Background: Health behaviors represent major risks for premature morbidity and mortality. This study aimed to establish whether health risks varied substantially across occupational groups. Methods: We focused on the 2223 Iowa Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) subjects who reported, in 1999, that they were currently working. Results: Even after controlling for age and gender, we found significant associations between occupation and health risk factors. We found these associations among the different categories of health risk factors, including insurance/access, health conditions, preventive behaviors, and screening behaviors. Conclusions: The considerable differences in the prevalence of risk factors for chronic disease and injury across occupational groups in Iowa underscore the need for nationwide ongoing collection of occupational status in the BRFSS. These national data on the distribution of risk factors across occupations will support development of more targeted prevention interventions.