Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

2 of 11
BACKNEXT
Fisherman
Fisherman
South Carolina shrimper Wayne Magwood.
Fatality rate: 200 per 100,000

Median wages: $23,600

The most perilous job in the U.S. is held by those who fish the waters in cold-weather states. Freezing water and icy boat decks can lead to horrific accidents, and storms can swamp small fishing vessels, sometimes claiming entire crews.

Compounding the danger is catch rules: By limiting fishing seasons, fisheries management creates a race to fish, according to the Environmental Defense Fund.

That forces fishermen out in dangerous weather and keeps exhausted crews on the water. In Alaska, the season for halibut and crab has been, at times, reduced to just three days.

Even warm-water fishers face hazards. Wayne Magwood has shrimped the waters off South Carolina for 40 years and says the biggest danger is heavy machinery, such as the power winches and cables that haul nets and other equipment.

"My dad taught me to keep my shirt tucked in," says Magwood. "Your clothes can get tangled up and you can get pulled overboard. One guy broke his neck recently."

Magwood also lost a friend when the crewman was answering nature's call and a sudden roll pitched him into the water.

"We brought him up in the net," Magwood said.

NEXT: Logger

Last updated August 20 2010: 9:38 AM ET
  • Find Homes for sale
    Real estate and homes for sale on Trulia

  • Property Type
  • Find a home in:
  • New York | Atlanta | Chicago | Los Angeles
  • Washington D.C | Houston | Philadelphia | More options
More Galleries
Brexit voices: In or out? CNNMoney speaks to British people to find out their views ahead of the referendum on EU membership. More
10 key facts about the U.S. economy Unemployment is down, gas is cheap and America is growing. But just how strong is it? More
10 best investing apps (and sites) Investing should be cheap, effective and easy. These products simplify your financial life. More

Special Offer