Gross Jobs That Pay

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Dealing with death, bodily fluids and feet may not be the most pleasant experiences, but if your ick tolerance is pretty high, the pay for these jobs can make it worth getting your hands dirty.


1. Veterinarian

Median annual salary: $73,621

Puppies and kittens are cute, but, their bodily fluids? Not so much. Veterinarians diagnose and treat the dysfunctions and diseases of animals, but, according to Megan Lantz, registered veterinary technician at Northwest Veterinary Hospital in Seattle, Wash., sometimes working with animals can seem like a "flash flood of poop." "A strong stomach is definitely needed in this field," Lantz says.

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2. Waste Management Engineer

Median annual salary: $67,249

Waste is a thankfully non-descript way to refer to the materials that Waste Disposal Managers have to think about and deal with every day. Whether it be garbage, hazardous substances or human waste, these brave individuals must devise ways to dispose of that waste or reduce its volume.

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3. Trauma Surgeon

Median annual salary: $273,160

Trauma surgeons are exposed to plenty of blood and guts, while treating patients who have been critically injured, but Dr. John Morris, professor of surgery at Vanderbilt University, wouldn't use the word "gross" to describe his job.

"When I see people who are severely injured, my response isn't 'that's ugly.' I look at is as a challenge to the skills I've developed over the years."

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4. Coroner

Median annual salary: $52,072

Death is a fact of life, but for people in this field, it's also an integral part of every workday. Coroners investigate death to determine cause. They perform autopsies, conduct interviews, conduct pathological and toxicological analyses, and investigate circumstances of death. They may also testify at hearings and trials.

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5. Certified Nurse Midwife

Median annual salary: $81,015<

Babies are beautiful, but birth is another story. The sight of a baby emerging from its mother's womb is both awe-inspiring and, let's face it, a little gross. With home births on the rise, midwives, who oversee prenatal care as well as assist mothers with delivery, are in higher demand.

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6. Forensic Scientist

Median annual salary: $60,000

The popularity of shows like CSI have audiences fascinated with crime scene investigation. But, while the work is certainly interesting, it can be far from pleasant. The scientists who must collect, identify, classify and analyze physical evidence are often exposed to some pretty gruesome crime scenes and, depending on their specialty, may routinely handle human blood, hair and tissue.

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7. Podiatrist

Median annual salary: $118,665

For podiatrists, dealing with diseases and deformities of the foot is no sweat, but if feet gross you out or if you suffer from podophobia (the fear of feet), this job could give you the heebie jeebies.

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8. Oil Well Driller

Median annual salary: $55,806

With gas prices on the rise in the U.S., oil is certainly a booming industry. But, working in the oil fields can be a dirty, and sometimes dangerous, job. Drillers set up or operate a variety of drills to remove petroleum products from the earth and to find and remove core samples for testing during oil and gas exploration.

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9. Gastroenterologist

Median annual salary: $239,622

Performing colonoscopies might not be your cup of tea, but for some, it's a living. When Dr. Michael Kreines, gastroenterologist at the Ohio Gastroenterology & Liver Institute, was exploring specialties in medical school, he steered clear of gastroenterology. "It just seemed really unappealing," he says.

But as a resident, Kreines was taken under the wing of a gastroenterologist who showed him just how interesting the field could be. "We help people with a wide variety of intestinal and digestive issues that are actually quite interesting and challenging," says Kreines.

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*Median annual salary numbers are for people with 10-19 years of work experience in the specified field.
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