Most and Least Stressful Jobs for 2016

HR & Safety

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 are enlisted military personnel, who face many of the stress factors examined by CareerCast, including physical demands, perilous conditions, and personal risk.
As of Oct. 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 armor and field artillery, many veterans face psychological problems and post-traumatic stress disorder, with 30% of soldiers developing mental problems within three to four 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.
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 associated with 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.
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.
While several of the least stressful jobs, such as hair stylist, medical records technician, and jeweler 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.
Most Stressful Jobs of 2016:

Profession Stress Score  Median Salary Growth Outlook
Enlisted Military Personnel 84.78 $27,936*          N/A
*Source: United States Army. Refers to E4 Specialist or Corporal with 4 years of experience
Firefighter 60.59 $45,970 5%
Airline Pilot 60.46 $103,390 5%
Police Officer 53.82 $58,630 4%
Event Coordinator 49.93 $46,490 10%
Public Relations Executive 48.46 $55,680 6%
Corporate Executive (Senior) 47.46 $102,750 6%
Broadcaster 47.30 $29,010 -11%
Newspaper Reporter 46.76 $37,200 -9%
Taxi Driver 46.33 $23,210 13%

Least Stressful Jobs of 2016: 

Profession Stress Score Median Salary Growth Outlook
Information Security Analyst 3.80 $88,890 18%
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer 4.00 $62,540 24%
University Professor (Tenured) 6.94 $70,790 13%
Hair Stylist 7.47 $23,200 10%
Medical Records Technician 7.55 $35,900 15%
Medical Laboratory Technician 8.98 $49,310 16%
Jeweler 9.10 $36,870 -11%
Audiologist 9.30 $73,060 29%
Dietitian 10.23 $56,950 16%
Librarian 10.58 $56,170 2%

To rank the most and least stressful careers from the 200 professions on the Jobs Rated report, CareerCast evaluated 11 stress factors: travel required, growth potential, deadlines, working in the public eye, competition in the field, physical demands, environmental conditions, hazards encountered on a regular basis, own life at risk, life of others at risk, and meeting or interacting with the public at large.
Source for median annual salary and projected hiring growth by 2024: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


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