What Are The Most Dangerous IT Jobs?

What Are The Most Dangerous IT Jobs?

Working in IT is often seen as a deskbound activity where RSI and smelly coworkers are the biggest risk. PC World has rounded up a list of the most dangerous technology jobs, which includes everything from moderating Internet content to maintaining undersea cables.

I can’t say that moderating comments on Lifehacker feels very dangerous, but I certainly wouldn’t fancy the task of maintaining military IT systems. There’s no exact figures, but certainly some deadly examples:

According to a count conducted in September 2009, at least three telecommunications engineers are among the 533 foreign private contractors who have died in Iraq since the beginning of the conflict there. Two telecom engineers are among the 146 private foreign contractors who have perished in Afghanistan.

Got any other suggestions for dangerous careers with a technology slant? Share them in the comments.

The most dangerous jobs in technology [via ZDNet]


  • For a few years I supported IT for a humanitarian oganisation doing emergency relief. These guys spend their lives working in war zones. Worked in hot spots like Afghanistan, Liberia, Iran, Pakistan, East Timor, Darfur. It was the best IT job in the world.

  • I worked in content moderation for three years or so – and I can say thatI worked in content moderation for about three years here in australia, finishing about a year ago. I can assure you that, though you get desensitized to all kinds of pornography/fetish/illegal behaviour, it isn’t harmful.

    The people who complain about how the job ruined their outlook and gave them dirty minds are almost always the people who were interested in the job because of the insight into perversion it offers – the kind that go out of their way to find every last bit of dirty behaviour and point it out. It’s not a bad attitude for the job, as it means you have more focus than those who’re just hoping to be paid at the end of the day.

    The biggest risk for a content moderator is that you’re not very skilled, in the grand scheme of things. to be good, you have to have pattern matching skills and good focus – you’ll be doing this for blocks of three hours at a time, and when things are busy you don’t get to look away. you stand a good job of being outsourced unless it involves a lot of heavy work in your native language.
    Most moderators hit their peak between two and six months in, and after that trended downwards a bit. It’s a high-turnover job for a reason.

  • Ive worked in IT Support and more recently IT management at an underground coal mine for almost 4 years. Im often some 400m underground, fixing industrial pc’s, re-configuring or replacing cisco switches, and more commonly cleaning dirty fibre patches. Im exposed to the same dangers than miners are exposed to everyday. I remember one day i was fixing a terminal server at a pc on the longwall face, and an 80kg chunk of coal fell from the roof and almost hit me on the head. Or another time the entire mine was evacuated due to a risk of fire, frightening stuff. Despite the dangers, its a fantastic industry for geeks, its exciting, interesting and always busy.

  • Does working on live high voltage (220,000V) power lines count? Modern power lines have fiber optic cores used for interference-free control and protection system operation.
    My employer at the time leased all the spare capacity of these wires to telcos for national comms, so you could call it IT.
    I didn’t work on the lines myself, but manager people who did.

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