We all think that our job is the most stressful occupation in the world. It’s only natural! Each work environment is challenging in its own way, and different people find different things difficult, so we didn’t think there would ever be a definitive answer as to whose job is the most stressful and whose is the least, but what do you know! We have an answer! According to the latest report by CareerCast, we have a clear picture of the professions that end up stressing people out more than average. A study was conducted, taking into account 200 different occupations, and ranking each of them by looking at things like physical demands, deadlines, and public scrutiny. Each profession was given a stress score, and we’ve done some rounding up for you. Here are 8 jobs that will make you want to tear your hair out... and 7 that are surprisingly low key!
15 Stressful: PR Exec
The 8th most stressful job for 2017, according to the CareerCast report, is public relations executive. To be honest, this isn’t a huge surprise! Public relations people are basically in charge of the way that a brand, person, or company relates to the public. They’re the ones who have to come up with ways to attract publicity to products and people, and they also have to find a way to minimize the damage when negative publicity is afoot. Some parts of this job would definitely be fast-paced and exciting, like the creating publicity part. Hey, Samantha Jones makes it look pretty breezy on SATC! But there would also be parts that would suck, which we’re guessing have earned this job a stress score of 48.5, despite its median annual salary of $104,140. The stressful parts would include having to do damage control when your clients make mistakes and come off looking silly in public!
14 Peaceful: Jeweler
The seventh least stressful job on the report is jeweler. We would have thought that working with expensive jewelry all day would be a little bit stressful, but it ended up with a stress score of 8.95, which isn’t very high! Anybody who’s ever worked in retail knows that dealing with customers is anything but peaceful, especially when the product you’re selling is something as expensive and serious as good jewelry, but we suppose that this is more about the actual person who produces the jewelry and mends it. It would be quiet work, and although you’d really have to concentrate and have a steady hand, there is lots of opportunity in this job to be creative! Jewelers wouldn’t have too much direct contact with people, though they are called upon to repair pieces, clean them, adjust them and appraise them from time to time. This job doesn’t sound too bad at all!
13 Stressful: Senior Corporate Exec
The next stressful job on the report is senior corporate executive. Gosh, that name has stress written all over it! Basically, this person can have a range of duties, but the common denominator is that they manage an organization by carrying out its mission, objectives and vision. Although the actual tasks vary between positions and companies, there is generally lots of responsibility that comes with this job. The types of things that you’d be doing might include developing company policies which you must then find a way to enforce and manage, and definitely being a team leader. A CEO often has to oversee each department within the firm and ensure they’re effectively carrying out their functions to the best of their abilities. This profession has a nice pay package attached to it, with a median annual salary of $102,690, but it will cost you some tranquility! The stress score for this one was 48.56.
12 Peaceful: Medical Records Technician
Medical records technician was the next least stressful job on the list, coming in with the relaxed score of 8.57. A medical records technician is a person who has the responsibility of transcribing and organizing medical histories of patients. This includes their symptoms and past diagnoses, and they must also categorize treatments and procedures for insurance billing. For obvious reasons, your chronicling of the patient’s information has to be extremely accurate, and we feel like there would certainly be pressure on that front. Most people in the profession are seeming to breeze through it though! To do this job, you would need to be proficient in medical science and coding, as well as have a solid understanding of medical terminology. You would also need to fully understand how health information management systems work so you can document the records accurately, but once you get all that out of the way, it sounds pretty low key!
11 Stressful: Newspaper Reporter
Speaking as those who have experience in media work, we could have guessed that being a newspaper reporter would be seriously anxiety-inducing! We have one word for you: deadlines. Although seeing your name beneath a report or article in the local newspaper might give you a thrill, the truth is that this sort of environment would be extremely demanding because of the huge pressure that the editors are under to go to print. Everything has to be done to a schedule, and as a reporter, you’re basically responsible for sourcing your information, conducting interviews, and confirming facts, then piecing the piece together in a way that fits with the paper, all to a deadline. We’ve actually been told that working at a newspaper is similar to Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen! The stress score for this job is 49.90, but the median annual salary is less than half of the previous two stressful jobs at $36,360.
10 Peaceful: University Prof
For us, college was a pretty stressful time. As it turns out, being on the other side of the student-teacher relationship in college isn’t actually half-bad! The occupation of university professor only has a stress score of 8.17, which is pretty low compared to the stressful jobs! We guess the best thing about working in a college environment is the time schedule—semester breaks, weekends, free periods etc. Somehow we don’t think that professors spend their breaks the same way we used to (there’s no need to get into detail!), but we guess that if they’re organized, they can make the most of that flexible time. Unlike school which is compulsory, most kids actually want to be at college and are passionate about the subjects they’re learning, so being a professor in that environment would offer a very engaging experience, without the pressure of chasing up kids who don’t want to be there!
9 Stressful: Event Coordinator
We knew this one was coming! Although Jennifer Lopez made wedding planning look easy (she even had time to fall in love with Matthew McConaughey!), we’re pretty confident that being a real event coordinator would be stress city; it’s essentially stress in a nutshell. People hire you to plan and bring together events, and really pay you to stress out about the stuff that they won’t have to. Being a good event coordinator would mean that you have to excel under pressure and deadlines, improvise when things go wrong, get creative with your problem solving, and be able to delegate responsibilities and manage people effectively. The median annual salary for an event coordinator is $46,840, while the stress score given by the report is 51.15. This job would mean you’d have so much on your mind all the time that it would be really hard to shut off at the end of the day!
