Jobs With the Most Punishing Workloads
By Catherine Conlan,
Monster Contributing Author

Think you're putting in long hours? The compensation experts at PayScale have put together a list of the jobs with the longest work weeks so you can see how your schedule stacks up.

Many of the longest work weeks are in the field of oil extraction, which is seeing a boom in some parts of the country. According to PayScale, roustabouts have the longest average work week, clocking in at a whopping 61 hours a week. Median hourly wage was reported at $14.11 per hour, with a median overtime wage of $21. Roustabouts assemble, maintain and repair equipment used in oil fields and may even participate in active drilling. Roustabouts also work on oil and natural gas rigs.

Other oil extraction jobs with long work weeks include driller at 59 hours a week ($20.13), service unit operators at 57 hours (who operate equipment to increase or decrease well flow) ($16.98), and petroleum plant operator ($25.48).

Coal mining calls for long hours as well. A roof bolter in a coal mine averages 50 hours a week ($23.04). The work consists of reinforcing the "roof" of underground mines to make them safe to work in. A coal miner can expect to work an average of 46 hours a week ($21.64).

Public safety and health-care jobs demand long work weeks as a 24-hour service. A fire captain averages 58 hours a week ($21.54). A paramedic supervisor averages 50 hours a week ($17.97). An aircrew paramedic works an average of 47 hours a week ($18.97).

Transportation workers may also spent a lot of unpaid time on the road as they spend rest hours in hotels between shifts. PayScale found that a fuel tanker driver ($18.13) and commercial driver ($20.58) have some of the longest workweeks regardless of industry, at 52 and 51 hours a week, respectively. Railroad conductors help assemble trains and keep track of travel orders, and report an average workweek of 47 hours ($21.42). Transportation jobs will continue to be in demand in the coming years as more workers retire.

Construction jobs reported work weeks that weren't too much more than 40 hours, and the overtime rates are occasionally quite lucrative. A radio tower and radar technician's work week averaged 48 hours ($16.37). A blacktop paver operator makes $17.24, while an operator of paving, surfacing or tamping equipment averaged $15.96; both professions average a 47 hour work week. Excavator operators and tower crane operators clocked in at slightly fewer hours, 46 per week. Excavator operators averaged $18.13, while the tower crane operators had a wage of $27.87.

Finally, a weighmaster reported an average work week of 47 hours, with a wage of $13.54. Weighmasters inspect scales and other weighing equipment as a public or private employee, or may be the person who weighs cargo for shipping. Drivers of refuse trucks reported a 46-hour work week with a wage of $15.12. Manufacturing team leaders also reported 46 hours, at $18.29.

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