Most people experience work-related stress from time to time, but some jobs are far more associated with severe stress, burnout and mental health decline than others. Below are some of the most stressful jobs as of 2019.

1. Enlisted Military Personnel

Military personnel consistently rank as one of the most stressful jobs in America. The most obvious stress in this role is the imminent risk for injury or death — both to oneself and others. This risk is just a natural part of the job that is impossible to mitigate altogether.

Other relevant stressors include:

  • Intense physical demands
  • Isolation from loved ones
  • Harsh environmental conditions
  • On-the-job hazards
  • Increased risk of substance abuse
  • Difficulty with reintegration back into society

The average salary for enlisted military personnel can vary widely depending on rank and time in service.

2. Firefighter

There is no doubt that the role of a firefighter can be dangerous, stressful and downright exhausting. As an emergency responder, things may feel calm for a few moments, but when a crisis happens, it’s all hands on deck with limited time to think.  

Firefighters face imminent health and safety risks. Their job literally entails walking into dangerous situations that don’t always have positive outcomes. Such chronic trauma can lead to substance use, acute stress disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder which is why specialized treatment is beneficial

The average annual salary for firefighters is $49,620 as of 2019.

3. Airline Pilot

Airline pilots transport thousands of people every year and are responsible for guaranteeing their safety, no matter the flight conditions. This pressure can evoke tremendous stress on even the most stoic of pilots.

Airline pilots also often experience erratic and irregular working hours, which can often result in both fatigue and jet lag. They also spend large chunks of time away from their families, which can evoke loneliness and depression.

The average annual salary for airline pilots is $115,670 as of 2019.

4. Police Officer

As a first responder to a traumatic scene, police officers face enormous stress in keeping communities running smoothly and safely. They work long and arduous hours, place themselves in dangerous situations, and witness horrific events on a regular basis.

Due to such elevated stress, police officers are at risk for developing premature health conditions, mood and anxiety disorders, and addictions.

The average annual salary for police officers is $63,380 as of 2019.

5. Broadcaster

Although sharing about events and being on television or radio can be exciting, it’s also ranked as one of the most stressful jobs in the country. Broadcasters often face strict, hard deadlines, which can require overworking. This often results in fatigue, agitation and other physical and psychological symptoms. Moreover, the broadcasting career entails other stressors including:

  • Pressures of being in the spotlight
  • Environmental hazards
  • Industry cutbacks, restructuring and downsizing

The average annual salary for broadcasters is $43,490 as of 2019.

6. Event Coordinator

Event coordinators are responsible for managing all the details, deadlines, vendors and last-minute snafus that inevitably arise when planning an event. These professionals act as liaisons between clients and every other vendor involved in planning an event. They have to manage communication, and they also have to meet everyone’s demands and deadlines. The job itself requires constant multitasking and hypervigilance, both of which can result in excess stress.

The average annual salary for event coordinators is $49,370 as of 2019.

7. News Reporter

News reporters cover breaking news, and the job itself consistently ranks as one of the most stressful careers in the world. News reporters tend to face enormous pressure to “get the story,” no matter the stakes. The competition is fierce and the pay isn’t always all that impressive. Reporters often have to go to the scene itself. That may mean entering literal war zones. That alone speaks for the dangers on the job.

The average annual salary for news reporters is $43,490 as of 2019.

8. Public Relations Executive

Public relations professionals manage a variety of clients with varying needs every day, and these clients are often in absolute distress. Many of them carry unrealistic expectations about how public relationships are going to solve their problems.

Media is also constantly changing. What was trending and hot yesterday may be obsolete today. Public relations executives have to stay on top of these shifts. As a result, the work often never seems done.  

The average annual salary for public relations executives is $60,000 as of 2019.

9. Senior Corporate Executive

Senior corporate executives may include directors, vice presidents, C-level executives and CEOs. These professionals hold upper management roles that can essentially make or break a company’s success.

Of course, people working in these roles face enormous pressure. They may have to manage many different personalities and business responsibilities. They may be responsible for handling thousands or millions of dollars at any given time. The weight of these tasks can result in burnout, overworking and profound depression, anxiety, or substance use.

The average annual salary for top executives is $104,980 as of 2019.

10. Taxi Driver

Taxi drivers face the unique stressor of never knowing who their next passenger will be. It could be a man running late to work. Or, it could be a serial killer. Unfortunately, taxi drivers have been victim to obscene crimes including stabbings, beatings, and shootings. In fact, research suggests that taxi drivers face a higher murder rate on the job than any other profession.

The average annual salary for taxi drivers is $25,980 as of 2019.

Other Notoriously Stressful Careers

While the above jobs may have topped the list for most stressful in 2019, they are other notoriously stressful jobs. Below are some of the other most stressful careers in the world.

  • Doctor/Surgeon. Doctors and surgeons are in high-stress positions that require life-or-death decisions. Many of them work long hours and manage high caseloads.
  • Lawyer. Lawyers manage difficult client demands, intense billing pressures, and the constant flow of changing laws. They also often work long hours.
  • Air Traffic Controller. Air traffic controllers are the foundation of aviation safety. They must practice complete concentration- often during high-stress situations. What’s more? A single mistake can impact hundreds of lives.
  • Teacher. Teachers are notoriously underpaid and overworked. Teachers must meet changing academic demands, needs of both parents and students, and pressures often placed by administrators.
  • Social Worker. Social workers typically work in difficult environments with intense demands. They are responsible for managing the needs of clients, while also adhering to community deadlines and legal restrictions.
  • Paramedic. As first responders, paramedics must make quick judgment calls in dire situations. They must be skilled in multitasking, remaining calm in high-stress settings and communicating quickly and efficiently.

Managing Work-Related Stress

Learning how to manage stress at work is critical for your well-being. While some stress is unavoidable, it’s crucial to learn how to use healthy coping skills to maintain both productivity and work-life balance.

Do you have difficulty controlling your substance use because of stress at work? You’re not alone, and The Recovery Village can help. Call a representative today to learn more.