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Nuclear Engineer

Physical Danger

Secondary cause of death: irony. (Source)

You skipped right to this section, didn't you? Obviously, there's danger in working with nuclear materials. In fact, Marie Curie, the Polish-French, Nobel Prize-winning scientist from the Fame section who was made famous for her pioneering research on radioactivity…ended up dying from her prolonged exposure to radiation. To this very day, even Madame Curie's papers, belongings, and cookbooks are too "hot" to handle—people need to wear protective clothing in order to look at them.

Did we scare you off? We hope not. Because as Madame Curie was a pioneer in this field, she had no reason to suspect there would be any long-term effects. Fast forward to the 21st century when we know better—or at least well enough for the dentist to put a lead apron over you and scurry into a room across town before taking your X-ray.

Nuclear science is no more dangerous a job than any other science field. You'll handle dangerous materials, but you'll do it in tightly controlled settings. In light of all we've learned about how to protect ourselves during the past hundred years or so, nuclear science will mostly be a breeze when it comes to safety.