The 37 Jobs That Are Most Damaging To Your Health

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The 37 Jobs That Are Most Damaging To Your Health
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Some jobs intrinsically have more health risks than others.

A flight attendant working in close quarters with passengers is more likely to catch an infectious disease than a lawyer working in an office, for example. Factor in the greater exposure to cosmic radiation, abnormal sleep patterns, and a less-than-clean work environment, and it’s just not the healthiest job.

To rank the most unhealthy jobs in America, we used data from the Occupational Information Network, a US Department of Labor database full of detailed information on occupations.

In order to analyze jobs by their impact on workers’ health, we took O*NET measures of six health risks in each of the 974 occupations in the database: exposure to contaminants; exposure to disease and infection; exposure to hazardous conditions; exposure to radiation; risk of minor burns, cuts, bites, and stings; and time spent sitting, since studies show that frequent inactivity shortens your lifespan. O*NET scores these factors on a scale from 0 to 100, with a higher score indicating an increased health risk.

Read on to find out which jobs have the most potential to damage your health.

34 (tie). Radiologist

34 (tie). Radiologist

Flickr/unlistedsightings

Radiologists examine and diagnose disorders and diseases using X-rays and radioactive materials.

Median annual salary:$206,920

Overall unhealthiness score: 52.8

Top three health risks:

  1. 1. Exposure to radiation: 87
    2. Exposure to disease and infections: 85
    3. Time spent sitting: 74
  2. 34 (tie). Metal-refining furnace operators and tender

34 (tie). Metal-refining furnace operators and tender

China Photos/Getty Images

Metal-refining furnace operators and tenders operate or tend furnaces to melt and refine metal before casting or to produce specified types of steel.

Median annual salary:$41,040

Overall unhealthiness score: 52.8

Top three health risks:

  1. 1. Exposure to contaminants: 100
    2. Risk of minor burns, cuts, bites, and stings: 96
    3. Exposure to hazardous conditions: 94

Embalmers prepare bodies for burialin conformity with legal requirements.

Median annual salary:$40,150

Overall unhealthiness score: 52.8

34 (tie). Embalmer

en.wikipedia.org

  1. Top three health risks:
  2. 1. Exposure to disease and infections: 83
    2. Exposure to contaminants: 83
    3. Exposure to hazardous conditions: 7
  3. 34 (tie). Elevator installers and repairer

34 (tie). Elevator installers and repairer

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Elevator installers and repairers install and repair elevators.

Median annual salary: $78,890

Overall unhealthiness score: 52.8

Top three health risks:

  1. 1. Exposure to hazardous conditions: 98
    2. Exposure to contaminants: 82
    3. Risk of minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings: 61

Nuclear medicine technologists prepare radioactive isotopes for use in diagnostic medical procedures.

Median annual salary: $74,350

Overall unhealthiness score: 53.0

33. Nuclear medicine technologist

REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Top three health risks:

  1. 1. Exposure to radiation: 100
    2. Exposure to disease and infections: 93
    3. Exposure to contaminants: 44
  2. 32. Refrigeration mechanics and installer

32. Refrigeration mechanics and installer

Flickr/Juhan Sonin

Refrigeration mechanics and installers install and repair industrial and commercial refrigerating systems.

Median annual salary: $45,910

Overall unhealthiness score: 53.3

Three biggest health risks:

  1. 1. Exposure to hazardous conditions: 93
    2. Exposure to contaminants: 91
    3. Risk of minor burns, cuts, bites, and stings: 71

Critical care nurses provide advanced nursing care for patients in critical or coronary care units.

Median annual salary: $68,450

Overall unhealthiness score: 53.5

31. Critical care nurse

Thomson Reuters

Top three health risks:

  1. 1. Exposure to disease and infections: 99
    2. Exposure to contaminants: 65
    3. Exposure to radiation: 6
  2. 29 (tie). Service unit operator (oil, gas, and mining)

29 (tie). Service unit operator (oil, gas, and mining)

Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Service unit operators operate equipment to increase oil flow from producing wells or to remove stuck pipe, casing, tools, or other obstructions from drilling wells and other mining operations.

Median annual salary: $48,610

Overall unhealthiness score: 53.7

Top three health risks:

  1. 1. Exposure to contaminants: 94
    2. Exposure to hazardous conditions: 89
    3. Risk of minor burns, cuts, stings, and bites: 77

Chemical plant and system operators control or operate chemical processes or systems of machines.

