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The 10 Most and Least Stressful Jobs of 2010

firefighter standing near industrial fire By Andrew Strieber

This is our 2010 Stressful Jobs report.
See the 10 Most and Least Stressful Jobs of 2011

Pressure Drop: Workplace stress can damage productivity, mental well-being and physical health. But is an anxiety-free office worth a potential loss in career satisfaction and job security?

Job-related stress has long been the nemesis of workers around the globe. Stress has been linked in studies to everything from low productivity to increased illness to obesity. Fallout from the recession has only compounded the problem. Many work harder for less money, and wonder if they'll still have a job at day's end. Combine this with new technology that makes it easier than ever to work around the clock (and even on vacation), and it's no wonder that on-the-job stress – and finding ways to manage it – has become an ever more important issue.

While it's possible to find countless books, teas, exercise techniques and more offering you a way to relax, this focus on peace at the office raises a question: Is there such a thing as too little workplace stress?

*Unemployment Data in Detail
RatingScoring Range
Very Low0% – 4%
Low4% – < 7%
Moderate7% – < 10%
High10% – <14%
Very High14% or More

Surveying 200 different professions based on their potential to strain employees' nerves, the 2010 Jobs Rated report reveals some surprising trends among the year's most stressful and least stressful jobs. In particular, many low-stress jobs offer little room for advancement, and often don't appeal to ambitious, educated job seekers. On the other hand, a number of the most stressful jobs are considered highly sought-after positions, and workers frequently undergo rigorous and costly training for the chance at one of these careers. Becoming an Appliance Repairer or Janitor, for example, may be good for the heart rate, but neither career is exactly fulfilling. Given a choice between these professions and, say, becoming a Surgeon or Commercial Pilot, it's not hard to guess what direction many job seekers would choose.

Another eye-opening fact is that among this year's most stressful jobs, only a few suffer from high levels of unemployment. In fact, the nation's most stressful job – Firefighter – has one of the lowest unemployment rates of all. That said, while the fear of losing your job may keep you awake at night, there are other things to worry about if you're working in one of these occupations, which make up the Top 10 Most Stressful Jobs for 2010:

  • Firefighter

    Stress Rank: 200
    Stress Score: 110.936
    Unemployment: Very Low
    Hours Per Day: 11
    Time Pressure:


    Firefighters frequently work irregular or unusual hours, or remain on call throughout the night. They risk heat exhaustion, smoke inhalation, and serious injury while on the job, and even the state of anticipation preceding a major threat can be highly stressful in itself. Firefighters are also sometimes required to spend long hours outdoors in bad weather.

What a joke

Corporate pigs did this survey. I mean look at all the incomes. I am not saying they all fall short, but Stockbrokers & Realters??? Are you kidding? For starters you have a realter(A middleman) That exploits money from something that doesnt even belong to them, making upwards towards 60,000 a year for looking pretty. Then you have the scumbag stockbroker who manipulates the money market by shifting bills around & getting rich quick off a fake inflationary monetary system, which is the same thing as grand larceny, yet its legal. Oh poor wealthy people, us cooks that stress to the point of having a stroke on a daily going top speed up into the 30+ Hertz brain frequency wave in super high Beta. And are lucky to scrape in 20,000 a year which isnt even surviving. Not to mention severe spinal & nerve damage from the body being subjected to unparallel multi tasking & precise orchestration. Cooks will always be on the top ten.


I have worked on freeways at 2:00am I'm the
Morning with 16 wheelers passing by at high
speeds, and drunk drivers entering enclosures.
The stress of that job doesn't compare
to the stress I have experienced as a Realtor.
Being self employed is the most stressful
job one could have.

What about chefs? 17-18 hour

What about chefs? 17-18 hour days in wet hot conditions fighting of dehydration, and starvation, believe it or not a lot of chefs/cooks don't have time for food. Even when there's a "family meal" the chef has other things to worry about. When everyone is taking there ten minutes Chef has to worry about payroll, purveyors, city codes, landlords, health inspectors, scheduling, maintenance, and filling the spots of employees who do no call no shows. I've known a chef who DIED from a heart attack on the line, in the arms of his sous chef. He was in his forties. Guess what, the restaurant was open and slinging hash the next day. Making 300 of the same dish a night perfectly can make people completely crack. The heat and humidity has made a lot of people pass out at work. Lack of water during the rush can give you a headache so bad that you'll puke a few times. You have to deal with the meanest, most rude, hurtful people. People who don't just complain but who try to cut deep by insulting who ever cooked beyond anything they would say to another stranger. It's one of the few jobs that you have to be someone's Mom, Dad, Big Brother/Sister, Loan officer, security(a lot of people think its ok to steal from restaurants), and, in the end, they're boss. The stuff you see on tv is nothing like a real chef who has a 155 seat restaurant. In nice restaurants 55 people might mean 1,500-1,700 plates leave the kitchen, not hard to achieve with a tasting menu. Bad pay, no benefits for the most part, harsh environment, but surprisingly rewarding

