10 of the scariest jobs in America

Scary jobs

These jobs are not for the faint of heart.

A safe, non-creepy work environment doesn't seem like that much to ask of an employer. However, there are some occupations that simply lend themselves to danger and creepiness. Who are the workers going in to work and facing the perilous and the spooky on a daily basis? Here are 10 of the scariest jobs in modern America:


Why it's scary: Most people try to avoid close contact with mankind's most dangerous infectious diseases. Epidemiologists – particularly field epidemiologists – prefer to get up close and personal.

2018 jobs*: 7,394

Avg. hourly earnings: $36.65

Forensic science technicians

Why it's scary: You may enjoy shows where the protagonists analyze crime scenes to solve the case, but to actually deal with the potentially gross or disturbing remnants of a violent criminal act day in, day out – that takes guts.

2018 jobs: 15,954

Avg. hourly earnings: $29.48

Detectives and criminal investigators

Why it's scary: Finding clues and solving puzzles can be a lot of fun, which is why it's easy to forget that criminal investigators are often trying to track down and confront real life dangerous criminals.

2018 jobs: 114,842

Avg. hourly earnings: $40.60

Security guards

Why it's scary: The security guard is always the first one to go in a horror movie. Most of the time they don't even get a name. They're just "frightened security guard," that's how fast they meet their end.

2018 jobs: 1,194,448

Avg. hourly earnings: $14.80

Animal trainers

Why it's scary: Training dangerous animals is, well, dangerous. No matter how well trained an animal is, or how strong a bond between trainer and animal, there's still always the threat of the animal going full beast-mode.

2016 jobs: 35,920

Avg. hourly earnings: $14.34


Why it's scary: Vampires, zombies, ghosts – there's a reason so many of our classic monsters involve the undead. So working with dead bodies? That is a prime monster-meeting position.

2018 jobs: 4,068

Avg. hourly earnings: $21.65

Hazardous materials removal workers

Why it's scary: If comic books are to be believed, hazardous materials have a tendency to give one super powers. Unfortunately, in this case, comic books are not to be believed, as hazardous materials are vastly more likely to cause the human body tremendous harm.

2018 jobs: 45,856

Avg. hourly earnings: $22.27

Mine cutting and channeling machine operators

Why it's scary: Dark, cramped and deep underground. Not only is there the threat of a mine collapse, but there's also crazy weird creatures that live down there. We've seen the Caves episode of Planet Earth.

2018 jobs: 5,363

Avg. hourly earnings: $25.17

Radio, cellular, and tower equipment installers and repairs

Why it's scary: If you're even a little afraid of heights, this kind of job should give you chills. Those towers often don't even look that sturdy from a distance – imagine hearing them creak in the wind while strapped to it's side, 200 feet off the ground.

2018 jobs: 17,623

Avg. hourly earnings $27.09


Why it's scary: Public speaking, matched with intense media scrutiny, along with high stakes decisions and a bunch of coworkers who you constantly argue with? Yeah, no thanks.

2018 jobs: 54,295

Avg. hourly earnings: $22.28

*Jobs and hourly earnings data provided by Emsi.