5 Dirty and Dangerous Jobs in the United States

5 Dirty and Dangerous Jobs in the United States

Some people spend their days in an office with air conditioning and free snacks. Other Americans have chosen to make their living under challenging conditions where their safety is in question every day. Check out these five dirty and dangerous jobs in the United States to see if you could handle some of the most demanding careers this country has to offer.


Every single sheet of paper or piece of wood was once a part of a tree—a tree that expert loggers cut down. Loggers deal with massive trees every day, creating controlled falls to turn them into lumber. These controlled falls are perilous, and one mistake could result in a crushing injury or even death. When you combine that danger with the challenging conditions of working in the woods, it’s easy to see why logging is such a challenging profession.

Highway Maintenance

When highways need patches and repairs, a team from the Department of Transportation comes to fix the problem. During the summer, these trusted highway maintenance experts can work in sweltering conditions on the black asphalt. Then, year-round, the job remains dangerous as they complete all the work along the highway with speeding cars constantly passing by.

Derrick Operations for Oil, Gas, and Mining

Derrick operators are the ones overseeing the drilling at oil, gas, and mining operations. They are responsible for sludging through the ground and mud to ensure that the derrick is operating correctly. This job can get dirty fast, but these operators are essential in the subterrane drilling process.

Iron and Steel Worker

Welding can be dangerous enough with the extremely high temperatures that welders work in; now, imagine doing that job while balancing on a beam hundreds of feet in the air. While the process of building skyscrapers has changed over the last hundred years, what hasn’t changed is the courage of the men and women who assemble these massive structures. Iron and steel workers spend their days welding the frames of skyscrapers, and one slip could be fatal.

Hazardous Waste Removal Specialist

For every building full of asbestos or pond full of chemical waste, there is a hazardous waste removal specialist whose job is to clean out the dangerous toxins in the space. These specialists are experts who even know how to properly remove and dispose of radioactive material if necessary. They typically work in hazmat suits for a reason: they interact with the most dangerous trash in America.

These five dirty and dangerous jobs in the United States might not be for everyone, but we sure are thankful for those who put their safety on the line to get these essential jobs done.