25 dangerous jobs and what they pay

Sometimes, high-risk means high-reward. Dare to apply to these dangerous jobs.

25 dangerous jobs and what they pay

Dangerous jobs are not for the faint-hearted.

Every industry has its share of dangerous jobs, though the danger level varies widely. For the typical office worker, a paper cut might be the worst injury you’re potentially up against during the course of the day. Sure, it can sting like a witch with a B, but for those who don’t work within the safe confines of a cubicle, there can be much more hazardous—and even fatal—injuries you might face on the job. 

People who work in these types of dangerous environments are more susceptible to workplace accidents, including overexertion, roadway incidents, and slips, trips, and falls, which can result in everything from some bad bruising to breaking a limb to the worst case scenario: losing your life in the line of duty.

Make no mistake: These jobs are not for the faint-hearted; they’re for people who like to live life on the edge, aren’t afraid to get a little dirty, and will risk it all for a job well done. Think you have what it takes?

Each year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics's Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities (IIF) program identifies the most dangerous jobs in the labor market. The fatality rates for each of these jobs are more than double the rate of 3.5 per 100,000 workers across all occupations—and in some cases, more than 20 times higher. Wouldn’t you just love to have that job? (Actually, you can!)

Fishers and related fishing workers have the most dangerous job of all, seeing 100 fatal injuries for every 100,000 workers, with the most common accident being transportation incidents. Loggers follow behind with a fatality rate of 87.3 per 100,000 workers.

So why would you choose a high-risk job over a cushy desk job? Because certain dangerous jobs will pay you big bucks to take some big risks.

The highest-paying dangerous jobs on the list include aircraft pilots and flight engineers (No. 3), hauling in an average of $111,930 a year, followed by farmers, ranchers, and agricultural managers (No. 8), earning $69,620 a year, on average, and electrical power-line installers and repairers (No. 10), making a yearly average of $69,380.

Ready to risk it all in one of these dangerous careers? Then dare to check out the full list below

Dangerous jobs:

1. Fishers and related fishing workers

Fatal injuries in 2017: 100 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 41 fatal injuries, 120 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Transportation incidents

Median annual salary: $28,310

Find all fishing jobs on Monster.

2. Logging workers

Fatal injuries in 2017: 87.3 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 55 fatal injuries, 350 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Contact with objects and equipment

Median annual salary: $38,840

Find all logging jobs on Monster.

3. Aircraft pilots and flight engineers

Fatal injuries in 2017: 51.3 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 59 fatal injuries, 630 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Transportation incidents

Median annual salary: $111,930

Find all aircraft pilot jobs and flight engineer jobs on Monster.

4. Roofers

Fatal injuries in 2017: 45.2 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 91 fatal injuries, 2,810 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Falls, slips, and trips

Median annual salary: $38,970

Find all roofing jobs on Monster.

5. Refuse and recyclable material collectors

Fatal injuries in 2017: 34.9 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 30 fatal injuries, 1,340 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Transportation incidents

Median annual salary: $36,160

Find all refuse and recycling jobs on Monster.

6. Structural iron and steel workers

Fatal injuries in 2017: 33.3 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 14 fatal injuries, 1,280 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Falls, slips, trips

Median annual salary: $52,610

Find all iron and steel jobs on Monster.

7. Driver/sales workers and truck drivers

Fatal injuries in 2017: 26.9 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 987 fatal injuries, 77,470 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Transportation incidents

Median annual salary: $37,610

Find all driver jobs on Monster.

8. Farmers, ranchers, and agricultural managers

Fatal injuries in 2017: 24 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 258 fatal injuries, 180 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Transportation incidents

Median annual salary: $69,620

Find all farming jobs on Monster.

9. Landscaping supervisors

Fatal injuries in 2017: 21 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 53 fatal injuries, 1,040 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Contact with objects and equipment

Median annual salary: $47,030

Find all landscaping jobs on Monster.

