The most stressful jobs in the US, according to the people who do them

One thing urologists and video editors have in common? Stress. While the two jobs couldn’t be more different, they share the first and second slots, respectively, leading the list for U.S. jobs requiring the most stress tolerance. Operating under time pressure and with intense concentration are no doubt part of the daily routine for these intensive roles.

But feeling the strain isn’t unique to these occupations. At least 2 in 5 workers in the U.S. consider their job “very or extremely” stressful; at least 1 in 4 workers report “often or very often” feeling “burned out or stressed” at work. High stress levels in the workplace can make individuals feel burned out, depressed, or anxious, making it more difficult to perform their job or even function in their personal life. It can even lead to health problems and even injuries.

According to The American Institute of Stress, more than half of adults in the U.S. report feeling like they have little control over their stress and experiencing extreme fatigue in their jobs. Health care positions are seemingly the most stressful, and six occupations in the medical field landed on the list of most stressful jobs. The responsibility of caring for a human being, in addition to the constant exposure to infectious diseases and dangerous drugs, adds pressure to the crucial daily duties performed by nurses, health technicians, and doctors, who often confront severe illness and death regularly.

The COVID-19 pandemic amplified stress levels in health care workers exposed to an unknown and highly contagious virus. Hospitals were overcrowded, had to improvise on protocols, and treated patients with experimental medication or procedures.

Workers from other industries, self-employed people, and business owners also endured intense stress during the coronavirus health crisis and the financial instability it caused immediately after the initial confinement period. Citing data from a Gallup poll, AIS reports that “daily stress reached a record high, increasing from 38% in 2019 to 43% in 2020.”

The organization warns that polls and statistics about stress in the workplace must be analyzed thoroughly, since “stress is a highly personalized phenomenon.” The same occupation is perceived and performed in different ways by every employee. Each worker has a unique skill set and a particular stress level tolerance. While some might thrive in a fast-paced environment, finding it challenging and rewarding, others prefer repetitive tasks with less responsibility.

One thing to also note is that individuals choose career paths and jobs for a multitude of reasons and motivations. While one person chooses a high-paying position knowing the toll it will take on their mental and physical health, others will settle for a lower wage in exchange for a better work-life balance.

To better understand the occupations where workers tend to work under stressful situations, Wysa cited information from O*NET, a data collection program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, to identify the 12 jobs that require the highest amount of stress tolerance. Data is collected through questionnaire responses by sampled workers and occupation experts and based on their rating of whether a job requires dealing with high-stress situations. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on annual salary for the occupation’s industry as of May 2022 is also included.

To learn more about stress and stress-related issues go to STRESS.ORG.

Photo by Pixabay

Story by Martha Sandoval for MSM.COM