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Do you have what it takes to be an oil rig worker? What about a garbage collector? Or even a funeral director! You might think that high-paying jobs are in extremely sought-after, with many people competing for limited job openings. But this is not always the case.
Some of the world’s highest-paying jobs are jobs that nobody wants! Some jobs are downright unpleasant, dirty jobs or littered with occupational hazards—but they remain attractive to many. While not for everyone, they are performed by well-compensated people.
Why, you might ask, aren’t some of these jobs drawing the American workforce? They’re unsafe, dirty, or dangerous but ideal for many who believe the risks are an essential aspect of their work. In other words, they “enjoy” doing the grunt work without much of the glory or the clout that other professions provide.
People want to make tons of money with their jobs. It’s evident whether that’s their primary goal in choosing a profession or just a nice bonus. The more unpleasant or unappealing a job is, the higher the pay. Many dangerous, dirty, or simply unpleasant jobs do not necessitate a college degree or even extensive experience. They do, however, necessitate a solid commitment to the task at hand, and some require an even stronger stomach.
20 High-Paying Jobs That Nobody Wants
Crime Scene Cleaner
Average Annual Salary: $45,270
Crime scene cleaners are tasked with the unpleasant and disgusting task of cleaning up the crime scene after the necessary investigation has been completed. This job that nobody wants cleaning up after the incident and clearing out various other items scattered throughout the area.
The number of hours of cleaning will depend on the number of casualties and how the body was discovered. It can range anywhere from at least 5 hours to a few days.
Also, remember that this task is not for people who are easily intimidated and nauseous after seeing such a gory sight, and it can also cause post-traumatic stress disorder or clinical depression.
Aside from that, the job can be dangerous because the crime scene cleaner must be careful not to contract any infections or diseases after contact with the deceased person’s bodily fluids. So, protective equipment is essential for the job.
No formal education is required to become a crime scene cleaner. However, the majority of bioremediation companies provide OSHA training and on-the-job education. As a crime scene cleaner, you may encounter the following training programs:
- Hazardous communication training
- Heat-illness awareness training
- Bloodborne pathogen training
- Medical waste handling and transporting training
- Respiratory protection training
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) training
Average Annual Salary: $51,210
Before loved ones can say their final farewell at a funeral, the deceased’s body must be prepared for viewing. It is up to embalmers to carry out this duty.
Most people prefer not to think about the tasks involved in preparing a dead body for a funeral, such as gluing eyelids shut and injecting embalming fluid into arteries.
The embalming industry has a 0.2 percent unemployment rate. This lucrative career that nobody wants will never go out of style with people dying every day.
To become an embalmer, you’ll need an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in mortuary science, preferably from an American Board of Funeral Service Education-accredited institution. Such programs are available at some community colleges and funeral service academic institutes—the majority of these programs award associate’s degrees rather than bachelor’s degrees.
Median Annual Wage: $76,219
Numerous hazardous conditions come with working as a coal miner. These workers face a slew of gaseous and chemical hazards throughout their careers, resulting in debilitating health problems.
A coal miner does not work in the most glamorous work environment. It can be dark, dirty, and stuffy, primarily in an underground mine. A coal miner must be physically fit and have good strength, endurance, and dexterity
You must have a GED or a high school diploma to apply as a coal miner, and complete specialized training and an apprenticeship program.
Annual Average Salary: $39,100
Garbage collectors gather trash from each street corner while working long shifts and avoiding being hit by raging traffic while working out in the street.
Most sanitation workers have grown accustomed to the odor of rotting foods and waste, which may also contain used diapers and rotten eggs.
They must also work all year, whether in the rain, snow, or hail, because garbage accumulation can be a breeding ground for life-threatening bacteria and viruses.
Most jobs require candidates to show their high school diploma and obtain on-the-job training from an experienced worker to develop basic skills.
Animal Urine Farmer
Median Annual Wage: $93,440 to $303,680
Urine farmers collect urine from animals to aid in creating hunting lures.
Farmers of white-tailed deer, for example, collect urine from the animals. The undiluted urine contains pheromones that attract bucks, making it easier to hunt them with the urine as a lure.
