SERIAL killers may be known for their bloody work, but like the rest of us, they also hold day jobs to bring in the cash.

Criminologist Professor Michael Arntfield has examined details of serial killers over the past five decades and has discovered a pattern: that these born killers are more likely to be drawn to some jobs than others.


In his new book, Murder in Plain English, Professor Arntfield outlines the top 12 professions that most attract serial killers - and the list is frightening.

The jobs tend to be practical and "facilitate a desire to kill", reports IFLScience.

"[It's a] combination of mobility, power (whether structural or actual), and the fact many jobs also simultaneously satisfy the underlying paraphilias, or sexual preoccupations, that also fuel killers' crimes," Professor Arntfield told IFLScience.

Murder in Plain English book cover. Picture: Amazon
Murder in Plain English book cover. Picture: Amazon

He also suggests that serial killers tend to go for jobs that give them access to people who are more vulnerable and serve as easy prey, including sex workers and shift workers.

Professor Arntfield has divided the jobs into four fields: skilled jobs, semi-skilled jobs, unskilled jobs and professional jobs. They include seemingly innocuous positions such as shoe maker, truck driver and hotel porter.


The book also reveals that it's not uncommon for a serial killer to hold a few different jobs. Alleged Golden State Killer Joseph James DeAngelo is believed to have been responsible for at least 12 murders and more than 50 rapes between 1974 and 1986. In addition to working as a policeman, he also served in the US Navy - both positions that fall on the list.

Here's the list in full:


Skilled Occupations

1. Aircraft machinist/assembler

2. Shoemaker/repair person

3. Car upholsterer


Semi-Skilled Occupations

1. Forestry worker/arborist

2. Truck driver

3. Warehouse manager


Unskilled Occupations

1. General labourer (such as a mover or landscaper)

2. Hotel porter

3. Gas station attendant


Professional and Government Occupations

1. Police/security official

2. Military personnel

3. Religious official.