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The 18 Most Dangerous Jobs in Canada in 2023

Employees want to feel safe in their workplace, but some jobs are riskier than others, to the point that they are considered the most dangerous jobs in the world.

For some, hazardous jobs give them a kind of thrill. Others take on dangerous jobs that pay well in Canada, such as firefighting, paramedic or police officer, to render public service despite the risks.

Key Takeaways

  • The most dangerous jobs in Canada include fishermen, steelworkers, firefighters, paramedics, and police officers.
  • On the list, the lowest wage per hour is for a farmer position at $13.00 per hour, while the highest is $80.00 per hour for a fisherman.
  • Some of the most common hazards to these jobs are slipping and falling, exposure to hazardous chemicals and diseases, and extreme weather conditions.

Most Dangerous Jobs in Canada

Below are 18 of the most dangerous jobs in Canada and their average salary.

1. Construction

General construction workers perform a wide array of work that involves building homes, commercial establishments, industrial facilities, and infrastructure projects using heavy equipment and machinery.


Construction workers earn $15.00 to $35.00 per hour. The median rate is $21.00 per hour.

What makes the job dangerous

Construction workers are at risk of a broad range of hazards, such as heavy loads, vibration from tools and machines, falls from working at great heights, chemicals, adverse weather conditions, extreme temperatures, and UV radiation.

2. Roofing

Roofing refers to installing, repairing, or replacing roofing systems. Roofer tasks include building and maintaining roofs, constructing and fixing roofs, and setting up insulation systems and vapour barriers.


The salary of a roofer ranges from $19.09 to $41.00 per hour. The median rate is $28.00 per hour.

What makes the job dangerous

Roofing jobs expose workers to various hazards, including falls due to slips and trips, severe burns from tars and chemicals, electrocution, injuries from roofing debris, and extreme weather conditions and temperature.

3. Fishing

A fishing job entails operating fishing vessels to pursue and catch fish and other marine life. A fisherman steers a fishing vessel, puts out nets (pots or traps), and hoists fish loads onto the boat.


The salary of a fisherman/woman ranges from $15.50 to $80.00 per hour, while the median rate is $25.00 per hour.

What makes the job dangerous

Several reasons make fishing one of the most dangerous jobs in North America. The dangers include a high risk of falling overboard, drowning, extreme weather (such as lightning), and ultraviolet radiation.

4. Mining

Miners are responsible for operating heavy equipment and drilling machinery, creating tunnels deep underground by drilling and blasting into rock and extracting and loading mined natural resources (such as coal and ore) onto mine cars.


A miner’s salary in Canada ranges from $23.28 to $49.10 per hour. The median wage is $37.00 per hour.

What makes the job dangerous

Miners working in a closed underground environment are often at risk of exposure to harmful contaminants (such as silica dust), asphyxiation from gas, falling coal and rock, driving into an unguarded open hole, and being struck, run over, or crushed by coal cars or heavy equipment.

5. Transportation and Warehousing

Transportation and warehousing refer to providing transportation services for passengers and cargo, goods warehousing and storage services, tourism transportation, and support activities such as mail and courier services. 


The average wage of transportation and warehousing workers in Canada in 2021 are as follows: men – $33.62 per hour; women – $28.95 per hour; and youth – $23.27 per hour.

What makes the job dangerous

Workers in the transportation and warehousing industry are at risk of slipping and falling due to irregular or slippery surfaces, exposure to toxic chemicals, being struck by falling objects, extreme weather conditions, and transportation accidents.

6. Power Line Workers

Power line workers construct, maintain, and repair overhead and underground electrical power transmission and distribution systems. They also install and repair cables, insulators, conductors, transformers, metering systems, and other equipment.


A power line technician in Canada can earn between $25.00 to $52.20 per hour. The average hourly rate is $42.00.

What makes the job dangerous

Power line workers are also among the most dangerous jobs in the world. Their work regularly exposes them to hazards such as electrocution and electric shocks, arcing, burns, falling from dangerous heights, exposure to toxic substances, and motor vehicle accidents.