Urine farmers collect urine by keeping deer in specially designed rooms with holes in the floor. The urine will drip into storage containers through the holes. The urine will then be packaged, refrigerated, and shipped to be sold.
Professional urine farmers do not have specific educational requirements, but it is critical to educate yourself about the farming process, the equipment and tools, and what to expect from this career.
Sanitary Landfill Operators
Annual Average Salary: $39,786
Similarly to garbage collectors, landfill operators must deal with a wide range of waste and garbage daily. They work all day in a landfill regardless of weather or external conditions and become exposed to bacteria, pathogens, disease-causing microorganisms, and small animals like rodents and vermin that cause life-threatening diseases.
A landfill operator’s primary responsibility is to remove and collect methane gas produced by landfills. Because methane gas is highly flammable, this job is also extremely hazardous and nobody wants it!
A bachelor’s degree is held by 15.6% of Sanitary Landfill Operators, but the minimum requirement is a high school diploma or GED.
Median Annual Wage: $37,820
People should avoid all kinds of creepy crawlers, but exterminators charge headfirst into the problem.
Exterminators, or professional pest control workers, inspect commercial and residential properties for signs of pest infestations and treat them if they are found. Cockroaches, hornets, termites, and rats are just a few species they work with.
The field is expected to grow exponentially over the next ten years, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The educational requirement (minimum) is a high school diploma or GED. However, pest control workers must be licensed, and licensing requirements vary by state.
Oil Well Rig Driller
Annual Average Salary: $75,511
Oil rig workers works at sea or on shorelines in highly hazardous conditions to collect a potentially six-figure salary according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Because the job is done on a boat, the average shift lasts about twelve hours on a rotating schedule and can be done at any time.
Oil rig workers are expected to use their full potential during those long hours, performing tasks such as cleaning, maintaining pipes, and operating the rotary drill rig if they are high-ranking enough.
When it comes to work experience, spending months of the year on an uncomfortable boat isn’t for everyone. It doesn’t allow for much work-life balance, and living at sea is dangerous and exhausting.
Becoming an oil rig worker does, however, provide the opportunity to earn a substantial salary after working your way up the ranks with few educational requirements. You only need to complete high school or obtain a GED.
Median Annual Wage: $59,934
Eating a full serving of crab is what we live for. However, getting it from the ocean to the plate is a grueling task undertaken by crab fishers. Fishers must work for months in the cold, harsh seas, battling some of the most dangerous storms known to man.
A crab fisher’s duties necessitate a high level of physical strength to haul in massive amounts of crab during the viable season and brave unforgiving storms. Crab fishers are also restricted to working only during a short season each year and in specific locations.
While the profession is not for everyone, it does not necessitate any formal education, and successful crab fishers can earn well over $100,000 per year.
Average Annual Salary: $88,540
Most children do not grow up with the ambition of becoming an elevator installer and repairer when they grow up, but if they knew how much money they could make in this field in a year, they might be more inclined to consider it as a career path.
The title implies what elevator installer responsibilities are. They use blueprints to put together the moving parts of a transportation device that buildings have become almost entirely reliant on.
A high school diploma or GED is required to work as an elevator mechanic. Elevator mechanics with an Associate Degree in Electronics Engineering Technology are in high demand. Most, however, learn their trades through apprenticeship programs sponsored by local businesses, unions, and contractors.
Portable Toilet Cleaner
Median Annual Wage: $36,845
Portable toilet cleaners must deal with human excrement daily as part of their job. Because portable toilets lack a mechanism for removing the dumped human wastes, manual cleaning through pressurized water hoses is the only way to clean such structures.
These employees clean at least 50 to 60 portable toilets per day! They wear protective clothing and ensure adequate disinfection to avoid diarrhea, nausea, or even typhoid or hepatitis in this job that nobody wants!
A portable toilet cleaner must have an excellent driving record and at least a Class C license to drive the truck. To upgrade to this class, passing the examination must obtain a Class C license.
