Work is stressful for all of us no matter our career choice. Our jobs ensure us a paycheck that we need to pay bills, feed us, take care of our families, keep a roof over our heads, and fulfill us. Because our jobs are so closely tied to our money and wellbeing, it tends to stress us out a bit. Job stress is always on the top list for main stresses in our lives and for good reason.

Although work related stress is mostly a reality for everyone, there are some career choices that tend to provide stress levels higher than most. For these jobs, the people working them are in high stress levels or situations constantly, work difficult hours, are in high-risk situations, are responsible for the safety of others, have high workloads with minimal pay, and strict deadlines to follow.

most stressful career choices

Most Stressful Jobs in the World:

1. Firefighter:

Firefighters deal with some of the most stressful and dangerous conditions in the working world. Their job requires them to put themselves in harm’s way in order to fight fires and save others.

Any job that requires you to put yourself in danger is obviously going to be stressful which is why these types of jobs usually find themselves on the top of these lists. Not only that, but firefighters also find themselves responsible for the safety of others which can be even more stressful than worrying about their own safety when they are watching out for their crew as well as the civilians they help on the job.

Despite the decrease in firefighter deaths recently, it is still one of the most dangerous jobs. Firefighters work long shifts, suffer from sleep deprivation, are on-call, and have a physically demanding and emotionally taxing job. For many firefighters, however, the stress and dangers of the job are well worth it and wouldn’t have it any other way.

2. Police Officer:

Police officers deal with work stress for many of the same reasons that firefighters do. It is no coincidence that many jobs that put you in direct harm top the list for most stressed career choices. Police officers are called for almost every dangerous circumstance from traffic stops to natural disasters where they are always there, trying to keep the peace and help out civilians.

The day to day tasks for a police officer in a police department, rely heavily on caution and require them to think quickly, assess situations fairly, and keep community safety in mind at all times. With police officers being a common topic for media coverage recently, many officers are feeling very stressed than ever before in keeping the community in mind while also paying extra attention on keeping themselves safe from harm or prosecution.

This is yet another position that requires the employee to be responsible for other’s well-being, which heightens the feelings of job related stress in this career.

3. Registered Nurse:

Registered nurses don’t exactly see the same type of dangers that firefighters or police officers do, but they spend their days on the front lines of healthcare and have a great deal to do with the well-being of their patients. Making decisions that could mean life or death for their patients is an obvious cause of stress for RN’s, not to mention the need to stay up to date on medical procedures, dealing with a lack of sleep, and working long hours.

With the current nursing shortage caused by the retirement of the baby boomers, nurses have to work longer hours and handling more patients than before which is another cause of the added stress. Thankfully, due to the growing need for nurses, salaries are on the rise.

Nurses spend a lot of time away from family, are responsible for the health of their patients, spend most of their shift on their feet, barely have time to eat while on shift, and are usually sleeping when they are off shift. It’s really no wonder they are on this list.

4. Enlisted Military Personnel:

For the members of our military, the stresses are eminent. They are away from their families, in danger, and are responsible in keeping civilians and other enlisted personnel safe. Being so far away from their families allows them to focus on their task while overseas, but the rigors of the job without being at home is a common cause for stress for those in the military.

They are pushed mentally, physically, and emotionally as a major part of their careers and many deal with PTSD as a result. This job is obviously no joke when it comes to dealing with work stress. There are many institutions, nonprofits, and organizations whose sole purpose it to help military personnel handle the stress.

For many soldiers, it is also their mission to get help and give help to those who have served in order to help them deal with the stresses of the military life.

5. Teacher:

Teachers are such an important part of our society and are responsible for educating our young people in order for them to be successful, productive members of society. These responsibilities can be a lot on teachers especially when not everyone’s kids are perfectly well behaved or willing to learn.

Not only that, but changing curriculum and state standards are in the hands of the teachers to implement. While teachers aren’t in imminent danger or responsible for the health of others, they are on this list due to the extremely high workload and low average pay.

Teachers spend more time than most doing work outside of the classroom, they deal with children as well as their parents, and are required by many schools to organize and attend functions related to the school. And summers off is most definitely not the relaxing break that we thought it would be as kids.

6. Journalist:

Journalists are required to be wherever the news happens the moment it happens. They need to report the news accurately, quickly, and efficiently. If one of these things slips, the public’s trust will slip and that is essentially a death sentence for any news publication. Journalists live on a deadline which is one of the main reasons why they are on the list for most stressed career choices.

They are essentially always on call, are always in a rush, and are always on deadline. With the negative connotation for journalists in society, it is not always the easiest thing to obtain the stories that are happening that very moment, especially when every citizen has access to the internet and can report stories faster without the pressure to fact check. And as far as doing work outside the office, journalists are all too familiar with high workloads and low pay. Let’s just say that there aren’t any journalists who got into this career for the money.

7. Social Worker:

Social workers are responsible for helping families in vulnerable situations. They provide people with education and counseling while advising caregivers and making referrals for other services. Social workers see children and families in terrible situations and are commonly seen as the enemy by all parties when things are really bad.

Social work job workers are responsible for making sure that people are in safe environments and spend a great deal of time making sure that their clients are safe. At least 80% of social workers believe that stress levels are affecting their ability to do their job. Due to a growing need for social workers and a lack of people willing to fill the gap, social workers are doing the work of many without being compensated appropriately which is another reason for the added stress.

While work stress is a virtual certainty with any job, some jobs are more stressful than others. This can be due to working in hazardous situations, being responsible for the safety of others, or working too much for too little. We should be thankful for those that deal with the work stress surrounding these stressful career choices and be thankful that these people are willing to take on the most stressful profession tasks they do.

For the high stress jobs, average stress jobs and less stressful jobs, the important thing to remember is to take a step back, take a deep breath, and relax. Our jobs may be stressful, but being without it would be worse.

Author bio: Chelsy is a writer from Montana who is now living in beautiful Boise, Idaho. She graduated with her journalism degree in 2012. She enjoys travelling with her fiancé, spending time with her animals, and relaxing with a book. Follow her on Twitter!

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