7. Pilots

Pilots operate and control aircraft along scheduled routes and during takeoffs and landings to safely transport passengers and cargo from one location to another.


A pilot in Canada can earn between $22.85 per hour to $77.88 per hour. The median wage is $45.60 per hour.

What makes the job dangerous

Being a pilot has risks, including accidents during standing/taxiing, takeoff, en route, manoeuvering, approach, landing, and post-impact. Other risks are engine failure, smoke/fire, collision, declared emergency, and extreme weather conditions.

8. Steel Workers

Steel workers work in a steel mill to build and install metal frame structures for industrial and commercial use. They also perform maintenance and repairs to existing steel frames and structures.


A steel worker in Canada earns an average of $27.00 per hour or $56,481 per year.

What makes the job dangerous

The hazards involved in steel worker jobs are exposure to asbestos, burns, falling from high places or from cranes, impaling on projecting materials, injuries from structural collapses, falling objects, and getting crushed by heavy machinery.

9. Farmers

Farmers are agricultural workers who perform chores, including growing crops or working with animals. They also maintain farm machinery and equipment and handle farm chemicals.


The salary of a farm worker in Canada ranges from $13.00 to $27.18 per hour, with the median at $18.00 per hour.

What makes the job dangerous

The safety risks in farming operations include exposure to biological and chemical hazards, various diseases, injuries from sharp farm tools, slipping and tripping, and dangers from animals such as bites, kicks, and being stepped on or squeezed against a wall or fence.

10. Trash Collectors

Trash collectors, or refuse collectors, pick up the waste and recyclable materials from residential and commercial areas and bring them to trash disposal sites, recycling centers or landfills. They often work for municipalities or private waste management companies.


A trash collector can earn between $20.00 to $35.00 per hour. The median wage is $26.00 per hour.

What makes the job dangerous

Trash collectors are among the worst jobs in Canada, which put workers at risk of slipping and tripping, falling, being exposed to extreme weather conditions, and being struck by objects or a vehicle on the street.

11. Firefighter

Firefighters perform tasks like firefighting, saving life and property, rescue, emergency medical care, and other related emergency services. 


A firefighter in Canada can earn between $25.57 to $56.00 per hour. The median hourly wage is $45.00.

What makes the job dangerous

Firefighters can suffer from heat exhaustion, burns, and overexposure to flames and smoke. They are also exposed to dangerous circumstances like collapsing floors and walls.

12. Paramedic

Paramedics are medical professionals specializing in emergency treatment but are not doctors or nurses. They respond to calls for emergency medical assistance sought outside of a hospital.


The salary of a paramedic in Canada is $23.00 to $45.00 per hour, while the median wage is $35.30 per hour.

What makes the job dangerous

Paramedics are often exposed to contagious or infectious diseases, overexertion, back injuries from lifting heavy patients, dangers related to high-speed transportation, and the risks of constantly working with chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and medicine such as opioids.

13. Pipelayer

Pipelayers are construction workers whose work involves laying down, connecting and sealing pipes for water supply, sewage disposal and drainage. They install water lines, water meters, and sewer lines using power tools and heavy equipment.


The salary of a pipelayer for drainage systems in Canada ranges from $15.00 to $35.00 per hour. The average wage is $21.00 per hour.

What makes the job dangerous

Pipelayers are exposed to risks like trench collapses, burns from welding torches, lacerations from sharp-edged tools, accidents related to the use of machinery, crushing injuries, extreme weather conditions, and dangers from working with heavy equipment.

14. Ironworker

Ironworkers are responsible for fabricating, erecting, and hoisting structural ironwork and other materials in constructing buildings, bridges and roads. Their services are also used in demolishing, decommissioning, and rehabilitating older buildings and bridges.


The salary of an ironworker in Canada ranges from $25.00 to $44.90 per hour. The median rate is $39.26 per hour. 

