Special Report

25 Most Dangerous Jobs in America

Source: Thinkstock

15. Grounds Maintenance Workers
> Fatal injuries in 2017: 15.9 per 100,000 workers
> Total: 191 fatal injuries, 13,310 nonfatal injuries
> Most common fatal accidents: Falls, slips, trips
> Median annual wage: $28,110

Groundskeeping is typically a physically demanding job, performed outdoors in all weather conditions. Fatalities on the job are caused by a range of accidents — from slips and falls to harmful contact with equipment. There were 15.9 fatalities for every 100,000 people working as groundskeepers in 2017 — the 15th highest fatality rate among occupations.

These workers frequently use dangerous equipment, and contact with this equipment is a regular cause of death. Many of them, such as tree trimmers and pruners, work at dangerous heights, and the most common cause of death among grounds maintenance workers are falls, slips, and trips.

Source: franckreporter / Getty Images

14. Maintenance and Repair Workers, General
> Fatal injuries in 2017: 16.6 per 100,000 workers
> Total: 87 fatal injuries, 23,200 nonfatal injuries
> Most common fatal accidents: Falls, slips, trips
> Median annual wage: $37,670

General maintenance and repair workers are often engaged in multiple tasks throughout a single day — which can include fixing mechanical equipment, repairing flooring, and working on plumbing, electrical, and air-conditioning systems. Repairers often work in uncomfortable and cramped positions, and they are at a greater than typical risk of suffering electrical shocks, cuts, and falls.

Falls, slips, and trips account for one third of all fatal injuries in the profession, the most of any type of accident. Nonfatal injuries, however, are far more common. General maintenance repair workers suffered 87 fatalities and 23,200 nonfatal injuries per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers in 2017, each among the most of any profession per capita.

Source: Thinkstock

13. Helpers, Construction Trades
> Fatal injuries in 2017: 17.3 per 100,000 workers
> Total: 11 fatal injuries, 2,660 nonfatal injuries
> Most common fatal accidents: Falls, slips, trips
> Median annual wage: $30,120

Construction work in general is among the most dangerous in the country — four separate occupations within the construction industry are among the 25 most dangerous. Helpers in construction trades have the second highest fatality rate among those four occupations. As is the case for most occupations in construction, falls, slips, and trips are the most common cause of fatalities.

Unlike the majority of the jobs with the highest fatality rates, a relatively small share of injuries result in fatalities. There were 11 fatal injuries and 2,660 nonfatal injuries among construction helpers. Nationally, 0.58% of all workplace injuries in 2017 were fatal, compared to the 0.41% of injuries among construction helpers.

Source: Cineberg / Getty Images

12. First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers
> Fatal injuries in 2017: 17.4 per 100,000 workers
> Total: 121 fatal injuries, 5,320 nonfatal injuries
> Most common fatal accidents: Falls, slips, trips
> Median annual wage: $64,070

While managers in some jobs tend to perform less dangerous or physically demanding work than those they supervise, first-line supervisors in construction and extraction jobs are actually one of the most at-risk groups of workers in the country. This group suffered 121 deaths in 2017, one of the highest totals of any occupation.

Source: valio84sl / Getty Images

11. Miscellaneous Agricultural Workers
> Fatal injuries in 2017: 17.7 per 100,000 workers
> Total: 154 fatal injuries, 13,500 nonfatal injuries
> Most common fatal accidents: Transportation incidents
> Median annual wage: $23,710

Approximately half of all fatal injuries affecting miscellaneous agricultural workers were caused by transportation incidents — many of which involved motorized off-road vehicles, such as tractors. The occupation also results in a relatively large amount of nonfatal injuries at 1,555 for every 100,000 workers — nearly double the comparable national rate. Many workers employed in dangerous occupations are compensated for the assumed risk with a higher wage, but in addition to being a dangerous job, miscellaneous agricultural workers are the lowest paid of all the jobs on our list. The median annual earnings for someone in this profession is $23,710.

Sponsored: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.