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The Worst Jobs in America

The Jobs No One Wants


You think your job is bad? Well just be thankful you don’t work in one of these positions. We searched for jobs that are incredibly dangerous, pay very poorly or are just plain disgusting (or all of the above). On top of all that, several of these jobs are in industries that are quickly dying out, meaning that, for all your hard work, you aren’t even guaranteed a moderate amount of job security.

Still, like all positions, it may be tough work, but someone has to do it. If, by chance, you do work in one of the positions on this list, we’d love to hear your insights on the jobs, or even a defense of them, in the comments section.

Photo Credit: TenSafeFrogs

Feces Piper


Each year, Popular Science comes out with a list of the worst jobs in science. Their list is full of cringe-worthy positions like Oceanic Snot-Diver and Armpit Detective (don’t ask), but none are quite as gross as the Feces Piper. The position itself is very serious. Scientists are looking for alternatives to antibiotics, and one of them, according to Popular Science, is “introducing healthy poo into an infected patient’s gut to help recolonize the body with good, microbe-fighting bugs,” a procedure called a “fecal transplant.” Sure, at the end of the day, you get the pleasure of knowing that you did something to try to help humanity, but really dude, you just spent your day playing with poop.

Photo Credit: Debs

Fast Food Cook


There are plenty of horror stories from customers about the grub the eat at fast food restaurants, but working in many of these places is no picnic either. You have to deal with angry customers, long hours and rapid-fire orders. And as though all of that weren’t bad enough, studies in recent years have shown that cooks at fast food restaurants are among the worst paid professionals in the country. According to Payscale.com , the average salary for a fast food cook starts at just $15,000 a year and rarely goes much above $20,000. So don’t take this position if your goal is to work your way up to a bigger salary, because you probably won’t get it… unless you make manager.

Photo Credit: BrentDPayne

Janitors and Cleaners


It’s bad enough that you have to clean up other peoples’ messes for a living, but that alone wouldn’t be enough to put the position on this list. What really makes these positions bad is that they are among the most dangerous jobs in America, with more than 20,000 recorded injuries every year. That’s more than the number of injuries firefighters face each year, according to the Bureau of Labor. What’s more, hundreds of these injuries are due to assaults and violent acts. And yet, for all of that risk, the average janitor makes just $23,000 a year.

Photo Credit: Augapfel

Landscapers


Yes, this job lets you get outdoors for a little while each day, which is nice, but otherwise this is a pretty dismal profession. Landscapers earn an average of $23,000 a year and they also work in one of the deadliest professions. According to Forbes, more than 100 landscapers died in 2008, many due to falls and handling dangerous equipment.

Photo Credit: obeth1

Sewer Inspectors


You know a position is bad when Mike Rowe lists it among his worst. Rowe is the host of Dirty Jobs, a show on the Discovery Channel that highlights some of the most disgusting jobs in the country. When asked for his personal picks for the worst of the worst, he led off his list with the job of sewer inspector. There’s no doubt that these workers provide a valuable service to the community, but good deeds won’t get rid of the stench at the end of the day. That said, this job can pay more than $40,000 in certain cities, which isn’t too shabby, although it may not be enough to get many Americans to descend into the dirty pipes.

Photo Credit: Dominic’s pics

Hospital Laundry Workers


No one deserves more respect than employees who work in hospitals, but some hospital jobs are more glamorous than others. Case in point: hospital laundry workers. Askmen.com explains why you should think twice before accepting this job. “The real problem… is that they’re exposed to every infectious disease that lives on hospital fabric. Sure, they are given cotton gloves, but many don’t wear them. And since they find sharp things like needles, scalpels and broken glass mixed into the laundry, gloves don’t really help. Plus limbs and human organs are known to fall out of sheets, which only skyrockets their risk of getting a disease.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Roustabouts


Earlier this year, CareerCast.com came out with their list of the best and worst jobs in America based on factors like income, stress and physical demands. Of 200 jobs that were studied, roustabouts came out at the bottom of the list, and in truth, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise. The average starting salary for this position is just $21,000 and there is an incredible amount of stress and risk. Roustabouts are responsible for operating machinery and doing lots of heavy lifting in construction areas. Plus, they often work on oil drilling rigs, which can be a very dangerous place to be, as Americans well know. Even if you are cautious and manage not to get injured, the job still forces you to be away from your family on long shifts.

Photo Credit: mrpbps

Telemarketers


Few professionals are as reviled as telemarketers, which only makes the reality of working as one that much worse. Your job is essentially to be the most hated person in a room full of people you don’t know. One former telemarketer put it this way in a piece on AOL.com: “I used to hate my job. Not just a normal ‘I don't wanna go to work’ kind of dislike, but a deep-seated, scathing, fire-of-a-thousand-suns type of hate.” In particular, he highlights the long hours and self-hatred he felt for doing his job. “I was the guy that calls during dinner, offers you a service you don't want or need, and won't stop talking long enough for you to tell him off.”

All of that might be bearable if the job paid especially well, but the median salary for a telemarketer is just more than $30,000 a year. That’s a pretty low price tag for selling off a piece of your soul.

Photo Credit: mateoutah

Reporter and Photographer


Yeah, yeah, I appreciate the irony of a journalist writing this, and I’m aware that this is considered a dream job for some out there, but the truth is that reporters and photographers are among the most underpaid professions. According to CNN Money, 62% of news reporters say their job is stressful yet the average pay is less than $33,000. Similarly, 100% of photographers say their job is stressful and the average pay for them is only a little better, at $43,000.  So kids, if you’re reading this, I’m not saying you shouldn’t become a reporter or photographer, just make sure you enjoy hard work and low pay before you sign up for this gig.

Photo Credit: Photos8.com

The Fastest-Growing Jobs


Now that you know which jobs you shouldn't apply for, take a look at jobs that you should apply to. The jobs on this list are expected to add the most new positions over the next decade.

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