7 Of The Dirtiest Jobs According To Mike Rowe

When watching Discovery's "Dirty Jobs" series, one can't help but feel sorry for the unsung heroes who tolerate some very extreme work conditions to earn a living. Mike Rowe has always been hesitant to single out the dirtiest job, but in some of his interviews he did highlight some of the worst he has tried. Let's summarize some of the dirtiest jobs Mike Rowe has mentioned (in no particular order)


Concrete Chipper

The job of a concrete chipper might not be one of the dirtiest Rowe has come across, but he did find it to be one of the hardest. Starting a day with a sledgehammer and handling that heavy tool for 12 hours on end is no joke. Cleaning the drum of a cement mixer is not only physically hard work, but extremely uncomfortable and soul deadening, to use Rowe's words. 

Concrete trucks are in use constantly and a layer of cement hardens on the inside of the drum every time it spins. By the end of the day, a thick, solid crust has formed - and someone has to chip it off. Preferably not someone who suffers from claustrophobia, as the inside of the mixer is a small, dark and awful space. Not to mention the crescendo of sound caused by the pneumatic jackhammer just above your head. You have to do this job lying on your back, wearing goggles a respirator and ear protection - but none of it really helps. This job is also very dangerous - not only can the airborne silica cause fatal lung disease, but the sound can also eventually result in permanent hearing loss.


Sewer Inspector

In season one, Mike Rowe had to help inspect the sewers of San Francisco. This was an especially challenging task as, just like this city's streets, San Francisco's sewers run up and down - making the flow quite memorable. 
This stinky job, however, comes with great responsibility. The sewer inspector has to ensure that there are no flaws in the infrastructure of these sewers that may leave them vulnerable to earthquakes. Nobody wants to see the San Francisco streets running with poo.  When the inspector however does find a crack, the task gets even worse: he has to go down the sewers with a trowel and mortar to fix it. This means that you are bent over from the load while trudging through sewage, with the effluent flowing between your legs and the lovely aroma up your nostrils.


Bat Biologist

According to Rowe, the job of a Bat Biologist is very close to the top of the list of dirtiest jobs out there. He visited Bracken Cave close to Austin, Texas, in one of the episodes, and found it to be almost unbearable. This cave houses a whopping 40 million Mexican free-tail bats and the bat biologist has the honor of inspecting the cave once a month to make sure the colony is still alive and well. 
This means wading through three feet of bat poo (guano) deep into the back of the cave where the largest portion of the population roost. At a temperature that exceeds 100 degrees and breathing in ammonia-filled air, this is no easy task.
Once you make it to the back, you stand directly underneath 40 million bats that are urinating, defecating and even giving birth randomly. Imagine having to try and dodge any and all of the aforementioned substances while trying to have a good look at the bats. While standing in guano that contains billions of flesh-eating beatles that usually eat dead bats, but are now trying to get into your pants.


Shark Suit Tester

The job of a shark suit tester must be one of the freakiest, according to Rowe.  Apparently the design of a shark suit is similar to a suit of armor from back in the day.  It is made from tightly woven high-grade steel that is (hopefully) impenetrable.  The suit tester now has to jump into the water and create a bloodbath of chum all around him. As the sharks come for blood, you need to get them to bite you. If the tester survives, the suit is effective, if not - too bad for you. 


Chicken Sexer

Determining whether a chicken is a "he" or a "she" needs to be done within the first 24 hours of its life. It is a critical job, albeit a horrible one. A baby chick's sex organs are situated in its rectum, but it is not just a question of peeking up there. The albumen (white part of the egg) blocks your view because the chick ingests it just before its birth. This means the chicken sexer has to squeeze the poo out of the chick before looking.


Snake Wrangler

This job involves actually catching a water snake and making it vomit.  As soon as you have your puke sample, you need to analyze it under a microscope to see how healthy the snake is. The snake is never enthusiastic about getting caught and it has a set of vicious teeth. If you don't grab it exactly the right way, you will get bitten. Mike says that this is annoying for the first 10 times or so, after that you just want to give up. Luckily this snake is not poisonous, but it's bite is very painful.


Horse Inseminator

This one speaks for itself: you need to collect semen from a stallion and inseminate a mare with it. This is all done by hand (no machines) to ensure that the horses don't get hurt and to ensure that you get the perfect sample. Rowe says for this you need to be exceptionally skilled with the opposable thumb. Luckily this job pays fairly well and the horse seems to enjoy it. 

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