Some jobs intrinsically have more health risks than others. A nurse working in a hospital is more likely to catch an infectious disease than a lawyer working in an office, for example.
To rank the most unhealthy jobs in America, we used data from theOccupational 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.