These Common Jobs Come with a Scary Hidden Health Risk

Suicide does not discriminate. It’s the 10th leading cause of death in the nation, and it’s becoming more common. One study found that suicide rates increased a whopping 21% between 2000 and 2012.

There are certain professions where people are more likely to think about suicide. High-stress jobs with difficult manual labor aspects and those with high unemployment rates were the riskiest. Read on for the professions that had the highest suicide rates, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

20. Child care workers, barbers, animal trainers, and personal care workers

kids at a day care center

Child care workers earn small paychecks for a demanding job. | Carsten Koall/Getty Images

  • 8 suicides per 100,000

Demanding jobs with long hours and small paychecks, such as child care workers, were especially susceptible to higher rates of suicide.

Next: Cooks and food service workers

19. Cooks and food service workers

Chef boiling water in kitchen

Job insecurity could contribute to stress for food service workers. | Photo_Concepts/iStock/Getty Images

  • 13 suicides per 100,000

Long, grueling hours for food service workers most likely contributed to the high number of suicides in this profession. There’s also less job security and numerous instances of switching employers, which can be stressful.

Next: Building and ground, cleaning, and maintenance workers

18. Building and ground, cleaning, and maintenance workers

Cleaning and maintenance workers have a high suicide rate.  | DSP/iStock/Getty Images

  • 13 suicides per 100,000

The CDC report is one of the most comprehensive studies ever done, but it only includes data from 17 states and about 12,300 suicides out of the 40,000 reported. A larger study could yield different results.

Next: Real estate agents, telemarketers, and sales

17. Real estate agents, telemarketers, and sales

Headset headphones and telephone in call center

The pressure to make a sale can be enormous. | BrianAJackson/iStock/Getty Images

  • 13 suicides per 100,000

The profits in real estate and sales can be enormous — but nothing is guaranteed. These commission based professions are difficult to depend on. As already mentioned, high-stress levels are a contributor to suicide.

Next: Clergy, social workers, and other social service workers

16. Clergy, social workers, and other social service workers

Social workers help other people, but they may be facing problems of their own. | Highwaystarz-Photography/iStock/Getty Images

  • 14 suicides per 100,000

Social workers and clergy provide counseling to the neediest members of the community, but they may be facing problems of their own. The rate of suicide for these professions is higher than average.

Next: Nursing, medical assistants, and health care support

15. Nursing, medical assistants, and health care support

Doctor and nurses wheeling patient

Burnout and long hours can be a challenge for some health care workers. | Sam Edwards/iStock/Getty Images

  • 15 suicides per 100,000

Health care is one of the most difficult fields to get into, and it’s also one of the most challenging to stay in. Burnout is typical thanks to grueling, demanding work and long hours.

Next: Accountants, others in business, and financial operations

14. Accountants, others in business, and financial operations

Businessman using a calculator

There were more suicides among accountants than many other occupations. | utah778/iStock/Getty Images

  • 16 suicides per 100,000

“Occupational groups with higher suicide rates might be at risk for a number of reasons, including job-related isolation and demands, stressful work environments, and work-home imbalance, as well as socioeconomic inequities, including lower income, lower education level, and lack of access to health services,” the CDC said in the report.

Next: Scientists and lab techs

13. Scientists and lab technicians

researcher working in biology lab

Working as a scientist may be isolating. | Gorodenkoff/iStock/Getty Images

  • 17 suicides per 100,000

No matter how smart you are, you may not realize that the stress of your job is too much. Scientists are especially susceptible to isolation at work along with significant demands that lead to high levels of stress.

Next: Doctors, dentists, and other health care professionals

12. Doctors, dentists, and other health care professionals

Young doctor thinking

Doctors and dentists have a higher rate of suicide than many professions. | Viktor_Gladkov/Getty Images

  • 19 suicides per 100,000

It’s no surprise to find doctors and dentists on the list. A 2011 study found that these professions had some of the highest rates of suicide, though for this list they fare better at 19 suicides per 100,000 people.

Next: Lawyers and workers in the legal system

11. Lawyers and workers in the legal system

advisor on the phone

Lawyer are another high-stress career with a relatively high suicide rate. | Chris Ryan/iStock/Getty Images

  • 19 suicides per 100,000

Long hours, high-pressure jobs, lots of stress — it’s no wonder lawyers and other members of the legal profession have such a high suicide rate.

