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The Most Disgusting Jobs Of All Time

Any job where you’re making money is worth it, right? Well, after reading about some of these disgusting jobs you may disagree. History is full of jobs that were downright gross. Even in modern times we have a few jobs that would make even people with strong stomachs want to hurl. And what happens when you hurl? Well, there’s a job for that too. 

If you’ve got a strong stomach and aren’t grossed out easily, keep reading for the most disgusting jobs of all time. 

Maggot farmer

Maggots are possibly the grossest creatures on earth. They feature frequently in gory horror movies or murder mysteries – a body that’s been dead for a while is filled with maggots living off the decomposing corpse.

But maggots are also great lures for fishing. They are bright white-ish and squirm, making them attractive to fish. Maggot farmers are the ones that raise maggots in order to sell to fisheries and for other agricultural reasons.

When was the job most popular?

In modern times, particularly in advanced agricultural and fishing economies.

Is it still a job today?

Yes – for a variety of uses beyond just fishing.

Chicken sexer

In chicken farms, chickens are bred for one of two reasons: meat or eggs. Females will most often be bred to produce eggs while males will be fed to grow for meat.

However, chickens don’t have external reproductive organs. That’s where the job of chicken sexer comes in. It’s a nasty job that requires squeezing a chicken’s backside so its butt opens up – from there, the chicken sexer looks for the distinctive internal features of a male versus female chicken.

When was the job most popular?

Throughout modern history of chicken farming.

Is it still a job today?

Yes – particularly in larger chicken farms that want to know sex immediately.

Portable toilet cleaner

You’ve seen them before – the porta-potty at an event that is overflowing, positively disgusting, and smelling worse than anything you’ve ever seen before. You’ve probably even muttered about how you feel bad for whomever has to clean that thing when the event is over.

Well, that’s what a portable toilet cleaner does for a living. They have to deal with the variety of disgusting things that people do in porta-potties and clean up the mess for the next event.

When was the job most popular?

In the 20th century to modern times.

Is it still a job today?

Yes – though they have tools and hoses to help make things easier.

Gong Farmer

As gross as it sounds, people used to throw their waste into the streets. That meant food waste, human waste, and excess water from the house… all in the street. Eventually, that waste collected somewhere in the low ground, in what was called a privy or cesspit.

The gong farmer was responsible for digging it all up, so the cesspits didn’t overflow, and finding somewhere else to put the waste. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

When was the job most popular?

Medieval times to the late 1600s.

Is it still a job today?

No – modern sewage systems have replaced this profession.

Pee collector

When you’re caring for animals, one of the biggest questions to answer is if they are sick. Unfortunately, they can’t talk to you about what hurts and what doesn’t, so scientists and animal husbandry professionals test many things – including urine.

The pee collector’s job is to, as the name suggests, collect urine from animals by stimulating them to urinate into a cup. Sounds like drug testing gone wrong.

When was the job most popular?

In agricultural societies in the 1800s to today.

Is it still a job today?

Yes – if you work on a farm, chances are you’ll know a pee collector or find yourself having to do it at some point.

Manure inspector

Manure and fertilizer, in case you didn’t know, is made from animal poop. Sometimes there are other chemicals or things added to it, but animal poop contains nutrients that help crops grow.

Naturally, that would need to be inspected, like any item used in farming, for quality. That’s what a manure inspector does – checks the poop out to make sure it’s good enough for farm land.

When was the job most popular?

Throughout history in agricultural societies.

Is it still a job today?

Yes – manure and fertilizer is a multimillion dollar global industry, so inspections have only increased. Technology helps, though.

Barnyard breeder

Animal breeding is big business. Whether livestock that is destined to produce byproducts, like female chickens laying eggs, animals bred for meat, or animals bred for sport or enjoyment, there’s a lot going on. And when you need animals to breed, you sometimes have to help them – that’s what a barnyard breeder does.

They “help” the males and then use that to artificially inseminate females, resulting in a faster breeding process.

When was the job most popular?

Throughout history.

Is it still a job today?

Yes – though there are tools and other methods available to help.

Vomit collector

Amusement parks are famous for their thrill rides and roller coasters. Some have become infamous for making people throw up.

Unfortunately, when that happens, somebody has to clean it up – that’s how the role of the vomit collector came to be. They make sure the ride is spick and span every time – and ready for the next person to hurl. As humans continue to seek thrills that make us puke, this role likely won’t be going anywhere.

When was the job most popular?

Modern history up until current times.

Is it still a job today?

Yes – though technology and better cleaning products make it a much easier job.

Chamber maids

Before modern plumbing and toilets, people used buckets underneath chairs with holes in the middle. Unfortunately, somebody had to clean out the buckets – that’s what a chambermaid did.

Often a young girl (sometimes as young as 10 or 11), chamber maids would go into the bedrooms of their employers and empty the chamber pots whenever they were used. This could mean multiple times a day per person, making it a pretty gross job.

When was the job most popular?

From Medieval times all the way to the 1800s.

Is it still a job today?

No – modern toilets thankfully don’t require chamber maids.

Clinical waste disposal worker

Unfortunately, many people die in hospital settings. Or, if they don’t die, there are tragedies that cause loss of limbs or surgeries that remove growths.

All of this – technically defined as “clinical waste” – has to be dealt with. That’s what a clinical waste disposal worker does. They take everything, from body parts to tumors, and have to process it, break it down if necessary, and then dispose of it in a way that won’t cause a public health outbreak.

