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Airline pilot among 2016’s most stressful jobs

Stress is inherent in many careers but professions with an element of personal danger top CareerCast’s 2016 most stressful jobs list. Coming in at number one, enlisted military personnel face many of the stress factors examined by CareerCast, including physical demands, perilous conditions, and personal risk.


January 8, 2016
By CareerCast

As of October 1, 2015, there were 2,326 U.S. military deaths in the War in Afghanistan.  An additional 20,083 American service members were wounded in action during the war. The job of enlisted military is so risky that the U.S Army pays a $100,000 death gratuity to beneficiaries of a soldier who dies while on active duty. From working in special ops and infantry to armour and field artillery, many veterans face psychological problems and post-traumatic stress disorder, with 30% of soldiers developing mental problems within 3 to 4 months of being home.
Although they may not face the same risks as military personnel, firefighters battle heat, flames, physical and mental stress, and high levels of carbon monoxide (CO) and other toxic risks in the areas around fires, placing them as the second most stressful job in CareerCast’s report. Heart attacks account for 45% of all work-related deaths among firefighters and they are at a significantly increased risk for developing cancer.

Some people thrive in high-stress, demanding jobs, while others prefer low-stress careers. Just because a job is stressful, doesn’t mean it isn’t meaningful.

“Firefighters are crucial to our public safety, putting out fires and pulling people from burning cars, buildings and other dangerous situations,” says Kyle Kensing, Online Content Editor, CareerCast. “While jobs in the military hold inherent risk, they are essential to defending our country, and military salaries provide a comfortable lifestyle with pay and benefits that compete with most civilian careers.”

The number three and four most stressful professions — airline pilot and police officer — also carry high levels of stress associated with protecting the lives of others. However, the kind of stress some of the other careers ranked among the Jobs Rated report’s most stressful of 2016 differs vastly. For example, a public relations executive’s stress comes from tight deadlines and sometimes working to handle communications in a crisis situation. Event coordinators must achieve a client’s vision for occasions such as a wedding or national conference with a successful end-result. Broadcasters and newspapers reporters also face stressful deadlines and declining job growth – which means the potential for layoffs and poor opportunities for advancement.

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CareerCast’s Least Stressful Jobs of 2016

Based on the 11 factors evaluated to determine the Jobs Rated stress rankings, informational security analyst ranks at the top of CareerCast’s Least Stressful Jobs list. With an annual median salary of $88,890 and an 18% growth outlook through 2024, information security analysts fill an important role in protecting sensitive information within a company.

“Stress is unavoidable, no matter your line of work,” says Kensing. “However, if you are looking for professions that offer job security, a good hiring outlook and salary, but few physical demands, deadlines and danger, consider low-stress jobs such as diagnostic medical sonographer, dietitian, and librarian,” suggests Kensing.

While several of the least stressful jobs, such as hair stylist, medical records technician and jeweller don’t require a bachelor’s degree, landing a less-stressful job may require a higher level of education. Of the 10 least-stressful jobs, the majority require at least a bachelor’s degree. Audiologists and tenured university professors require postsecondary education and some positions require doctorates.