10. Electrical power-line installers and repairers

Fatal injuries in 2017: 18.6 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 26 fatal injuries, 1,710 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Exposure to harmful substances or environments

Median annual salary: $69,380

Find all electrical power line jobs on Monster.

11. Agricultural workers

Fatal injuries in 2017: 17.7 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 154 fatal injuries, 13,500 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Transportation incidents

Median annual salary: $23,710

Find all agricultural jobs on Monster.

12. Construction and extraction supervisors

Fatal injuries in 2017: 17.4 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 121 fatal injuries, 5,320 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Falls, slips, and trips

Median annual salary: $64,070

Find all construction and extraction jobs on Monster.

13. Helpers, construction trades

Fatal injuries in 2017: 17.3 per 100,000 workers

Total: 11 fatal injuries, 2,660 nonfatal injuries

Most common accidents: Falls, slips, trips

Median annual salary: $30,120

Find all construction helper jobs on Monster.

14. Maintenance and repair workers

Fatal injuries in 2017: 16.6 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 87 fatal injuries, 23,200 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Falls, slips, trips

Median annual salary: $37,670

Find all maintenance and repair jobs on Monster.

15. Grounds maintenance workers

Fatal injuries in 2017: 15.9 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 191 fatal injuries, 13,310 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Falls, slips, trips

Median annual salary: $28,110

Find all grounds maintenance jobs on Monster.

16. Construction laborers

Fatal injuries in 2017: 14.3 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 259 fatal injuries, 21,760 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Falls, slips, trips

Median annual salary: $34,530

Find all construction jobs on Monster.

17. Supervisors of mechanics, installers, and repairers

Fatal injuries in 2017: 13.1 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 35 fatal injuries, 3,540 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Transportation incidents

Median annual salary: $64,780

Find all mechanic, installer, and repairer jobs on Monster.

18. Police and sheriff’s patrol officers

Fatal injuries in 2017: 12.9 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 95 fatal injuries

Most common accident: Violence and other injuries by persons or animals

Median annual salary: $61,050

Find all police jobs on Monster.

19. Operating engineers and construction equipment operators

Fatal injuries in 2017: 11.8 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 45 fatal injuries, 2,230 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Transportation incidents

Median annual salary: $47,040

Find all operating engineer jobs on Monster.

20. Mining machine operators

Fatal injuries in 2017: 11.7 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 7 fatal injuries, 370 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Contact with objects and equipment

Median annual salary: $53,200

Find all industrial machinery jobs on Monster.

21. Taxi drivers and chauffeurs

Fatal injuries in 2017: 10.5 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 62 fatal injuries, 2,640 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Transportation incidents

Median annual salary: $24,880

Find all taxi and chauffeur jobs on Monster.

22. Athletes, coaches, umpires, and related workers

Fatal injuries in 2017: 9.5 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 24 fatal injuries, 3,170 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Transportation incidents

Median annual salary: $32,220

Find all athletic jobs on Monster.

23. Painters, construction, and maintenance

Fatal injuries in 2017: 8.9 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 44 fatal injuries, 4,200 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Falls, slips, and trips

Median annual salary: $37,960

Find all painter jobs on Monster.

24. Firefighters

Fatal injuries in 2017: 8.9 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 34 fatal injuries

Most common accident: Transportation incidents

Median annual salary: $49,080

Find all firefighter jobs on Monster.

25. Electricians

Fatal injuries in 2017: 8.4 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 74 fatal injuries, 4,890 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Falls, slips, and trips

Median annual salary: $54,110

Find all electrician jobs on Monster.

Take this low-risk, high-reward step in your job search

When it comes to finding a job, the process can be terribly cutthroat, so “playing it safe” might not be your best option. Want to take your job search to the next level and get a leg up on your competition? Join Monster for free. As a member, you can get job alerts emailed right to your inbox, which cuts down on the amount of time you'd spend combing through ads. Additionally, you can upload up to five versions of your resume—each tailored to different types of jobs that interest you. Recruiters search Monster every day looking to fill top jobs with qualified candidates, just like you. So take the risk (there is no risk), and let Monster help you find a good-paying job.