These Are 6 Dirty Jobs, But Somebody Has to Do Them

The cringe-worthy tasks that are all in a foul day’s work for a choice few.

The cringe-worthy tasks that are all in a foul day’s work for a choice few
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Plumber: Mopping up animal waste as a farmer is pretty terrible, but contending with human waste as a plumber is also no picnic. Many of the pipes that plumbers install, connect and solder carry wet waste from our appliances (dishwashers and garbage disposals) and our persons (use your imagination), so a busy technician could easily end the workday smelling like whatever he or she released from a clogged drain, and covered in whatever he or she sat on while troubleshooting a septic problem. Fortunately, plumbers make good salaries for their willingness to deal with gunk: Their average salary in 2012 was $52,950, the BLS reports, with the top-paid earning nearly $85,000 annually. Those at the top of the field most likely underwent a four- or five-year apprenticeship as well as nearly 300 hours of technical education in safety and regulations, applied physics, chemistry and math. According to the BLS, most plumbers must also receive a state license to work independently.

[Quiz: How Much Do You Know About These 6 Dirty Jobs? ]

Gastroenterologist: These doctors are also like plumbers, but for the human body. Gastroenterologists diagnose and treat disorders that affect the alimentary canal organs (those along the route of your digestive tract, from your mouth to your anus). They Roto Rooter intestines, colons, anuses and more to discover squirm-worthy problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcers, colitis, colon polyps, rectal bleeding and diarrhea. The description might be less than savory, but the pay is good: Gastroenterologists have an average salary of nearly $200,000, SimplyHired.com reports. Like other physicians, a gastroenterologist earns his or her M.D. after receiving a bachelor's degree and completing four years of medical school. He or she must then endure three years in a residency program and another three to four years of fellowship training. Board certification isn't a prerequisite to practice, but many gastroenterologists still obtain it through the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American College of Gastroenterology.