Airplane pilots

dangerous jobs
  • Deaths per 100,000 workers: 50.6
  • Median wage: $98,410

Pilots, especially those manning smaller aircraft, have one of most hazardous jobs -- and it's not hard to see why.

Andrew Airways runs several planes out of Kodiak Island, Alaska, flying sportsmen and tourists into wilderness areas and acting as air taxis for commercial fishermen, loggers and other workers.

But with Alaska's severe weather and mountainous terrain, flying in the state requires sound judgment and topnotch skills, according to owner Dean Andrew.

The weather can turn on a dime. "Storms can whip in from the Aleutians and turn good weather very bad in an hour," he said.

In 2013, there were just under 51 pilot fatalities per 100,000, a slight drop from the year before.

Technology has helped. Weather cameras have been installed around the state, giving pilots better information on approaching storms. And more planes are equipped with transmitters that can quickly direct help to injured pilots and passengers in emergencies.

Related: Colleges with the highest paid grads

First published September 11, 2014: 1:03 PM ET
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Summary, 2013 and Injury and National Wage Data.

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