Employment Trends

Top 10 most stressful jobs of 2018

Written by Kate Lopaze

All jobs have components that make them stressful—even the ones that don’t seem like very high-stakes occupations. Certain scenarios or times of the year come up and it’s a mad sprint requiring late nights and all hands on deck. Then there are the jobs that just don’t seem to ever let up.

Here 10 of the most stressful jobs out there for 2018—based on deadline demands, public scrutiny, required travel, physical risk, physical demands, environmental conditions, hazards, and public interaction. See if any of them call out to you—maybe you crave a life of pressure! Or… maybe a career in a cubicle sounds just lovely to you. It takes all kinds to make up the workforce!

1. Enlisted military personnel

With an average salary of $30k, constantly putting your life at risk, all over the world, makes the military one of the most stressful careers out there.

2. Firefighter

Your job is starting to look pretty cushy, when you consider that for less than $50k a year, on average, some people have to run into burning buildings on the regular. And you thought that big project was really making you stressed!

3. Airline pilot

With a median income of just about $105K per year, airline pilots are well compensated for the stress of ferrying hundreds upon hundreds of souls around the globe.

4. Police officer

Making about $60K per year, just a bit more than a firefighter based on median income, police officers are also under a great deal of stress and risk their lives on a daily basis.

5. Event coordinator

Event coordinators may not risk their lives or limbs, but they are still the people left holding the bag when anything—major or minor—goes wrong. If the hors d’oeuvres come out five minutes late—or early—or if the band has the wrong cord to connect their amp, or if there is a typo in the invitations… You name it, they bear the brunt of the yelling. These aren’t life threatening stakes, but the stress is almost always at a high.

6. PR exec

Public relations executives are responsible for the reputations and the fame-level of their clients. They don’t just have to manage logistics, they have to manage perception and public opinion. And that takes a lot of nail biting. Especially when their clients do something that requires the putting out of fires (albeit, of course, not literal fires).

7. Senior corporate exec

If you’ve made it to the top of your company tree, it’s not all big bonuses and stock options. With every rung up the ladder comes a great deal more pressure. And with pressure comes… you guessed it, stress.

8. Broadcaster

For a surprisingly low annual median salary of less than $40k per year, a broadcaster is required to clearly and calmly read the news from a teleprompter often riddled with typos. She must be poised and in control at all times, as all of  the action unfolds live. You think public speaking is hard? Try doing it every day on television.

9. Newspaper reporter

You won’t make a lot of money, and you’ll have to run headlong into potentially dangerous or volatile situations to get a story. And once you get it, you have to race to get it published first. On top of that, if you make one mistake you’ll have lost your reputation.

10. Taxi driver

This gig is perhaps the least well-paid of the top 10, with a median pay of $24K per year. Taxi drivers have to deal with rude people, drunk people, and people in a rush—not to mention other lunatic drivers, rush hour traffic, accidents, and weather. Plus they’re stuck in a car. Imagine trying to find a parking space in NYC every time you had to pee! It’s also a field that is getting extra pressure from rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft, so being a taxi driver is more stressful than ever these days.

About the author

Kate Lopaze

Kate Lopaze is a writer, editor, and digital publishing professional based in New York City. A graduate of the University of Connecticut and Emerson College with degrees in English and publishing, she is passionate about books, baseball, and pop culture (though not necessarily in that order), and lives in Brooklyn with her dog.