20 Jobs That Cause the Most Illness and Injury

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Which jobs are the most dangerous — without being fatal?

If you’re contemplating a career, or even just a part-time job, one thing to consider is an occupation’s rate of injury and illness.

Money Talks News analyzed the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, for 2018, to determine which jobs in the private sector have the highest rates of nonfatal injuries and illnesses that involved days away from work.

As you look through these rates, note that the rate of injury and illness all across private-sector jobs is 89.7 incidences for every 10,000 workers. All of the jobs on our list are at least three times that.

If you’re more curious about which jobs have the highest rates of fatal injuries, check out “The 10 Most Deadly Jobs in 2020.”

20. Umpires, referees and other sports officials

dotshock / Shutterstock.com

Rate of injuries and illnesses: 272.4 incidences for every 10,000 full-time workers

Sports officials watch games in order to enforce rules and hopefully contribute to fair play. However, the risk of injury or illness is relatively high — and the median pay in 2018 was only about $27,000 per year.

19. Emergency medical technicians and paramedics

LightField Studios / Shutterstock.com

Rate of injuries and illnesses: 273.9 incidences for every 10,000 full-time workers

Not only is this one of the jobs with the highest rates of injury or illness, but it’s also one of the most stressful jobs in the country. TV shows make the job look exciting and glamorous, but being a paramedic or EMT can be one of the hardest jobs out there.

18. Dancers

CP DC Press / Shutterstock.com

Rate of injuries and illnesses: 282.6 incidences for every 10,000 full-time workers

Some children dream of growing up and becoming dancers — even if they don’t dream of the potential injuries that might come with all that stress on the body.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for dancers is $16.31 per hour, and there are fewer than 10,000 of them employed across the country.

17. Orderlies

sirtravelalot / Shutterstock.com

Rate of injuries and illnesses: 283.3 incidences for every 10,000 full-time workers

Orderlies are usually responsible for delivering patients to various parts of a medical facility, such as operating rooms or X-ray rooms. They are frequently physically active and may need to help lift or move patients. They might also be responsible for cleaning and for stocking supplies.

The median annual wage among orderlies is $27,180.

16. Farm equipment mechanics and service technicians

Budimir Jevtic / Shutterstock.com

Rate of injuries and illnesses: 300.2 incidences for every 10,000 full-time workers

When doing this job, you might need to overhaul the heavy machinery used on a farm or repair irrigation equipment, for example.

The median annual wage for those who service farm equipment and vehicles is $40,630, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

15. Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers

Lubava / Shutterstock.com

Rate of injuries and illnesses: 310.8 incidences for every 10,000 full-time workers

As a veterinary assistant, you’re responsible for taking care of animals at a clinic, animal hospital or laboratory. You might also have to clean cages and provide post-operative care.

However, even with the risk of bites and scratches from animal patients, the median annual wage is $27,540.

14. Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers (excluding line installers)

Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com

Rate of injuries and illnesses: 318.6 incidences for every 10,000 full-time workers

This is one of those jobs that pay reasonably well — with a median annual wage of $56,100 — but doesn’t require a four-year degree.

13. Hoist and winch operators

Anatoly Menzhiliy / Shutterstock.com

Rate of injuries and illnesses: 334.9 incidences for every 10,000 full-time workers

These workers lift or pull loads using power-operated cable equipment, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These jobs are most common in the logging industry, and their median annual wage is $43,210.

12. Carpet installers

Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock.com

Rate of injuries and illnesses: 358.3 incidences for every 10,000 full-time workers

As you might expect, carpet installers add flooring to various homes, offices and other locations. You also need to be able to trim the flooring material and install padding.

The median annual wage for this job is $39,340.

11. Layout workers (metal and plastic)

Xbow / Shutterstock.com

Rate of injuries and illnesses: 370.5 incidences for every 10,000 full-time workers

Layout workers essentially mark the patterns used in casting for machine parts and structural shapes. The median annual wage for this job is $47,900.

