People Break Down Which Professions Do Not Allow F**k-Ups
Photo by yns plt on Unsplash

You might think you have it bad at your job, that somehow your career of turning in spreadsheets before the boss goes home for the day or making sure your "deck" is adequately formatted will somehow bring about the end of the world if you don't spend hours on it. (This isn't really taking the weight off anyone's career. Obviously, do your best and all our jobs are important.)

But then you read about jobs like these, where even the slightest misstep could lead to actual death, and suddenly your deck doesn't seem that important anymore.

Reddit user, Guilhermedidi, wanted to know what job have zero room for error when they asked:

"What job allows NO f-ck-ups?"

When your job is to make sure other people make it out of any particular situation alive, it certainly adds another level of difficulty to your job.

Always Double Check Yourself

"The person who checks the safety harness on a bungee jump."


"I did a rock climbing wall with my friend when we were 18. They messed up and didn't secure her harness. I watched her fall from the very top. 2 weeks in the hospital. 2 months in rehab. It was awful."


Too Little, Too Much



"My cousin is an anesthesiologist at a teaching hospital. He has some stories, people with multiple pre-existing conditions, the complex cocktails of meds and monitoring needed...dang... not a profession that tolerates mistakes."


"And you don’t lie to your anesthesiologist."

"They don’t care if you recreationally use opioids or pot or something even heavier."

"Not disclosing to them could be fatal"


You Said A-, Right? RIGHT?

"Working in the blood bank. Any f-ckup, even the tiniest clerical error, can cause someone to die a horrible death."


The job itself may not even appear that challenging on the surface. Maybe a majority of your day is spent sitting around, doing nothing. However, when it comes time to be on it then you better be prepared to not make any mistakes.

Zooming Overhead

"Air traffic control. At one point, IIRC, it was ranked the most stressful job in the world based on number of decisions per minute. You're responsible for a LOT of lives."


Big Crane Go Boom

"My ex made a small miscalculation on an industrial part he was engineering for like a big crane and cost his company hundreds of thousands of dollars and they had to shut down. The part was for a high precision valve where even a fraction of a millimeter is the difference between something being perfect and absolutely useless."

"As a web developer if that were the case in my industry I would be out of a job today."


Watching Someone Else Face The Consequences

"The clinical technicians who prepare cellular material for bone marrow transplants."

"I worked at a major cancer treatment center across the hall from the lab that did this. They slipped up once and gave the cells for one patient to a different patient. Both patients died. One from being given incompatible cells, the other from not receiving their transplant in time after their radiation treatment."

"Lots of pain for everyone that day. Imagine losing your job because you killed two people."


With consequences like these, it kind of makes you wonder why someone would take this job in the first place.

You Think Your Job Is Under A Lot Of Pressure?

"Underwater welder. And they have the fatality rate statistics to prove it."


"Saturation divers in general, any time you need to be that deep for that long, any screw-up can be the last one you make."

"Underwater cave diving is generally thought of as being similarly dangerous, however nowadays you can be trained and if you spend the time to learn and understand how to avoid the main risks, you can do it relatively safely. Shout-out to Divetalk."


One Slip Up, And You're Gone

"The people who climb and repair those radio towers. my brother fell off one of the towers while working on it, his harness luckily caught him and they got him down and he was immediately fired."


"What did he do wrong?"


"Lost his grip and fell, if he didn’t have his safety harness on he would have died, and that’s a huge liability most employers are not willing to deal with, so yeah if you fall once it’s a done deal."


They Usually Make Movies About This Kind Of Thing


"If you mess up in space it's usually bad."


In the Air

"Air traffic controller."


"My uncle was an air traffic controller until the mandatory retirement, got his start in the Air Force as a controller in Da Nang during Vietnam. He has this unnatural calm about him and is the kind of guy you would want with you when things hit the fan."



"Anything involving space travel or being aboard an active duty submarine."


"In the early days of submarines you could destroy the whole boat by flushing the toilet wrong, I imagine things are a lot safer nowadays."


"As a former submariner... oh man we f**ked up TONS of s**t all the time. It's still partially true depending on the job or the system, though. Like the emergency surface system. Not a lot of room to mess that one up and get away with it."


Space Watch

"When I visited Johnson Space Center, we got to watch the Mission Control people, guy explicitly said that job requires you to make exactly 0 mistakes. It may not matter, but in my comment I was referring more specifically to the people watching over ISS."


"The multimedia product that I worked on was actually used to build the app that launched the Space Shuttle. Sorta made me think."


"I work in mission control. Many things you can't mess up, but we make our fair share. The biggest problem is messing up the same thing twice. So we have ways to track errors and correct them so they don't happen again."


Precise is a Must

"Pediatric pharmacy. The only error my husband made in something like 10,000 scripts was nutrition. Never a medication error. He'd remember the kids by name and would question changes (typos on the doctors' parts) because he knew the kid hadn't gained/lost that much weight that fast. Their dosages are by weight, not age."


He just got up...

"Lineman. One mess-up and you are dead."


"No crap. I saw an electrician working an interior BET when a thunderstorm rolled in and a near strike knocked him 15 feet back. He just got up, dusted himself off and said 'that was weird.' When he was leaving I followed him out and was surprised he got in a van, thought he was going to fly away."


"I guess this depends on what a 'f**k up' is. Every football player ever has made plenty of mistakes that some would consider f**k ups, and it's not like mortal injuries are common."



"I’d guess brain surgeon but I’m not 100% sure and an anesthesiologist would be bad if it got past you and put into the patient."


"Brain surgeon here. Errors are made with relative frequency, but knowing how to properly address them is very important and can be the difference between a good and poor outcome."


"My father is an anesthesiologist and said the exact same thing when I called and asked him this question."



"I was a software dev for trading tools that were used on the stock market. You’re literally writing the code that executed millions of dollars of transactions. I’ll never do it again."


"I wrote code for a company that did billions in transactions on a team of 5 engineers. Millions of dollars settling on the hour every hour every single night. All in batch files. It was a little stressful."



"Airplane mechanics."


"My friend who's a military helicopter mechanic said you'd be incredibly surprised at the number of f**kups they have. Luckily they check things a few times before approving it (although sometimes people even skip on the checks)."


"I work in aviation, mess ups happen constantly, they usually get caught by quality control. What can really be bad if leaving objects in the plane where they shouldn't be. A misplaced wrench could cause a crash."


Be safe out there. Seems like even driving in to the office can be the end of something.

What's so dangerous about your job? Tell us about it in the comments!

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