Out of these 10 jobs, some even require extensive training to get paid merely the median wage or just a bit above it.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) reports on the riskiest jobs in the United States and offers that these professions come with just a $34,750 annual wage on average. A few jobs on the 10 riskiest and low-paying jobs actually paid a bit more than the national median, about $10,000 more, but three paid less.
The following 10 risky jobs won’t get you rich, but many people in the country rely on those who fill the positions. That alone can make taking a job like this worthwhile, but some think a higher payday is certainly warranted.
Many pilots make well over the median wage, but there are those that work non-commercial flights to instead assist fire fighters or freight engineers. They make much less. And, a number of pilots in all industries die while on the job.
- Agricultural Manager
Agriculture Managers make wages that are typically $10,000 less than the median wage. They face many risks, including injury from heavy machinery and asphyxiation from large amounts of falling grain.
- Truck Driver
Driving a truck was the most dangerous profession in the U.S. in 2014, and the job didn’t pay well for those who put their lives on the line to deliver goods and services to the market. Loomis Armored is getting sued because they allegedly didn’t pay drivers the overtime required by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
- Iron Worker
Iron workers made a median wage that’s above the average, but not by much and they face risk every day on the job. The U.S. Department of Labor states that the percentage of ironworkers who face injuries is among the highest in the nation.
As a farmer, you might be injured by charging animals or become maimed by a tractor accident. And, you’ll only get a modest payday from all the hard work you put in to keep Americans fed.
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Roofers make a median salary of roughly $35,000 per year, but they face death or injury risk that’s 5 to 12 times greater than the overall rate in the United States.
- Waste Collector
It might surprise you to know that our country’s waste collectors only made about the median annual salary, but they face risk of death that’s above the overall U.S. average.
- Construction Laborer
Construction Laborers generally make the median annual salary, and they face a higher fatal injury rate than the average in the United States. These workers have a risk of death that’s also 5 to 12 times greater than the U.S. average of 3.4 incidents for every 100,000 workers.
Logging workers make less than the median wage and they face a fatality rate that’s between 6.5 and 37.5 times greater than the risk of all U.S. jobs. Falling logs and chainsaw accidents make logging extremely dangerous.
- Electrical Power Line Installer and Repairer
Workers who install electrical power lines operate with extremely high risk, putting them in danger of falling (the third most common cause for fatality in 2013) and being electrocuted.
These are unsettling facts and numbers for many who would go into low-paid and high-risk professions. Proper training, policies and a cautionary outlook can help to minimize risk of injury or fatality for those who do take on these jobs.
Vania Silva is a Maryland-based freelance writer who focuses primarily on energy, law, and financial issues, but will follow a good story wherever it leads.
Photo: USA Today