he steered clear of gastroenterology. "It just seemed really unappealing," he says.

But as a resident, Kreines was taken under the wing of a gastroenterologist who showed him just how interesting the field could be. "We help people with a wide variety of intestinal and digestive issues that are actually quite interesting and challenging," says Kreines.

Median Gastroenterologist Salary: $330,100

*Median annual salary numbers are for people with 5-8 years of work experience in the specified field.

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