very stressful

I worked in a call center, micro managed, and once asked a former police officer who worked in a very rough city, which was more stressful this job here in the call center or being a police officer and without hesitation, he said working here in the call center ... dead end job, burnout 3-5 yrs easily, no appreciation, sucks the life out of your soul, never heard anyone pursue a "career" as a call center rep, and managers of call centers have it even worse

Crap List

I have a hard time buying this. I'm a 9-1-1 calltaker and police, fire, and EMS dispatcher. We were #2 behind Air Traffic Controllers as #1 last I heard, and that was according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics study. Police officers were #3. You can't survey the general public on what they "think" is the most stressful job. Garbage; I don't buy it.


Hey - you all seem rather stressed to me! I am a mum and I work full time, commuting for 3-4hours a day. But I love it and feel so lucky to have a healthy baby and a good job and home. Compared to my previous life I think everyone should put things in perspective and feel a little empathy to those worse off. We are all human at the end of the day and everyone goes through hardship at some point, some worse than others. Life would be boring if it was all plain sailing :)
What is more important than saving lives?


Mothering not stressful? What if your child is disabled, has a mental illness, is involved with a gang, or taking drugs??? Give me a break, mothering is STRESSFUL! And heaven forbid your kid does get in trouble...guess who gets blamed for it- the MOTHER!

Mothering is not a job

The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have a number for mother. It is not a job. There is no W2, no formal documentation, it is a hobby, you foolishly took on before you knew how much work it would require. Please don't insult the working public with this assertion that mothering is a job.


u need to grow a pair.....

Bomb Squad

I think working as a bomb squad is the most stressfull work you can do. imagine yourself in a situation. Do you save yourself or save the people around you or die for something you think you did right.



It depends who you are

It depends who you are talking about in the military. Firefighters don't sit on their ass all day long like most people think. Medical calls are at an all time high and even the slowest station gets at least a few a day.

On the side note god bless our troops.

mothers have no stress

I highly disagree with the statement that mothers do NOT have any stress. If you stay at home with your kids, not making an income.. you stress about money because you can not contribute to the bills, thats stressful. If you have multiple children, one of them is always "screaming at you for answers" or demanding your attention or demanding food/ diaper change/ help with something! It sounds EASY from someone who has never done it, or from a Mans point of view. My husband works shift work, with very little sleep, we have very little time together as a couple, I stress about the bills.. I stress about his health and worry if hes going to fall asleep on his way home from work after working 16hr days or multiple doubles in a row with 3-4hrs of sleep. I stress about if my child is developing normally, if he is healthy, if that linguring cough is something serious. You dont know how hard it is to see your friends have a fun filled life, going out whenever they want.. taking vacations whenever.. going shopping all the time.. going to college or getting ahead in their career because they do not have a family to take care of. OH- and yes, its our duty to be a mother/ take care of our family, but theres alot of men out there that would never be able to do what a mother does.... and alot of woman out there that have children, but arent a "mother" because they cant do it. If your a working mother, your stressed about bills too and the price of childcare. Your worried about your kids happiness in daycare or if theyre being taken care of properly, when theyre sick its YOU that has to take a day off of work (usually not daddy) so then you worry about if your going to get in trouble for that. Being a mother is anything but easy. I would much rather, sometimes, work a 8-12hr job 5-6 days/week and make my own money to take care of bills and the house!

Amen sister

Amen sister

Undercover Agents

Its pretty obvious


I feel that MOTHERS have the most stressful job in the entire world...we work 24/7...around the clock even in our sleep, we work. We make sure the kids are well dress with clean clothes, that means we wash, dry, iron and neatly put their clothes away. We make sure the kids are fed with healthy food, that means we go to the grocery and buy the healthy food and then we prepare and cook and make sure they eat then we clear the table and wash and dry the dish...we do this 3 times a day. We make sure the kids are clean, that means we make sure they shower and brush their teeth. But don't get me started from the beginning when we carry them for 9 months, give birth to them and then the first 5 years before they start to go to school. The sleepless nights of feeding and changing diapers and all at the same time doing the above.
MOTHERS have it hard in life...we have it until they are off to college and when we become grandmothers, we are still there to help with our grandchildren.
I can't even begin to start my own life as a person. And we MOTHERS still do most of these things for our HUSBANDS...who work all day and come home to a good meal and a good night sleep. We MOTHERS don't even really asked we just wish our HUSBAND will take a hint and help a little around the house. That is why SPAs and BEAUTY SHOPS were put out there for MOTHERS to take a break and relax...but we only get that once every 5 years if we even get one....NO TIME....These are the reasons why I feel that being a MOTHER is the most stressful job out there and WE DON'T EVEN GET PAID.

