10+ Tough Guy Top Jobs


June is Men’s Health Month, and we know men like to be the tough guy. So, we thought we’d talk about some tough guy jobs out there. What are the most intense, dangerous, physical, and rugged jobs out there?

There’s plenty to consider, and many overlap those categories. Check out what we found and see if your current job (or dream job for those risk-seekers) is there.

Have you done any of these jobs?

10+ Tough Guy Top Jobs

It takes a tough guy to want the extreme. From highly explosive to deep sea diving, high intensity jobs fit the bill for thrill seekers. Here’s a list of jobs for the adrenaline junky.

But what about that call to do what needs to be done, no matter the danger? The most dangerous jobs out there aren’t always thrilling, but they certainly take some grit.

Point is, it wasn’t possible to split these jobs into categories like that, so here’s a list of tough guy top jobs in no particular order, and you’ll see they’re all high intensity, dangerous, physical, and rugged.


Pyrotechnicians love blowing things up. From flares at a concert to ten inch shells shot over Boston Harbor, these guys have an affinity for fire and explosions. But the job is dangerous. They have to wire each casing exactly right, keep things dry, and keep the public back. Typically, everything is discharged remotely for fireworks shows, but sometimes things don’t go off correctly and they need to either manually discharge a shell or disconnect a faulty system so it doesn’t go off and injure someone. The job is thrilling, but it can be deadly.

Extreme Sports Instructors

Ever go skydiving or race car driving? Then you’ve met an extreme sports instructor. Not only do they do those things for a living, but they take the added step of teaching others. This means keeping an additional person–with often no experience–safe and instructing them through a dangerous activity. It’s one thing to be a thrill seeker yourself, but an entirely different situation when someone else’s well-being is in your hands.


There’s so many branches of the military and we talk about them on here anyway, that’s there’s little more to say here. We will say that no matter the service you choose, this job is tough, a personal sacrifice, and takes grit. You put yourself in danger, go through grueling physical challenges, and sometimes go to extremes to get a job done. Being in the military is definitely a job for a tough guy.


Most people run away from a burning structure, but firefighters walk right in. Again, we talk about these guys anyway, so we’ll just add that the physicality required to carry all that gear, go into a dangerously unsound burning structure, be blinded by smoke, and often need to drag a hose or carry a body… Well, this job couldn’t be left off this list.

Law Enforcement

For similar reasons, we had to mention our LEOs and all the related fields. They risk their lives going into unknown, often dangerous situations. The mental health risk is by the numbers even more dangerous. They see more than a person should see. It’s physical, ugly, and challenging in many ways.

Correctional Officer

Our COs aren’t just pacing barred hallways and jingling keys like the movies show. There’s a lot more to correctional officers and the job isn’t easy. Some face serious opposition every day and the challenge is to willingly go back to work each shift. It’s not always safe and it’s not always pretty, but they do the job.


Do you cringe every time someone calls this job “ambulance driver?” We do. This isn’t a taxi job—yes, crack the joke, we get it. Sometimes EMS go into dangerous situations and they’re unarmed. Police try to clear the scene first. Even if the scene is safe, the call might be brutal. EMS workers have grit to see what they see and continue handling their job.

Hazmat Workers

No one likes a traffic jam or a detour, but a hazmat worker has it worse. They have a dangerous job of transporting potentially deadly materials. Not only could an accident mean they lose their job, but they could lose their lives. Additionally, for hazmat workers working a spill, they have to work quickly to clear the area for public safety and dilute or absorb the material before it causes more issues. Fire hazards are even worse, so this job is definitely for the tough.

Emergency Department Clinicians

ED workers thrive in chaos. If you ever wonder why they seem unfazed by trauma in the Emergency Room—again, nothing like on TV—it’s because they’re just doing their jobs. They have to prioritize each patient, prioritize each symptom, and keep people alive and/or stable until they can move to another department or discharge.


This is, by trade statistics, the most dangerous job out there. Loggers have a fatal injury rate of 132 per 100,000, the highest according to the Bureau of Labor. Sharp objects spinning fast, large objects falling, it doesn’t sound like a place you want to hang out. And since these folks often work out in the middle of the woods, it probably takes a while for medical attention. This isn’t a job for a delicate flower.

10+ More Tough Guy Jobs

There’s so many more to list, but this article would be too long. So, we’ll quickly mention a few more. Trust us, these are tough jobs too!

  • Miner
  • Machinist
  • Volcanologist
  • Stunt Double or Stunt Driver
  • Shark Tagger
  • Structural Welder
  • Demolition Expert
  • Mason
  • Roofer
  • Mountain Guide
  • Pilot

Well, that’s what we found for tough guy jobs. Did we miss any? Let us know!

How to Stay Tough

We know you work hard in the toughest jobs. That’s why we understand how tempting it is to ignore the stress levels and just keep doing the job. But being tough isn’t about never showing weakness. It’s about facing challenges and overcoming them, even the challenges inside. So, at some point, you need to address the stress and take care of yourself.

Keep doing what you’re doing, keep being a tough guy (man or woman—hey, it’s a generic term), but take a moment to self-check. See if you need to offload, decompress, or discuss your path with someone. We’re here to support you so you can continue to be the tough guy you love being.