Entertainment

“Dirty Jobs” star Mike Rowe talks about the new season, why every gig is actively recruiting: “You can do six figures”

Mike Rowe is ready to get his hands dirty again.

The Emmy Award-winning TV host is back with another season of fan-favorite “Dirty Jobs”. The Discovery series, which originally aired in 2005, shed light on occupations that seemed strange, messy, and even dangerous, but which were performed by ordinary Americans. Rowe would take a typical workday to demonstrate the challenges of the trade and why they were needed.

As “Dirty Jobs” came to an end in 2012, viewers have long asked the 59-year-old to bring him back. And with the coronavirus pandemic underscoring the importance of essential workers in our country, Rowe believed “dirty jobs” were needed more than ever.

Mike Rowe gets his hands dirty again for another season of “Dirty Jobs”.
(Liz Hafalia / The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

Rowe told Fox News why he brought “Dirty Jobs” back, how easy it was to find different gigs, and why now is the best time to pick up a new skill for a good salary.

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Fox News: Why did you decide to bring “Dirty Jobs” back in 2022?
Mike Rowe: Well, I guess the short answer is that the headlines are catching up with the show’s themes. Viewers have reached out in the thousands to say that “Dirty Jobs” was the granddaddy of essential work shows, and essential work is now making headlines. I was told, “Why don’t you go back to the world? Look under the rock, see what’s there. See what the job looks like after two years of confinement.” It was an offer I couldn’t refuse. Just when I thought I was out they took me back inside.

Fox News: Has it been difficult or easy to find jobs you haven’t tried yet?
Rowe: It is both difficult and easy. It’s difficult in the sense that I have no more ideas. I ran out of ideas in Season 3. I thought we were done in 2007. But then I did some smart things – really smart things. I gave it all to the viewers. As a listening, I will continue to make the series as long as you continue to program it.

Mike Rowe said fans are constantly coming up with new gigs to try out.

Mike Rowe said fans are constantly coming up with new gigs to try out.
(Mandel Ngan / AFP / GettyImages)

For the past 15 years, I have received letters on social media and the like every day from people saying, “You should see what my grandfather is doing. Or my brother, my cousin, my uncle, my sister, my mother. And these are jobs that have lasted for almost 20 years. This is where the ideas come from. So in that sense, it’s easy.

Fox News: It looks like you’ve tackled every job imaginable. Which job surprised you the most this time around and why?
Rowe: It wasn’t the jobs that were surprising this time around. It’s something they all have in common, it’s the difficulty of recruiting. Four and a half million people have just left their jobs in this country. We currently have 11 million open positions.

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So what I really noticed this time around, whether it was a construction job, a fishing operation, a flooring operation, or really all of them – the theme that keeps coming back over and over again, that’s how hard it is to find people who want to learn a skill that is in demand. Someone who arrives early, stays late, and isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty. It’s a real challenge. And that’s going through this season in a big way.

Mike Rowe said the coronavirus pandemic has raised awareness of the importance of essential workers in our country.

Mike Rowe said the coronavirus pandemic has raised awareness of the importance of essential workers in our country.
(Lea Suzuki / The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

Fox News: How many of these jobs are in urgent need of workers, especially during the pandemic?
Rowe: All. Just in terms of “dirty jobs,” there isn’t a single job I’ve seen that doesn’t have a sign of asking for help right now, right up front. It’s in all of the companies we’ve featured on “Dirty Jobs” this year. They are actively recruiting. And that was true in the good old days, too. We just haven’t made such a big deal out of it. You just think people don’t want these jobs because they are dirty and difficult. But the truth is, with many of these jobs, you can make six figures.

There are so many stigmas, stereotypes and misconceptions that prevent people from exploring these careers. I use “Dirty Jobs” in part to try to challenge some of these misconceptions. But I do it every day with my foundation, MikeroweWORKS. It evolved from “Dirty Jobs”. And that’s what I do full time. We give a few million dollars a year to kids who want to learn a skill that is in demand. So between my foundation and the headlines, “Dirty Jobs” really came back on time. I think it allowed me to talk about some of these topics.

Fox News: What do you hope the public will take away from “Dirty Jobs” in 2022?
Rowe: I hope they will laugh. First of all, it’s fun to talk about all the big topics and all the important ideas around work and education. But it’s also entertainment. It’s a love letter to hard work. It is a love letter to risk and entrepreneurship. It’s mostly a nod to jobs that are always out of sight, out of mind.

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Mike Rowe said

Mike Rowe said “there is no script” when it comes to filming “Dirty Jobs”.
(Getty Images)

Hope people see him for what he really is, which is no show. It’s a journey. You know, there is no second take. There is no script, no writing, no rehearsal, no actor. It’s an honest look at a hard day’s work through the eyes of an apprentice. I hope people see him for what he is and watch him for a bit of a laugh and maybe learn a thing or two about something they didn’t know they would care about.

“Dirty Jobs” airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on Discovery and streams on discovery +.

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