Danger pay: with risk comes great compensation

Lynn Prins

It’s almost okay to accept danger as the “norm” when it comes to being a firefighter or police officer, but have you considered other careers that are just as dangerous?

In Kenya, there is distress among citizens with regards to unemployment and this leads to danger being less of a concern when it comes to their careers or workplace.

It takes real courage to be associated with certain professions in Kenya. Ever heard people talk about “not for the fainthearted”?

Listed below are six careers considered dangerous in Kenya



It is believed that Journalism is one of the most dangerous professions in the world according to the United Nations.

A journalist’s job is to go onto the streets and report on what is happening, going the extreme measures to go to places no one would dare go. Some of the stories covered may result in kidnapping, assault and even death.

Journalists who take on responsibilities on uncovering ills of the society are at many times victims of threats and intimidation.

The average pay for a journalist is Ksh 30 000 per month, depending on the rank of the journalist and the media house budget.

Line installers and repairers 


Line installers and repairers are the people who give their services in terrible weather conditions to connect them from the world by keeping a smooth flow of electricity to homes or towns.

These people are needed only when storms or fierce winds demolish electric system by falling power poles and ripping power lines.

The chance of death in this profession is 23 for every 100 000 workers, with the main danger is climbing heights, as well as handling of live wires with live voltage

Their salary can range from Ksh30 000 to Ksh35 000.



Being a teacher in Kenya has been acknowledged as risky depending on the working location. They are often targeted by criminals or terrorists when working in regions facing serious security lapses.

The recent killings of teachers in Mandera demonstrated a serious security concern when it comes to working in hardship areas.

As a primary school teacher, an average pay of Ksh 15 000 can be expected, while the highest paid teacher will be taking home a monthly salary of Sh700 000 if a proposal submitted by unions is approved.

 Police officers


These are the men in blue who are often criticised and condemned for the use of excessive force and unfair targeting.

A police officer, regardless of the rank,  is one of the riskiest jobs in the world. Policemen swear to protect the nation, even if it means with their own lives.

Remember the Kapedo and Barangoi massacre where the majority of casualties were policemen.

The lowest paid police officer earns a salary of less than Ksh 20 000.



When you are paid to serve as a “human shield” to a minister, governor or the president, you have to be prepared for the worst case scenario.

These brave men and women put their lives on the line for their bosses every day. In the latest developments, drivers and bodyguards attached to members of parliament were the latest casualties when former Kabete MP George Muchai was killed.

The bodyguard to Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi also died in the line of duty trying to safeguard his boss.

Such a job deserves good compensation, but it has been revealed that drivers and bodyguards working for 416 senators and members of the National Assembly earn Ksh19 000 monthly.

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