The 15 Scariest Jobs in America

As Halloween approaches, workers and workplaces are dressing the part. But when it comes to the actual jobs we perform, some professions are more frightening than others.

CareerBuilder today published results of a survey that asked 4,300 American workers what they consider the scariest professions. The results ranged from the death-defying (firefighter) to the potentially humiliating (stand-up comic) to the truly creepy (cemetery worker).

The top 15, in order: 

  1. Bomb Squad Technician
  2. High Rise Window Washer
  3. Armed Forces 
  4. Miner
  5. Police Officer
  6. Alaskan Crab Fishing
  7. Mortician
  8. Firefighter 
  9. High School Teacher 
  10. Cemetery Worker
  11. Exterminator 
  12. Stand-Up Comedian 
  13. Animal Control 
  14. Stunt Person 
  15. Politician

You may not find yourself in any of those jobs, but your chosen profession likely has things that keep you on edge.

According to the CareerBuilder survey, here’s what employees say they’re most afraid of at work (along with the percentage who say they fear it):

Difficult People D
  • Layoffs — 36%
  • Pay cuts — 13%
  • Their workload –9%
  • Giving presentations — 9%
  • Forced relocation — 4%
  • The boss — 3%

Note: It’s no surprise that “giving presentations” appears on this list. Other studies have shown that people fear public speaking more than they even fear their own death. On Nov. 9, we’re offering a special webinar that can help anyone overcome such fears: The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience.