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Surgeons doing one of the most stressful jobs in the world

12 Most Stressful Jobs According to Research

It is said that the average person will spend around 90,000 hours at work within their lifetime. With so much time dedicated to work, this makes any career-related decision a crucial and responsible one—whether it’s a decision to start a specific career, shift to another one, or stay within a current field.

Research tells us that there are, indeed, specific jobs out there that tend to inflict more stress than others. Ultimately, stress isn’t just linked to physical/mental health issues, but it is also a risk factor for the development of addiction—which is why it’s a factor you should always keep an eye on. 

This article covers the 12 most stressful jobs according to research and their corresponding “stress scores.” Let’s take a look!

But First: What Is a Stress Score?

Typically, a stress score for a career is based on the responses of professionals/employees in that field. The higher the stress core, the more that respondents feel stressed in their occupation. Sources like CareerCast, HuffPost, and University Magazine compile stress scores of various professions to give us a clear picture of the most stressful occupations out there. 

In the sections below, we’ll review these stress scores while also delving deeper into factors that are likely to have made the score so high.

The Most Stressful Jobs 

A taxi driver

1. Taxi Driver 

Stress score: 48

Every day, taxi drivers are faced with various stressful situations such as long hours of work, heavy traffic, tense passengers that are in a rush, and so on. All of these are compounded by the lack of bodily motion and back pains developed over time. Furthermore, hijacking and homicide are ever-present threats. In fact, according to a study, around 366 taxi drivers died a violent death between 2003 to 2013. 

2. Nurse 

Stress score: 48

Approximately 70% of nurses experience stress and burnout. Whether it’s the long hours of work, constant exposure to pathogens, physically/emotionally demanding tasks, or simply knowing that another human being’s life is in their hands—these are the countless stressors that nurses face.

Though doctors are known to make the more significant and responsible decisions regarding a patient’s treatment, nurses are tasked with carrying out these decisions while also monitoring/recording/reporting any anomalies that happen along the way. There’s little room for error as one mistake could put a life in danger.

3. Senior Corporate Executive 

Stress score: 49

There is a lot riding on the decisions of senior corporate executives on a daily basis. Most of these professionals are expected to ensure that the business fulfills its purpose while remaining financially stable. Being constantly at the crux of major decisions in the company can eventually take its toll on their health, leading to chronic stress and burnout.

4. Public Relations Executive 

Stress score: 50

In an age where information (or misinformation) can spread like wildfire, public relations executives carry a lot on their shoulders. These executives are accountable and responsible for all the company’s PR activities. They are also constantly expected to create a positive company reputation and turn around PR crises that can develop in a matter of minutes over platforms like social media and the Internet at large.

5. Newspaper Reporter 

Stress score: 50

In various media, fictional or otherwise, newspaper reporters are depicted as people who are always hungry for “the scoop.” Aside from their genuine passion for the job, this could also be driven by health stressors like tight deadlines, anxietylong hours of work, demanding bosses, and a constant worry about being laid off. All of these factors together give this profession a deserved stress score of 50.

6. Event Coordinator 

Stress score: 51

The role of event coordinators is central to ensuring an occasion’s success, be it a wedding, anniversary, birthday, and so much more. Milestones are being celebrated—and it’s their job to make sure it doesn’t end in disaster. They also need to adapt to factors outside their control, such as performers and guests not showing up, abrupt weather changes, and so on. This is why being an event coordinator is one of the extremely stressful occupations in Canada.

7. Police Officer 

Stress score: 52

Protecting the community is an overarching and responsible task that comes with physical and psychological stressors. Police officers are expected to ensure the public’s safety and promptly respond to emergency calls, often facing the unknown and other dangerous situations. They may also be among the first people to find an active crime scene, which could leave behind disturbing impressions in their minds. For all these reasons, being a cop is one of the most stress-inducing jobs out there.

Police officers standing in front of a police car

8. Surgeon 

Stress score: 53

The weight of responsibility is a recurring theme when considering the most stressful jobs occupations in the world. And hardly any responsibility could be heavier than that of another person’s life. This is what surgeons have to manage on a daily basis. While surgeons undergo training to help cope with this type of pressure, it does not eliminate stress completely. In fact, the burnout rate among surgeons is at around 30-38%.

9. Airline Pilot 

Stress score: 61

When you are flying thousands of feet above the ground and adjusting to real-time weather changes, it can be a stressful day at work. Airline pilots deal with this regularly. They also bear the responsibility of keeping thousands of passengers safe while also staying on course and on schedule to not disrupt air traffic. 

10. Firefighter 

Stress score: 72

Firefighters are tasked to respond to emergencies and go into situations that people instinctively run away from. Though they are modern-day heroes, it is unfortunate that substance abuse, suicide, and heart attack rates have been reported as particularly high for firefighters. 

11. Enlisted Military Personnel 

Stress score: 73

Around 40% of military personnel experience a large amount of work-related stress, including health hazards, physical strain, anxiety, deadlines, and a lot more. Furthermore, playing a role in crucial missions, while ensuring the safety of all concerned, is an added stressor to this job. 

12. Oil Rigger 

Stress score: 74

Being an oil rigger is one of the extremely stressful works on this list because of long work hours, physical demands, possibilities of fatigue, and difficult working conditions. Added stress may come from staying on the oil rig where there is very little personal space or privacy.

How a Stressful Job Affects Sobriety

So far, we have discussed the most stress-inducing jobs according to research. When talking about sobriety in the context of this article, minimizing life’s stressors or pursuing least stressful jobs is one of the best ways to stay on track.  Whether this means shifting careers, avoiding certain career paths, or keeping one’s current occupation is entirely up to the individual.

Stress is a risk factor for addiction and relapsethat much is true. But with readily available support and constant personal development, maintaining sobriety becomes much easier, even in the face of stress. 

Maintain Sobriety With the Right Support 

Located in Aurora, Ontario, Freedom From Addiction is a world-class drug and rehab center that serves the Greater Toronto Area. Our research-backed specialized treatment programs are designed to help people overcome their addictions and maintain sobriety thereafter.

On top of medical detox and programs for drug/alcohol addictions, we also have mental health and recovery programs that help foster mental tenacity in this modern world. Programs for anger management, life skills, personalized fitness, and individual counselling are all available at Freedom From Addiction. 

Contact us today to know more about how we can help you or a loved one overcome addiction and maintain sobriety even amidst life’s stressors.


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