Average Salaries for the Most Dangerous U.S. Jobs

While many high-risk jobs are in widely known–industries such as logging, fishing, and firefighting–a new report reveals only a few of these high risk industries are also lucrative. A research company set out to find out the most dangerous jobs in America and how much workers were making. According to the study, which was recently published in Time Magazine, many workers are taking on significant risk for less than average salaries.


According to the BLS, the average wage for all professions was $34,750. Compared to wages collected by those in the most dangerous positions, only 4 of the top 10 dangerous jobs pay more than $10,000 above the average. The others pay around median or less than average. The highest paid dangerous job was airplane pilots who made an average of $129,600 per year.

So what are the most dangerous jobs in America and are they worth it? Here is a summary according to the FindtheBest data combined with wages posted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census:

Logging: Forestry and logging jobs are considered one of the most dangerous. There are 127.8 deaths per 100,000 workers and a total of 62 fatalities in 2013. The average income for a logging industry worker is around $33,000, below the average income.

Fishing and related: The fishing industry is notoriously dangerous with 32 deaths in 2012 and 117 deaths per 100,000 workers. Again, the average income for workers in the fishing industry is below average, around $33,400 per year.

Aircraft pilots and flight engineers: Of the dangerous jobs, pilots have the highest average salary at $129,000. There were 71 deaths in 2012, with an average of 53.4 deaths per 100,000 workers.

Construction workers
: Working with heavy machinery, falls, and other injuries make construction one of the most dangerous industries. Unfortunately, workers are not compensated to make up for the risk. On average, workers make around $35,000 per year. In 2012 there were 19 deaths in 2012, a loss of 46.9 deaths per 100,000 workers.

Roofers: Roofers make only slightly over average at $35, 290 per year. In 2012 there were 70 roofer deaths, an average of 40.5 deaths per 100,000 workers.

Structural iron and steel workers
: Iron and steel workers make more than average at around $46,000 in this notoriously dangerous occupation. There were 22 deaths in 2012, 37 deaths per 100,000 workers.

Garbage and recyclable material collectors: Heavy machinery and transport can put garbage and recyclable collectors at risk. Workers in this industry made only slightly over average at $35,280. There were 26 deaths in 2012, about 27.1 deaths per 100,000 workers.

Electrical power-line installers and repair technicians: Electrical line workers made an average of $58,000 per year, one of the highest incomes in dangerous businesses. There were 26 deaths in 2012, an average of 23 per 100,000 worker.

Drivers/sale workers and truck drivers: Workers in the transportation injury are at the greatest risk of fatal accidents. Despite these risks, drivers make only $27,000 on average. There 741 transportation related industry deaths in 2012, 22.1 per 100,000 workers.

Farming, ranch, and agricultural managers: Farmers make an average of $33,400 per year in one of the most dangerous industries. In 2012, there were 216 deaths, 21.3 deaths per 100,000 workers.

If you have been injured at work, contact the Lee Law Offices at 800-887-19-65.

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Graven v. N.C. Dept. of Public Safety – Injuries From Holiday Lunch Accident Not Compensable, Aug. 15, 2014, Charlotte Work Injury Lawyer Blog

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