You are sitting at your desk on a sunny Friday afternoon, just staring at the clock until 5 pm and quitting time arrives. “There must be more to a career than this,” you silently ask yourself as you ponder giving it all up for an exciting job that could have you outdoors and/or traveling to places you have never before visited. It could, if the right opportunity were to arise, be the ideal situation for the person who feels that he desperately needs a significant change in his life. In some cases, you could even make more money trading in your office gig for one that is deemed, by some, to be more “dangerous.”
Be careful what you wish you for, though, as the rewards that come with some of these jobs may not be worth the risks you could face on a daily basis. Kathryn Dill of Forbes released what she referred to as a “preliminary look” at workplace fatalities as that data pertains to the deadliest jobs in America for 2015, and you may find that what you view to be an appealing career is in the top ten or the top five of the list. Ever thought about working as an aircraft pilot or a flight engineer? You could make a lot of money doing so, but you would also have, according to Forbes, the third deadliest job in America.
Want to risk your life working in a career that likely will not make you a rich person? The logging industry, according to the data presented by Forbes, is the career for you. Logging tops the Forbes list of the deadliest jobs in America for the third consecutive year, and the numbers indicate that it could be some time until this industry falls from the mountaintop. The numbers show that being in this line of work has to be a labor of love, because the financial returns are not, on paper, worth what could be lost each time that an individual heads off to work on any particular day.
10 Driver/Sales Workers and Truck Drivers: 23.4 Fatalities Per 100,000 Full-Time Employees
The Forbes report states that “transportation accidents” accounted for 40 percent of work-related deaths over the past year, and thus it is not all that surprising that this industry checks in on the list. In fact, you may have expected to see even more fatalities among delivery truck drivers, drivers/sales workers and those in other transport industries. Those who find themselves on the move often have to travel through unsafe conditions, most notably during storms and other rough weather. Accidents happen in multiple parts of life regardless of what precautions are taken, and some of those incidents unfortunately lead to fatalities.
9 Farming, Fishing and Forestry Occupations: 24.1 Fatalities Per 100,000 Full-Time Employees
Anybody who has ever spent even a small amount of time working in these industries can understand how they could all account for some of the deadliest jobs in America. Farmworkers, laborers, agricultural inspectors and so many others are sometimes forced to deal with pieces of machinery that can be difficult to use or that can malfunction. Even the most experienced individual who has spent years dealing with such machines could, on an off day, suffer a tragic accident that could result in a severe and life-changing injury. In some cases, that injury could even prove to be fatal.
8 Structural Iron and Steel Workers: 25.2 Fatalities Per 100,000 Full-Time Employees
Structural Iron and Steel Workers are, as explained in the Forbes piece, commonly referred to as “ironworkers.” Along with being physically demanding jobs that can lead to fatigue among those who have these careers, ironworkers are sometimes tasked with working at great heights. Odds are that you have witnessed this for yourself if you have ever traveled over a bridge that was under construction, particularly during the summer months. Sounds like fun to you? Hope so, because the Bureau of Labor Statistics claims that the median pay for such jobs was, as of 2012, roughly $46,000.
7 Farmers, Ranchers and Other Agricultural Managers: 26 Fatalities Per 100,000 Full-Time Employees
Not only do Farmers, Ranchers and Other Agricultural Managers make up for some of the deadliest jobs in America for 2015. They are often reliant on things that no person can control, such as the weather. One bad season, one harsh crop or one supposed “Act of God” can forever change the lives of the people who rely on these industries to put food on their tables. It is also worth noting that many who land jobs that fall under these categories grew up working on fields of land such as farms or ranches. A novice with the money can buy a farm or a ranch, sure, but maintaining that property is hardly an easy task.
6 Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors: 35.8 Fatalities Per 100,000 Full-Time Employees
Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors, commonly referred to as garbage collectors, are routinely listed as having one of the deadliest jobs in America. This, according to HealthDay, has been a trend for over a century. That story claimed that some individuals in this industry can, in certain areas, run up to 20 miles behind a moving truck per workday. Fatigue and also the dangerous conditions that can occur during wet and/or cold weather has, in the past, resulted in workers falling from and being struck by trucks. Vaccinations are, of course, recommended for those who work in these industries.
5 Roofers: 46.2 Fatalities Per 100,000 Full-Time Employees
You may find that Roofers do not come to your mind until you need one to work on your home. People who work in the roofing industry obviously have to deal with being one slip and fall away from their lives flashing before their eyes. Along with that concern is the potential for heat stroke and other problems that can arise during the dog days of summer, when people choose to have work done on their roofs ahead of winter storms. There is little to no shade available to those who spend hours on top of a roof, and this can make for working conditions that include temperatures in the triple-digits.
4 Other Extraction Workers: 51.9 Fatalities Per 100,000 Full-Time Employees
The category “Other Extraction Workers” making up some of the deadliest jobs in America for 2015 is interesting, in that the Bureau of Labor Statistics chooses to not list data separately per industry. The industries that fall under this category include: Coal Mining, Nonmetallic Mineral Mining and Quarrying, Metal Ore Mining, Oil and Gas Extraction and Support Activities for Mining. Of those five industries listed, Coal Mining held the highest mean annual wage ($48,680) as of May 2014 according to the BLS. Nonmetallic Mineral Mining and Quarrying was at the bottom of the list ($33,260).
3 Aircraft Pilots and Flight Engineers: 63.2 Fatalities Per 100,000 Full-Time Employees
There are two things that should be pointed out to anybody looking to work among these well-trained individuals: You can make a lot of money doing so, but you also likely are not slipping into such a gig. The mean annual wage for Aircraft Pilots and Flight Engineers is, according to the Forbes report, $131,760. Whether or not the stress that comes with such jobs is worth the money would be up to the person. Along with being away from friends and family members for long periods of time, those who work in these fields know that they literally are responsible for the lives of hundreds of people per day.
2 Fishers and Related Fishing Workers: 80.8 Fatalities Per 100,000 Full-Time Employees
Just as with the grouping that is atop this list, Fishers and Related Fishing Workers checks in at No. 2 for the third consecutive year. That probably does not come as much of a surprise to those of you who have ever checked out the Deadliest Catch program. The risks that come with being out in the field – or rather on the water – while working in these industries are real, and facing them head-on brings no guarantee that you will receive hazard pay. The Forbes report claims that employees who hold these jobs are paid “in the mid-$30,000 to low-$40,000 range.”
1 Logging Workers: 109.5 Fatalities Per 100,000 Full-Time Employees
The logging industry has been featured on television programs for good reason, and not because viewers care so much about the origins of certain consumer goods. Logging Workers ran away with the title of the deadliest jobs in America for 2015, and the non-existent race to first was not all that close. Logging workers spend the majority of their days outdoors, where they face dangerous scenarios. Along with being forced to work in harsh weather conditions, loggers can also find themselves isolated from others. Forbes reports that those who harvest and transport timber earn salaries in the “mid-$30,000 range.” The pay may not be all that great, but at least the job is dangerous: Right?