Mike Rowe’s hit show “Dirty Jobs” was massively popular ever since its premiere in 2005. But now the series has taken on new significance as the nation faces a massive labor shortage, especially when it comes to skilled trades. And it’s coming back in 2022 just in time for that crisis.
Rowe said fans have been begging him to bring the series back ever since it ended in 2012. The 59-year-old host told Fox News he “ran out of ideas” for dirty, dangerous, and surprising jobs to feature way back in season 3, but fans have kept the concept going with their suggestions and contributions. And now with the COVID-19 pandemic thrown in, there’s never been a better time to highlight these “dirty” jobs and hopefully help fill some of them.
During the Fox News interview, the “How America Works” narrator explained how the biggest shock of the series reboot in 2022 wasn’t the jobs themselves, which had been the case in the past. Rather it was that no one was applying.
“It’s not the jobs that were surprising this time around,” the Emmy Award-winning TV host said. “It’s something they all have in common, which is difficulty in recruiting. We just had four and a half million people quit their jobs in this country. We’ve got 11 million open positions right now.”
He continued, discussing how the new challenge was affecting every industry. But it’s been prevalent among blue collar industries long before COVID-19 changed the world.
“The theme that keeps coming back, again and again, is how difficult it is to find people who want to learn a skill that’s in demand,” the Discovery Channel host explained. “Someone who shows up early, stays late and isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty. It’s a real challenge. And that comes through this season in a big way.”
Rowe went on to discuss earning potential for these types of positions especially. He continued, saying “they’re actively hiring” but there aren’t enough interested people to fill the slots.
“You just figure people don’t want these jobs because they’re dirty and difficult. But the truth is that with many of these jobs you can make six figures.”
But Rowe is committed to fixing the problem first by highlighting these positions on “Dirty Jobs” and second by providing training to anyone who wants it. His organization mikeroweWORKS helps teach the basics of these hands-on, in-demand trades and sponsors kids who want to learn the skills.
And bringing “Dirty Jobs” back to TV is meant to instruct and entertain. Because the jobs may be dirty, but they’re also fun and lucrative, the host says.
“First and foremost, it’s fun to talk about all the big themes and all the important ideas around work and education. But it’s also entertainment,” Rowe told Fox News. “It’s a love letter to hard work. It’s a love letter to risk and entrepreneurship. Mostly it’s a nod to jobs that are still out of sight, out of mind.”
He continued, “I hope people see it for what it really is, which is not a show. It’s a trip. You know, there are no second takes. There’s no scripting, no writing, no rehearsing, no acting. It’s an honest look at a hard day’s work through the eyes of an apprentice. I hope people see it for what it is and watch it to have a few laughs 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 streaming on Discovery+.