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Lock Blog

A resource for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals

What Are The Safest Jobs In The US?

by Hugo Reed July 3, 2017
Safest Jobs In The US

I want to start off by clearing the air. I am doing this preemptively because I am familiar with the different ways in which people react to things. If you do not find your job featured anywhere in this article, you should not automatically think that it is a dangerous job, far from it. I obviously could not list every possible job in this article, so I decided to split the safest jobs into 3 main sections. Each of these sections will feature 5 jobs, so there were a limited number of spaces available. I want to take some time to break down the safety classifications I used before I dive into listing the individual jobs. Let’s get started.

Safety Classifications

In order to determine what the safest jobs in the United States are, you will first have to outline the criteria that you are using to judge these occupations. The reason behind this is relatively simple. People perceive things in different ways, so the criteria that someone might have in their minds as they begin to read this might be different from what I intended. This is why it is necessary to explain the roadmap I am using so you can follow along. However, if you think there are some jobs that should feature on here that I did not discuss, make sure to leave a comment below!

I realized that a lot of the publications that talked about the safest jobs in the country were simply launching into numbers and statistics without setting any precedent for the work they were about to do. In my humble attempt at learning from their mistakes, I will try to make sure I do not do the same thing.

There are several key factors that make a job safe, as compared to unsafe. In looking at the safest jobs in the US, we will attempt to explore all these factors, but first, we need to classify them. I will be discussing these jobs through the lens of physical safety, mental safety, and job growth. Paying attention to how these factors pertain to employees. I believe that these are some of the most pertinent factors to take into consideration when you are exploring what makes a job safe.

Physical Safety

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is an integral part of understanding what makes a job a safe place. On an annual basis, the BLS collects data that relates to the safety and wellness of employees under different occupational fields. This information is tallied and displayed in the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Data (CFOI). Some of the data collated on this list range from ‘violence and other injuries by persons or animals’ to ‘exposure to harmful substances or environments’. This effectively gives a complete idea of the scope of physical safety. After each occupation, I will include the data collected by BLS so that you have an idea of how a specific occupation compares to others. Here are 5 of the safest jobs in terms of physical safety.

1. Agricultural and Food Scientists

Food Scientist

The job occupation of agricultural and food scientist might sound like a mouthful to some if it doesn’t then you are simply wondering what it is that these scientists do. They are extremely important in the grand scheme of things, and they are the brains behind many of the food products that we ingest on a daily basis. Agricultural and food scientists are responsible for the research that goes into improving the safety and productivity of agricultural businesses and their products (food, mostly).

Most agricultural and food scientists spend their time in food production facilities, labs or offices. At first glance, it might seem surprising that this is one of the safest jobs in the US, mostly because they spend a good amount of time in food production facilities. However, based on the CFOI data of 2015 (most recent), it is extremely safe. This industry only had a fatal occurrence in one sector.

  • Violence and other Injuries by persons or animal – 0/703
  • Transportation Incidents – 1/2054
  • Fires and Explosions – 0/121
  • Falls, Slips and Trips – 0/800
  • Exposure To Harmful Substances or Environments – 0/424

2. Nonresidential Siding Contractor

I will say that this one actually came as a shock to me. It was surprising to me because I was under the impression that most contractors would be much more prone to physical injury based on having place themselves in dangerous situations. Looking at some of the other contractors that were present on the CFOI data sheet, I was not entirely wrong. However, nonresidential siding contractors somehow fly beneath the radar when it comes to physical safety. I am not sure what it is about their working conditions that makes them much safer than some of their other contractor counterparts.

  • Violence and other Injuries by persons or animal – 1/703
  • Transportation Incidents – 0/2054
  • Fires and Explosions – 0/121
  • Falls, Slips and Trips – 0/800
  • Exposure To Harmful Substances or Environments – 0/424

3. Public Relations Specialists

Public Relations Specialist

Public relations specialists are masters at their jobs, and many of them have uncanny ways of making things appear in a positive light. PR specialists are responsible for crafting and maintaining the public’s image of something. This is usually done to make the public more aware of their presence or a specific product or person. The only possible threat that PR Specialists face is from angry consumers or from jaded competitors.

