10 Most Stressful Jobs of 2011

Last Updated Apr 27, 2011 1:50 PM EDT

Ever consider becoming an audiologist? You may not have--but if your job has been stressing you out, maybe now's the time. According to recent research from CareerCast.com, being an audiologist is the least stressful job you can have. The most stressful? Ugh. Being an airline pilot.

The Stress-Fest

Rather than asking people how stressed or satisfied they were in their jobs, CareerCast examined 200 different jobs and ranked them according to eleven different stress factors, such as work environment, competitiveness, travel, growth potential, and physical risk. Here are the most stressful:


  1. Commercial airline pilot
  2. Public relations executive
  3. Senior corporate executive
  4. Photojournalist
  5. Newscaster
  6. Advertising account executive
  7. Architect
  8. Stockbroker
  9. Emergency medical technician
  10. Real estate agent

CareerCast's publisher, Tony Lee, notes that jobs in communications can be especially stressful, with many in the field having to make public appearances or decisions on very short notice with imperfect information. Three of the criteria used to measure stress seem particularly appropriate to this field, although some people thrive on them: deadlines, working in the public eye, and meeting the public. In addition, says Lee, "As traditional forms of communication transition to digital, those who want to remain employed need to embrace new technologies or find new careers."

Laid-Back Careers

Many of the least-stressful jobs were in healthcare, where, compared to other fields, there's little competition for jobs. The healthcare-related jobs on the list also tend to have regular, reasonable hours and minimal physical demands, all of which contribute to low stress levels. Here are the least stressful jobs:


  1. Audiologist
  2. Dietitian
  3. Software engineer
  4. Computer programmer
  5. Dental hygienist
  6. Speech pathologist
  7. Philosopher
  8. Mathematician
  9. Occupational therapist
  10. Chiropractor

How stressful is your job? And would you consider changing professions to escape the stress?


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Image courtesy flickr user ingridtaylar

Kimberly Weisul is a freelance writer, editor and consultant. Follow her on twitter at www.twitter.com/weisul.


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    Kimberly Weisul is the co-founder of One Thing New, the free email newsletter for smart, busy women. She was previously Senior Editor at BusinessWeek, responsible for all coverage of entrepreneurship and for launching BusinessWeek SmallBiz, a bimonthly magazine. She is also a freelance writer, editor and editorial consultant.

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