What You Should Know About Most Stressful Jobs

stress full jobs
Feb 1, 2023 Reading time : 6 min

Certain occupations are more demanding than others. As a result, they may cause stress and inflict other negative effects on the employees. Although stress is normal, it can lead to burnout. This article will discuss the most stressful jobs and what you need to do when applying to one of them.

The Most Stressful Jobs on the Market 

It may surprise many job seekers that the military and public safety sectors are the most stressful. CareerCast reports that the most stressful jobs in the military are those of enlisted personnel like pilots, firefighters, and police officers for the third year running.

Kyle Kensing is an online content editor for CareerCast. The company’s stress assessment factors are most commonly used in the military, firefighting, and police departments. Kensing said these factors include job-related hazards, physical demands, and environmental conditions. Kensing also stated that there is a risk of injury to the personal or bodily integrity of workers for whom they are directly responsible.

These are the ten most stressful occupations on this year’s list and their stress scores.

  1. Enlisted military personnel: 72.58
  2. Firefighter: 72.38
  3. Airline pilot: 61.20
  4. Officer in police: 51.94
  5. Broadcaster: 51.27
  6. Event coordinator: 51.19
  7. Newspaper reporter: 49.96
  8. Public Relations Executive 49.48
  9. Senior corporate executive: 48.97
  10. Taxi driver: 48.17

The average salary for some high-stress jobs annually is:

  1. Surgeons: $208,000
  2. Lawyers: $119,250
  3. Airline pilots: $121,408

These jobs require professional resumes that accurately reflect the applicants’ qualifications. Job seekers might look at professional resume examples to get an idea of what a resume looks like for high-stress jobs.

What Makes a Job Stressful?

The high-risk nature of certain jobs can cause stress and burnout. In addition to the high risk, there are many other factors to consider. CareerCast considered 11 requirements when ranking jobs that could cause stress. These factors include:

  1. The number of travels;
  2. Potential for growth;
  3. Deadlines;
  4. Public eye work;
  5. Competitiveness;
  6. Physical Demands;
  7. Work environment conditions;
  8. Hazards encountered;
  9. The possibility to make changes in one’s life;
  10. Risks to someone else’s life;
  11. Meeting with the public.

Although they don’t have to face the same dangers as police officers or firefighters, broadcasters and newspaper reporters must meet certain deadlines. The constant fear of being sued and the shrinking job market can also contribute to high-stress levels.

Kensing stated safety is the main factor in stressful occupations. In addition, they are the foundation of American democracy. He stated, “Firefighters and military officers protect us. Newspaper reporters and broadcasters can reveal the truth amid fake news trends.”

A poll by the American Psychological Association found that 61% of Americans view their workplace as a major source of stress. Micromanaging bosses are the biggest stressor. These factors can decrease workers’ productivity and damage employees’ morale.


Micromanagement can become a great source of stress. A constant flow of emails, regular task updates, and notifications can make an office employee extremely nervous. It is especially true if high-quality work requires minimum supervision. New hires may need to receive more monitoring in the first couple of months after employment. Attentive guidance and creating a healthy corporate culture can be detrimental to employees’ morale. 

Marni Amsellem, a licensed psychologist and a co-founder of Smart Health Psychology, states: “Leaders who can help employees flourish in environments where micromanagement is not an issue will be the best examples to follow.”

Poor Communication/Lack of Feedback

Constant silence from higher management can signal that bosses don’t give adequate feedback. Such a lack of communication can lead to a decrease in productivity. 

On the other hand, clear communication between workers and managers can help reduce confusion and ease concerns. For example, even if managers do not want to give feedback, employees can still check in and ask questions about their performance and what areas need improvement.

Low Salaries/no Advancement Opportunities

For many reasons, a job that’s not well-paid can cause stress. Lack of finances becomes an endless source of stress. In addition, low salaries and no advancement opportunities make workers feel hopeless, depressed, and undervalued.

According to a study published in the Journal of Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, bus drivers were the most depressed (16.2%), followed closely by real estate agents (15.5%) and social workers (14.8%).

Healthy Stress vs. Unhealthy Stress

Stress doesn’t have to be negative. There are several kinds of stress. Amsellem stated that healthy pressure could help achieve goals and complete daily tasks. On the other hand, unhealthy stress causes trouble. 

Unhealthy Stress

Anxiety can signify a high-stress level and a decreased quality of life. According to Healthline, chronic stress can be linked to the following:

  • High blood pressure
  • Inhibited immune function
  • Heartburn
  • Tiredness and insomnia
  • Weight loss
  • Periods missed
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Head and stomach pains
  • Problems with concentration
  • Irritability

Over-managing stress can lead to burnout. Any job that requires active communication with clients can lead to burnout. Particularly vulnerable are medical professionals. Medscape surveyed 44% of American doctors and found them feeling burned out.

How to Deal with Stress?

Employees can find productive ways to deal with exhaustion and anxiety if they work a stressful job. These three tips can help manage stress efficiently. 

Time Management 

There is nothing more frustrating than an incomplete list. Consider the scope of your next project before adding it to to-do lists. Then prioritize the most important parts of the project and move from the most important to the least important. 

Setting Boundaries 

You can take your work email from your phone or have a designated phone for your work that you can switch off at the end of a workday. This approach gives you a chance to recharge. In addition, off-work time gives you the energy you will need when you return to your job tasks. 

Look for positive responses.

Stress is a part of daily life. We can’t control how we react to it. Avoid using unhealthy coping methods such as eating junk food or drinking alcohol to ease anxiety. Instead, you can exercise or do anything that relaxes, including solving crossword puzzles and spending time with friends and family.

The Key Takeaways

  • Enlisted military personnel and emergency services workers are most stressed.
  • Stress doesn’t have to be negative. Healthy stress can be motivating. However, unhealthy stress can cause you to lose your focus.
  • More than half of Americans believe that work is a primary source of stress in their lives.
  • Practical ways of stress management can help create a healthy work environment.

Zayn Tindall
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Zayn Tindall