The Most Dangerous Jobs

What’s the most dangerous part of your job? Is it your morning commute? J-walking to lunch? Avoiding paper cuts in the office? Hot coffee? For most people, their job isn’t very dangerous. Safety is the main focus of any office. And in all honesty, how much danger can there really be in a cubicle?

The world’s focus on safety is suffocating. We all need a bit of risk and a sense of danger in our lives. It makes us feel alive and allows us to appreciate things more. The passion for life, the adrenaline rush, and the acceptance of risk make people choose dangerous jobs. Plus it’s not nearly as boring an existence when danger always keeps you on your toes.

Stunt Man on Movie Set Photo

Every single day newspapers and news channels report on the day’s events. Work related deaths make headlines. Trapped miners, wounded soldiers, fallen window washers, heat stroked roofers, crushed loggers, shot policemen, burnt firemen, assaulted armored car drivers, lost fishermen, regurgitated lion tamers, dismembered stuntmen, accident-prone NASCAR pit crews, hit highway flaggers, drowned deep sea divers, or missing oil workers have all been in the news just recently. It’s always a tragedy, but for these people it’s also their daily existence – their job.

All of these jobs tempt fate. Maybe it’s the stuntman filming a high speed car chase, the civilian contractor working as a nurse in an African war zone, the airplane repo man legally stealing planes from drug dealers, the long haul trucker speeding along the highways, the high rise window washer dangling outside skyscrapers, the astronaut exploring the world beyond, bodyguards protecting celebrities from crazed paparazzi, the smokejumper diving into raging forest fires, or the bomb technician defusing an explosive device in Time Square. These dangerous careers exist and people do them every single day.

Every dangerous job fills a niche – pilots for transportation, scuba divers and astronauts for exploration, animal trainers for entertainment, or firemen and police officers for protection and emergency response.

What makes a job dangerous? A dangerous job can be defined as a job that exposes a person to risks that can cause harm, damage, or injury. When picking a job, you need to know the risks – falling trees, wild animals, heavy machinery, distracted drivers, wild fires, detrimental weather. Every dangerous job has the potential for injury or loss.

The most obvious way to measure danger is the fatality frequency. This is calculated by the number of deaths divided by the number of professionals in the field. The order changes each year, but fishermen, pilots, loggers, structural metal workers, roofers, construction workers, and farmers always make the top ten. Some of the other dangerous jobs that don’t make the list are lion tamers, deep-sea divers, bounty hunters, underground miners, or that guy that sticks swords and fire down his throat.

It takes a brave, courageous, determined individual to choose a dangerous career. When the pros and cons are weighed, dangerous jobs often win. It may be because people don’t want to sit in an office, eat donuts, and get old. Certain people love the pure adrenaline rush of dodging bullets. Some like the excitement of never knowing what will come next. Others like going places that no man has gone before. People pick danger-filled careers because it’s what they want to do. Maybe the danger makes them happy, or maybe it’s the reward.

Dangerous jobs are a great example of risk versus reward – the riskier the job, the greater the reward. The reward can be passion or pay. People may take on risk because they love what they do – stuntmen, pit crew, or policemen. Others may assume more risk because of the ridiculously high pay – mercenaries, fishermen, or civilian contractors. As long as you know and understand the risks of any dangerous job, it’s up to you to decide if risking it all is worth it. Maybe it is.

Picking a risky job can definitely lead to an adventurous career. If you’re done with the mundane and want to try your luck staring danger in the eyeballs, try to find jobs that have the word “danger” in the job description. After that…good luck.

Sign up for our newsletter!