10 Jobs With The Highest Suicide Rates

There is going to be something you don’t like with pretty much every job, but with these jobs, it’s worse. In 2020, suicide was among the top 9 leading causes of death for people ages 10-64. While suicide was the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-14 and 25-34, according to the CDC. Whatsmore, the suicide rates for Blacks have continued to increase throughout the pandemic.

“Over the last decade, suicide rates in the United States have increased dramatically among racial and ethnic minorities, and Black Americans in particular. Suicide deaths occur across the lifespan and have increased for Black youth, but the highest rate of death is among Black Americans aged 25-34 years of age,” Rheeda Walker, professor of psychology and director of the University of Houston’s Culture, Risk and Resilience Lab says.

And those suicide rates can increase depending on your job. Farmers, fishers and foresters have a dramatically higher suicide rate — at 85 suicides per 100,000 people. For males in those jobs, the rate was even greater. Their suicide rate was 90.5 suicides per 100,000, according to the report.

At the turn of the century, The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) database on cause of death by occupation study found some interesting stats on the jobs with the highest suicide rates and ranked them.

It is important to note that NIOSH sample size: For Black men, the most suicidal jobs with a large sample size were police & detectives (2.55 times higher than average); furnace operators (2.01 times higher than average); and electricians (1.78 times higher than average).

For Black women, the most suicidal jobs with a large sample size were protective service occupations (2.79 times higher than average); sales supervisors (2 times higher than average); and packaging machine operators (1.96 times higher than average).

10. Pharmacists

Generally, a pharmacist is responsible for prescribing patients their medications, oftentimes a thankless job. Furthermore, when some patients cannot afford to pay for their medications or insurance will not cover said medications, the pharmacist often takes the blame.

Another thing pharmacists have to deal with are the big pharmaceutical companies, sometimes treated as a sales rep as opposed to a health care professional–all of which adds to the frustration when they too want to see the best for their patients.

Pharmacists also have a substance abuse rate of nearly 20% higher than average, which contributes to the rate of suicide amongst pharmacists to be 1.29 higher than average.

9. Farm Workers

Jobs With The Highest Suicide Rates

Working out in the field can be downright stressful if you just look at the extreme weather condition, but it is also one of the lowest paying jobs in America, with a salary of less than $20,000 annually.

Not only is the work hard, it is also dangerous, working with heavy machinery. There were 216 farm accident fatalities in 2012 alone, prompting Forbes magazine to rank farming as one of the nation’s deadliest jobs.

8. Lawyers

According to studies, before even graduating from law school, a reported 40% of law students already suffer from depression. Once practicing, lawyers are nearly four times more likely to suffer from depression than the average American.

The extremely long hours, poor public opinion, difficult cases and clients, and moral battles within attorney/client privilege can be reasons why lawyers commit suicide at a rate of 1.33 times higher than the national average.

7. Electricians

The electricians’ suicide rate is 1.36 higher than average. While being an electrician can be a lucrative profession, it can also be difficult when the economy is bad and work is scarce.

Beyond the stressful economic factors that may affect electricians, there have been recent studies that have posited that an electrician’s long-term exposure to electromagnetic fields could ultimately affect brain chemistry.

The electromagnetic fields may affect melatonin production in the brain, which can potentially lead to depression, potentially culminating in suicide.

6. Real Estate

The world of real estate can be a high-risk, high reward profession, just think of the housing crisis in 2008 when housing prices plummeted, the world of real estate has become crazy.

The lack of stability in real estate, particularly not knowing when the next paycheck may arrive if the housing market is weak, may very well be one of the main reasons why real estate agents commit suicide at a rate of 1.38 higher than the average person.

5. Financial Planners

This is a correlation between financial workers and suicide that has been witnessed by the public since the Great Depression when stockbrokers who had been bankrupted leaped from buildings to their death.

The suicide rate amongst financial workers in America is 1.51 times higher than average. In the first three months of 2014 alone, there were already 11 reported suicides amongst those in finance.

4. Veterinarians

Being a veterinarian requires technical skill, proper diagnoses, and little room for mistakes.

Many vets work long hours and are constantly subjected to seeing animals put to sleep, which may detrimentally affect their emotional wellbeing. This may lead to feelings of depression and emotional stress.

Many veterinarians may also feel like they are taking optimal care of themselves and don’t need to seek treatment if they suffer from a mental illness. The likelihood of a veterinarian committing suicide is 1.54.

3. Police Officers

When most people think of police officers, they think of upstanding citizens that are in great mental and physical health. However, enforcing the law is often very stressful and requires a significant amount of work. Many police officers work overtime and depending on their assigned duties, they may become more stressed than average people.

Police officers are nearly two-fold more likely to become depressed than people working other occupations. Because of the stressful nature of their job, police officers are also less likely to get adequate sleep. Most police officers get under six hours of sleep.

The odds of a police officer committing suicide are 1.54. Women and African American men have higher suicide rates than white males. Suicide rates for female police officers are approximately 2.03 times that of the average population, while African American male police officers are approximately 2.55 times your average worker.

2. Dentists

When was the last time you were truly happy to go to the dentist? Not many people can say that they were. A dentist’s suicide rate is 1.67 times higher than the American average.

Being a dentist brings with it long hours, reluctant and difficult patients, and not a strong guarantee of success or stability. Because of this, studies suggest that dentists are more likely to suffer from mental disorders, but are also more reluctant to seek treatment for disorders.

1. Doctors**

Doctors are 1.87 times more likely to commit suicide than the average American. While suicide accounts for roughly 2% of all deaths amongst the general population in the United States, 4% of all physician deaths are by suicide due to the high-stress nature of the job.

Studies have shown when a doctor suffers from depression or another mental disorder, they are reluctant to seek treatment, potentially fearing for their practice if word of their own need for professional help were to be revealed.

**Marine engineers came in nearly tied with physicians.

Bonus: Scientists

Starting off, those who are most stressed or depressed are more likely to commit suicide. And the work of a scientist can be quite stressful.

The push to discover and innovate as well as to constantly publish new findings creates a lot of stress in a field where the competition is rather fierce, and sometimes, even cut-throat.

Suicide rates amongst scientists are surprising, with scientists having a likelihood of committing suicide at a rate of 1.28 higher than the general population.

For every 45 male suicides in the field, there are an estimated five female suicides per year, with one prominent example of a female chemist, (chemists being the scientists most likely to take their own lives), committing suicide by swallowing cyanide upon refusal of a research grant.

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