Fact: can't all have glamorous gigs.

Someone's gotta do the dirty work, right? That's where the unsung heroes of California's workforce enter the picture.

The unwavering backbone of one of America's most iconic states, these folks get their hands dirty so the rest of us can keep ours clean. They handle the nitty-gritty tasks no one wants to think about, let alone talk about. Without them, we'd be screwed.

Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash
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California's manual labor force is probably happier than most of us realize.

Manual labor and dirty jobs are the cogs in the wheel of a well-oiled machine. They're not the stars, but it's their talent, skill, and sweat that allows the main actors to shine as brightly as they do.

That may be the reason why Mike Rowe, legendary former host of Dirty Jobs, says these employees tend to happier than most of us would imagine.

People with dirty jobs are happier than you think. As a group, they’re the happiest people I know.

-Mike Rowe

It makes sense when you think about it. These folks maintain infrastructures, they keep services running across a spectrum of industries. They're the ones ensuring society's most basic and most critical needs are met. And they take pride in it.

Photo by Anton Dmitriev on Unsplash
Photo by Anton Dmitriev on Unsplash
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From sanitation workers on a mission to prevent the next global pandemic, to the agricultural laborers who pick the fruits and veggies that liven up our meals, their efforts ripple through California society whether we realize it or not.

Yet despite the fact that California can't function without them, manual laborers and dirty job-doers will never earn as much as a professional basketball player or Hollywood star.

Photo by zibik on Unsplash
Photo by zibik on Unsplash
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Thank you, dirty job-doers. 

You're the unsung heroes, the real MVP's, the ones who keep beautiful California hummin' and runnin', day in and day out. Thank you.

We couldn't squeeze all of them in one shot, but the gallery below includes 21 of California's dirtiest, most thankless jobs its residents would be lost without.

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  • 21 dirty jobs that are the backbone of beautiful California

  • The 21 highest-paying jobs in California that don't require a college

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  • 12 California house bugs you should never-ever step on

  • 10 items you're wasting money on at California grocery stores

21 Dirty Jobs Are The Backbone of Beautiful California

Known for their grit and work ethic, these employees do the jobs most of Californians could never fathom doing.

Gallery Credit: Ryan Antoinette Valenzuela

21 Highest-Paying Jobs in California That Don't Require a College Degree

No degree? No problem! The majority of these high-paying California jobs offer on-the-job training, continuing education, and above-decent benefits. If you're willing to work hard, the money will follow.

Gallery Credit: Ryan Antoinette Valenzuela

12 California House Bugs You Should Never Ever Step On

Who knows? Unless, like me, you despise the existence of centipedes, these bugs could be the most helpful, low-key houseguests you'll ever have.

Gallery Credit: Ryan Antoinette Valenzuela

10 Items You're Wasting Money On At California Grocery Stores Right Now

ICYMI: you don't have to be a penny-pinching coupon queen to save money on your next grocery trip. Sometimes avoiding a few items or trying different brands is all you need to make a big difference in your budget 😉

Gallery Credit: Ryan Antoinette Valenzuela

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