What makes the job dangerous

Some dangers of working as an ironworker include exposure to asbestos, slipping and falling from great heights, overexertion, burns from welding activities, injuries from using tools like shears and wrenches, and cuts and sprains.

15. Lumberjacks

Lumberjacks, also called woodcutters or loggers, are workers in the logging industry who cut down and collect downed trees, trim branches, and transport the logs by truck or barge.


A lumberjack can earn between $15.80 to $40.00 per hour. The median wage is $25.00 per hour. 

What makes the job dangerous

Working as a lumberjack exposes one to hazards, such as injury from using chainsaws and logging machines, slipping and falling due to mud or uneven terrain, and being struck by falling objects such as branches or the tree itself.

16. Electrician

An electrician installs, repairs, and troubleshoots electrical wiring, systems, control devices, and fixtures in homes and business establishments. The work includes ensuring that piping complies with electrical codes.


The salary of a construction and maintenance electrician ranges from $18.00 to $46.00 per hour, with the average rate at $30.10 per hour.

What makes the job dangerous

Electricians work in different settings and are often at risk of electric shock, electrical burns, fire, exposure to dangerous materials (lead, solvents, and solder), welding hazards, UV radiation, and working in extreme conditions.

17. Police Officer

Police officers are responsible for maintaining order and enforcing laws and regulations. They are employees of the government who respond to emergency calls, arrest offenders, regulate traffic, and control crowds.


A police officer in Canada can earn between $28.85 to $57.99 per hour. The median wage is $46.15 per hour.

What makes the job dangerous

Police officers are at risk of violent attacks, assaults, gun violence, exposure to diseases and chemical hazards, and vehicular accidents. Their lives are in danger when they respond to critical incidents like robbery and hostage-taking.

18. Automotive Mechanic

The work of an automotive mechanic involves performing maintenance, diagnostic testing, repairing and inspecting motor vehicles, and replacing components. Other tasks include adjusting, testing and repairing engines, steering systems, and braking systems.


The salary of an automotive service technician in Canada can range from $17.00 to $40.00 per hour. The median wage is $27.50 per hour.

What makes the job dangerous

Automotive mechanics are exposed to chemicals like solvent and solder, risk of electrical shock, burns from the exhaust, battery acid, hot surfaces, etc. They also have constant exposure to vehicle emissions, welding fumes, and paint fumes.

Are These Dangerous Jobs Worth It?

Every job has risks, but the jobs listed above are among the most dangerous jobs in the world. Unfortunately, they are often low-paying.

Although some jobs make the pay worthwhile, some may not compensate for the risk they entail. If you take a hazardous job, you should at least get appropriate remuneration for it.

While some find them rewarding for the service to the public, the benefits for others may be harder to see.

Likewise, a dangerous line of work can be detrimental to the mental health of the worker’s family due to constant worry.

To decide if entering a dangerous career is worth it, weigh the risks against the advantages.


What is the most hazardous industry in Canada?

The fishing industry is the most dangerous in the country. It is regarded as one of the worst jobs in Canada. Every year, 52 per 100,000 workers die due to falling overboard and getting caught up in nets or traps.

What is the hardest job in Canada?

The hardest job in Canada is landscape design. It occupies the position at the top spot (64%) for staying open longer than 60 days compared to other jobs, according to the online job site Indeed Canada.

What are dangerous jobs that pay well?

The top dangerous jobs that pay well in Canada and their national average hourly wages are mining engineer – $46.04/hr; plumber $32.55/hr; agricultural equipment technician – $32.50/hr; electrician – $32.54/hr; and ironworker – $31.47/hr.

What is the highest-paid job in Canada?

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) role is the highest-paid job in Canada. The median annual Chief Executive Officer salary in Canada is $540,226.


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Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. He has been featured or quoted in Forbes, The Globe and Mail, Winnipeg Free Press, Wealthsimple, CBC News, Financial Post, Toronto Star, CTV News, Canadian Securities Exchange, Credit Canada, National Post, and many other personal finance publications. You can learn more about him on the About Page.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO, monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell, and earns interest on savings through EQ Bank.

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