8 Deadly Jobs That Will Make You Filthy Rich

Hedge fund managers: highly profitable profession, not very dangerous. Freelance alligator wrangler: highly dangerous profession, not very profitable. What if you could capture the thrill of peril, with the security of a cushy pay stub?

Some big-money gigs pay well for a reason (read: imminent death), and even out there in our diminishing job market, there are lucrative opportunities available for those who aren't afraid to risk their necks to make their nut. Here are eight potentially deadly careers that might make you rich.

Movie stuntman

Potential Earnings: $100K per stunt

Like their movie star counterparts, high-profile stuntmen have high-profile checking accounts. Your basic stuntman on a film set will only pull in a few grand for their hard-earned feats of cinematic courage. But, top-end stuntman have been known to make well over a million dollars in their careers, with legends like Dar Robinson making six-figures for some individual stunts, including leaping off Toronto's CN tower for the film Highpoint (and that was back in 1979). Tragically, Robinson was killed on set, during a routine high-speed motorcycle run—a testament to the overall dangers of being a professional stuntman. In the 1980s alone, there were 37 recorded deaths on film sets.

President of the United States

Potential Earnings: $400K per year (base salary only)

With a base salary of $400,000 and an additional $200K in expense accounts, the Commander in Chief is (justifiably) raking in dead presidents. Plus, there are millions to be made in endorsement and book deals when all is said and done. Though you may not think the POTUS is a necessarily "deadly" job, what other position has a 45% chance of assassination attempts? To top that off, the spirit-draining stresses of the job have been known to take a visible toll on the men in office. With great power, comes great responsibility. And about a 50/50 chance someone will try to kill you, apparently. 

Private military contractor

Potential Earnings: $300K + per year

Halfway between highly-paid security guards and modern-day mercenaries, privately hired military personnel certainly lay their lives on the line in order to get their hands on a slipstream of cash. There have been over 1,500 deaths of US private military contractors in Iraq alone, making it the deadliest job on this list. PMC's can be hired by private companies, operating in dangerous, war-torn regions, or even by sanctioned nations, looking to fill in military gaps. 

NFL player

Potential Earnings: $40+ million per year 

Everyone knows that a player in the NFL can make a metric sh*t-ton of dough (even rookie, league minimum players make at least $420,000 per year). And although no one has died on a professional playing field in more than century (thankfully), the constant risk of serious injury—including death—is present during every game, and even practices. And debatably, the deadliest aspect of the game comes after the pads are hung up, with countless ex-footballers reporting life-threatening, football related injuries and illnesses later in life. Still top NFL'ers make tens of millions of dollars every year, with exponential gains available through endorsement deals, as well.

Oil rig worker

Potential Earnings: $250K + per year

If we learned anything from Armageddon, it's that drilling on a normal rig can be just as dangerous as drilling into an asteroid. Highly-experienced oil rig managers and consultants can certainly make a quarter of a million dollars per year, potentially more depending on the situation, and even novice roughnecks can sometimes pull in six-figures per year, an astonishing amount for a gig not requiring a college degree.There is a catch of course—oil rig workers risk an average work fatality rate 7x the nation's average, and most don't make the kind of bills listed above that make it all worth while. So basically, if you are going to get into off-shore drilling, make sure you do some research. Or marry Liv Tyler. 


Potential Earnings: $15M + per hit

For a profession that deals with death quite literally, it's no surprise funding and risk run considerably higher than most occupations. While official stats are hard to come by in this ridiculously illegal field, hit-men advertising on the darkweb have listed their prices anywhere from $10K a hit (for a regular joe) to over $15 million for high-profile politicians. 

King crab fishing boat captain

Potential Earnings: $250K + per year

Even though it's seasonal work, these boat captains can rake in serious crabs, and serious cash, in a span of several months. And everyone who's been to Joe's Crab Shack knows them crustaceans ain't cheap. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the $3,000,000,000 a year industry claims 260-310 fatalities per every 100k full-time employees, depending on location.

Drug lord

Potential Earnings: $30 billion (lifetime)

Like assassin, drug lord is a job suited for those who don't mind eschewing the law and common morality in the name of collecting shekels. The nefarious gangster Pablo Escobar is a prime example of a success story in the drug world, and also lost his job the way most international drug trafficker's eventually do (he died in a blaze of gunfire).

Wil Fulton is a Staff Writer for Supercompressor. His most feared occupational hazard is choking on piping hot 'za. Follow him @WilWithOnlyOneL.