73% of workers are stressed out at work.
“I am soooo stressed out right now!” When is the last time you heard someone say that? Probably just three minutes ago, right?
According to a recent work-stress survey by Harris Interactive for Everest College, nearly three-fourths (73 percent) of workers are stressed out by at least one thing at work.
10. Police Officer
Median salary: $55,010
Having your life in danger and being responsible for other people’s lives are two criteria for most stressful jobs – and the biggest factors for why police officer made the list.
“If someone is being shot at, it’s easy to see why it’s stressful,” Lee said. “They’re the first called in an emergency. They’re ready at all times to step into a life-threatening situation … and have no idea what’s on the other side of that closed door.”
Also, researchers have found that bursts of stress, like waiting around for the call to come in and then it’s go time, is more stressful than a steady level of stress, Lee said.
9. Taxi Driver
Median Salary: $22,440
Taxi driver made the list mostly because of the high risk for crime.
“The rate of fatality for taxi drivers is the highest for all jobs on the list except for military personnel,” Lee said. “When you pick someone up, you’re never sure if you’re going to be the victim of a crime.”
Adding to that, it’s harder to make a living as a taxi driver in a bad economy.
8. Newspaper Reporter
Median Salary: $36,000
Many people think reporting jobs are cool or glamorous but, in fact, they’re pretty high stress. (I mean, not police officer stressful but stressful nonetheless.)
Aside from the usual deadlines and competitiveness, “the industry is going through some pretty dramatic changes,” Lee said, pointing to the high level of layoffs and cutbacks in the industry right now.
At one paper, for example, employees were told there would be cutbacks in the coming year and that employees’ productivity from the prior six to eight weeks would be considered when making the decision about who would stay and who would go.
“That’s really stressful,” Lee said. “You’re constantly being called on to prove that you deserve the job that you have.”
Median Salary: $29,130
Any way you look at it, the job of a photojournalist is stressful. There’s the photojournalist that works for major media organizations or stock photo companies who are constantly having to put themselves in harm’s way, be it war, earthquake or Hurricane Sandy, to get the shot.
Then, there’s the paparazzi side, which is just as stressful, with all the stakeouts to get the shot and, not to mention, the physical danger, whether from angry celebrities or high-speed car chases. Oh, and in that case, you don’t get the glory of the war photographer – everyone pretty much hates you except for the “D” list!
6. Senior Corporate Exec
Median salary: $101,250
Ask someone which job is easy-peasy and not stressful and you’re likely to get CEO or executive as a response. A lot of people think it’s all private jets and caviar. In fact, these jobs make the MOST stressful list. They’re not police-officer- or war- photographer-dangerous but they make the list because when things go wrong at a company, they’re held responsible. And, they are holding people’s livelihoods – their incomes – in their hands.
“If it’s a public company, you’ve got shareholders beating down the door,” Lee said. “If it’s a private company, you have the workforce you have to take care of. If revenues are down and expenses are up, it’s up to you to manage it.”
And, in this tough economy, companies are a lot less likely to have a high tolerance for an underperforming CEO or executive than they might in good times. They’ll pull the trigger on firing a CEO or executive a lot quicker.
5. PR Executive
Median Salary: $57,550
A lot of people might not think of PR as a stressful job but, in fact, it’s very stressful.
“Their job is completely in the public eye, trying to manage awareness and branding for various products and services. It doesn’t matter if you’re in charge of toothpaste or a small nonprofit, you’re still under stress to make sure the word gets out in a positive way.”
On the flip side, the minute something bad happens – you’re the first one they call! It could be 10 a.m. on a Saturday night or Christmas Day. If it’s bad, it’s your problem.
Not to mention, it’s a fairly thankless job. Clients may thank you for getting them on the front page of The New York Times (if it’s good news), but before you can tie your running shoes on for a victory lap, they want to know: “What about The Wall Street Journal?” And you’re definitely not going to get any “thank yous” from journalists: They’re more likely to hang up on you or be surly than take your call!
That’s very typical of most of the jobs on the “Most Stressful” list, Lee said – you tend to not get a lot of thank yous.
4. Commercial Airline Pilot
Median Salary: $92,060
The little boy or little girl in you just tends to think of being a pilot as cool (and it is) but it’s also pretty stressful.
First, you have the usual stresses such as bad weather, delays (i.e., angry passengers) and long stretches away from home. But on top of that, you are responsible for the lives of everyone on that plane – even when they’re being grouchy!
Plus, the job outlook for pilots has been tough lately, so there are even fewer jobs to go around.
And once again, this is a job light on the “thank yous.” Of course, we all remember that time we complained about a delayed flight but quick, answer the question: When was the last time you thanked your pilot for getting you there safely?
Median Salary: $42,250
There’s no question that running into a burning building is stressful, and yet these men and women choose to do it whenever is necessary – be it 3 in the morning or Christmas Day.
What’s worse is that research shows quick bursts of stress between lulls is more stressful than a steady stream of stress.
“If you’re the firefighter hanging around watching television and boom! you’re on, literally in minutes in full gear running into hazardous waste situation, that’s worse than if you’re steadily enduring stress. It’s up and down and up and and down,” Lee said.
2. Military General
Median Salary: $196,300
Military generals have all the stresses of their men and women on the ground and in harm’s way, but they have the added stress of having other people’s lives (their troops) in their hands as well.
“Sending troops into battle – you have to live with it if it costs lives,” Lee said. “Nothing else that can measure up to that.”
1. Enlisted Military Personnel
Median Salary: $45,528
“This should come as no surprise that enlisted military personnel is the No. 1 most stressful job,” Lee said. “These are the folks on the front lines. Whether they’re in a battle environment or here helping out after Hurricane Sandy – military personnel are always at risk,” Lee said.
There’s the physical risk and physical stress, plus long hours and being away from home.
“There’s really no other position in which the stress can be higher as the responsibility of being a soldier,” Lee said.
Photo credit: smh.com.au