Have you ever caught yourself staring into the abyss of the computer screen at your office day job? Are you a feeling of general indifference towards life? Do you wonder what it would be like to escape the sanitized, monotonous environment of your present vocation? As you muster up the energy to bring your eyes back into focus, you may ask; “Could I earn more money if I was prepared to get my hands dirty?”
The answer is yes, if you don’t mind filth, germs and other nasties. In fact, there are people with jobs so grimy and tough, you wouldn’t swap your job with them. And probably not for all the money in the world. After reading this article, you may count your lucky stars. These jobs may make you realize everything is great in your universe right now.
There are some difficult jobs out there most people would not swap their cushy nine-to-five for, no matter what. But according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) they offer top pay and benefits for those who can stomach them. So keep reading this list of 18 downright dirty jobs that pay surprisingly well.
1. Geoduck Farmer
Geoduck, pronounced “gooey-duck” aquaculture, or geoduck farming, is the practice of farming a type of large edible saltwater clam native to the Pacific Northwest. Geoducks are the largest burrowing clams in the world and weigh on average 1.5 pounds. However, it is not rare for the creatures to grow up to six feet in length and weigh as much as 15 pounds.
You may not be surprised to hear that China is the main port of destination for these obscure and tough to acquire marine bivalve mollusks. In fact, 95 percent of the stock farmed solely in Washington State, British Columbia and Mexico goes to mainland China, Hong Kong and Japan. This is where people prize them for being a rare delicacy.
Businessweek reports that productive geoduck farmers can earn up to $75,000 annually. Livestock sells for around $20 per pound at the point of origin, while geoducks fetch over $150 per pound at its destination. But these muscular, double-shelled aquatic animals with a long average lifespan of 140 years are not easy to catch. In the wild, an adult geoduck can burrow deep into the coastal substrate. They do this to avoid most predators, except for sea otters and humans.
The method to harvest them involves loosening the substrate around them with a highly pressurized jet of water. Once loose, they collect the clams by hand and place them in milk crates for transit. It sounds clean and simple, right? It’s not. There is an arduous task the geoduck farmer performs for long hours to earn their crust.
They must roll around in and get shoulder deep in coastal mud, sand and gravel. They do this all while wrestling the alien looking beasties out of their burrows as they spray them with water. Vanilla Chai latte, anyone?