Updated 08 April 2014

5 dirty jobs

The working world contains many environments and fields of expertise, but for some of these blue collar workers, their environments aren’t very pleasant.


Having a crappy job may mean something completely different to some people than it does to you. The working world contains many environments and fields of expertise, but for some of these blue collar workers, their environments aren’t very pleasant.

Here are just a few examples of the filthiest jobs that, coincidentally, happen to be extremely important.


Fixing leaking pipes, unblocking toilets and replacing corroding “poop” pipes are just some of the everyday tasks these wondermen do.

Proper excrement disposal systems will always be needed as well as correct drainage and a system to supply fresh water. So these guys will never run out of business, whether it’s installing pipes into a new house being built, piping maintenance in an existing home or fixing the sewage draining system under the city streets.

There’s always going to be a need for good plumbers, and that’s why they don’t come cheap. They may have a filthy job, but in some countries, they are filthy rich.


If you can drill  and blast tunnels underground for nine hours and manage to come out sweatless, dirtless and odour-free then you are a mystical, magical, meticulous miner. Unfortunately,  in the real world it’s just not possible, unless you choose to go to work in a hazmat suit. In that case, you’ll most likely die from the sweltering temperatures.

At the end of the day, mining takes place in dust and mud, and it is a dirty and dangerous job. Often underpaid, these guys risk their lives to dig out gold, copper, metal ores etc to keep the economy from falling apart.

 Zoo keeper

Looking after animals is no easy task, and cleaning up after them, even worse. It’s a zoo keeper’s job to keep all the animals at the zoo well-fed and have a clean environment to live in. These animals are kept in captivity after all, not the wild.

Each animal “home” needs to be cleaned very regularly to prevent the animals from getting sick. The jobs include cleaning up animal faeces, urine and sometimes vomit.

It doesn’t end there. The animals also need to be well groomed.

 Garbage collector

No introduction needed. The friendly garbage man definitely has one of the most repulsive jobs in the world.

Filthy bins, filthy garbage truck, filthy landfills. An endless supply of trash, waste, germs and horrendous odours.  The garbage men of the world are often underappreciated for their valuable hard work.  Trash collection is extremely important for obvious reasons, without them, there would be trash everywhere and that would bring flies, vermin and, inevitably, disease.

Portable loo cleaner 

By now you must have seen at least one of the blue outdoor portable toilets. However, unlike ordinary toilets, these don’t come connected to sewerage pipes. That means someone has to clean them.

These “porta-potty” toilets are often found at carnivals, outdoor concerts and at construction sites.

They also need to be properly cleaned out to prevent diseases from spreading. And cleaning human faecal matter and urine is no “clean” job.  Again, this is a vital job because, without proper ablution facilities or clean ablution facilities, there would be problems on building sites and at major outdoor events.

It’s important to remember that these people take no excrement, whoops I mean excitement, from their jobs. But no matter how dirty the job, someone’s gotta do it.

(Kyle Boshoff, Health24, March 2011)

Read more:

8 hazardous jobs

5 weird jobs


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