Next: Corporate executives and managers, advertising, and public relations

10. Corporate executives and managers, advertising, and public relations

The pressure of being the boss can be intense. | iStock/Getty Images

  • 20 suicides per 100,000

The bosses are often the ones making all the decisions and that kind of pressure comes with a whole lot of stress. Bad choices don’t just affect their own lives — they could negatively impact a whole company. That’s one reason that suicide rates for these professions are high.

Next: Transportation workers

9. Transportation workers

Male train conductor

A train conductor | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

  • 22 suicides per 100,000

It’s possible for a job to be both high-stress and monotonous like in the case of transportation workers. They’re one of the top 10 most likely career paths for people who choose to take their own lives.

Next: Computer programmers, mathematicians, and statisticians

8. Computer programmers, mathematicians, and statisticians

Programmer Working Busy Software

Computer programmers may be well paid, but that does not erase the mental health challenges some face. | Rawpixel Ltd/iStock/Getty Images

  • 23 suicides per 100,000

It doesn’t matter how much a job pays. Suicide is the ultimate equalizer, crossing boundaries such as gender, race, ethnicity, and salary level. Computer programmers are well paid but are much more likely to commit suicide than other careers.

Next: Artists, designers, entertainers, athletes, and media

7. Artists, designers, entertainers, athletes, and media

Designer Kate Spade died of suicide in June 2018. | Evan Agostini/Getty Images

  • 24 suicides per 100,000

Sometimes being famous can be a curse. So many famous entertainers have chosen to take their own lives for a variety of reasons — from the pressure of being in the public eye to severe undiagnosed depression and loneliness.

Next: Police, firefighters, corrections workers, and others in protective services

6. Police, firefighters, corrections workers, and others in protective services

Police officers sometimes see the worst humanity has to offer. | Aijohn784/iStock/Getty Images

  • 31 suicides per 100,000

Unfortunately, people in protective services often see the worst aspects of humanity, and it can wear down even the thickest-skinned individuals. That might be part of the reason the suicide rate for this group of people is so high.

Next: Architects and engineers

5. Architects and engineers

Architects and engineers have a relatively high rate of suicide. | iStock/Getty Images

  • 32 suicides per 100,000

Suicide can reach so many different types of industries. Architects and engineers may be incredibly smart, but they still might not reach out and ask for help when they need it.

Next: Factory and production workers

4. Factory and production workers

factory worker making parts

A factory worker | Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

  • 35 suicides per 100,000

Some of the toughest physical jobs are in factories and working on production floors — and they’re also some of the lowest paid. These workers face monotonous work and not much chance of promotion. These factors could contribute to the unusually high suicide rate.

Next: Mechanics and those who do installation, maintenance, and repair

3. Mechanics and those who do installation, maintenance, and repair

man in blue uniform repairing car

Car mechanic | g-stockstudio/iStock/Getty Images

  • 48 suicides per 100,000

The most grueling jobs often have high rates of suicide. Mechanics deal with plenty of stress in their jobs and also have the third most frequent rate of suicide out of all professions.

Next: Carpenters, miners, electricians, and construction trades

2. Carpenters, miners, electricians, and construction trades

Carpenter woodworking

Carpenters and other tradespeople have one of the highest rates of suicide.   | Katarzyna Bialasiewicz/Getty Images

  • 53 suicides per 100,000

Some of the hardest, most dangerous jobs such as electricians and construction workers have a high rate of suicide. It’s not clear exactly why people in these professions are so likely to take their own lives.

Next: The professions with the highest suicide rates

1. Farm workers, fishermen, lumberjacks, and others in forestry or agriculture

Lumberjack or logger cutting tree

Lumberjack is also the most dangerous profession. | aetb/iStock/Getty Images

  • 85 suicides per 100,000

Strangely, the most dangerous profession — lumberjack — is also the one where workers are most likely to commit suicide. Farmers are also one of the highest, with 85 suicides per 100,000.

How to get help: In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or text HOME to 741-741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor at the free Crisis Text Line.

Read more: Signs Someone You Know Is Contemplating Suicide (and What to Do About It)

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