The 14 Most Stressful Jobs In America

We all think our jobs are stressful, but having a job on the extreme end of the spectrum can mean strict deadlines, brutal criticism, and even regularly having other people’s lives in your hands.
To find out what the most stressful jobs in America are, we reached out to career information expert Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D., who compared the stress levels of the 747 occupations identified by the U.S. Department of Labour.

This list is ranked by the stress tolerance for each job, which measures how often employees face high-stress situations. It also includes the consequences of employee errors, which measures how serious it would be if mistakes were made, and the job’s time pressure, which measures the strictness of deadlines. All factors are based on a scale from zero to 100 for prevalence in each job, where a higher rating signals high stress levels.

The stress factors are from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET).

First Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives

Stress tolerance: 94

Consequence of error: 71.5

Time pressure: 76.3

Average annual salary: $US78,270

What they do: Directly supervise and coordinate activities of members of the police force.

Stress factors are measured by O*NET, with higher scores indicating more stress on the job. Salary and education requirements are from the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics as of May 2012.

Education Administrators

Stress tolerance: 94.2

Consequence of error: 54

Time pressure: 53.8

Average annual salary: $US43,950

What they do: Plan, direct, or coordinate research, student administration and services, and other educational activities.

Stress factors are measured by O*NET, with higher scores indicating more stress on the job. Salary and education requirements are from the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics as of May 2012.

Broadcast News Analysts

Stress tolerance: 94.7

Consequence of error: 47.8

Time pressure: 96.7

Average annual salary: $US55,380

What they do: Analyse, interpret, and broadcast news received from various sources.

Stress factors are measured by O*NET, with higher scores indicating more stress on the job. Salary and education requirements are from the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics as of May 2012.

Pilots, Co-Pilots, and Flight Engineers

Stress tolerance: 95.2

Consequence of error: 76.5

Time pressure: 89.8

Average annual salary: $US114,200

What they do: Pilot and navigate the flight of fixed-wing, multi-engine aircraft, usually on scheduled air carrier routes, for the transport of passengers and cargo.

Stress factors are measured by O*NET, with higher scores indicating more stress on the job. Salary and education requirements are from the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics as of May 2012.

Air Traffic Controllers

Stress tolerance: 96.2

Consequence of error: 82

Time pressure: 76.8

Average annual salary: $US122,530

What they do: Air traffic controllers coordinate the movement of air traffic to ensure that planes are safe distances apart.

Stress factors are measured by O*NET, with higher scores indicating more stress on the job. Salary and education requirements are from the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics as of May 2012.

Dancers

Stress tolerance: 97

Consequence of error: 29.3

Time pressure: 58.7

Average annual salary: n/a

What they do: Dancers use movements to express ideas and stories in performances.

Stress factors are measured by O*NET, with higher scores indicating more stress on the job. Salary and education requirements are from the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics as of May 2012.

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