These Are the Unhealthiest Jobs in America

Posted November 9th, 2015 at 6:57 am (UTC-4)

(Photo by Flickr user wistechcolleges via Creative Commons license)

(Photo by Flickr user wistechcolleges via Creative Commons license)

Sure it’s lucrative, but being a dentist just might be the most unhealthy job in the United States, according to a list put together by Business Insider.


1. Dentists, dental surgeons & dental assistants
2. Flight attendants
3. Anesthesiologists, nurse anesthetists & assistants
4. Veterinarians, veterinary assistants and technicians
5. Podiatrists
6. Immigration and customs inspectors
7. Histotechnologists
8. Water & wastewater treatment plant operators
9. Stationary engineers and boiler operators
10. Surgical and medical assistants

Exposure to contaminants, disease and infections, along with long periods of time spent sitting, are the main factors that push dentists, dental surgeons and dental assistants, into the realm of the potentially least healthy.

Jenn-Marie Mann

Flight attendants have the second-most unhealthy job in the United States, according to a new survey. (AP Photo)

In fact, exposure to contaminants, disease and infections are key factors for most of the jobs listed in the top 10, (or bottom 10, depending on how you look at it).

Six of the 10 unhealthiest jobs — including anesthesiologists, podiatrists, histotechnologists and surgical personnel —  are related to the health care field.

Although flight attendants are used to flying high, they might be floored to learn their occupation is second on the list of unhealthy jobs, but it’s not because of potential crashes. Aside from exposure to contaminants, disease and infections, there’s the risk of minor burns, cuts, bites or stings.

Airline pilots rank 12th, due to exposure to radiation and contaminants, and because of time spent sitting. Recent studies show sitting for long periods of time can shorten a person’s lifespan.

Workers in oil and gas fields are 11th on the list, due to being exposed to hazardous conditions. People who work with nuclear equipment are 14th thanks to radiation, contaminants and hazardous conditions.

To come up with the list, Business Insider used data from a U.S. Department of Labor database containing detailed information on various occupations in the United States.

To assess each job’s impact on health, six risks were measured, including: 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.

Comments welcome. Here are VOA’s guidelines.

3 responses to “These Are the Unhealthiest Jobs in America”

  1. Jose Guerra says:

    I didn’t understood very well why the flight attendants job is one of the unhealthiest jobs.
    Can you explain me better?

    • Kuma says:

      The flight attendants have to take are of all types of passengers inside the airplane. Someone may have any adisease, infection including AIDS, Ebola. Also the passenger are not always people butu also but also animals like dog or monkey with rabies. That might be reasons why Their job is so unhealthy.

  2. Kathy Fowler says:

    I understand about flight attendants.
    I feel truck drivers, hot shot truck drivers ( my husband at this time) sitting alot, unbalanced and unorganized meals should be on list also.

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