According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than 4,500 fatal workplace accidents in the U.S. every year. Although every occupation carries some level of risk, certain occupations are more inherently dangerous than others. The top five, on a national basis, are truck drivers and driver sales workers, farmers, ranchers and agricultural managers, construction laborers, aircraft pilots and flight engineers, and fishermen and related workers.
At first glance, the more dangerous jobs seem to pay more, rewarding the worker for the additional risks involved. However, a deeper look reveals that the rewards may not outweigh the risks. For example, the median pay for truck drivers and driver sales workers is between $27,530 and $40,940, which is less than the median household income. Couple that with the fact that there were more than 741 fatal work injuries in this category during the most recently reported year, and the reward-to-risk ratio becomes questionable.