If you hate feeling stressed out, you may want to reconsider before transitioning into one of these five careers.

Have you ever stopped and looked at the stressful situations at your job? Maybe it was two colleagues in a strenuous “debate” over this month's budget and acquisitions, or you may have witnessed a nervous breakdown over a crucial deadline. Career and stress can often become synonymous and unpreventable. Yet, your work situations may not be as bad as these stressful jobs — they never seem to get a moment's rest or break. What careers are these? Continue reading to find out what the five most stressful jobs are.


Firefighters have one of the most dangerous jobs, not counting active military in war zones. They face life-threatening situations in ever-changing conditions, entering burning buildings to extinguish fires and rescue individuals. This makes the list of most stressful career fields because while most people think firefighters only work with blazing buildings, there are other areas requiring their responsiveness. They provide advanced medical care and triage for the wounded and rescue individuals from all types of dangerous environments. Their job stats, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, include:

  • Median Pay: $48,030

  • Entry-Level Education: Postsecondary nondegree award

  • Jobs in 2016: 327,300

  • Outlook: 7% (as fast as average)

Airline Pilot

Flying a plane is harder than it looks, and not everyone is trustworthy enough to sit in the captain's chair. This makes our list because pilots are responsible for the safety and security of thousands of passengers every month. Passengers and crew place their lives in the hands of each pilot. Even though computers monitor most of the controls and autopilot has replaced many of the skills required to fly a plane, pilots and co-pilots still have to mitigate concerns with passengers, guard against potential threats, monitor the computer for accuracy, and handle emergencies. The job stats include:

  • Median Pay: $105,720

  • Entry-Level Education: Bachelor's degree in any subject/commercial pilot's license/ATP certificate from the FAA.

  • Jobs in 2016: 124,800

  • Outlook: 4% (slower than average)

Police Officer

Police officers risk their lives every day to serve and protect, never knowing what the day will bring — whether it be drug-induced violence, a lost child, or a homeless person looking for a place to sleep. We place our trust, lives, and community safety in the hands of each officer, but often police have to walk a fine line. They must use similar skills as top ambassadors, and their first job is to prevent violence. When diplomatic reasoning is not achieved, they take on the stressful conditions of battle. This can be considered one of the most stressful career fields because while not all situations require force, police have to respond to disgruntled speeders, angry jaywalkers, and nosey neighbors. The job stats include:

  • Median Pay: $61,600

  • Entry-Level Education: High School Diploma/Academy Training

  • Jobs in 2016: 807,000

  • Outlook: 7% (as fast as average)

Related: Are You Stressing Out at Work for No Reason?

Event Coordinator

Not all stressful jobs are dangerous. Arrogant CEOs, bridal divas, and bossy parents hire event coordinators to make their special day perfect. Since perfection is elusive, event coordinators require the best negotiation and mitigation skills to calm frazzled nerves before they turn into disaster situations. Many tasks include registering and coordinating events for several thousand conference goers, creating a Paris Hilton wedding on a school teacher's budget, and designing new, inspiring events that have never been done before. Since setting up these events means meeting strict deadlines, and the groups involved can span a wide range of attendees, the stress associated with this job can be high. Job stats include:

  • Median Pay: $47,350

  • Entry-Level Education: Bachelor's Degree

  • Jobs in 2016: 116,700

  • Outlook: 11% (faster than average)


Whether crawling in the trenches with soldiers, hiding several feet away from a mother lion and her cubs, or navigating a presidential press conference, photojournalists take stress and danger to new heights. Journalists may report the news, but the photographers capture the moment. They risk their lives to record history and educate the people on what's going on. It's on this list because some photojournalists have even been imprisoned for filming news in countries less hospitable to journalists and freedom of the press. The job stats include:

  • Median Pay: $34,070

  • Entry-Level Education: High School Diploma or equivalent

  • Jobs in 2016: 147,300

  • Outlook: -6% (decline)

Reduce your stress

Don't these examples of the most stressful jobs make those missed deadlines and sleepless nights seem a little less stressful? We all have our moments when stress consumes us, but it doesn't have to be that bad.

Here are some great techniques for reducing stress:

  • Seek counsel from like-minded colleagues: Your co-workers face similar issues at work; ask them how they deal with stress.

  • Take time each morning to clear your head and to do list: We often pack our daily routine with more than we can handle. Take time each morning to prioritize.

  • Ask a counselor for help: Counselors are there to help you work through stress and teach techniques to reduce conflicts.

  • Eat your lunch with friends: How many times did you pack a lunch and eat at your desk? There's a reason federal guidelines require lunch breaks. Use yours to mingle and get away for a while.

Click on the following link for more advice on how to get ahead.

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