Visual effects have whittled away at the number of truly life-threatening film events that require staging, but stuntmen (and women) are still the go-to folks for on-scene antics most actors prefer not to attempt. Sure, some stars do their own stunts, like "22 Jump Street" heartthrob Channing Tatum, but most are willing to skip the danger altogether in favor of a well-qualified stunt person. And who can blame them? Although most stunt-related injuries are relatively minor, major accidents do happen, as evidenced by serious and ongoing brain-injury suffered by an Australian stuntman during the filming of "The Hangover: Part II," and a bayonet incident on the set of Brad Pitt's "Fury" [source: News.com.au].
Compared with a lot of the film industry jobs we've featured, this is one that can be well-paid. In fact, depending on professional reputation and the level of difficulty of the stunts being performed, the stunt person can command a six-figure annual salary, although inconsistently, since stunt work is sporadic, at best.