Median annual salary: $59,920

Overall unhealthiness score: 53.7

29 (tie). Chemical plant and system operator

Alan Murray-Rust, licensed for reuse

Top three health risks:

  1. 1. Exposure to hazardous conditions: 99
    2. Exposure to contaminants: 96
    3. Risk of minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings: 71
  2. 27 (tie). Continuous mining-machine operators

27 (tie). Continuous mining-machine operators

REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Continuous mining-machine operators operate self-propelled mining machines that rip coal, metal and nonmetal ores, rock, stone, or sand from the mine face and load it onto conveyors or into shuttle cars in a continuous operation.

Median annual salary: $51,840

Overall unhealthiness score: 54.0

Three biggest health risks:

  1. 1. Exposure to contaminants: 100
    2. Exposure to hazardous conditions: 98
    3. Risk of minor burns, cuts, bites, and stings: 64

Emergency medical technicians and paramedics assess injuries, administer emergency medical care, and extricate trapped individuals. Transport injured or sick peopleto medical facilities.

Median annual salary: $32,670

Overall unhealthiness score: 54.0

27 (tie). Emergency medical technicians and paramedics

Thomson Reuters

Top three health risks:

  1. 1. Exposure to disease and infections: 89
    2. Exposure to contaminants: 73
    3. Risk of minor burns, cuts, bites, and stings: 53
  2. 26. Refractory materials repairers (except brickmasons)

26. Refractory materials repairers (except brickmasons)

Screenshot/Pocketnow

Refractory materials repairers build or repair equipment such as furnaces, kilns, cupolas, boilers, converters, ladles, soaking pits, and ovens, using refractory materials.

Median annual salary: $45,230

Overall unhealthiness score: 54.8

Top three health risks:

  1. 1. Exposure to contaminants: 100
    2. Exposure to hazardous conditions: 85
    3. Risk of minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings: 85

Refuse and recyclable material collectors collect and dump refuse and recyclable materials into trucks.

Median annual salary: $35,270

Overall unhealthiness score: 55.0

25. Refuse and recyclable material collectors

David A Villa on flickr

Top three health risks:

  1. 1. Exposure to contaminants: 97
    2. Time spent sitting: 69
    3. Exposure to disease and infections: 63
  2. 24. Nuclear equipment operation technicians

24. Nuclear equipment operation technicians

Thomson Reuters

Nuclear equipment operation technicians operate equipment used for the release, control, or use of nuclear energy to assist scientists in laboratory or production activities.

Median annual salary: $79,140

Overall unhealthiness score: 55.2

Top three health risks:

  1. 1. Exposure to radiation: 89
    2. Exposure to hazardous conditions: 77
    3. Exposure to contaminants: 65

Medical equipment preparers prepare, sterilize, install, or clean laboratory or healthcare equipment. May perform routine laboratory tasks and operate or inspect equipment.

Median annual salary:$34,400

Overall unhealthiness score: 55.7

22 (tie). Medical equipment preparers

Wikipedia

Top three health risks:

  1. 1. Exposure to contaminants: 94
    2. Exposure to disease and infections: 92
    3. Exposure to hazardous conditions: 64
  2. 22 (tie). Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers

22 (tie). Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers

American Airlines

Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers navigate and pilot the flight of fixed-wing, multi-engine aircraft, usually on scheduled air-carrier routes, for the transport of passengers and cargo.

Median annual salary: $127,820

Overall unhealthiness score: 55.7

Top three health risks:

  1. 1. Time spent sitting: 93
    2. Exposure to radiation: 73
    3. Exposure to contaminants: 68

Oil and gas derrick operators rig derrick equipment and operate pumps to circulate mud through a drill hole.

Median annual salary: $48,130

Overall unhealthiness score: 56.0

21. Derrick operators (oil and gas)

REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

Top three health risks:

  1. Exposure to contaminants: 100
    2. Exposure to minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings: 93
    3. Exposure to hazardous conditions: 91
  2. 20. Veterinary technologists and technician

20. Veterinary technologists and technician

Rafi Letzter/Business Insider

Veterinary technologists and techniciansperform medical tests in a laboratory environment for use in the treatment and diagnosis of diseases in animals andprepare vaccines and serums for prevention of diseases.

