The Top Ten Most Stressful Jobs in America

Community Member

Who feels that their job is stressful? Raise your hand I am betting that most of us will raise our hands. Who hasn't had the experience of being stressed out by our occupation? Jobs can be a major stress trigger costing us an estimated $200 billion due to absenteeism, lost productivity and insurance claims. But for some occupations, stress can be a huge aspect of the job. Some people will thrive in what most consider to be stressful work circumstances and some people will not. Knowing myself and my anxiety related issues, I would simply not be able to do some types of jobs. But what exactly makes a job stressful?

Recently came up with a top ten list of the most stressful jobs in America. To come up with this list they came up with "Mega Factors" or what they felt were the most important factors to affect stress levels on the job.

Among the factors they looked at included: Work environment, job competitiveness, opportunity for either advancement or risk of unemployment, physical demands, time pressures, and safety risks.

Here is their list of the top ten most stressful jobs in America with the job of firefighting being considered the most stressful.

  1. Firefighter

  1. Corporate Executive

  1. Taxi Driver

  1. Surgeon

  1. Police Officer

  1. Commercial Pilot

  1. Highway Patrol Officer

  1. Public Relations Officer

  1. Advertising Executive

  1. Real Estate Agent

To read more details about this top ten list you can visit

I am sure everyone will have an opinion about this list. For example, where are such professions as school teachers, military, or paramedics on this list? And is a taxi driver actually more stressed than a police officer or commercial pilot? Then too I personally wonder if some of the factors causing some people stress are actually motivating to others such as competition and time deadlines. There are some folk who thrive under such circumstances.

Money certainly has to play a factor here as well. I would think that a stressful minimum wage job would cause more anxiety than if you were well paid for your stressful job.

In my personal experience the number one stressor for me at any job is interpersonal conflict or lack of support from superiors or the system. There are many jobs considered stressful which are made all the more so by having a tyrant or absent boss, or co-workers who hinder your ability to do your job well.

Ever wonder what the least stressful jobs are?

In 2009 CareerCast also provided a list of the least stressful jobs in America. These supposedly low key jobs included: Actuary, dietician, computer systems analyst, statistician, astronomer, mathematician, historian, and software engineer.

According to CareerCast these jobs usually have a comfortable work environment and do not involve life or death decisions. But I am sure that somewhere there is a stressed out astronomer or computer systems analyst who hates his job.

Much of stress does come from perception and how one views their circumstances.

So what about you? Do you have a stressful job? Would you like to talk about it here? What do you feel are the factors which make a job or occupation more stressful than others? What are stress inducing factors which are deal breakers for you?

To find out ways of reducing your stress on the job please visit our Health Tips for Work Stress page.