Jobs and Stress Ratings

Kyle Kensing:

Jobs in the military once again top the Jobs Rated rankings of the most stressful careers in 2013….

Among civilian careers, firefighter is ranked the most highly on the Jobs Rated stress scale. The job’s danger is apparent: running into burning buildings and dropping into forest fires calls for nerves and bravery few other careers require….

Police officer rounds out the most stressful job rankings. More than 110 officers were lost in the line of duty last year,according to the non-profit organization Officer Down. The personal safety risks police officers face are apparent. As for overseeing the safety of others — one of the factors in the stress score – it’s outlined right in the officer’s motto: To Protect and Serve.

Two careers in the media industry score highly on the stress scale: photojournalist and newspaper reporter. Professionals from each field can be thrown into the epicenter of dangerous situations, such as war, natural disasters and police chases. Both careers also have declining job opportunities as the 21st century media landscape evolves. Newspaper reporters in particular face a shrinking job market; the BLS estimates a 6% job decline in the industry by 2020.

Lowest stress?

University professor tops the Jobs Rated report of least stressful careers for 2013. The field’s high growth opportunities, low health risks and substantial pay provide a low-stress environment that’s the envy of many career professionals….

University professor was the only career to score below seamstress/tailor on the stress scale. Unfortunately, the monetary incentive for seamstresses and tailors is low – the BLS estimates the median salary for a seamstress at $25,850 annually, while the median salary for a University Professor is $62,050. Yet low safety risks, less physical demands than most other careers and peaceful work environment make working with fabric and thread one of the least stressful for 2013.

A handful of careers in the medical industry also made the 10 least stressful rankings: medical records technician, medical laboratory technician, audiologist and dietitian. That’s good news for job seekers in the current economic environment, because the healthcare industry is expected to be the highest growth sector in the next decade.

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  • RJS

    This one has gotten some laughs around here. University professor is certainly not among the most stressful jobs – but the least stressful? No way.

    Criteria used:
    Travel, amount of 0-10
    Most of my colleagues have been in “elite” status for a decade or more with an airline (i.e. every year). (I have been for more than 10 years running)

    Growth Potential (income divided by 100)
    Pay is decent

    Deadlines 0-9
    Constant … grants, proposals, reviews, papers, classes, grading, …

    Working in the public eye 0-5
    Somewhat – it depends. (One teaches to a class, is evaluated on performance, gives professional lectures, puts scholarly work up for criticism and feedback constantly …)

    Competitiveness 0-15
    Very competitive. (This is why you sill hear of long hours >>40/week – not because teaching requires it but because the competition does if one wishes to be good (i.e. above the competition) at everything.)

    Physical demands (stoop, climb, etc.) 0-14

    Environmental conditions 0-13

    Hazards encountered 0-5

    Own life at risk 0-8

    Life of another at risk 0-10
    Seldom if ever

    Meeting the public 0-8

  • Mark Nieweg

    How about unemployment? That’s pretty stressful!

  • DanO

    I’m with you Mark. I would love to have a piece of that stress from work. And those poor university professors! All that stress and with $62,000 a year, especially in IL where about 1/3 are living in poverty. That’s a little stressful.

    RJS, you are right about being a prof is certainly not without stress. As an adjunct who taught at up to 5 schools in one semester and still can’t get ahead, stress is a constant part of life. And when gas prices go up and the weather goes down it gives me a real headache. Job insecurity, a shrinkingstress economy and inept politicians, especially in IL, all make for stressful jobs, no matter what they are.

    In the end, God is in control and Jesus did not say He promised us a stress-free life.

  • Mark E. Smith

    It’s obvious that no one talked with a local church pastor.

  • DanO

    Good point Mark. I think pastors need their own independent stress test.

  • Has anyone ever thought about the President of the United States of America’s stress level? Think about it… how many President’s pictures showed off his darker hair at the beginning of his presidency and by the end, it was totally white!?! Now, that’s got to be a stressful job. I’ve also heard hospital administrators and dentists ranked in the number two most stressful jobs, and that pastors of local churches made #3. I’m searching the web for that verification though…