Special Report

24 Jobs That Could Ruin Your Hearing


To determine the noisiest jobs, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on noise exposure by occupation from the University of Michigan’s Job Exposure Matrix. Occupations were ranked based on the average level of exposure to noise for all workers, measured in A-weighted decibels (dBA). Data on dBA was averaged across all years for which data was available. 

Imputed data with a high level of confidence was included, while imputed data with a low to moderate level of confidence was excluded. Noise exposure was compared against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s permissible exposure limit of 90 dBA during an eight-hour workday. Data on total employment and median annual wage came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics program. Data on projected employment growth from 2019 to 2029 came from the BLS Employment Projections program.

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