There are jobs that have to be done because, well, they just have to be done. Some of them are nasty; others are dangerous. Some are just disgusting; this isn’t a pretty world. Some may seem like they’re something they’re really not. We don’t always think of the bad side of things when we look at most jobs. Below, kind of tongue in cheek, are 20 of the worst jobs a person could ever have, and why we believe it:

Cow Inseminator

In today’s world, there is no balance between cows and bulls. We consume a lot of meat and milk products. There’s no way a bull could get it all done on its own, so it’s up to people to help out. Yes, you know where her arm is, and it has to go really deep.

Elephant Poop Cleaner

This one could be extended to many other animals, but elephant poo is larger. Also, in some instances, people are hired to try to catch it before it hits the ground because, oddly enough, in some areas of the world it can be used to make products.

Military Private

The military can be a rewarding career, but it’s a lousy job, especially if you’re at the bottom of the totem pole. If you ever saw the beginning of Saving Private Ryan, you know who’s leading the charge and who most of the fighters are, and the fighters are the privates.

Slaughterhouse Worker

This is nasty, bloody work, and you never know where the blood is going to end up. This image is for beef, but working with chickens and pigs isn’t any cleaner.

Sanitation Worker

Most of us think sanitation workers work one day a week picking up our garbage, but even if that was true, it’s still a nasty job. You know how bad your garbage can smell after a week. These people have to smell it continuously from others every day, and sometimes they never know what they’re going to find when one of those bags opens up.

Migrant Workers

This is a tough job to do, probably one of the most physical. Migrant workers go all over the country based on which season it is to pick which crops. They don’t get paid hourly, but by how much they pick, and they have to literally kill themselves to make what doesn’t even reach a decent living. They never stay long, because once the crops are picked, they’re on to the next thing.

Industrial Logging

This is the most dangerous job in the world, with more than 120 injuries per 100,000 people. Even the most skilled loggers can’t control all trees, saws can lop off fingers and arms in a single stroke, chain saws can jerk backwards at any time, and then there are those trees where environmentalists put obstacles meant to damage the saws, but instead sometimes ends up helping to get someone killed.

Bomb Dismantler

The good thing about people who diffuse bombs is that they don’t work hard all the time. The bad thing is that they only get to make one mistake without suffering serious consequences, many times critical. On TV, you always hear the person talking about “blue wire, red wire;” that’s not true.


No one thinks of being a bouncer as a glamorous job, but they probably don’t think of it as being all that bad because bouncers get to dress however they want. The thing is they have to worry about customers with weapons, since they’re not allowed to carry any, including bottles, and if they go one step too far they’ll get arrested for assault. They never know where the next blow might be coming from.

Certified Nursing Assistant

Certified Nursing Assistants are the first level of medical personnel before you get to nurses. Most of them work in nursing homes. They handle all the dirty work on patients, which includes cleaning them up, taking care of their waste, lifting and moving them around, dressing them, taking them to eat or to therapy, and usually for not much more than minimum wage.

Odor Tester

Every’s seen the pictures of women with their noses in the armpits of men. They do more than that, and pretty much no body part is immune to being smelled.

Factory Worker

Factory work can not only be boring, it can be very dangerous. Sometimes all a factory worker is doing is sitting next to a machine, waiting for it to produce something. In other factories, these workers are welding, using clamps, cutting, or doing other things around a lot of dangerous equipment. It’s hard to keep concentration 4 hours straight, take 30 minutes for a meal, then 3 1/2 more hours straight, but they do it. This is another high worker’s compensation area.

Sewer Worker

courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives
This is another nasty job that, unfortunately, someone has to do. Sewage runs underground, and not only does someone always have to inspect that to make sure things are working, but when things go wrong, someone has to go find out what’s broken. And we all know there are all sorts of creepy crawlies underground.

Oil Rig Worker

Another nasty and dangerous job, it’s more than just pushing pipes into the ground. There’s a lot of heat involved in this job, which not only means these guys are sweaty and hot, but occasionally there’s an explosion.

Portable Toilet Cleaner

We’ve all had to go into a porta-potty, but we rarely think about how these things are cleaned out. There’s an initial drainage by this big wet vac thing, and then they have to go into it to make sure they get everything and then sanitize it by adding more liquid solution.


One of the most dangerous jobs in the world, especially coal mining. Not only are they confined to close quarters and darkness, but the weakening of the ground allows for cave-ins, and they tend to take in a lot of nasty stuff into their lungs.

Septic Tank Cleaning Person

Think about porta-potties, but with years and years worth of stuff. These people have to literally climb into the tanks to clean them out. They get paid well, but they also have to have strong stomachs and equipment to protect themselves.

House Cleaning

We think of maids and how much someone who came to our house might look and work, but this isn’t how most cleaning people get to stay. There are some very nasty people in this world, and cleaning people never know what they’re walking into, especially when it comes to houses. Bugs, rats, maggots, decay… they don’t get paid nearly enough.

Construction Worker

One of the most needed jobs, but one of the more dangerous. The higher people go, the most danger construction can be. These people have to have a high tolerance for being very high up in the air, and a great sense of balance. It takes a lot of trust to do this job because everyone is dependent upon someone else.

Police Officer

This is the worst job in the world, no matter where they are. Police do get to carry guns, but they’re expected to do everything for very little money. The rules for their decorum are tough, the decisions snap, and they don’t get to make mistakes all that often. These days they have become targets more than being perceived as authority figures, and they never know where danger is coming from or when a situation might escalate. That, and they’re never really off duty.

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