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The Top 5 Dangerous Jobs in the US


You might think that jobs involving training animals, working on highways, or fighting crime might be the most dangerous of all, but it’s not true. A recent Forbes article sifted through 2014 data just released from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It ranked the top jobs in America for job-related fatalities per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers. Here’s a breakdown of the five most dangerous jobs you may or may not want to work.


(Photo Credit: davidwilson1949/Flickr)

1. Loggers

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2014 fatalities: 109.5

Despite ranking No. 1 on this list of the most dangerous jobs in the country, the median salary for loggers remains pretty moderate at $41,026. Most loggers work for large lumber companies and spend their days outdoors cutting down trees or loading logs for transport. Some logging work is seasonal, but work often takes place in all types of weather.

2. Fishers and Related Fishing Workers

2014 fatalities: 80.8

3. Other Extraction Workers

2014 fatalities: 51.9

Among “extraction workers” are miners, who earn a median salary of $58,958 per year, according to our PayScale salary survey. Ninety-three percent of miners are male.

A service unit operator in oil, gas, and mining field earns a median salary of $65,400 per year. Their jobs involve raising derricks or level rigs using controls and installing pressure-control devices into wellheads.

Another “extraction worker” is an oil and gas roustabout. They earn a median salary of $54,495 per year. Their job duties include cleaning tools and heavy equipment used by operators and engineers on oil rigs.

Oil pumpers earn a median salary of $54,313. Oil pumpers operate pumps to extract the oil as well as supporting equipment to transfer it from gas wells into containers. They also install equipment and operate it while paying close attention to various gauges and meters.

4. Roofers

2014 fatalities: 46.2

According to PayScale data, the median annual salary for a roofer is $41,315. This includes both roofers that work in residential and commercial settings. Most roofers have a background in basic carpentry and may or may not have specialized training from a vocational school. The work is often seasonal and weather-dependent.

5. Aircraft Pilots and Flight Engineers

2014 fatalities: 63.2

Airline pilots, copilots or flight engineers earn a median annual salary of $101,852. Despite the range of job titles, they generally perform the same duties: physically piloting and landing a variety of aircraft. They of course have to be licensed, but most airlines don’t require formal schooling beyond a high school diploma or GED (though most prefer a bachelor’s degree).  

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