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50 most physical jobs in America

  • 50 most physical jobs in America

    While some Americans may spend most of their working day glued to a computer screen, consequently increasing their risk for heart disease, other workers are exerting a great deal of energy due to the physical nature of their work. 

    Stacker ranked the 50 most physical jobs in America using data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), a system developed by the U.S. Department of Labor providing information for 965 occupations within the United States economy. O*NET utilizes professional occupational analysts to provide the importance and level of certain abilities or skills needed to perform specific jobs.

    For this Stacker list, jobs were ranked by the importance of having stamina in each job, and ties were broken by both the level of stamina required and the median annual wage from 2018.

    When it comes to measuring the stamina required to succeed at a job, you may be wondering what the difference is between “the importance of having” and “level required.” The same types of skills can be important for a variety of different jobs, but the amount or level of the skill needed in specific occupations can differ greatly. The level refers to the degree to which a particular ability is required to perform the occupation successfully. In this case, both criteria (level and importance) were standardized to a scale of 0 to 100. O*NET also polled employees working in each field as to what level of schooling they received before acquiring the job. The amount of experience or training needed to be successful was also examined.

    According to O*NET, stamina is defined as: “The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.” The study also takes into account the need for different types of abilities such as “trunk strength,” defined as “the ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing,” and “dynamic strength,” “the ability to exert muscle force repeatedly or continuously over time. This involves muscular endurance and resistance to muscle fatigue.”

    We also examined detailed responsibilities and work activities included for each job to see if it required the need to perform physical activities such as climbing, lifting, walking, or stooping. Handling dangerous materials like sizable machinery or working in hazardous or outdoor conditions were considered as well.

    Read on to find out if your job is one of the 50 most physical in the U.S. 

    You may also like: 50 fastest-growing jobs for the future

  • #50. Adapted physical education specialists

    - Importance of having stamina in this job: 50
    - Level of stamina required: 45
    - 2018 median annual wage: $56,680 (Median hourly wage: Not available)
    - 2016 employment: 41,000
    - Projected job growth by 2026: 8.29%

    An adapted physical education specialist is responsible for creating individualized physical education programs for students (children or adult) with conditions such as autism or brain injuries. Those with this job would need physical strength to instruct students on how to improve physical fitness, but also be patient enough to work with those who have disabilities. Almost half of the people with this job reported needing a bachelor's degree.

  • #49. Police patrol officers

    - Importance of having stamina in this job: 50
    - Level of stamina required: 45
    - 2018 median annual wage: $61,380 (Median hourly wage: $29.51)
    - 2016 employment: 684,000
    - Projected job growth by 2026: 7.24%

    The primary duties for police patrol officers include enforcing laws, providing public safety, and preventing crime. Because they need to be able to pursue and apprehend criminals who may be trying to escape on foot, physical stamina is a requirement in order to properly do this job. Though a college degree is not required, job prospects will need to complete training at a police academy in order to become employed.

  • #48. Forest fire fighting and prevention supervisors

    - Importance of having stamina in this job: 50
    - Level of stamina required: 45
    - 2018 median annual wage: $76,330 (Median hourly wage: $36.70)
    - 2016 employment: 59,000
    - Projected job growth by 2026: 7.46%

    Forest fire fighting and prevention supervisors manage, train, and prepare firefighters to do their jobs, often working behind-the-scenes to communicate and evaluate forest fires or make sure that the important equipment is ready to use. For this reason they don't have to have as much stamina as the actual firefighters, but still need to be physically fit enough to train their employees and prepare them to operate equipment. Education requirements range from high school diploma to associates degree, but often just training and experience is needed.

  • #47. Correctional officers and jailers

    - Importance of having stamina in this job: 50
    - Level of stamina required: 46
    - 2018 median annual wage: $44,330 (Median hourly wage: $21.31)
    - 2016 employment: 450,000
    - Projected job growth by 2026: 6.96%

    Keeping inmates and those around them safe in prisons or rehabilitation institutions requires mental and physical stamina. Correctional officers and jailers perform head counts, inspect cells, and generally monitor inmates to prevent violence or escape. This job usually requires a high school diploma as well as training.

  • #46. Helpers—roofers

    - Importance of having stamina in this job: 50
    - Level of stamina required: 48
    - 2018 median annual wage: $30,390 (Median hourly wage: $14.61)
    - 2016 employment: 10,000
    - Projected job growth by 2026: 16%

    Roofer helpers assist professional roofers by completing jobs such as holding tools, inspecting roofing sites, and cleaning equipment. The ability to use abdominal and back muscles for extended periods of time without fatigue is essential to this job. Most roofer helpers have a high school diploma, but some related work experience is helpful as well.

  • #45. Extruding, forming, pressing, and compacting machine setters, operators, and tenders

    - Importance of having stamina in this job: 53
    - Level of stamina required: 36
    - 2018 median annual wage: $35,120 (Median hourly wage: $16.89)
    - 2016 employment: 71,000
    - Projected job growth by 2026: 11.13%

    These workers must be able to move quickly, maintain dexterity and steadiness, and have a quick reaction time. They're in charge of setting up, operating, and taking care of machines used to shape and form objects (such as glass or rubber). A high school diploma and some previous skill is required.

  • #44. Maids and housekeeping cleaners

    - Importance of having stamina in this job: 53
    - Level of stamina required: 37
    - 2018 median annual wage: $23,770 (Median hourly wage: $11.43)
    - 2016 employment: 1,443,000
    - Projected job growth by 2026: 14%

    Maids and housekeeping cleaners must have enough stamina and trunk strength to carry loads of cleaning supplies and linens, clean and disinfect spaces, and transport waste. A majority of these employees hold a high school diploma and need to be trained by an experienced employee to ensure that health standards are met.

  • #43. Adhesive bonding machine operators and tenders

    - Importance of having stamina in this job: 53
    - Level of stamina required: 37
    - 2018 median annual wage: $33,820 (Median hourly wage: $16.26)
    - 2016 employment: 17,000
    - Projected job growth by 2026: 10.59%

    Adhesive bonding machine operators and tenders are responsible for operating bonding machines, so they must be able to exert muscle, maintain arm steadiness, and have enough manual dexterity to control the machines. Preparation such as on-the-job training is needed to be successful at this job, and most have at least a high school diploma.

  • #42. Foundry mold and coremakers

    - Importance of having stamina in this job: 53
    - Level of stamina required: 37
    - 2018 median annual wage: $35,430 (Median hourly wage: $17.04)
    - 2016 employment: 13,000
    - Projected job growth by 2026: 6.92%

    These employees create wax or sand molds and cores used to produce metal casings. Because they have to be able to sift and pack sand or wax and assemble slabs using tools, they'll need multi-limb coordination and trunk strength to perform their duties. Most workers have at least a high school diploma.

  • #41. Fiberglass laminators and fabricators

    - Importance of having stamina in this job: 53
    - Level of stamina required: 39
    - 2018 median annual wage: $34,500 (Median hourly wage: $16.59)
    - 2016 employment: 20,000
    - Projected job growth by 2026: 11%

    Fiberglass laminators and fabricators produce products such as boat hulls or cars by laminating layers of fiberglass onto molds. Workers must be able to lift heavy materials such as fiberglass or wood, release or smooth out bubbles, and mix resins. Less than half of employees reported having a high school diploma or higher, but work-related skill is required.

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