1. Quick Summary
  2. Railroad Engineer
  3. Head Lice Technician
  4. Long-Haul Truck Driver
  5. Sewage Inspector
  6. Urine Farmer
  7. Hazardous Material Remover
  8. Sanitation Worker
  9. Embalmer
  10. Proctologist
  11. Coal Miner
  12. Roughneck
  13. Landfill Gas Operator
  14. Underwater Welder
  15. Nuclear Decontamination Technician
  16. Crab Fisherman
  17. Conclusion

A high-paying job is great, but some jobs may not be desirable. These dirty jobs, which can involve tasks like collecting trash, working on oil rigs, or cleaning crime scenes, come down to what you would be willing to do for a buck. Here are 15 high-paying jobs that no one wants.

1. Railroad Engineer

Annual Salary $82,070

It’s high paying, but it’s a dirty job, and you’re traveling a lot. Sometimes, you won’t be home for weeks. You’ll need to think logically and sometimes make life-or-death decisions. The only upside is you’ll have time at home between shifts. A college degree is not required for this job.

2. Head Lice Technician

head lice tech

Annual Salary $61,645

You'll be removing, treating and preventing head lice. Although you'll usually use a special comb, sometimes you must hand-pick the lice off the head. That can make some people uneasy. Usually, head lice technicians work with children. So, you'll be educating parents and guardians on follow-up and prevention.

3. Long-Haul Truck Driver

Long-Haul Truck Driver

Annual Salary $71,196

There’s a high demand for long-haul truck drivers, and there’s a reason for this. You’ll be spending nights and days on the road. You’ll drive through multiple states. Some truckers drive cross country. Truckers move materials from location to location and are driving as well as helping to load and unload trucks. A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is needed and other requirements vary from state to state.

4. Sewage Inspector

Sewage Inspector

Annual Salary $54,939

Sewage inspectors work in sewers, which are considered one of the many dirty jobs due to the high-paying but messy and undesirable nature of the work. And to make matters worse, these sewers are underground. You’ll look for leaks, cracks, clogs, etc. As a sewage inspector, you must trudge through human excrement and toxic waste. Sometimes you must swim. Since you’ll be underground for long periods with no light and limited oxygen, you’ll be exposed to dangerous microorganisms.

5. Urine Farmer

Urine Farmer

Annual Salary $90,000

Urine farmers collect urine from animals. These are usually whitetail deer. This urine is sold to hunters. The urine attracts deer during hunting season. You’ll bring the deer into a stall when they are in heat and urinate into a trough. Then, the urine is collected.

6. Hazardous Material Remover

Hazardous Material Remover

Annual Salary $81,610

Working as a hazardous material remover is not a job most people want to do. You’ll be dealing with asbestos, radioactive materials, waste oil, lead-based paint, etc. Your job will be to remove, pack and transport these materials. The money is good, but the risks may not be. There is also potential for management positions in this field, which can offer salaries reaching over six figures.

7. Sanitation Worker

Sanitation Worker

Annual Salary $60,039

Garbage collectors, also known as sanitation workers, collect trash and keep the streets clean. They also collect and handle recycling materials. Although in some areas, you need to be in good shape to empty the trash cans into the truck, other areas use trucks with robotic arms to pick up the cans. The pay varies based on location and employer, with some garbage collectors earning up to $100,000 per year.

8. Embalmer


Annual Salary $49,000

These are also known as mortuary technicians. You would prepare a body for burial and cremation. Using a mixture of science and art, you would preserve the body's appearance at the time of death. You'll remove the blood and replace it with a preserving agent to accomplish this. Sometimes, you'll be asked to do makeup and hair.

9. Proctologist


Annual Salary $495,177

A proctologist focuses on diagnosing and treating diseases of the rectum and colon. You’ll have to do intimate examinations and procedures. These will involve bodily waste. You will note the job brings in a lot of money, but it’s definitely a dirty job.

10. Coal Miner

Coal Miner

Annual Salary $67,217

Coal miners work underground and are exposed to coal dust, gases and other pollutants. It’s a physically demanding job. You’ll be confined in small spaces and often covered in dust. It’s a dangerous job, but you don’t have to have experience or an education to perform it. Additionally, a college degree is not required for this job.

11. Roughneck


Annual Salary $110,000

Roughnecks handle heavy equipment and work in harsh environments. They are most associated with oil rig workers on a drilling rig. You’ll deal with greasy or oily substances and will be exposed to hazardous materials, dirt and grime. If you’re on a drilling rig, expect to be away from home for weeks at a time. Management positions in this field can offer annual earnings of up to or over six figures, making it a financially lucrative career path.

12. Landfill Gas Operator

Landfill Gas Operator

Annual Salary $95,413

A landfill operator manages a permitted gas facility. You’ll be dealing with decomposing waste that emits harmful gases like methane and hydrogen sulfide. It requires you to endure challenging environmental conditions. You’ll be exposed to toxins, extreme temperatures and physical hazards. This job also have a negative perception among the public.

13. Underwater Welder

Underwater Welder

Annual Salary $300,000

Underwater welding produces fumes and debris. Combine this with the murky waters, limited visibility, rust, sediment, and marine life, and you have a dangerous job. You’ll probably work on an oil rig where you’ll spend weeks at a time. But you may also work on large ships. Additionally, salary information indicates that underwater welders can earn high salaries, but the job comes with significant risks.

14. Nuclear Decontamination Technician

Nuclear Decontamination Technician

Annual Salary $69,000

Nuclear decontamination technicians work in contaminated environments. You’ll have to meticulously clean and dispose of nuclear waste to prevent exposure to the public. The work involves handling radioactive substances and contaminated equipment. It’s potentially a dangerous job. Additionally, salary information indicates that this high-earning job comes with significant risks.

15. Crab Fisherman

Crab Fisherman

Annual Salary $50,000

Although we’re calling $50,000 the annual salary, in reality, this is for three to four months of work. Crab fishers can earn a high income, but they face rough seas, freezing temperatures, and a perilous working environment on the boat’s deck. The job demands long hours of strenuous labor. The risk of injury or death is high. Slippery decks and heavy machinery are creating constant threats.

Conclusion: High Paying Jobs

There’s a lot of money to be made if you don’t mind hazardous materials, dirt or the risk of injury. If the money tempts you, consider both the risks and rewards. Ask yourself, is it worth it? Utilizing labor statistics from reliable sources like the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) can help provide accurate salary information to make an informed decision.

Bob Haegele

About the Author

Bob Haegele Bob Haegele

Bob Haegele, your personal finance guru, draws on years of experience to simplify complex financial concepts and offer actionable advice.

Dedicated to helping you achieve financial success, Bob is here to guide you through every step of your journey to financial freedom with expertise in areas such as investing, student loans, and credit cards. His work has appeared on Business Insider,, and other nationally recognized outlets.

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