Getting Started Job Search Tips

The 10 Most Stressful Jobs

Written by Kate Lopaze

work stress—we all have it in some form, no matter what we do. whether it’s deadlines, or colleagues who make things challenging, or not enough resources to perform at a certain level, every job has its down times. however, some jobs are just more stressful than others, especially ones that deal in actual life-or-death scenarios or the public crucible.

every year, careercast does a survey to determine the most stressful jobs around. they look at 11 different stress factors, including: deadlines, public attention and pressure, travel, interacting with the public, salary, physical demands, job environment, hazards, risks to others’ safety, and risks to one’s own life and safety.

here are the most stressful jobs, according to that survey:

enlisted military personnel

it may come as no surprise that men and women on duty in active war zones face the most job stress of anyone. enlisted military personnel (even those not serving on the front lines) face a number of physical challenges in their career, as well as concerns about their safety and the safety of those around them.


when a firefighter responds to a call, it could be a false alarm, or it could be a raging fire with people to be rescued. firefighters need to be prepared for any outcome when they leave on a call. by the very nature of their jobs, they run into very unsafe situations to make sure that the rest of us are safe—a high-pressure situation no matter how you look at it.

airline pilot

airline pilots are entrusted with the care of not only a plane full of passengers and crew, but also a giant piece of multi-million-dollar equipment. plus they have to do it all on a very strict schedule. the next time you’re delayed in an airport, take some time to reflect that we’re asking pilots to achieve great things under an incredible amount of pressure.

police officer

like firefighters, police officers are often the first responders when things go terribly wrong. they’re tasked with the huge public trust of keeping law and order—a responsibility that can weigh on the everyday life of an officer. they’re often exposed to the worst elements society has to offer, and risk harm on a daily basis.

event coordinator

although event planning is rarely a life-or-death situation, it can be an incredibly stressful career path. if all of the elements of an event don’t go just right, it’s often the coordinator whose name and reputation are on the line. not only that, he or she is directly accountable to clients and the public.

public relations executive

like event coordinators, public relations executives are often very publicly accountable for their actions. olivia pope may make “handling it” look smooth, but in reality the people who try to manage public information for clients are often up on a very high-profile high wire.

senior corporate executive

stock prices dropping like it’s hot? company had a very high-profile mistake or a bad customer experience that went mega-viral? it’s likely the ceo whose reputation and job which are on the line. the combination of business stress plus public accountability is likely what lands high-level corporate executives on this list.

tv broadcaster

imagine that thousands (or millions!) of people are watching you on television, with every second immortalized in hd. any slip of the tongue could launch a thousand twitter statuses, or worse—land you in youtube infamy.

newspaper reporter

much of the time these days, newspaper reporters can’t win. the financial woes of the newspaper industry are legion (how many times a week do we hear that newspapers in general are on the brink of death?), but even reporters worried for their jobs can’t afford to let news quality or misinformation slip.

taxi driver

if you’re a taxi driver, not only do you welcome dozens of strangers per day into your car and personal space, but now for traditional yellow cab veterans there is extra competition lurking from rideshare apps like lyft or uber. for many drivers, the stresses of the open road join the risks of interacting with the unknown public.

so after knowing what the most stressful jobs are these days, are you brave enough to tackle them?

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About the author

Kate Lopaze

Kate Lopaze is a writer, editor, and digital publishing professional based in New York City. A graduate of the University of Connecticut and Emerson College with degrees in English and publishing, she is passionate about books, baseball, and pop culture (though not necessarily in that order), and lives in Brooklyn with her dog.

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