Average Annual Salary: $51,236
Sewage inspectors work long shifts checking and locating clogs, leaks, and cracks in the underground sewers. They swim through human excrement and toxic waste to determine hidden flaws in the sewage system and ensure it is well-functioning.
Workers stay underground for extended periods, where there is no direct source of natural light and a scarcity of oxygen to breathe in, and may eventually lead to asphyxiation and breathing problems. They get exposed to a slew of creepy crawlies and dangerous microorganisms.
The only advantage of the job is that it is possible to earn at least $50,000 per year with only a high school diploma. Furthermore, for most young professionals, this is a stable job.
Median Annual Wage: $65,772
Working in the adult entertainment industry is commonly dangerous, life-threatening, and highly unsanitary. Adult entertainers are subjected to situations that are unsanitary and unprotected.
Many workers are susceptible to sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS and Syphilis, which can be fatal if contracted. They are rarely able to choose their clients, and most of them end up working with actors whom they do not find appealing or attractive.
Although most adult entertainers are paid a lot of money for each film they make, the amount of work takes hours and hours, even if the scene is only a few minutes long.
Annual Average Salary: $394,124
Whatever we eat travels a 25-foot journey through our digestive tract, and when problems arise, there is only one type of doctor we can turn to for assistance: the gastroenterologist, also known as a GI doctor. These doctors in this high paying job specialize in a process that most of us would prefer to remain a mystery: the body’s digestion.
Nobody ever discusses or describes their digestive problem. GIs diagnose and treat uncomfortable and embarrassing ailments, such as gas, abnormal stools, and back pain.
To become full-fledged gastroenterologists, these doctors must complete four years of medical school, three years of residency, and two to four years of fellowship.
Median Annual Wage: $27,530 to $63,620
It’s not the most glamorous type of work, but being a sewer flusher makes you responsible for keeping the country’s sewer systems running. Sewer flushers clear blockages caused by congealed layers of cooking fat, oils, and non-biodegradable waste that accumulate in pipes.
This job requires a strong stomach for this path and the ability to perform physical labor in cramped, claustrophobic, and stinky conditions. It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it!
In most cases, you don’t need any formal academic entry requirements, and training is provided on the job.
Annual Average Salary: $74,164
Unless you have the stamina to drive long distances across multiple states, becoming a truck driver is probably not for you. The job entails transporting materials from one location to another in a tractor-trailer oftentimes for long hours. According to labor statistics, average annual salaries of truck drivers, indeed, makes this career a well paying job in this field.
Loading cargo, completing the necessary paperwork, and inspecting trucks before and after driving are all truck driver’s responsibilities. They embark on long-distance drives and sleep in their vehicles.
The majority of companies require truck drivers to have a high school diploma or the equivalent. A commercial driver’s license is required for all long-haul truck drivers (CDL). The requirements for obtaining a CDL vary by state, but most require passing a knowledge test and a driving test.
Toll Booth Operator
Annual Average Salary: $21,349
Toll booth operators spend their days working in small toll booths on roads, parking structures, bridges, turnpikes, highways, airports, and ferries – anywhere a fee must be paid from your car window. It is a time-consuming task, but it is necessary.
The toll booth operator is responsible for determining the fees drivers must pay when they arrive at the toll booth. To deal with irate customers, tollbooth employees must be tough-skinned.
No particular level of formal education is needed to work at a toll booth, but applicants for this tough job must be able to count and deal with money, and background checks are frequently required. Toll booth operators are kept very busy; however, fewer toll booth workers are needed each year as technology such as EZPass and RFID take over making job security in this position a little scary.
Median Annual Wage: $62,070
Because there are so many people working and applying for sales jobs, this one may surprise you. People dislike sales for various reasons, one of which is unrealistic goals.
All great salespeople set aggressive goals and excel when faced with adversity. On the other hand, unrealistic goals can be demoralizing and even lead to inappropriate behavior. Indiscriminate goal-setting can lead to increased unethical behavior, distorted risk preferences, and organizational culture deterioration.
If you intend to work in a specialized industry, you may need training and certification for this high paying job.
