Special Report

25 Most Dangerous Jobs in America

Source: DGLimages / Getty Images

10. First-line supervisors of landscaping, lawn service, and groundskeeping workers
> 2018 fatal injury rate: 20.2 per 100,000 workers
> Total injuries in 2018: 48 fatal injuries, 1,990 nonfatal injuries
> Most common cause of fatal accident: Falls, slips, trips
> Median annual wage: $48,220

Groundskeeping ranks among the most dangerous jobs in the United States with a fatal injury rate of 18.6 per 100,000 workers, but their supervisors are often at even greater risk of serious injury or death. There were 48 job-related deaths of first-line supervisors of landscaping, lawn service, and groundskeeping workers in 2018, or 20.2 per 100,000 workers.

Such workers are often working from elevated positions, and the largest share of fatal injuries among workers in the field happened due to slips and falls. The job can also be physically demanding, and the most common source of the 1,990 nonfatal injuries for people in this occupation in 2018 was overexertion.

Source: Cineberg / Getty Images

9. First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers
> 2018 fatal injury rate: 21.0 per 100,000 workers
> Total injuries in 2018: 144 fatal injuries, 5,390 nonfatal injuries
> Most common cause of fatal accident: Transportation incidents
> Median annual wage: $65,230

Construction and extraction work can be relatively dangerous, and Americans in supervisory roles for such occupations are among the most likely to have a fatal accident at work compared to those in nearly any other occupation. There were 144 fatal work-related injuries among those in the occupation in 2018, or 21 per 100,000 workers.

Job responsibilities vary but often include inspection of work progress, work equipment, and safety measures to ensure full compliance. Injuries from falls, slips, and trips are the most common cause of serious injury and second most common cause of death on the job. The leading cause of death in the occupation is incidents involving transportation, like motor vehicle accidents.

Source: franckreporter / Getty Images

8. Structural iron and steel workers
> 2018 fatal injury rate: 23.6 per 100,000 workers
> Total injuries in 2018: 15 fatal injuries, 800 nonfatal injuries
> Most common cause of fatal accident: Falls, slips, trips
> Median annual wage: $53,970

Structural iron and steel workers have one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. The work of installing structural support beams for buildings and bridges is not only physically demanding, but also hazardous as it is often done at great heights. There were 15 fatalities among structural iron and steel workers in 2018, with the largest share attributable to falls, slips, and trips.

The job frequently involves the use of cranes and other lifting equipment as well as torches and welding machines. Mistakes with such equipment can result in serious injury, and the largest share of the 800 injuries reported in the field in 2018 came as a result of unintentional contact with equipment or objects.

Source: RichLegg / Getty Images

7. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers
> 2018 fatal injury rate: 24.7 per 100,000 workers
> Total injuries in 2018: 257 fatal injuries, 280 nonfatal injuries
> Most common cause of fatal accident: Transportation incidents
> Median annual wage: $67,950

Farmers, ranchers, and others working in agriculture often work with large animals and potentially dangerous machinery. In this line of work, people are subject to injuries from animals, transportation incidents, and contact with dangerous equipment — each of which caused dozens of fatalities in 2018. The 257 fatal injuries suffered by agricultural workers is the third highest total among all professions that year.

Source: kali9 / Getty Images

6. Driver/sales workers and truck drivers
> 2018 fatal injury rate: 26.0 per 100,000 workers
> Total injuries in 2018: 966 fatal injuries, 78,520 nonfatal injuries
> Most common cause of fatal accident: Transportation incidents
> Median annual wage: $38,800

Driver/sales workers and truck drivers work in one of the largest fields in the U.S. economy, with over 3 million workers. Because such drivers spend hours on the road hauling cargo, many of the injuries and deaths are transportation-related. Truck drivers have one of the total number of fatal injuries at 966 and one of the highest totals of nonfatal injuries as well, at over 78,000.