There are plenty of reasons to have a dangerous job, and earning a decent living is one of the more important reasons. Some dangerous jobs payout better than others, some even pay extremely well, earning those who practice them large annual incomes.
Below is a list of the top 10 highest paying dangerous jobs. For most of these jobs, the salary is determined by experience, personal capabilities and having the right contacts.
The order of these jobs is not rigid, and can shift about, as the salaries for most professions differ greatly.
Estimates for mercenary salaries range from $90K to above $200K annually. A mercenaries salary is based on his/her experience, expertise and ability to negotiate with the client. This means only the most experienced and capable actually earn above $200K annually, but it is certainly achievable.
Pilot’s annual salary range is wide. Beginning at $50K for instructor pilots and co-pilots for commercial airlines, salaries can reach close to $200K for test pilots and captains of large jet aircraft in airlines.
3. Commercial diver
Commercial diver’s salaries also vary widely. The highest paying commercial diving jobs are on offshore oil and gas rigs, which can pay out $200K annually. Inland commercial diving pays much less. Overall, commercial diver’s salaries are determined by the nature and danger of the dives and the expertise and experience of the diver.
This job is definitely the least dangerous on the list, but the salaries are high. The average annual salary for air traffic controllers is $110K. Naturally, the more experienced air traffic controllers earn more.
5. Oil and gas rig workers
Starting off at an annual $35K for roustabouts, oil rig workers can earn well over $100K as they climb the ranks and perform more complex and important roles, such as motor and derrick hands.
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6. Bounty hunter
Starting off, new and inexperienced bounty hunters can expect to earn around $30K annually, but experienced and busy bounty hunters can earn well over $100K. As a bounty hunter becomes more experienced, he will be able to track down and capture more fugitives, and earn more money.
7. Repo man
Repo men earn roughly the same as bounty hunters, beginning at the same salary levels of $30K annually, with experienced Repo men earning above $100K annually.
The average salary for stuntmen is estimated at $70K, but this does not represent the true salary of this profession. Stuntmen are paid per stunt, so naturally the more a stuntman is well known and has contacts within the entertainment industry, the more work he/she will receive. The nature of the stunt also determines the wage – the more dangerous, the higher the pay. While some stuntmen leave the profession because they cannot find enough work, others earn over $100K annually.
9. Bomb squad and EOD specialists
Bomb squad and EOD specialist’s salaries vary, depending on the branch and service they are in (Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, Police and other government agencies). Bomb squad and EOD average salaries are around $55K, but some branches (especially the Navy) are known to hand out signing bonuses of over $100K, greatly increasing the salary.
10. Farmers and ranchers
It may be the 4th most dangerous job in America, but it is also one of the top 10 high paying dangerous jobs. The average annual salary for farmers and ranchers is $65K.
These are the top 10 high paying dangerous jobs. Most of the top 10 high paying dangerous jobs are of a freelance nature, the salaries depending on the experience, contacts and amount of work done.
It’s up to you to decide whether the risk is worthy of the reward.
Interested? Find a high paying job at our dangerous job board