Median annual salary: $25,250

Overall unhealthiness score: 66.5

Top three health risks:

  1. 1. Exposure to disease and infections:87
    2. Exposure to contaminants:82
    3. Exposure to minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings:77

Median annual salary: $61,070

Overall unhealthiness score: 56.7

19. Medical and clinical laboratory technologist

Medical and clinical laboratory technologists perform complex medical laboratory tests for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease.

Top three health risks:

  1. 1. Exposure to disease and infections: 96
    2. Exposure to contaminants: 91
    3. Exposure to hazardous conditions: 79
  2. 18. Surgical technologists

18. Surgical technologists

Phalinn Ooi/flickr

Surgical technologistsassist in operations, under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, or other surgical personnel.

Median annual salary: $45,160

Overall unhealthiness score: 57.3

Top three health risks:

  1. Exposure to disease and infections:82
    2. Exposure to contaminants: 81
    3. Exposure to hazardous conditions: 59

Stationary engineers and boiler operators maintain or operate stationary engines, boilers, or other mechanical equipment to provide utilities for buildings or industrial processes.

Median annual salary: $59,400

Overall unhealthiness score: 57.7

17. Stationary engineers and boiler operators

David Gray/Reuters

Top three health risks:

  1. 1. Exposure to contaminants: 99
    2. Exposure to hazardous conditions: 89
    3. Exposure to minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings: 8
  2. 16. Surgical assistant

16. Surgical assistantFlickr/Zdenko Zivkovic

Surgical assistantshelp surgeons during surgery by performing duties liketissue retraction, insertion of tubes and intravenous lines, or closure of surgical wounds.

Median annual salary: $41,070

Overall unhealthiness score: 57.8

Top three health risks:

  1. 1. Exposure to disease and infections:87
    2. Exposure to hazardous conditions: 70
    3. Exposure tocontaminants:69

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators operate or control an entire process or system of machines, often through the use of control boards, to transfer or treat water or wastewater.

Median annual salary: $45,760

Overall unhealthiness score: 58.2

14 (tie). Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operator

Reuters/Jon Nazca

Top three health risks:

  1. 1. Exposure to contaminants: 97
    2. Exposure to hazardous conditions: 80
    3. Exposure to minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings: 74
  2. 14 (tie). Veterinarian

14 (tie). Veterinarian

Rafi Letzter/Business Insider

Veterinarians diagnose, treat, or research diseases and injuries of animals.

Median annual salary: $48,500

Overall unhealthiness score: 62.3

Top three health risks:

  1. 1. Exposure to contaminants: 88
    2. Exposure to disease and infections: 77
    3. Exposure to minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings: 69

Histotechnologists and histologic technicians prepare histologic slides from tissue sections for microscopic examination and diagnosis by pathologists.

Median annual salary: $61,070

Overall unhealthiness score:59.0

13. Histotechnologists and histologic technicians

jurvetson via flickr

Top three health risks:

  1. 1. Exposure to hazardous conditions: 88
    2. Exposure to contaminants: 76
    3. Exposure to disease and infections: 75
  2. 12. Immigration and customs inspector

12. Immigration and customs inspector

Thomson Reuters

Immigration and customs inspectors investigate and inspect people, common carriers, goods, and merchandise, arriving in or departing from the US or between states to detect violations of immigration and customs laws and regulations.

Median annual salary: $78,120

Overall unhealthiness score: 59.3

Top three health risks:

  1. 1. Exposure to contaminants: 78
    2. Exposure to disease and infections: 63
    3. Exposure to radiation: 62

Podiatrists diagnose and treat diseases and deformities of the human foot.

Median annual salary: $124,830

Overall unhealthiness score:60.2

11. Podiatrist

Heidi Jones/Getty Images

Top three health risks:

  1. 1. Exposure to disease and infections: 87
    2. Exposure to radiation: 69
    3. Exposure to contaminants: 67
  2. 10. Anesthesiologist assistant

10. Anesthesiologist assistant

Getty Images/Carsten Koall

Anesthesiologist assistants helpanesthesiologists administeranesthesia for surgical and non-surgical procedures. They monitor patient status and provide patient care during surgical treatment.

