The 31 deadliest jobs in America in 2022, ranked
What is the deadliest job in America?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps track of workplace deaths, and updates its list every year. Yes, the BLS lists some job sectors as being more death-prone than others. But for this list, we're mostly talking about specific occupations, not broad categories or entire industries.
These death rates represent the number of fatalities per 100,000 full-time workers, all logging 40-hour weeks, 50 weeks a year.
Here, former injured Amazon employees demonstrate about what they claim is the company's "alarming injury rate" among warehouse workers on Dec. 10, 2019 in Chicago.
31. Industrial truck and tractor operator
Fatal injury rate: 5.9
The BLS includes operators of industrial trucks or tractors "equipped to move materials around a warehouse, storage yard, factory, construction site, or similar location." The category excludes logging equipment.
Here, a tractor does its job in Greenfield, California, in 2020.
30. Bus and truck mechanic and diesel engine specialist
Fatal injury rate: 6
These folks "diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul buses" and other big trucks.
29. Athlete, coach or referee
Fatal injury rate: 6.2
Here, referee Kendrick Nicholson lays on the ice after an injury during a game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders in February 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
28. Auto mechanic
Fatal injury rate: 7.2
Here, Tony Hanes, a self-employed mechanic, works to pick used car parts from a salvage automobile at Pull-A-Part on Jan. 13, 2022 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Fatal injury rate: 7.8
Here, an apprentice carpenter works on site at the Winthrop Center, a skyscraper that will become one of the tallest buildings in Boston, in 2020.
Fatal injury rate: 8
Electrician Ben Koucheli installs wiring for new lights on a runway at Ontario International Airport in Ontario on Thursday, July 15, 2021.
25. Casino and other types of security guard
Fatal injury rate: 8.3
Here, a security guard passes card tables inside Gardens Casino in Hawaiian Gardens, in what used to be the valet area, located at the front entrance of the casino.
24. Welder, solderer or brazer
Fatal injury rate: 9.2
Here, a welder for Stewarts Inc., an oilfield service company, works on a tank that will be used in the fracking industry in the Permian Basin oil field on Jan. 20, 2016 in the oil town of Andrews, Texas.
22 (TIE). Telecommunications line installer or repairer
Fatal injury rate: 11.6
AT&T linemen repair telephone cable lines damaged by the LNU Lightning Complex fire in Napa County, California, in August 2020.
22 (TIE). Painting and wallpaper hanging
Fatal injury rate: 11.6
Painters finish covering up graffiti that read "Go F... Ur Selfie" on the bright pink wall of British fashion designer Paul Smith's flagship store on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles in September 2018.
21. Construction or quarry supervisor
Fatal injury rate: 11.7
Shown here: A quarry in Texas.
20. General maintenance and repair worker
Fatal injury rate: 12.3
The job title indicates a jack or jill of all trades; from day to day, these workers may find themselves doing anything from balancing new equipment to machining.
Here, pipe fitter Steven Montes (right) installs a pressure relief valve on a 24-inch stainless steel pipe at the Poseidon Water desalination plant April 30, 2015 in Carlsbad, California.
19. Police officer
Fatal injury rate: 13.4
Officers step out of the crime scene at Geneva Presbyterian Church, after a shooting earlier in the day, in Laguna Woods, California, May 15, 2022.
The dangers of policing
In 2022 alone, at least 141 officers have been shot, and 21 killed by gunfire, according to the National Fraternal Order of Police.
Here, police gather at the scene of a shooting in Brooklyn that left one person dead on June 16, 2022 in New York City. While much of the nation has witnessed a rise in gun violence over the last year, police anticipated a surge in shootings over the coming summer months.
18. First-line repair supervisor
Fatal injury rate: 14.4
This fairly broad category includes people who supervise the repair of machines and large industrial facilities, such as firefighting equipment, pumps and powerhouses.
Here, a project manager works inside of a boiler inside a historic steam locomotive in California.
