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TV’s Most Dangerous Jobs: Is the Risk Worth the Reward?


Since the golden age of television, we’ve been watching firemen and police officers put their lives on the line in order to protect the innocent. But those are just actors and although a few have been known to get hurt in the performance of their duties, acting isn’t usually a dangerous profession. On the other hand, the stars of these four reality shows are truly risking life and limb every time the cameras roll. Why do they do it? Because with big risks, come big rewards.

American Hoggers

The Campbell family makes a hard living rounding up feral hogs in Texas. It sounds like a career out of the old west, but according to series producer A&E, wild hogs cause $500 million in property damages every year. These nocturnal animals are so aggressive, they can force a family to stay inside the safety of their home from dusk to dawn.

This isn’t Babe we’re talking about. These pigs can weigh up to 400 pounds, run up to 30 miles per hour and have razor sharp tusks. What’s worse is they travel in packs and will eat anything that crosses their paths. Luckily for the landowners, the American Hoggers are just as tenacious as the hogs. They’ll do whatever it takes to rid a property of these beasts and you can bet they get paid well to do it.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Watch the season finale of American Hoggers, May 28 at 10 on A&E.

Ice Cold Gold

We’re all familiar with the dangers of underground mining, but panning for gold in Greenland isn’t much better. The men of this Animal Planet series have to watch every step or they might trigger a landslide with rocks the size of a small car. They also have to be prepared for sudden snowstorms in this virtually, uncharted wilderness. The biggest challenge is the fact that there are no roads leading into the area so getting help quickly in an emergency is an issue – one that could cost a man his life if he’s not careful.

The reward? Walking out with pockets full of gold dust and major bragging rights.

Watch Ice Cold Gold Sunday at 10 on Animal Planet. 

Ice Road Truckers

Hugh “Polar Bear” Rowland makes his living driving trucks through some of the roughest country in Manitoba and Alaska. But it’s not just the weather and the wilderness that make this a dangerous job; it’s the fact that “ice roads” aren’t roads at all. They’re frozen lakes. That’s right, these folks are driving two-ton trailers over water and this year, thanks to an unusually warm season, the ice is thinner than ever before.

Rumor has it an ice road trucker can make a year’s salary in just a few months but one wreck and you’re done for. If the icy water doesn’t get you, the -70F weather will. But, the oil men and miners who depend on these truckers are glad that someone has the nerve to do it.

Ice Road Truckers returns with all new episodes beginning June 9 on History.

Deadliest Catch

Capt. “Wild Bill” Wichrowski says crab fishing is “like being in a hockey rink in an earthquake. You just throw anything normal out the window. You just have all this machinery in constant motion. … It’s a recipe for disaster if you’re not at the top of your game 150 percent of the time.”

And that’s what makes Discovery’s long-running series Deadliest Catch so compelling. The series just returned for a ninth season with Wild Bill and his Cape Caution crew on the Bering Sea looking for Alaskan King Crabs. They’ll fight the elements, the sea, the equipment and each other but it’ll be worth it if they score big. That could mean more than a half million dollars for six months work. The trick is staying alive long enough to collect.

Watch all new episodes of Deadliest Catch Tuesday at 9 on Discovery.

Tell Us What You Think

Would you risk your life in order to make a large amount of money in just a few months? Tell us all about it in the comment section below.

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(Photo Credit:  Deadliest Catch courtesy of Discovery)




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One of the most dangerous reality jobs of all would be “60 days in”. I’m interested if these brave/stupid people get paid. I can imagine any amount of money would be enough.

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