5 Most Stressful Jobs of 2013

A look at this year’s most stressful jobs, and why each career path is so tense.

enlisted military personnel most stressful jobs

Stress is one of those buzzwords that has a way of messing with your mind. Even reading the word or saying it aloud can induce panic. For many U.S. workers, stress equates to a lot of unread emails, or maybe a bad interaction with a supervisor. When it comes to working the most stressful jobs of 2013, though, there tends to be a lot more at stake than a crowded to-do list.

According to CareerCast, these are the five most stressful jobs of 2013:

  1. Enlisted military personnel
  2. Military general
  3. Firefighter
  4. Commercial airline pilot
  5. PR executive

Several metrics were used to determine the overall stress scores of each job, including danger, travel, physical demand, and working in the public eye.

Soldiers and military officers are believed to have the most stressful jobs because their lives are constantly at risk, and in most cases they’re also responsible for the lives of others.

No task could score higher on the stress scale’s metric than being responsible for the life of another person.

Soldiers must relocate as called upon, and may be separated from family and friends for long periods of time. There’s also the challenge of finding good jobs once they return from active duty.

Different Kinds of Stress

While military personnel have the most stressful jobs, there are also civilian careers that come with a lot of tension. Firefighters run into burning buildings, and are tasked with helping to maintain the well-being of our communities. Even with advances that improve health and safety, firefighters still face high risks of disease and death.

Commercial airline pilots also have one of the most stressful jobs of 2013. As CareerCast points out, pilots lucky enough to find work must then deal with delays, bad weather, and extended periods away from home. The icing on the stressful cake? Pilots are responsible for the lives of complete strangers, time and time again.

Lastly, working as a PR executive may not seem as stressful as the other jobs featured, but that doesn’t mean it’s a breeze. PR executives are incredibly busy people who spend most of their time in the public eye without so much as a thank you. Plus, business hours can be erratic, so best of luck getting a good night’s sleep ever again.

What’s the most stressful job you’ve ever worked? Let us know in the comment section below!

[Photo courtesy of Flickr, DVIDSHUB]

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    • Sean O'Leary

      That’s a good question! When the list was initially released there was a lot of discussion over whether a job like PR executive should be considered in the same breath as enlisted military personnel.

  1. Glenn E. del Rosario

    Nurses, get flak from patients, family members, doctors, different hospital departments, other nurses, hospital administrations who consistantly under staff, plus dealing with procedures, critical care and critical thinking, while turning 300 lbs patients, wipe poop, blood, pee and still get pissed on… We have lives in our hands everyday, licenses and livelihood on the line from the time you check in and checkout… Emotions run high, physical exhaustion, medication calculations, double check dosages of a thousand medications, recognizing side effects versus pathology, physiology versus psychiatry, advocate versus alienate… Nursing is a stressful job.

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