10 most and least stressful jobs

If you like routine and hate the unexpected, a low-stress job may be the way to go. It's not all about the money, either. Many stressful jobs offer mediocre pay, while some more laid-back kinds of work provide good, steady income.

But what jobs are likely to pile on the pressure? CareerCast.com identifies the 10 most and least stressful jobs in a new report. The distinction isn't always so clear-cut, of course. People must sometimes spend years gradually working their way up in exhausting, anxiety-inducing jobs to land a more senior -- and less stressful -- position. For instance, a tenured university professor has an unusual degree of job security, but he or she has likely spent years fighting tooth and nail to earn the privilege.

Meanwhile, whether someone experiences life on the job as stressful, or as rewarding and stimulating, is highly subjective, and may even change over time. And obviously stress is circumstantial -- a crazy boss can turn the sleepiest gig into a pressure-cooker.

Still, some kinds of work are clearly more likely to set the pulse racing than others. According to CareerCast the most stressful job is working in the military. This makes sense, since you can easily land in a strange land where people you've never met before are trying to kill you. Second on the job-search site's list is military general. So perhaps making decisions on behalf of stressed-out enlisted personnel is almost as stressful as being shot at. 

The least stressful jobs tend to revolve around making people's lives better. An audiologist can help you hear, while a good haircut can make a huge difference in someone's life. And librarians? They can open up a whole new world to someone.

10 Most Stressful Jobs (with median annual salary)

1. Enlisted military personnel ($28,840)
2. Military general  ($196,300)
3. Firefighter  ($45,250)
4. Airline pilot  ($114,200)
5. Event coordinator ($45,810)
6. Public relations executive  ($54,170)
7. Senior corporate executive ($168,140)
8. Newspaper reporter  ($35,870)
9. Police officer ($55,270)
10. Taxi Driver ($22,820)

10 Least Stressful Jobs

1. Audiologist  ($69,720)
2. Hair stylist  ($22,700)
3. Jeweler  ($35,350)
4. Tenured university professor ($64,290)
5. Seamstress/tailor ($26,280)
6. Dietitian ($55,240)
7. Medical records tech ($34,160)
8. Librarian ($55,370)
9. Multimedia artist  ($61,370)
10. Drill press operator  ($35,580)

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