You can earn good money with dirty jobs. Just ask Sandra Gordon. On any given day, you might find her steaming stains off of car seats or scraping dried and still-gooey gunk from strollers, high chairs and toys.

“It’s gross, but weirdly satisfying when you’re done,” she says.

Besides, she earns between $75 and $100 an hour doing it.

There’s a misperception that dirty jobs are poorly paid. In reality, the opposite is often true. You can earn good money with dirty jobs — often, more than $30 an hour. And, while some dirty jobs require training, few demand a college degree.

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Earn good money with dirty jobs

Gordon, for example, learned about BabyQuip, a side hustle site that allows you to rent out baby equipment to travelers, because she writes a blog about baby products. She signed up, figuring it complimented her day job.

When the pandemic struck, there were fewer travelers needing crib rentals, so BabyQuip added a cleaning feature. However, providers like Gordon needed to get certified to offer the service.

Gordon says it took her the better part of a weekend to get trained. Now, her BabyQuip cleaning business is going gangbusters. And the income has helped Gordon’s family survive her husband’s pandemic-related job loss. (Sign up with BabyQuip here.)

Other specialized cleaning

To be sure, not all cleaning jobs are highly paid. Housekeepers typically earn just $15 to $25 an hour, for example.

But you can earn good money with the really dirty jobs that housekeepers typically avoid — gutters, dryer vents and barbecues, for example. To be sure, some of these jobs require that you crawl under the consumer’s house and/or deal with greasy sludge. But specialized cleaning contractors typically earn $40 to $50 an hour.

JiffyOnDemand, for example, charges $200 to have a three-burner barbecue cleaned; $300 to clean air conditioning ducts; and $150 for cleaning out a dryer vent. The freelancer/contractor who does this work takes home more than 80% of that fee, paying between 12% and 18% to the platform for finding the client and collecting payment.

TaskRabbit, meanwhile, lets workers set their own rates but helps by telling you what the average charge is for various services in your area. If you’re willing to do “deep cleaning” in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, for example, the site says the average freelancer charges $58 per hour.

Fix-it services

Meanwhile, if you’re willing and able to unclog toilets and drains, assemble furniture, or hang light fixtures, you can earn even more, according to TaskRabbit.

In Los Angeles, plumbers earn an average of $67 per hour, according to TaskRabbit. Other freelancers willing to do “light construction” in Southern California listed their services between $60 and $100 hourly. (Rates tend to be lower in rural areas and near the high end of this range in big cities, such as Washington, D.C., Miami and Chicago.)

Notably, when TaskRabbit first launched, it imposed hefty fees on freelancers and had unpleasant terms that strong-armed “taskers” into accepting jobs. That’s changed dramatically. The site now allows freelancers to set their own rates and schedules. All site commissions are now paid by customers.

Painters, electricians and other trades

If you’re highly skilled at a home-improvement trade, you also can register with a site called ToolBelt. ToolBelt connects plumbers, electricians, painters, drywallers, framers and other construction tradespeople with both homeowners and other contractors, who need subcontractors.

You set your own rates here and only pay a fee if you use the site frequently enough to need a monthly subscription.


Another sweaty, job that offers good pay is moving. Sites such as GoShare and HireAHelper promise pay ranging from $30 – $90 per hour. Having a truck to use helps, but isn’t required with these sites.

Meanwhile both CitizenShipper and uShip help you find longer-haul moving gigs that can involve either furniture or animals. You set the rates here, so it’s your own fault if you’re underpaid.


No story about ways to earn good money with dirty jobs would be complete without talking about gardening.

In addition to listing your mowing, weeding and landscaping services with sites we’ve already mentioned, such as Jiffy (which charges $110 an hour) and TaskRabbit (average rate in San Francisco: $48) you can also list with GreenPal. GreenPal lets you bid on jobs and set your own rates.


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