10. Tree trimmers and pruners

Robert Hale / Shutterstock.com

Rate of injuries and illnesses: 375 incidences for every 10,000 full-time workers

Those involved in this job trim tree branches and shrubs to keep various areas open and attractive and improve plants’ appearance and health. They use such tools as handsaws, hand pruners, clippers and power pruners, and they may use truck-mounted lifts to work in the tree canopy.

The median annual wage for this job is $36,460.

9. Flight attendants

Airplane flight attendant
kgarinKhun / Shutterstock.com

Rate of injuries and illnesses: 486.2 incidences for every 10,000 full-time workers

Flight attendants have to face risks associated with sick passengers and work hard to protect themselves from diseases. That doesn’t include the stories we sometimes hear of aggressive passengers.

The median annual pay for flight attendants is $56,000.

8. Police and sheriff’s patrol officers

Minneapolis Police
miker / Shutterstock.com

Rate of injuries and illnesses: 549.8 incidences for every 10,000 full-time workers

Patrol officers are meant to spend time in a specific area and might also be called on to perform duties like directing traffic and arresting suspects, among others.

Despite putting their lives on the line, they don’t make all that much money, as we detail in “Here’s How Much the Police Make in All 50 States.”

7. Athletes and sports competitors

Natursports / Shutterstock.com

Rate of injuries and illnesses: 609.4 incidences for every 10,000 full-time workers

It’s fairly common to see sports stars taken out of play for injuries, so it’s no surprise how high this occupation is on the list.

However, you might be surprised to see that the median annual pay for sports competitors is $50,650.

6. Psychiatric technicians

engagestock / Shutterstock.com

Rate of injuries and illnesses: 619.4 incidences for every 10,000 full-time workers

Psychiatric technicians help care for those with mental or emotional disabilities and conditions. In addition to monitoring patients and reporting to medical staff, they might give medications and help with hygiene.

Despite the relatively high risk of injury or illness that this job comes with, the median annual wage is $31,670.

5. Cargo and freight agents

Ocean freighter stacked with cargo containers.
tonton / Shutterstock.com

Rate of injuries and illnesses: 647.4 incidences for every 10,000 full-time workers

As a cargo and freight agent, it’s mainly about logistics as you take orders and make sure items are loaded on various modes of transportation. The median annual wage for this job is $43,210.

4. Psychiatric aides

Stokkete / Shutterstock.com

Rate of injuries and illnesses: 647.7 incidences for every 10,000 full-time workers

The responsibilities of psychiatric aides include helping patients get to and from treatments and exams. In some cases, they might even have to help with violent patients who need to be restrained.

The median annual pay for this job is $29,180.

3. Dietetic technicians

Samuel Borges Photography / Shutterstock.com

Rate of injuries and illnesses: 765.6 incidences for every 10,000 full-time workers

Working under the supervision of a dietitian, a dietetic technician helps with food prep and educates others about healthy eating. They may plan and produce meals, among other possible duties.

The median annual pay for this job is $26,500.

2. Roofing helpers

Aleksey Kurguzov / Shutterstock.com

Rate of injuries and illnesses: 969.8 incidences for every 10,000 full-time workers

Roofing helpers do just what it sounds like — provide support to roofers, such as by supplying or holding tools and materials, as well as cleaning work areas and equipment.

The median annual pay for roofing helpers is $30,390.

1. Welding, soldering and brazing machine setters, operators and tenders

Tong_stocker / Shutterstock.com

Rate of injuries and illnesses: 1,072.5 incidences for every 10,000 full-time workers

These workers, who use equipment to join, repair or cut metal parts and products, are the most likely to experience nonfatal injuries and illnesses, according to the BLS. Sometimes they work outdoors in bad weather or indoors in confined areas. They can work on a scaffold, high off the ground, and they occasionally must lift heavy objects and work in awkward positions.

However, it can be a job that allows a good income without a degree: The median annual wage is $41,380, and only a high-school diploma and on-the-job training are required.

What’s your take on this list? Sound off by commenting below or on the Money Talks News Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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