The dangers of first-line repair supervision
The dangers of this profession are legion, but a few include downed or flawed electric lines or getting caught between heavy machinery.
In this U.S. Navy handout, sailors inventory firefighting equipment to support firefighting efforts aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard in San Diego, California.
17. First-line landscaping supervisor
Fatal injury rate: 15.3
This category includes a range of supervisory greens-keeping duties, from cemeteries to golf courses to tree-trimming businesses and nurseries.
Here, a tree trimmer cuts a tree damaged in Miami when Hurricane Irma passed through the area on September 11, 2017.
16. Miscellaneous agricultural work
Fatal injury rate: 16.6
Beekeeper Tom Santorelli checks frames inside his beehives in Bay Shore, New York, on April 21, 2022.
The dangers of agriculture
This is another broad category, covering bean pickers, berry planters brush cutters, beekeepers, bog workers and more. Tractors and other large equipment is often involved in these workplace fatalities.
Here, cranberry farm owner Gary Weston looks over his harvest in Carver, Massachusetts.
15. Construction equipment operator
Fatal injury rate: 17.6
Here, bulldozer operator Chrissy Kortze poses in 2019.
The dangers of construction equipment operation
People in this category operate asphalt pavers, concrete machines, bulldozers, hydraulic shovels and other big machines. With this work comes the risk of being crushed or run over, among other disasters.
Here, a worker with the San Francisco Department of Public Works monitors a truck dumping asphalt into a paving machine in 2021.
14. Construction laborer
Fatal injury rate: 18.1
Construction workers carry empty caskets representing workers killed on a construction site during a rally in lower Manhattan to demand a safer workplace on December 10, 2015.
The dangers of construction work
In the world of construction labor, a worker may do anything from laying asphalt to operating an air hammer. Aside from contact with heavy equipment, these workers also faces risks of falls and other hazards.
Here, a worker along a new stretch of asphalt in 2020, in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania.
13. Power-line installer or repairer
Fatal injury rate: 18.6
Here, Montana linemen rebuild a Northwestern Energy electric transmissions line in May 2020.
The dangers of electric line work
Electrocution and falls are just some of the hazards of this job.
Here, Southern California Edison lineman Eddie Varrioz, 43, poses for a photo after installing a new overhead switch in May 2020 in Ventura, California.
Fatal injury rate: 19.4
Here, groundskeepers maintain a baseball park in Boston.
The dangers of groundskeeping
For a groundskeeper, it doesn't end with heavy equipment or exposure to chemicals. Think everything from poisonous snakes to sharp tools.
Here, umpires look on as head groundskeeper Larry DiVito works on the mound during a game between the Minnesota Twins and the Cleveland Indians on September 23, 2015 at Target Field in Minneapolis.
11. Farmer, rancher or other agricultural manager
Fatal injury rate: 20.9
James Henderson, a fifth-generation farmer and rancher, moves a calf outside after spending the night inside the barn on February 16, 2022 in La Jara, Colorado.
The dangers of ranching and farming
Grain bins, animal-acquired infections, or just a long fall off of a ladder — the hazards of this job are numerous.
Ranchers Jim Jensen (L) and Bill Jensen (R) carry PVC pipes on their ranch in June 2021 in Tomales, California.
10. Underground mining machine operator
Fatal injury rate: 21.6
At a Wellmore coal mine in Buchanan County, Virginia, workers toil deep underground in 2016.
The dangers of underground mining machines
Mining in general can be a dangerous profession, thanks, in part, to cave-ins, explosions and extreme temperatures.
Coal miner Dale Travis, 53, of Wheeling, West Virginia, waits for the arrival of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt to visit with miners at the Harvey Mine on April 13, 2017 in Sycamore, Pennsylvania.
9. Water-based transport worker
Fatal injury rate: 24.3
A sailor sprays water into a cargo hold on the Manitowoc, a lake freighter on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio, in 2015.
