Watch CBS News

9 most stressful American jobs in 2018

Most stressful jobs 01:15

Many Americans kick off the new year with a vow to eliminate stress from their lives. But for some workers, stress is part of the job.

The most stressful jobs in 2018 may not seem all that similar on the surface, but they tend to share a handful of traits. Some require workers to put life and limb at risk, while others include relentless deadlines and competition.

While stressful isn't typically a positive term, some workers thrive on that condition. Adrenaline junkies and the like might enjoy some of the occupations singled out by as the country's most stressful jobs, especially if they crave risk, working in the public eye and interacting with people.

"The stress and the pay may be deterrents for some people, but if you're motivated with what the work is, you'll still pursue it," said Kyle Kensing, online content editor at CareerCast. Some workers make the choice to work in stressful jobs because "it's about the impact they can have."

The most stressful jobs were identified based on 11 factors, including travel, growth potential, deadlines and physical demands, the company said.

Americans who avoid stress don't have to look far to find work without much of it. Such jobs range from pharmacy technician to hair stylist. But that's not to say they don't include any stress, Kensing said.

"Every career will face some stress," he noted. "They are just comparitively less stressful. They aren't in the public eye, they aren't facing public scrutiny and the deadlines are typically longer term."

Additional low-stress jobs include audiologist, university professor, medical records technician and compliance officer, CareerCast said. The least stressful job is diagnostic medical sonographer.

Read on to learn about the country's nine most stressful occupations:

9. Senior corporate executive: $181,210

Getty Images/iStockphoto

CEOs might earn a hefty paycheck, but that comes with a high dose of stress. The stress score for these executives stands at 48.7, or almost 10 time as high as the least stressful job on the study, diagnostic medical sonographer.

"You'll be asked to work extremely long hours, and your deadlines will be tight," Kensing said. "You're overseeing the deadlines in everyone in the operation. That will be the public name someone associates with an organization."

8. Public relations executive $107,320

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Public relations executives count among the higher-paid workers on the most-stressful list, but they're required to juggle quite a bit for the pay. Clients can be demanding, for one. Reaching out to journalists and pitching stories can also be stressful.

7. Broadcaster: $56,680

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Broadcasters are under a lot of pressure because of constant deadlines, as well as being in the public eye. Breaking news can require broadcasters to work outside of the traditional 9-to-5 workday, and some of the events they cover can create anxiety, such as natural disasters. That being said, many broadcasters thrive on the adrenaline of deadlines.

6. Reporter: $37,820

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Reporters aren't only working in one of the most stressful jobs, but they're among the lowest paid of the bunch.

"If you're a newspaper reporter or broadcaster, you face deadlines every day," Kensing said. The upside, though, is feeling you are making an impact with your job, he added.

Reporters are facing a tough future, however, with job growth projected at -11 percent, according to CareerCast. That indicates reporters will have difficulty finding higher pay and job promotions, which adds to stress levels, Kensing said.

5. Event coordinator: $47,350

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Event planners organize everything from weddings to professional conferences. While it might sound like a fun job, it involves organizational and communication skills to juggle schedules and personalities, which can add to the stress.

Most event coordinators need a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as business management or hospitality.

4. Police officer: $61,600

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Police officers risk their lives as part of the job, which heightens the stress level of this occupation. Researchers have found stress puts officers at higher risk for health problems such as high blood pressure and insomnia. Yet people who pursue this line of work are driven by the desire to help others and make a difference.

3. Airline pilot: $105,270

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Airline pilots are well compensated, yet their jobs deliver a fair amount of stress. One recent study found almost 13 percent of them could be depressed, or almost double the national rate.

Stress comes from the responsibility of ensuring the safety of passengers, as well as dealing with changing schedules, crews and the pressure to ensure on-time arrivals and departures.

2. Firefighter: $48,030

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Like police officers, firefighters risk life and limb as part of their job. Scheduling can also be stressful, with some departments making firefighters work 24-hour shifts. Chronic sleep deprivation can add to stress levels that are already high because of the nature of the work.

1. Enlisted military personnel: $26,054

Getty Images/iStockphoto

The most stressful job for 2018 is enlisted military personnel at the E3 level, or those with at least six years experience, CareerCast found. The job includes the risk of bodily harm or injury, as well as the necessity of living away from home.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.