  • Violence and other Injuries by persons or animal – 0/703
  • Transportation Incidents – 1/2054
  • Fires and Explosions – 0/121
  • Falls, Slips and Trips – 0/800
  • Exposure To Harmful Substances or Environments – 0/424

4. Surgical Technologists

Surgical Technician

At first glance, the term Surgical Technologists threw me off, because I was unsure about what they actually did. I assumed they were in charge of pioneering technology that was meant to advance surgery procedures. Forgive me if this sounds foolish, I was merely trying to deduce the meaning by using the two words given to me.

Surgical technicians are, on occasion, referred to as operating room technicians, and they are in charge of preparing the operating room, arranging the operating equipment and assisting surgeons and doctors during their procedures. It is a job that takes a lot of grit, patience and generally lots of attention. However, it is not a job that places your life in any type of danger.

  • Violence and other Injuries by persons or animal – 0/703
  • Transportation Incidents – 0/2054
  • Fires and Explosions – 0/121
  • Falls, Slips and Trips – 0/800
  • Exposure To Harmful Substances or Environments – 1/424

5. Telemarketers

Telemarketer Call Center

Need I say more, about everyone’s least favorite caller? Even some of the people who are telemarketers despise the job, but then again ‘despise’ might be too strong a word to use in this context. The truth is, being a telemarketer is a very demanding job that requires you to be much more persistent than the average person, and it also requires you to be patient enough to deal with people’s rude tendencies.

In spite of all this, the job does not place you in harm’s way. You are relatively safe behind a desk while you make your phone calls. There is a trend for office-oriented jobs have a lot safer atmosphere, as opposed to jobs where employees are constantly exposed to potentially dangerous elements and scenarios.

  • Violence and other Injuries by persons or animal – 0/703
  • Transportation Incidents – 1/2054
  • Fires and Explosions – 0/121
  • Falls, Slips and Trips – 0/800
  • Exposure To Harmful Substances or Environments – 0/424

Mental Safety

Most people would not take mental safety into account, but I am not most people. If you are discussing some of the safest jobs in the US, I believe that you have to factor in mental safety. It is crucial that you take mental safety into consideration when you are looking at jobs. In a general sense, this section will aim to look at which jobs provide the safest mental environment for their employees.

The key factors to be mindful of here are the absence of high-stress situations and low numbers in suicide rates by occupational group. In addition to data collected by the BLS, I will also incorporate data from the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) and from a study conducted by ONET, a database of occupational information. These studies work together to show that there is some correlation between our occupations and our likelihood to have increased stress levels or be prone to committing suicide. The safest jobs in this category have low-stress levels as well as low numbers in the suicide rate section.

1. Motion Picture Projectionist

Motion Picture Projectionist

A motion picture projectionist is in charge of setting up and operating motion picture projections and its related sound equipment. It comes as no surprise that the majority of people in this field are concentrated in Southern California. This job might be a dream come true to many, and it has nothing to do with the type of salary that they deal with.

This job has a general stress level of 0.58 and on the CDC’s list of suicide rates by occupation, they were rated as low as 0.018 under the classification of entertainment and media. This is not to say that the job is easy and can be done by anyone, but as far as mental safety goes, this is one of the safest and easiest jobs to do.

2. Historians

Historian Reading

It goes without saying that in order to become a historian, you have to be generally passionate about your job. This is not a profession that you can simply fall into, or one that you just realize has become a part of your daily routine. According to the BLS, historians are responsible for researching, analyzing interpreting the past by studying historical documents and sources.

It is safe to assume that the prerequisite of being passionate makes it unlikely that this is a high-stress job. The stress level of these jobs is rated at 0.55 and their suicide rate is 0.018.

3. Farm Workers

Farm Workers

Farm workers generally have one of the safest jobs in the US, if you are looking at it through the lens of mental safety. They are responsible for maintenance of crops, livestock, farms and everything that falls in between. Their jobs are low-stress environments and I believe that a big reason for this is the fact that farming is a way of life, just as much as it is a profession. This means that people in this industry are generally more fulfilled. With a stress level of 0.52, which is well below the average, it is one of the best work environments for mental safety. Also, the suicide rate for farm workers is 0.017, which is relatively low.

