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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?

Recently, financial news site 24/7 Wall St. reviewed workplace fatality rates by occupation to identify the 25 most dangerous jobs in the labor market. The fatality rates for each of these jobs are more than double the rate of 3.6 per 100,000 workers across all occupations—and in some cases, more than 38 times higher. Wouldn’t you just love to have that job? (Actually, you can!)

Logging workers have the most dangerous job of all, seeing 135.9 fatal injuries for every 100,000 workers, with the most common accident being struck by objects. Fishers and related fishing workers follow behind with a fatality rate of 86 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 $105,720 a year, followed by electrical power-line installers and repairers (No. 15), making a yearly average of $68,010, and farmers, ranchers, and agricultural managers (No. 8), earning $66,360 a year, on average.

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

Dangerous jobs:

1. Logging workers

Fatal injuries: 135.9 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 91 fatal injuries; 900 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Struck by object

Median annual salary: $37,590

Find all logging jobs on Monster.

2. Fishers and related fishing workers

Fatal injuries: 86 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 24 fatal injuries

Most common accident: N/A

Median annual salary: $27,110

Find all fishing jobs on Monster.

3. Aircraft pilots and flight engineers

Fatal injuries: 55.5 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 75 fatal injuries; 470 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Overexertion and bodily reaction

Median annual salary: $105,720

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

4. Roofers

Fatal injuries: 48.6 per 100,000

Total injuries: 101 fatal injuries; 3,150 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Falls, slips, and trips

Median annual salary: $37,760

Find all roofing jobs on Monster.

5. Refuse and recyclable material collectors

Fatal injuries: 34.1 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 31 fatal injuries; 6,170 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Falls, slips, and trips

Median annual salary: $35,270

Find all refuse and recycling jobs on Monster.

6. Structural iron and steel workers

Fatal injuries: 25.1 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 16 fatal injuries; 1,440 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Struck by object

Median annual salary: $51,800

Find all iron and steel jobs on Monster.

7. Driver/sales workers and truck drivers

Fatal injuries: 24.7 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 918 fatal injuries; 80,180 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Overexertion and bodily reaction

Median annual salary: $36,670

Find all driver jobs on Monster.

8. Farmers, ranchers, and agricultural managers

Fatal injuries: 23.1 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 260 fatal injuries

Most common accident: Falls, slips, and trips

Median annual salary: $66,360

Find all farming jobs on Monster.

9. Construction and extraction supervisors

Fatal injuries: 18 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 134 fatal injuries; 6,090 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Falls, slips, and trips

Median annual salary: $62,980

Find all construction and extraction jobs on Monster.

10. Agricultural workers

Fatal injuries: 17.4 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 156 fatal injuries; 12,710 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Struck by object

Median annual salary: $22,520

Find all agricultural jobs on Monster.

11. Grounds maintenance workers

Fatal injuries: 17.4 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 217 fatal injuries; 20,100 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Struck by object

Median annual salary: $26,830

Find all grounds maintenance jobs on Monster.

12. Supervisors of mechanics, installers, and repairers

Fatal injuries: 15.7 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 44 fatal injuries; 4,140 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Struck by object

Median annual salary: $63,540

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

13. Construction laborers

Fatal injuries: 15.1 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 254 fatal injuries; 24,650 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Struck by object

Median annual salary: $33,430

Find all construction jobs on Monster.

14. Police and sheriff’s patrol officers

Fatal injuries: 14.6 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 108 fatal injuries; 28,740 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Intentional injury by other person

Median annual salary: $59,680

Find all police jobs on Monster.

15. Electrical power-line installers and repairers

Fatal injuries: 14.6 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 21 fatal injuries; 1,710 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Overexertion and bodily reaction

Median annual salary: $68,010

Find all electrical power line jobs on Monster.

16. Maintenance and repair workers

Fatal injuries: 13.4 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 75 fatal injuries; 27,900 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Overexertion and bodily reaction

Median annual salary: $36,940

Find all maintenance and repair jobs on Monster.

17. Taxi drivers and chauffeurs

Fatal injuries: 13.2 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 60 fatal injuries; 2,730 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Roadway incidents

Median annual salary: $24,300

Find all taxi and chauffeur jobs on Monster.

18. Landscaping supervisors

Fatal injuries: 13.2 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 30 fatal injuries; 1,320 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Overexertion and bodily reaction

Median annual salary: $45,740

Find all landscaping jobs on Monster.

19. Telecommunications line installers and repairers

Fatal injuries: 12.1 per 100,000

Total injuries: 21 fatal injuries; 2,480 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Overexertion and bodily reaction

Median annual salary: $52,590

Find all telecommunication jobs on Monster.

20. Athletes, coaches, umpires, and related workers

Fatal injuries: 11.7 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 29 fatal injuries; 4,250 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Overexertion and bodily reaction

Median annual salary: $31,440

Find all athletic jobs on Monster.

21. Operating engineers and construction equipment operators

Fatal injuries: 10.6 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 39 fatal injuries; 4,750 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Overexertion and bodily reaction

Median annual salary: $45,890

Find all operating engineer jobs on Monster.

22. Electricians

Fatal injuries: 10 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 79 fatal injuries; 7,790 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Falls, slips, and trips

Median annual salary: $52,720

Find all electrician jobs on Monster.

23. Industrial machinery workers

Fatal injuries: 9.3 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 45 fatal injuries; 4,490 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Struck by object

Median annual salary: $49,080

Find all industrial machinery jobs on Monster.

24. Painters

Fatal injuries: 8.6 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 50 fatal injuries; 3,530 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Falls, slips, and trips

Median annual salary: $37,570

Find all paint jobs on Monster.

25. Heat, air conditioning, and refrigerator mechanics and installers

Fatal injuries: 8.4 per 100,000 workers

Total injuries: 37 fatal injuries; 6,830 nonfatal injuries

Most common accident: Falls, slips, and trips

Median annual salary: $45, 910

Find all heat, air conditioning, and refrigerator 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 today. 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.


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