When was the job most popular?

From the 1800s to modern times.

Is it still a job today?

Yes – though conditions are likely more sanitary than in the past.

Hazmat diver

When someone commits murder or is trying to hide something, they often think one of the best places is in a vat of sewage. Few people want to spend time near sewage and the chemicals will often degrade the materials anyway.

Hazmat divers make a job of jumping into sewage. When there’s a murder or another crucial item to look for, they dive into raw sewage to take a look.

When was the job most popular?

Modern history up until current times.

Is it still a job today?

Yes – thankfully technology has increased to help keep the divers safer.

Forensic entomologist

Ever forgotten about some food in the fridge or on the counter and realized insects have made it their home? As gross as it is, the same thing happens to humans when they die – many types of insects live in and eat decomposing human remains.

In the case of murder and other crimes, forensic entomologists bring the body to their labs and study the insects they find to potentially identify both the cause of death and how long the person’s been dead for. Talk about a double whammy!

When was the job most popular?

In the 20th century to modern times.

Is it still a job today?

Yes – and is a growing career (no pun intended).

Crime scene cleaner

Filed under “gross, but somebody’s gotta do it,” we have crime scene cleaners. Unfortunately, after a crime scene is processed, it needs to be turned back to its previous state so the space can potentially be used again.

Whether a bloody shootout on the street, a breaking and entering gone wrong, or another crime, these folks are the ones that make the place look presentable again. They don’t come in until police are done any necessary investigations, though.

When was the job most popular?

Throughout most of modern history.

Is it still a job today?

Yes – with better cleaning products now.

Sewer cleaner

Most popular in India and other countries that don’t yet have fully functioning automatic sewer systems, sewer cleaners are often going chest-deep in sewage to remove growths, kill rats or other sewer creatures, and clean the sides of the sewers to avoid blocks.

Unfortunately, this is a very dangerous job, with many sewer cleaners dying in the sewers or contracting illnesses.

When was the job most popular?

Most popular in countries with limited sewage systems.

Is it still a job today?

Yes – though mostly in emerging economies and developing countries like India.

Embalmer

Humans begin to decompose within a day after dying. Within 3-5 days, they begin to emit odours as the body breaks down. Unfortunately, this is not enough time to have an open casket wake or funeral before things start to turn bad.

That’s where embalmers come in. They prepare bodies for funerals and burial by filling the body full of preservative chemicals. This delays the decomposition process so the family of the deceased can pay their respects.

When was the job most popular?

In the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.

Is it still a job today?

Yes – often a service provided through funeral homes.

Slaughterhouse worker

When buying meat, the step between the farm and your table is often the slaughterhouse. There, slaughterhouse workers take dead animal carcasses and remove skin, fur, or features, remove internal organs, and cut up the meat into recognizable shapes and sizes for sale.

It’s a bloody, gory job that many people don’t think about as they are enjoying their steak or chicken.

When was the job most popular?

Throughout modern history.

Is it still a job today?

Yes – and is growing on an industrial scale due to high demands for meat.

Whale snot collector

People who care for land animals have multiple ways to test them for health. First, you can observe them and see if behavior changes. But you can also draw blood or test urine. With whales, it’s a bit more difficult – you don’t have access to their urine or blood, so medical professionals and scientists test snot left behind as whales swim.

It’s the whale snot collector’s job to gather as much snot as possible from a whale for testing. Doesn’t sound like a good way to spend a Saturday.

When was the job most popular?

Modern history up until current times.

Is it still a job today?

Yes – and is growing as people care more about ocean animal health.

Proctologist

The human body is a wonderful thing, but many parts of it are pretty gross. Unfortunately, even the gross parts need care. And that’s what a proctologist helps with – one gross part in particular, being inside your butt. They check for potential cancer issues (particular colo-rectal and prostate cancer), among other things.

If you’re having any trouble in the.. ahem.. lower part of the body, you’ll be grateful the profession exists, even if it is uncomfortable for everyone involved.

When was the job most popular?

Modern history up until current times.

Is it still a job today?

Yes – it’s a critical part of the medical field.

Guano collector

Manure – animal excrement (poop) – is one of the best ways to offer nutrition to crops. Bat excrement in particular, called guano, is some of the most nutrient-rich manures in the world and thus is highly sought after. Since bats don’t live all over the world in public areas, guano can be difficult to track down.

Guano collectors are the people who have to go into bat habitats, often caves (making it gross AND dangerous), to find the ‘guano’ to sell to farmers and other buyers.

When was the job most popular?

Modern history up until current times.

Is it still a job today?

Yes – it’s part of the multimillion dollar fertilizer industry.

Poop stirrer

Many medical tests involve testing poop. That in and of itself is enough to make some people gag. It can be a gross job. But modern technology allows for much of the testing to be done without touching the actual poop, so researchers are spared.

The challenge, though, is moving the poop from its container from the patient into the medical testing devices then “stirring” it until it’s the right consistency to test. That’s what a poop stirrer does – their whole job is stirring poop like ice cream, getting it from lumpy to smooth.

When was the job most popular?

20th and 21st centuries.

Is it still a job today?

Yes – it’s part of the medical testing world. 

Now that you know about the grossest jobs – what about jobs that don’t exist anymore? Check that out on the next page

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