While many Americans may spend most of their working days glued to a computer screen, others exert 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. Jobs have been 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 2019.
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.
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