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Airline pilots among most dangerous jobs in U.S.: survey

There are risks in any job but the professions deemed the most dangerous in a new CareerCast report include the obvious — truck driver, firefighter and enlisted military personnel, as well as the less evident — emergency medical technician, construction laborer and animal care worker.


July 22, 2015
By CareerCast

American employers are always striving for job safety. Still, there are inherent dangers in the workplace, some more than others. Potentially life-threatening danger is part of the job description for police officers and firefighters.

A police officer’s job demands constant vigilance. The Officer Down Memorial Page reports 63 deaths in the line of duty this year. Along with police, parole/corrections officers also face dangers as a fundamental part of the job.

America’s roadways can be hazardous, and heavy/tractor-trailer truck drivers spend their entire workday on the nation’s highways and freeways. To make the job safer, the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enacted a 70-hour workweek restriction to prevent fatigued truck drivers from getting behind the wheel.

Other dangerous jobs are perhaps less obvious. The Office of Occupational Safety and Health Statistics reports in its 2013 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), released September 2014, that the highest rate increase of casualty occurred in private construction. The 828 deaths on the job in 2013 equates to a 3 per cent increase over the previous CFOI.

Likewise, the dangers inherent with working in animal care may not be readily apparent. It’s certainly a much different nature of danger than police, emergency medical technicians, military personnel or firefighters face. Animal care can face certain risks from hostile, unpredictable and dangerous animals, as well as large animals, like cows and horses.

If danger beyond a paper cut is not appealing to you, consider a career in business, such as actuary, human resources manager and executive assistant. Jobs in academia also offer safe environments. Historians and mathematicians enjoy two of the top seven best rankings in that category in the 2015 Jobs Rated report.