The world is full of jobs that demand hard labor, and fewer and fewer people are willing to do them. In exchange for long days and weary work, however, employers in these fields offer high wages with minimal education requirements. These are the 10 toughest jobs with the greatest rewards, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Fishing is a dangerous career, particularly when the hunt for prey takes boats into stormy seas, but a population that calls for plentiful seafood keeps wages at a reasonable level. Pay largely depends on the type of animal being caught and working conditions. For example, the most lucrative expeditions are often on crabbing vessels, where crew members can earn an entire year's living in as little as a week. High mortality rates are the primary reason most people avoid this particular line of work, and the safer forms of fishing average $12.30 an hour.
Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians have high-stress jobs that regularly see human life placed on the line. They are often called to make these tough decisions late at night, with little to no notice, and may or may not have an established shift. EMTs are generally entry-level positions, while paramedics require more training but command a higher wage. The two careers average about $14.60 per hour.
Although most households only put out their trash once a week, a garbage collector works full-time to cover every neighborhood in a town or city. The job is not particularly challenging, but garbage collectors are constantly on the move picking up bags and other objects that most people wouldn't touch. When families fail to follow safety guidelines, the work can even be hazardous. And yet, for those who aren't squeamish, a career gathering refuse brings in an average of $16.55 per hour.
Oil Rig Worker
Oil and gas are some of the most profitable industries in the world, and fuel companies need able-bodied individuals for the actual extraction process. Oil rigs hire workers for months at a time and pay wages roughly comparable to a year's salary. The typical oil worker makes $18.09 an hour.
Crafting furniture, housing and other wooden structures takes skill and physical strength sustained for hours at a time. Every piece of lumber must be integrated at a perfect angle and cut down to just the right length, making even a minor lapse of muscle or mind a costly mistake. The average carpenter earns $19.00 per hour and is trained through an apprenticeship.
Wind Turbine Technician
Alternative energy is a booming business, and massive wind farms are sprouting up all across the country. As might be expected from large, moving machinery, wind turbines need frequent repairs and maintenance to stay at peak productivity. Technicians travel high into the air, sometimes with swinging parts to dodge, and make the necessary adjustments to continue supplying power to nearby cities. Although this career is still being developed, technicians can expect to earn approximately $20.00 an hour.
Mining once had a notorious reputation as dangerous and impoverishing work, but the steady rise in the value of fossil fuels and safety technology has changed the industry's landscape entirely. Mining jobs, particularly for coal in the United States, are becoming more and more popular as the stigma fades away. The average worker makes $22.55 per hour, and mining engineers with a four-year degree can expect to make $39.84.
A field technician must be good with machines and have a strong understanding of modern technology and safety procedures. Many work independently, traveling to both homes and businesses to repair and install electronics. The most lucrative positions typically involve power stations. A field technician can take an item apart and replace various parts based on manuals and schematics. He or she then puts it back together and ensures that everything is running safely. This specialized knowledge and ability to travel is compensated by an average of $23.64 an hour.
No one likes to think about where everything goes after flushing a toilet, but somebody has to. Sewer inspectors travel deep into sewage infrastructure, through narrow tunnels crawling with rats and other unpleasant things, to check for cracks and blockages. Some of them even go diving. Anyone with a strong stomach can make an average of $25.18 per hour while keeping cities sanitary.
Modern cities are home to skyscrapers that tower over their inhabitants. Those who live and work on the highest stories are reliant on elevators to reach their homes and offices. Because of this, there's an immediate demand for repairs when something breaks down. Elevator mechanics move up and down elevator shafts to identify and fix problems as quickly as possible. It's risky work, and not for those with a fear of heights, but it's also the best paying blue-collar job at $34.09 an hour.
Article inspired by Mining Australia
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