This may not seem a dangerous job at all – but looks can be deceiving. Taxi drivers have the 8th most dangerous job in America – so next time you are in a cab, take a second to dwell on that piece of information, and give your driver a break.
Job description: Taxi drivers transport their costumers from point A to point B. Taxi drivers job requires driving the taxi (usually self owned, or rented from a fleet of taxis) safely in all types of traffic and weather, helping their customers with luggage, and handling fares.
Work environment: Taxi drivers spend all of their working hours in the taxi. Driving for many hours can be uncomfortable and stressing, especially in areas with heavy traffic. Taxi drivers can work at all hours: nights, days and weekends. Also – taxi drivers can work in all types of weather, and must be able to drive the taxi in difficult conditions if necessary.
Fatality rates: In 2010, the fatality rate was 21.8 per 100,000 workers – making it the 8th most dangerous job in America by fatalities.
Gender: Mostly male, but there is a fare share of female taxi drivers as well.
What makes it a dangerous job: Taxi drivers face to main dangers: traffic accidents and getting robbed. Data shows that taxi drivers have a much higher work related injury and illness rate than the national average.
Hours / Lifestyle: There is no rule of thumb – some taxi drivers may work steady hours during the day, and others may have a hectic, unbalanced work schedule including nights and weekends.
Pay: The average annual wage for taxi drivers in 2010 was $24.5K, or $11.82 per hour. The top 10% made an annual $36K.
Requirements: This occupation has a very low entry barrier – taxi drivers must be patient, be able to interact with many different people throughout the day.
Training: Taxi drivers must have a valid driver’s license, and in many states taxi drivers must have a taxi drivers license, also referred to as a “hack” license.
Career opportunities: This profession has very limited career opportunities. Some taxi drivers may receive precedence for certain routes or areas – although this is not a career advancement. Other taxi drivers may become dispatchers or taxi stand managers. Another option is to go into business for themselves.
Job opportunities: Most taxi driving jobs are located in cities large enough to justify this service.
Job prospects: There is expected to be a larger and average growth rate in taxi driver employment.
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Photo by: Tomas Fano / flickr