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The Deadliest Jobs In America, In One Graphic

For more from Planet Money, see What America Does For Work

Here's a look at the rate of work-related, on-the-job deaths in 2011 for U.S. workers. We included the three deadliest occupations, along with a handful of other jobs. (Here's the complete list, which comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.)

The number of fishermen who die on the job has gone down by nearly half since 2009. But fishing is still the deadliest job in the U.S. Most fisherman who die on the job die from drowning, typically after their boat capsizes, according to Jill Janocha of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Related: Trying To Tame The (Real) Deadliest Fishing Jobs.)

Loggers who die on the job are most often hit by a falling tree or are killed by an out of control machine.

Farmers and ranchers are most often killed on the job in accidents in tractors and other vehicles.

Most pilots who die on the job are flying propeller-driven planes, according to Stephen Pegula of the BLS. So the typical pilot killed in the line of duty is someone flying a crop duster, not a commercial jet.

Firefighters are less likely to die on the job than the average U.S. worker. That may be because we're seeing fewer structure fires and more firefighters are wearing their seat belts, according to the National Fire Protection Agency. Over a third of firefighter deaths from 2011 were due to fires or explosions, but another quarter were because of transportation accidents.

Cashiers rarely die from job-related causes. But when they do, it's almost always due to homicide.

Business and finance staff are among the least likely to die on the job. Nearly half of those who did died from transportation accidents.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Jess Jiang is the producer for NPR's international podcast, Rough Translation. Previously, Jess was a producer for Planet Money. In 2014, she won an Emmy for the team's T-shirt project. She followed the start of the t-shirt's journey, from cotton farms in Mississippi to factories in Indonesia. But her biggest prize has been getting to drive a forklift, back hoe, and a 35-ton digger for a story. Jess got her start in public radio at Studio 360—though, if you search hard enough, you can uncover a podcast she made back in college.