8 Peaceful: Audiologist
Becoming an audiologist isn’t exactly a stereotypical dream that kids have for when they grow up, the way they dream of being astronauts and rock stars, but it’ actually a pretty low-stress job! An audiologist is really a health-care professional who specializes in the ears, specifically in each ear’s auditory and vestibular system portions. Their job is to identify, diagnose, treat, and monitor disorders that occur in that area. As an audiologist, you will be trained to diagnose, manage, and treat issues with hearing, tinnitus, and balance problems. There is some study to do: in order to begin practicing as an audiologist, you must receive your doctoral degree. This takes four years, and you can enter the graduate program while you have a bachelor’s degree in any field. It’s not that long when you compare it to the rest of your life, and does have a stress score of 7.31, which is pretty good!
7 Stressful: Police Officer
We could have told you about this one without any report! Being a police officer is actually much more stressful than most people would think, and has a score of 51.68, with a median annual salary of $60,270. Cops often get a bad rap and are believed by some to just bully people and eat donuts, but their day-to-day jobs do involve lots of things that would be challenging! For starters, it’s a dangerous job, and we’re willing to bet that female cops receive a lot of slack from perpetrators. You would have to stay cool under disturbing situations, and be mentally strong enough to distance yourself from your job once you get home. Let’s be honest: you would see some terrible things out there, and not everybody would be able to take it. The hours would also probably be abnormal, and remember that citizens are relying on you to keep them safe.
6 Peaceful: Hair Stylist
According to the study, one of the most peaceful jobs that you can do is hair styling! We’ve personally seen other clients talk our own hair stylists’ ears off, so peaceful here doesn’t necessarily mean quiet, but just low stress. In fact, the report allocated this job the score of 6.71, which is the lowest yet! We guess that there is something relaxing about chatting to different people and performing standard jobs like semi-permanent colors or general washing and cutting. But what about when clients come in and ask for complex styles that they saw on the red carpet? Or when they ask you to cut off ten inches and then run out crying because they hate it? We guess if you can turn off emotionally from people’s unreasonable reactions, and if you’re good enough to pull off the tricky stuff, then hair styling wouldn’t be too stressful at all!
5 Stressful: Airline Pilot
Ooh yes. Being an airline pilot is evidently so stressful that the occupation was given a 60.54 stress score in the study, despite the average annual salary being $102,520. We don’t know exactly what’s involved in safely flying a plane, but we do know that if you don’t do it right, people can die. That right there is enough to induce some intense stress! The lifestyle of an airline pilot would be irregular to say the least. You’d always be traveling and working strange hours. When we think of work on a plane, we sometimes get carried away with thoughts that it would be like vacationing for a living, but it’s not really like that. Yes, you get to travel to Thailand every week, but after that 13-hour flight, you have to prepare yourself for the next one. Even with the perks of the job, there’s no denying it would be intense!
4 Peaceful: Compliance Officer
Doesn’t compliance officer just sound like a soothing job? Maybe it’s because “compliance” brings up images of going with the flow and accepting things. Whatever! As a compliance officer, it’s your role to make sure that employees and management are complying with the rules and regulations of regulatory agencies. You also have to make sure that everybody is following company policies and procedures, and that everybody’s behavior reflects the company’s Standards of Conduct. This job only requires an undergraduate degree and has a total stress score of 5.73, as found by the report. It sounds like a compliance officer would have to be a very honest sort of person who knows exactly what they’re talking about because if you’re going to call people out on breaking the rules, you have to be an expert in the rules in the first place! Compliance officers also sound like they’d be slightly annoying to employees…
3 Stressful: Firefighter
It turns out being a firefighter is an extremely stressful job with a total stress score of 72.68. The median annual salary of $45,870 should be higher, considering these brave individuals put their lives in danger pretty much every day! We may or may not be basing some of our firefighter knowledge on Ladder 49, but these people go out to save lives. Like a pilot, you really can’t afford to be making mistakes in this type of profession, which is one of the reasons why it would be so stressful. There’s also no warning as to when that alarm is going to sound, so firefighters must also be on edge more than the average person. All jobs come with their own obstacles, but being able to switch off and walk away is a huge part of de-stressing afterward, and it would be really hard to do in an occupation like this!
2 Peaceful: Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
We’ve come to the most peaceful job on the list, which has a total stress score of just 4! First thing’s first: what is a diagnostic medical sonographer? It’s essentially a person who does ultrasounds, or if you want to get technical, a person who directs sound waves into a patient’s body using special imaging equipment, in order to assess and diagnose a variety of medical conditions. People with this job have to use ultrasound high-frequency waves to create images of internal body tissues, and this helps doctors to diagnose and manage conditions, ranging from pregnancy to cancer. A diagnostic medical sonographer mainly works with the machines in dimly lit rooms and directly with patients, sometimes at their bedsides. Although you might also have to work in emergencies, meaning you might be called at night or over the weekend, all in all, this is statistically a very low-stress job!
1 Stressful: Enlisted Military Personnel
The most stressful job on the 2017 CareerCast report was unsurprisingly enlisted military personnel. There seems to be a huge mismatch with the amount of stress experienced in this job (72) and the median annual salary ($27,936) which just makes us feel more proud of those in service! There’s no doubt that this would be an incredibly stressful job, and you’d be confronted with physical, emotional, and mental challenges on a daily basis. This is another job that would probably leave you scarred, and it would be hard to maintain a positive outlook after witnessing some of the things you would. Plus, you’d have to be away from loved ones. But being an enlisted military personnel would definitely be rewarding, and the job itself is crucial to the survival of the country. We have major respect for anybody in the military, navy or air force, and are grateful to them for taking on such sacrificial work!