The thrill of danger and the excitement of taking risks is what drives many people to get out of bed every morning. Of course, a decent paycheck is always a motivating factor, too, but that can be earned in a plethora of unexciting jobs. However, for people who like a daily adrenaline rush, the idea of sitting at a desk, working on an assembly line, answering phones, or performing other habitual tasks is a less-than-stimulating way to spend the day.
For those who prefer a life less ordinary, daily hazards are the only routine that they enjoy. The idea that every day presents a new challenge and a new perilous situation that must be successfully navigated provides a sense of stimulation. People with this type of personality delight in knowing that their job involves a certain level – in fact, a high level – of risk.
Of course, the quest for adventure is not the only trait necessary for success in these types of jobs. People who like a daily adrenaline rush must also have the ability to remain calm and composed in the face of danger. They fully realize the risks involved in their daily jobs and they are committed to exerting the level of discipline and training needed to perfect their craft and minimize the potential for harm.
These individuals also tend to have good instincts. And while training is important, those who succeed when routinely placed in life-or death situations have developed trust for their gut feelings. In fact, intuition plays as much as a role of their decision-making process as the facts.
One of the jobs on the list does not involve a high level of danger. However, it requires the ability to work in what may sometimes be chilling and macabre crime scenes. These individuals enjoy the challenge of piecing together various elements of the scene to apprehend criminals.
5 SWAT Team Member
Average Annual Salary: $58,720 To $79,030
Some careers may not live up to the Hollywood hype, but SWAT isn’t one of them. This job really is as exciting as it is portrayed on the silver screen. Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team members are police officers who are specially trained to handle a variety of dangerous assignments. These crisis intervention teams are usually cross-trained in both negotiation and assault operations, and they may be called upon to rescue hostages, thwart hijackers, control riots, and breach environments occupied by suspected criminals.
The nature of their work requires them to use such heavy firepower and equipment as assault rifles, submachine guns, sniper rifles, armored vehicles, motion detectors, and heavy body armor. SWAT team members must meet the standard training and education requirements of the police academy, which may range from a high school diploma to a college degree. In addition, they undergo extensive training in such areas as marksmanship, negotiation, explosives, and defensive tactics.
4 Fugitive Recovery Agent
Average Annual Salary: $30,000 To $100,000
Fugitive recovery agents, also known as bounty hunters and bail enforcement agents, track suspects who were out on bond and did not satisfy the requirements of the courts. Usually, this means that they did not show up for their court date and are “on the lam” from the law. A warrant is issued for their arrest, and fugitive recovery agents search for these individuals, apprehend them, and turn them over to the proper law enforcement agency.
Fugitive recovery agents also work for repossession companies to retrieve cars, boats, and other expensive objects when consumers stop making timely payments. As you can imagine, many fugitives try their best to be elusive and rarely surrender peacefully, while others are reluctant to give up their possessions – even if they’re behind on their payments. As a result, fugitive recovery agents must be able to outsmart, outmaneuver, and often overpower their targets. Requirements vary by state and range from a high school diploma to a criminal justice or law enforcement degree.
3 BASE Jumping Instructor
Average Annual Salary: $20,000 To $70,000
Base is an acronym for Building, Antenna, Span (bridges), and Earth (cliff), which refers to the various types of objects that instructions teach students to jump off of. BASE jumping is similar to skydiving, but it is actually more dangerous. Skydiving involves higher altitudes and faster airspeeds, which allows divers to have more control over their bodies and also gives them time for a cleaner parachute open. On the other hand, the lack of aerodynamic stability in BASE jumping increases the probability that the jumper is tumbling, headed in the wrong direction, and likely to get tangled up in the parachute or unable to open it.
BASE jumping has a high fatality rate, and one instructor at ESPN.com described it as “the next best thing to suicide,” but instructors love the thrill of teaching new jumpers how to master this life-threatening activity. A high school diploma is the only educational requirement for becoming a BASE jumping instructor.
2 Bomb Squad Technician
Average Annual Salary: $60,000 To $75,500
Is it the red wire or the blue wire? There’s zero room for error with bomb squad technicians. These experts need to quickly disable bombs before they detonate. And while it’s an exciting job, bomb squad technicians need to remain calm, cool and collected as they work. They also need to be well-versed in all things related to bombs.
Their lives, and the lives of others, depend on their ability to quickly locate bombs --sometimes with the help of robots and trained dogs -- accurately identify the type of bomb they’re dealing with, and then deactivate and dispose of the bomb. Bomb squad technicians wear bomb suits, and carry portable digital x-ray equipment, but the most important tool they have is good judgment. They may work for local police departments, the military, or other federal agencies. The education requirement is usually an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree.
1 CSI: Crime Scene Investigator
Average Annual Salary: $57,340
Crime scene investigators are forensic science technicians who examine the sites where crimes occur to determine what items and materials should be considered evidence. They photograph the scene and collect such evidence as bodily fluids, fingerprints, and weapons. Crime scene investigators also catalog and preserve the evidence, which is then transferred to a crime lab.
The forensic science technicians whop specialize in crime lab work then reconstruct the crime scene, examine fingerprints, determine the trajectory of bullets, and attempt to match evidence to suspects. While many people think crime scenes and crime labs are gruesome, these professionals enjoy the excitement of collecting and analyzing evidence to solve crimes. Most crime scene investigators are police officers; non-uniform CSIs usually need a bachelor’s degree in forensic science, chemistry, biology, or a related field.