The most stressful jobs, according to a study by CareerCast.com, are those in which bullets may be zinging past the worker’s ear or they may find themselves in the middle of a fire.

stressful jobs

Lowest paid stressful job

The most stressful job also has some of the lowest pay: enlisted military personnel have a median salary of $28,840.  While enlisted men may experience physical risk, military generals experience a different type of risk by putting the lives of others in their hands.  With a median salary of $196,300 they also receive higher compensation for their stress.  A Forbes article on the topic notes that military personal are not only exposed to physical risk, but also must travel frequently, do their work exposed to public scrutiny and are separated from their family for long periods of time.

The stress firefighters experience brings this job in at number three on the list of most stressful jobs, but interestingly a police officer comes in at number nine on the list with a median salary of $55,270. Stressful jobs that are more stressful than police but less stressful than firefighter might seem odd. They include event coordinator, public relations executive, and newspaper reporter, among others.

Stress Level Job Salary
1 Enlisted Military Personnel  $          28,840
2 Military General  $        196,300
3 Firefighter  $          45,250
4 Airline Pilot;  $        114,200
5 Event Coordinator;  $        456,810
6 Public Relations Executive  $          54,179
7 Senior Corporate Executive  $        168,140
8 Newspaper Reporter;  $          35,870
9 Police Officer  $          55,270
10 Taxi Driver  $          22,820

Considering a list of 200 professions, CareerCast factored 11 different job demands that generated stress, including travel, growth potential, competitiveness, physical demands, hazards, environmental conditions and risk to someone’s life or the life of others, the Forbes article noted.

Least stressful jobs

On the list of least stressful jobs, according to CareerCast, no salary exceeded $100,000 nor involved significant physical danger.

Less Stress Job Salary
1 Audiologist  $          69,720
2 Hair Stylist  $          22,700
3 Jeweler  $          35,350
4 Tenured University Professor  $          64,290
5 Seamstress / Tailor  $          26,280
6 Dietitian  $          55,240
7 Medical Records Technician  $          34,160
8 Librarian  $          55,370
9 Multimedia Artist  $          61,370
10 Drill-Press Operator  $          35,580

Why does someone select a stressful job?  Most people who choose dangerous jobs like firefighter or police officer want to work in those fields despite the stress level, according to the report.  At the end of the day a career choice is tailored relative to the individual’s personality.

By Mark Melin