The Most Dangerous Jobs in the World

“It’s a dirty job but someones got to do it!” That sentiment goes for people with dangerous jobs too. If these jobs were important, it is doubtful that anyone would do them.

Some of the most dangerous jobs in the world might actually surprise you. Typically, people think of jobs where there is a high probability of death as dangerous. Those jobs are and many are on this list, but some jobs have long term side effects which make them just as dangerous in some cases. Statistics on salary come from the Department of Labor (amounts may vary).

Here is a list of some of the most dangerous jobs in the world. 


1. Fishermen

Average Salary: $30,370 

Average work-related fatalities: 22

Have you ever seen the show Deadliest catch? If you have, you might have experienced heart palpitations every time the water crashes against the ship.

In the United States and the world, fishermen have some of the most dangerous jobs on the planet. In fact, fishermen ranked as the second job in the United States with the most fatalities. Between turbulent seas and heavy machinery that could malfunction at any time, fishermen have a very dangerous job.


2. Loggers

Average Salary: $37,640

Average work-related fatalities: 78

The Brawny man was right about one thing: it’s tough being a logger. In the United States, loggers and lumberjacks alike have one of the most deadliest jobs.

Loggers can die on the job or experience serious medical issues . Between the intensive outside weather, heavy machinery, and constant falling timbers, the job is a very dangerous one.

3. Linemen

Average Salary: ~$50,000

Average work-related fatalities: 19

No matter the country that you are in, linemen have some of the most dangerous jobs in the world.

In some countries, electric line workers climb to the top of the pole with just a safety harness on. In others, linemen are expected to work out of helicopters. The biggest risks in these jobs are the threat of electrocution, falling off the pole, and other related injuries.

4. Miners

Average Salary: $37,000-$50,000

Average work-related fatalities: 20

Next on the list of dangerous jobs is miners, particularly coal miners.

Mining safety has made incredible strides in recent decades, but mining still remains one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. The biggest safety concern is health issues later in life like the black lung, lung and respiratory cancers, and other long-term illnesses related to inhaling coal dust. There are also concerns with malfunctioning heavy machinery and mine collapses.

5. Roofers

Average Salary: $40,630

Average work-related fatalities: 83

This next dangerous job is one that is necessary to modern living, but nonetheless dangerous. Whether the roof is thatched or made of asphalt, roofers have a dangerous job to do.

There are several reasons why roofers make the list as one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. For one roofers often work when it is warm out. The exposure to the heat can lead to heat exhaustion or skin cancer. The job also requires lifting heave materials all day long. This can lead to joint issues, back problems, or even heart attacks and strokes.

6. Garbage Collectors

Average Salary: $36,370 

Average work-related fatalities: 27

Garbage collectors? Yes. This next job on the list is one that many do not think of when they think as one of the most dangerous jobs in the world.

Garbage collectors and waste management workers often have a dangers that are not immediately apparent. Perhaps the most intuitive injury comes from dealing with heavy machinery designed to crush all manner of waste into a compact and manageable size. Besides the danger of being crushed, there is also the threat of heat exhaustion when exposed to the elements for long hours, injuries from riding on the back of the truck, or even diseases picked up from waste.

7. Truck Drivers

Average Salary: $38,030

Average work-related fatalities: 880

Truck drivers often get a bad reputation. To be fair, trucks drivers have a dangerous and demanding job that they must complete without any help from others.

Truck drivers have a dangerous job because they are most likely to roll over their vehicle than other motorists on the road. Tractor trailers therefore pose a bigger threat to other motorists.

8. Machine Installers/Repairmen

Average Salary: ~$47,000

Average work-related fatalities: 68

This next job is one that requires some skill to navigate the dangers associated with the job.

Machine installers or repair specialists for heavy machinery have a very dangerous job to do. In order to install or repair heavy machinery, they must put themselves in harms way. If the machine malfunctions or someone accidentally turns on the machine, it can crush the workers or cause them seriously bodily harm.

9. Land Mine Removers

Average Salary:  varies among military rank 

Average work-related fatalities: 15,000-20,000 (International)

Landmines are no joke. Starting from the First World War, landmines have been installed to stop intruding troops from advancing farther.

In most areas of the world, land mines are removed by skilled individuals who are wearing proper protection against explosives. In the past (and present for some areas), children were used to detect and detonate old mines leftover from the war. Landmines are designed to go off when there is a pressure differential , so removing them has been known to cause death or permanent disfigurement.

10. Aide Workers

Average Salary: $21,000-$30,000 (depends on area)

Average work-related fatalities: 121

An aide worker is another job that not many people would think of as inherently dangerous, but the job can come with dangers depending on the environment around them.

Aide workers are individuals that work “on the ground”. When organizations need people to go in and help distribute things like food, clothes, or medicine, these workers are in the cross hairs. Too often, these aide workers go into war torn or impoverished areas that have been stricken with diseases.

11. Ranchers/Farmers/Farm Hands

Average Salary: Ranchers/Managers : $48,000-$95,000 Farm workers: $22,130

Average work-related fatalities: 270

Ranchers, farmers, and farm hands are living out the wild west dream. Handling cattle all day while on horseback or harvesting crops in the summer sun can be a rough life, though.

The environment typically associated with this lifestyle make it very dangerous. These type of jobs are primarily entail working outside. Besides the heatstroke and skin cancer factor, ranchers run the risk of being killed by animals, either in a stampede or in a rage.

12. Pilots

Average Salary: $119,360

Average work-related fatalities: 82

Pilots have a dangerous job. To be fair, most pilots make well over six figures. This fact makes them the best compensated dangerous job on this list.

Pilots face more dangers in recent years than ever before. Typically, pilots face dangers like engine failure or other mechanical issues that can cause a plane to crash. In the current climate, pilots face being shot down or overpowered by terrorists.

13. Construction Workers

Average Salary: $47,580

Average work-related fatalities: 208

Just look at that iconic picture below of the Empire State Building during construction. Doesn’t it just give you panic attacks just looking at the workers suspended high above the ground without harnesses?

Construction workers, despite all the advances is safety and building practices, still have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. At a base level, the work is literally back breaking. Injuries include: back problems, limb dismemberment, falling injuries, or crushing injuries.

14. Snake Handlers

Average Salary: $30,000 (venom milkers), plus handling fees

Average work-related fatalities: unknown

Snake handlers performed an essential function, especially in more remote parts of the globe (yes – that is Will Farrell with a bunch of snakes).

Take Albert Killian. He is a 60-year-old man who handles snakes for a living, and lives with roughly 80 snakes in his home. He has been honing his craft since he was about ten-years-old. In addition to handling and removing snakes, he extracts venom for the United States government for use in medicine. He has actually been bitten several times, but managed to get live without a scratch.

15. Emergency Providers

Average Salary: $35,430

Average work-related fatalities: ~97

Emergency providers such as firefighters, police, EMTs, paramedics, or other first responders put their life on the line daily.

Besides the ever present possibility of death when responding to an incident, emergency responders face joint pain, back issues, burns, and even a plethora of psychological  issues. These people sometimes see the worst of humanity, and it lead to serious need for help with their mental health.

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