4. Archivists

File Archivist

I am sure that there are many of you who will think that archivists and historians should be grouped together, but even though they may have some overlaps, they ultimately do different things. An archivist is in charge of appraising, editing, and safekeeping permanent records and documents that have immense historical value. In order to do this job, you have to be somewhat of a historian, and you have to be interested in what you are doing. For those who love to learn history, this is a dream job and one that is bound to keep you engaged. This is reflected in their low-stress levels (0.52) and their low occupational suicide rate of 0.018.

5. Library Technicians

Library Technician

I will say that as someone who loves to read and spend most of my time lost in words, it is somewhat comforting to see that people who do the same generally have low-stress jobs. Library technicians also fall into this mold. A library technician is generally responsible for helping a librarian with the daily tasks of operating a library. Library technicians have an edge over other professions because they provide safe mental working environments. The fact that they spend most of their time in the library also lends itself to the calming nature of the job. People employed as library technicians have average stress levels of 0.34 and a low occupational suicide rate of 0.018.

Job Growth

The final tier of safety is job growth, and similar to mental safety, it is often something that is overlooked. I believe that this is mostly because of the connotation that the word safety has. When most people hear it, they conjure up images of things that are related to physical safety, and they forget that safety does not revolve around just one thing.

Job growth should be considered important when you are discussing the safest jobs in the US because it is an indicator of which jobs will continue to grow and thrive. There is no point in having a job that is lauded for physical and mental safety, but that will not last. In order to classify the safest jobs in terms of job growth, I will be utilizing data from the BLS that shows employment projections from 2014 to 2024. (Average job outlook is 5%).

1. Home Health Aides

Home Health Aide

Home health aides are a lot more common these days, and they are very important to the people who they help. There is a common misconception that home health aides are only meant to deal with older individuals who may be suffering from some ailment, but they cater to many different people with different needs. The job description for a home health aide states that they are responsible for helping people with disabilities, cognitive impairment, or chronic illness, carry out their daily activities.

It is a very demanding job that requires one to be patient and personable, but it is an occupation that is primed for growth. The number of home health aides is expected to increase by 38.1% over a period of 10 years. This is a telling sign that there will be an increased need for home health aides, which means that your job outlook is generally much safer.

2. Personal Care Aides

Personal Care Aide

Personal care aides are similar to home health aides. Each of these professions can be pursued without the need for any formal education credentials. A personal care aide is responsible for helping their clients with their everyday self-care and daily activities. These daily tasks range from general housekeeping to helping clients plan things and prepare meals.

Essentially, it is a full-time job that is dedicated to taking care of someone who cannot complete some basic tasks on their own. Similar to home health care aides, personal care aides are expected to increase over the next 10 years at a rate that is much higher than average. Over a period of 10 years, personal care aides are expected to grow by 25.9%.

3. Medical Assistants

Medical Assistant

It should not really come as a surprise that most of the fastest growing occupations exist within the medical field. The medical field has always been a safe bet when it comes to employment, but this does not always mean it is easy to get your career started in that field. Medical assistants perform many of the administrative duties in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. They may not be doctors, but they are equally important in making sure that people are given great healthcare. With a growth percentage of 23.5%, they are primed for growth and are growing much faster than the national average of roughly 5%.

4. Computer Systems Analysts

Computer System Analyst

Healthcare and technology seem to dominate the future outlook of employment, and that is not necessarily surprising. These are two of the most important elements in today’s world, so professions that are related to these will grow accordingly. The job title, computer systems analyst, sounds slightly complicated, and it is in some regard. These analysts are responsible for studying computer systems and implementing information system solutions that are geared towards making organizations run more effectively. Their current growth outlook is at 20.9%.

5. Medical Secretaries

Medical Secretary

Are you really surprised that there is another occupation from the medical industry on here? You shouldn’t be. Medical secretaries are similar to medical assistants, except for the fact that they have more administrative and clerical duties. Essentially, medical assistants have more medical oriented tasks, whereas the medical secretary is involved with only the clerical and administrative aspect of things. Their projected job growth for this occupation is 20.5% which is also well above the average.


As I said when I started out, the fact that you do not see a certain profession here is not a sign that it is not safe. It is always important to look at safety in a multifaceted way, rather than just looking at one aspect of what might make something safe. This is extremely important when you are looking for jobs and employment in the US. I hope that I have been able to accomplish that with the list of jobs that I explored above. If you believe that there are some professions that I might have overlooked, feel free to post some comments and let me know.

Category: Commercial, Safety & Security

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