Special Report

25 Most Dangerous Jobs in America

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15. First-line supervisors of mechanics, installers, and repairers
> 2018 fatal injury rate: 15.1 per 100,000 workers
> Total injuries in 2018: 46 fatal injuries, 3,100 nonfatal injuries
> Most common cause of fatal accident: Violence and other injuries by persons or animals
> Median annual wage: $66,140

Maintenance and repair workers rank among the most dangerous jobs in the United States with a fatal injury rate of 12.5 per 100,000 workers, and those who supervise them are often at even greater risk of serious injury or death with a fatal injury rate of 15.1 per 100,000 workers. The largest share of fatal injuries among workers in the field happened due to violent interactions with other people or animals. The most common source of the 3,100 nonfatal injuries for people in this occupation in 2018 was inadvertent contact with dangerous objects and equipment.

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14. Helpers, construction trades
> 2018 fatal injury rate: 15.8 per 100,000 workers
> Total injuries in 2018: 11 fatal injuries, 3,460 nonfatal injuries
> Most common cause of fatal accident: Falls, slips, trips
> Median annual wage: $31,200

Construction zones can be among the most dangerous places to work in the United States — and the job of helpers in construction trades is one of several construction occupations to rank on this list. The job can require performing a range of physically demanding tasks in all weather conditions, often on scaffolding or ladders at great heights. Of the 11 deaths among construction site helpers in 2018, six were attributable to slips and falls. Over 1,000 nonfatal injuries were also attributable to slips and falls.

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13. Miscellaneous agricultural workers
> 2018 fatal injury rate: 18.0 per 100,000 workers
> Total injuries in 2018: 157 fatal injuries, 13,160 nonfatal injuries
> Most common cause of fatal accident: Transportation incidents
> Median annual wage: $24,600

Working on farms can include heavy equipment use and livestock management, which can be dangerous tasks — and miscellaneous agricultural workers are more likely to be killed by an accident at work than most American workers. Transportation incidents such as car accidents accounted for the largest share of fatal injuries on the job for miscellaneous agricultural workers in 2018, followed by inadvertent contact with equipment and other objects.

Compared to most other jobs on this list, miscellaneous agricultural workers are not paid much. The typical annual wage in the occupation is just $24,600, well below the $38,640 median across all occupations.

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12. Grounds maintenance workers
> 2018 fatal injury rate: 18.6 per 100,000 workers
> Total injuries in 2018: 225 fatal injuries, 13,030 nonfatal injuries
> Most common cause of fatal accident: Transportation incidents
> Median annual wage: $29,400

Grounds maintenance workers typically work outdoors, maintaining the landscape and grounds of homes, campuses, hotels, parks, and more. The work can be physically demanding and performed in all kinds of weather conditions. The work can be dangerous largely due to the type of equipment many grounds workers use regularly such as chain saws, pruners, and lawn mowers. Fatalities are commonly the result of accidents involving tree trimmers, which are effectively saw blades attached to long telescopic poles. Injuries due to falls are also relatively common in grounds keeping as some tasks are performed at great heights.

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11. Electrical power-line installers and repairers
> 2018 fatal injury rate: 19.3 per 100,000 workers
> Total injuries in 2018: 29 fatal injuries, 1,490 nonfatal injuries
> Most common cause of fatal accident: Exposure to harmful substances or environments
> Median annual wage: $70,910

Electrical power-line installers and repairers set up and fix infrastructure such as electric power, telecommunication, and fiber optic cables. Because people in this occupation work around high voltage electric wires and often at considerable heights, the job ranks among the most dangerous in the United States. Electrical power-line installers and repairers sustained 1,490 serious injuries in 2018, and 29 people in the occupation were killed on the jobs.

Power line installation and repair is a highly skilled job, and partially as a result, it is high paying. The typical American working in the field earns just over $70,000 a year, well above the $38,640 median across all occupations.