Median annual salary: $101,480

Overall unhealthiness score: 61.3

Top three health risks:

  1. 1. Exposure to disease and infections: 97
    2. Exposure to radiation: 72
    3. Exposure to contaminants: 71

Anesthesiologists are physicians who administer anesthetics prior to, during, or after surgery or other medical procedures.

Meanannual salary:$269,600*

Overall unhealthiness score:61.8

9. Anesthesiologist

flickr/isafmedia

Top three health risks:

1. Exposure to disease and infections: 90
2. Exposure to contaminants:81
3. Exposure to radiation:72

*Exact median annual salary is unavailable for this occupation.

8. Flight attendant

8. Flight attendant

Paul Stocker via Flickr

Flight attendants provide personal services to ensure the safety, security, and comfort of airline passengers during flight. They greet passengers, verify tickets, explain use of safety equipment, and serve food or beverages.

Median annual salary:$48,500

Overall unhealthiness score: 62.3

Top three health risks:

  1. 1. Exposure to contaminants: 88
    2. Exposure to disease and infections: 77
    3. Exposure to minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings: 69

Prosthodontists construct oral prostheses to replace missing teeth and other oral structures to correct natural and acquired deformation of mouth and jaws, to restore and maintain oral function, such as chewing and speaking, and to improve appearance.

Median annual salary: $126,050

Overall unhealthiness score: 63

7. Prosthodontist

Dmitry Kalinovsky/Shutterstock

Top three health risks:

  1. 1. Exposure to disease and infections:88
    2. Exposure to contaminants: 74
    3. Time spent sitting: 66
  2. 6. Nurse anesthetist

6. Nurse anesthetist

isafmedia/flickr

Nurse anesthetists administer anesthesia, monitor patient’s vital signs, and oversee patient recovery from anesthesia.

Median annual salary: $160,270

Overall unhealthiness score: 63.7

Top three health risks:

  1. 1. Exposure todisease and infections:96
    2. Exposure to contaminants: 87
    3. Exposure to radiation: 79

Dental assistants helpdentists, set up equipment, prepare patients for treatment, and keep records.

Median annual salary: $36,940

Overall unhealthiness score: 65.5

5. Dental assistant

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Top three health risks:

  1. 1. Exposure to disease and infections: 96
    2. Exposure to radiations: 85
    3. Exposure to contaminants: 78
  2. 4. Dental laboratory technician

4. Dental laboratory technician

Douglas Pfeiffer/Shutterstock

Dental laboratory technicians construct and repair full or partial dentures or dental appliances.

Median annual salary: $37,680

Overall unhealthiness score: 65.7

Top three health risks:

  1. 1. Exposure to contaminants: 99
    2. Time spent sitting: 85
    3. Exposure to disease and infections: 72

Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers feed, water, and examine pets and other nonfarm animals for signs of illness, disease, or injury in laboratories and animal hospitals and clinics.

Median annual salary: $25,250

Overall unhealthiness score: 66.5

3. Veterinary assistant and laboratory animal caretaker

Rafi Letzter/Business Insider

Top three health risks:

  1. 1. Exposure to disease and infections:87
    2. Exposure to contaminants:82
    3. Exposure to minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings:77
  2. 2. General dentist

2. General dentist

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

General dentists examine, diagnose, and treat diseases, injuries, and malformations of teeth and gums. They may treat diseases of nerve, pulp, and other dental tissues affecting oral hygiene and retention of teeth and fit dental appliances or provide preventive care.

Median annual salary: $153,900

Overall unhealthiness score: 69.5

Top three health risks:

  1. 1. Exposure todisease and infections: 95
    2. Exposure to radiation: 85
    3.Time spent sitting: 82

Dental hygienists clean teeth and examine oral areas, head, and neck for signs of oral disease. They may educate patients on oral hygiene, take and develop x rays, or apply fluoride or sealants.

Median annual salary: $72,910

Overall unhealthiness score:72.8

1. Dental hygienist

Parker Knight/Flickr

Top three health risks:

1. Exposure to disease and infections: 100
2. Exposure to radiation: 91
3.Time spent sitting: 85

Max Nisen contributed to an earlier version of this post.

Read the original article on Tech Insider. Copyright 2017.

Read next: These are the sports that burn the most calories

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/the-37-jobs-that-are-most-damaging-to-your-health/

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