The dangers of water transport work
It's unclear exactly what work the BLS puts in this category, but it does include coastal and deep-sea labor.
The U. S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw, top, works in thick ice to break out the freighter Edwin Gott in Whitefish Bay of Lake Superior in 2015.
8. Truck driver
Fatal injury rate: 25.8
Truckers protesting COVID-19 mandates prepare to leave their base camp on March 11, 2022 in Hagerstown, Maryland.
The dangers of truck driving
Accidents and fire hazards from overturned chemicals or oil are just some the dangers truck drivers may face.
This April 29, 2022 photo released by the U.S. Forest Service shows an overturned semi-truck on Route 199 in Del Norte County near Gasquet, California.
The driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI.
7. Structural iron or steel worker
Fatal injury rate: 32.5
A worker stands on scaffolding attached to the Deception Pass Bridge, a 976-foot span about 180 vfeet above the waters below, to replace corroded steel in April 2021, in Deception Pass, Washington.
The dangers of structural steelwork
Fatal injuries from falls are a top concern for these workers.
A steel worker waits atop the NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center structure in 2016, in Huntsville, Alabama.
6. Trash and recyclable material collector
Fatal injury rate: 33.1
Trash collectors move empty bins during pickup in Boston in 2016.
The dangers of garbage collection
Hazardous materials, such as sharp objects inside trash cans, are among the dangers these workers face.
A worker cleans along a section of train tracks littered with debris from packages stolen from cargo containers stacked on rail cars on Jan. 19, 2022 in Los Angeles.
Union Pacific has seen a 160% increase in rail thefts in Los Angeles County over the past year. Many of the packages are from Amazon and other retailers.
5. Aircraft pilot or flight engineer
Fatal injury rate: 34.3
Josh Sanchez, a flight engineer, makes adjustments on a s P-3 weather aircraft bearing stickers naming each hurricane the plane has flown into, in 2017, in Arlington, Virginia.
The dangers of flight engineering
Most, but not all, fatal injuries in this category are caused by crashes.
Aircraft engineers handle the world's first all-electric passenger plane, built by Eviation Aircraft, on Feb. 25, 2022 in Arlington, Washington.
4. Construction assistant or tender
Fatal injury rate: 43.3
Bricklayers work to repair damage from a water main break on Blackstone Street in Boston.
The dangers of being a construction assistant
This category covers many construction jobs, such as assistant carpenter, assistant electrician, brick carrier, brick washer or assistant plumber.
It also includes some masons, such as the one seen here.
Fatal injury rate: 47
Sub-foreman Harold Klinzing, right, of McCreary Roofing, works atop a building in Union City, Pennsylvania in 2019.
The dangers of roofing
Long falls are a big hazard in this business.
A roofer replaces the roof on a townhome after it was damaged by Hurricane Michael in 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida.
Fatal injury rate: 91.7
Matt Reed takes a break after felling a tree and cutting it into lengths with a chainsaw on a job in Reading, Vermont, in 2016.
The dangers of logging
Loggers need to watch out for falling objects, heavy equipment and other dangers.
Montana Logging Association Southwest Region Representative Bryan Lorengo (L) talks with Juice Custom Cutting owner Dallis Hunter in 2019 near Deer Lodge, Montana.
1. Hunting or fishing worker
Fatal injury rate: 132.1
Here, Joey Ciaramitaro, co-owner of Captain Joe and Sons, talks about the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic in August 2020 in Gloucester, Massachusetts.
The dangers of commercial fishing
A study by the Centers for Disease control states that "the greatest dangers to fishermen are vessel disasters, falls overboard, and machinery on deck."
Here, commercial fishermen prepare to check their nets on Lake Superior in 2021 in Bayfield, Wisconsin.
During winter months, when ice on the lake is too thick for boats, commercial fishermen navigate the lake on snowmobiles, cutting holes through the ice to set their fishing nets.