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Are those deadly jobs really worth it?

When you think of the most dangerous jobs in the United States, do you assume that the people doing them must be making a great living?

After all, how much would it take for you to put your life on the line? How much would you need to get paid every other Friday to risk a life-altering brain injury? Surely, knowing the risks, you would want more money than someone in an office.

Not that the office comes with no dangers. People get hurt in slip-and-fall accidents. They suffer from back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. But, certainly, the odds that an office worker will die in an accident are simply not that high.

The top 3

Well, to see if the salary reflects the risk, let's take a look at the three most dangerous jobs in 2019 and the amount that they pay:

  1. Fishing workers. $28,310 annually.
  2. Logging workers. $38,840 annually.
  3. Aircraft pilots and related workers. $111,930 annually.

While it is clear that pilots and others in the aviation industry take home a good living, it's hard to argue that professional fishermen have a great situation. They work in the No. 1 most dangerous industry, where they are statistically more likely to die than any other workers in America, and they make an average of under $30,000 per year.

There are plenty of jobs that pay much more and offer much lower risks. For that matter, there are many jobs that pay a roughly even wage, but without the risk.

The other dangerous jobs

Taking money out of the equation, you may just want to know what the most dangerous jobs are overall. Here are the top 25 from the same report:

  1. Fishers
  2. Loggers
  3. Aircraft pilots
  4. Roofers
  5. Garbage collectors
  6. Steel and iron workers
  7. Drivers
  8. Farmers
  9. Landscapers
  10. Electrical power-line workers
  11. Agricultural workers
  12. Construction supervisors
  13. Construction helpers
  14. Maintenance workers
  15. Grounds maintenance workers
  16. Construction workers (general)
  17. Supervisors of mechanics
  18. Police officers
  19. Construction equipment operators
  20. Mining machine operators
  21. Chauffeurs and taxi drivers
  22. Athletes and related workers
  23. Painters
  24. Firefighters
  25. Electricians

While pay can vary dramatically from one profession to another and even within the same grouping -- for instance, some athletes make millions, while umpires at a lower level may just count it as a part-time job -- you can see that many dangerous jobs are trades. These do not tend to be the highest-paying jobs in the country, even though they carry the greatest risk.

That's why it is so important for injured workers to understand all of their rights. An injury can take a serious financial toll. Make sure you know exactly what steps you can take.

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