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Space Needle offering sky-high jobs for minimum wages

The Space Needle is looking for really high up window washers, for minimum wage. (Photo Matt Pittman, MyNorthwest)

Those skilled in seeing their life flash before their eyes, and not looking down, may be interested in these new Space Needle jobs. The 605-foot tower is looking for brave souls to clean their windows, and they don’t mean the ones in the gift shop.

These windows are about 500 feet above the ground. After a massive $100 million redesign that saw the installation of 176 tons of glass, the Needle needs some lucky workers to clean the 20,000 square feet of windows, so tourists are able to take pictures unblemished by bird poop.

What may be surprising to hear is that these skyhigh jobs pay $15 an hour, the minimum wage in Seattle.

“That seems like a somewhat skilled job, because you’re putting your life in your hands,” said KIRO Radio’s Tom Tangney. “I’d do that for minimum wage on the inside.”

RELATED: Seattle Space Needle renovation nears completion

A typical day for a Space Needle window cleaner will involve ascending over 500 feet in the air, texting your family that you love them, and then squeegeeing clean more than 300 panels of glass. That may sound dangerous, but if cartoons have taught us anything, you can’t fall unless you look down.

While wiping a window 500 feet above ground for minimum wage seems a little much, consider that numerous dangerous jobs often come with less than desirable pay. A report by Time and research engine FindtheBest found that loggers face a fatality rate nearly 30 times higher than the average worker, and yet typically earn less than the national median wage of approximately $34,750.

Truck drivers, commercial fishers, and construction labors also face risk rates between 6.5 and 37.5 times higher, with earnings often less or at pace with the median average. So if you’re watching for falling logs or giant waves on a daily basis, washing really high windows may not seem that bad.

Space Needle needs more than just window washers

The Space Needle is hiring 170 jobs leading up to the summer tourist season.

“Is that because they expect to lose like 10 a day?” joked KIRO Radio’s John Curley. “Quitting, Tom. I didn’t say falling. Didn’t I? I implied quitting.”

In actuality, they’re only looking for four window cleaners. The rest of the positions include everything from admissions agents to guest experience specialists to valet drivers, all of which will be performed safely on the ground. If you’re looking to split the difference, the Needle is hiring elevator operators as well. You could say “Hi” to the window cleaners on their way to work.

“It’s a fun job,” joked Curely. “Would you rather work the fry daddy for minimum wage? You’re outside, you get air. You ever work the fry daddy? Talk about scary. Those fries go in, it ain’t easy. Then you’ve got to pull them out and salt them.”

“Yeah but if I make a mistake I don’t die,” Tom added.

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