Annual Average Salary: $158,380
Podiatrists are doctors that diagnose and treat issues or diseases affecting the foot, ankle, and lower leg. Podiatrists are highly trained doctors who can diagnose, treat, and even surgically correct any problem with the lower extremities.
Aside from the time-consuming and costly education, there is a residency shortage. Furthermore, the BLS predicts that the overall employment of podiatrists will change little or not at all between 2020 and 2030. The aging population will continue to necessitate the services of podiatrists.
Average Annual Salary: $53,515
Underwater welders can make a lot of money: this specialized job requires extensive training! Underwater welders are frequently called in when offshore oil rigs and pipelines need to be repaired. While the work can be highly profitable, it is arguably the most dangerous job.
According to industry investigations, the underwater welding death rate is around 15%, making it 10x more dangerous than working as a police officer.
Divers must have extensive training and experience to follow specific safety protocols before and while performing underwater tasks. Welders are closely supervised, use appropriate, well-maintained equipment, and receive highly specialized training.
What’s the Deal with These High Paying Jobs?
Usually, these are jobs that we don’t even consider. Most people think these jobs to be filthy or dangerous. Primarily the first. They are repulsed just by reading your job titles and what you do daily.
Most of these jobs are ones that people try to avoid telling anyone about because they’ll wonder why you’d want to do it in the first place and think less of you for being so desperate.
There is one thing everyone agrees on: don’t be fooled by job titles. These jobs may sound repulsive (and they are) and make us nauseous, but they pay well. Very well! What some of us call “good money”!
In this case, the Latin proverb “pecunia non olet” (money does not stink) best explains why people do these jobs. The pay is fantastic. Everything else about the job is deplorable. Some of these—the dirtiest jobs on the planet—require a strong stomach.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I manage stress from work?
Create lifestyle changes that reduce your reliance on your career. If you currently live in a high-cost-of-living city or region, you can relocate to a lower cost-of-living area, allowing you to support yourself while working fewer hours. Keep in mind that wages in these areas tend to be lower, so plan your future income and budget carefully if you’re thinking about moving to improve your work-life balance.
An effective way to reduce work-related stress is to make decisions now to allow you to retire before the standard retirement age.
What should I ask myself before accepting these jobs?
You got through the most challenging parts of the job-search process — you wrote an excellent application, decided to take on the most challenging jobs, thoroughly researched the company, and aced the interviews. You must now decide whether you should accept the offer made to you.
- Is it a good fit for the company’s culture?
- Will this role put me to the test? Will working here help me advance my career?
- Is this position the next step toward my ultimate career goal?
- Are the company’s benefits and salary package what I’m looking for?
- Am I enthusiastic about the job/company?
Is a physically demanding job good for you?
Short bursts of high-intensity, multi-muscle-group activity have numerous health benefits. On the other hand, most physically demanding jobs do not provide us with the same benefits. Physical jobs do not raise our heart rates sufficiently to allow aerobic exercise. Physical jobs keep our heart rate elevated for an extended period.
How can I prepare for manual labor?
Manual labor jobs are incredibly profitable. There is always a demand for these listed high paying jobs, and they usually pay extremely well. The only disadvantage is that these jobs are equally dangerous. Every year, hundreds of work-related injuries occur. Unfortunately, many of these work-related accidents could have been avoided if only some planning had been done ahead of time. If you previously applied for, been offered, or accepted a manual labor job, take the right steps to reduce injury and related risks!
All jobs on this list are challenging. They call for you to work with dead bodies, toxic materials, or animal and human fluids. Indeed not a desirable prospect. However, they pay well and, as a bonus, most can be done without a degree.
Finding work in some of these fields will be simple—as long as you’re willing to put in the effort. Employers, as you might expect, are having difficulty filling open positions. How many people are interested in working as an embalmer? Few.
Except for podiatry and gastroenterology, these jobs are excellent if you want to make a lot of money quickly. Most of these high paying jobs will not be suitable for a career unless you are particularly fond of them.
These strange but wonderful jobs could earn you a decent living with initiative, hard work, and a willingness to take risks and provide you with some entertaining dinner party stories.
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