I'll agree that there is a

I'll agree that there is a lot of work involved in being a mother, but I fail to see where the stress comes into play.. I mean sure, at times you may feel spread too thin with a lot on the go, but it's a very rewarding duty, and you have no pressures weighing on you. There is nobody waiting for your work to be done, there is nobody demanding a certain level of performance.. you answer to no higher-up. If you find it stressful, it's because you're neurotic and you're causing yourself to be stressed out. Maybe you should see a psychiatrist

Are you serious?

Try sitting in an office for 16 hours a day working on stressful corporate finance transactions, where you actually have to use your intellect to analyze situations, structure deals and come up with novel solutions. Try working in an environment where people scream at you all day long and want answers to difficult questions in 30 seconds. Try being on call via blackberry 24/7 and having people call you at 6 am from work asking you questions. Try being single in your mid 30s, knowing that you are the only person you can count on to pay for the roof over your head and that you have no choice but to work like a dog and sacrifice your personal life to do so while all your friends with husbands and kids are home cooking dinner for their families at 5pm (while you have 4-6 hours left in the office). And try treking home from the office at midnight only to arrive at an empty house, not having had time to eat lunch or dinner. In short, trying doing what your husband does for twice as long as he does it every day, without having a wife sitting at home to cook you dinner and do your laundry.

man you need to change jobs

man you need to change jobs bro!

I wish my life was that easy!

I wish my life was that easy!

Quit then... If you hate the

Quit then... If you hate the love of your children and a husband that makes sure you have a roof over your head and food to cook and health insurance to make sure your kids are well.

Taking care of your children

Taking care of your children is not a career, it's your responsibility when you decide to have them. There are millions of MOTHERS who take care of their children and have separate jobs they still have to do to make money. And there several times as many FATHERS who work all day to support their families and still share the responsibility of raising their children which they chose to have. You don't get paid because it's not a job, it's your duty to the people you created. You sound jaded about staying home all day with your children instead of sitting in a cubicle making money, which is a shame.


wow...they "remain on call throughout the night"! Big deal...they are being paid, and unlike most people who actually work the entire time they are being paid, firemen are laying in bed sleeping. Lots of down time through the day too lounging around the station "remaining on call". Yup, that sure is tough.


Firemen are often first responders, witness horrible accidents and risk their lives most everytime they go on a call, I would not be alive today if not for the quick response and medical knowhow of a fireman in CA. I would love to see a stock broker do that...wait, if the stock broker had came upon my accident? I would be dead.

I guess ingornance is bliss

Yes that says 24 hour shift, meaning 24 hours away from my wife and kid, away from home away from the comforts of my own bed. I'm a 12 year veteran of the fire service 6 years on call the last 7 carreer (yes that means UNION). I work two 24 hour shifts with one day off between those and yes 5 days off following my second shift. That means in one week I work 48 hours 8 more hours than most other jobs. I don't get overtime for those extra 8 hours. I'm a Firefighter/EMT/Public Safety Diver. I won't lie we do get to sleep at work occasionally during that sleep we ( my brothers and sisters in the fire service) wake up to bells and alarms alerting us to the next emergency. A stubbed toe or a cardiac arrest, some calls may not seem like an emergency but when that tax payer picks up his or her phone and dials 911 for them that stubbed toe is an emergency. Consider this my department averages about an hour and ten minutes per ambulance run (time of call to back in quarters). Now consider an average day of 16 runs. thats roughly 18 hours and 40 minutes of calls. Thats just ambulance work not counting the fire alarms and lock outs and the countless other types of calls we do. If you think its not stressful getting up multiple times throughout the night, I encourage you to set your alarm clock go off at 1 AM 2 AM 3 AM 4 AM continue this until 8 O'clock when the firefighters in your town are going home. You'll have it easy you'll just have to roll over and hit the snooze button. We'll be crawling down a smoke filled hallway looking for a sign of life or the fire itself or we're cutting a teenager out of his car with powerlines hanging over our heads telling him to hang on the helicopter is on the way. Instead of being so ignorant take a minute to visit your local station meet the guys and girls and thank them. Someday you'll need these folks to come and help you.

dumbass. no clue

dumbass. no clue

F**K you id like to see u do

F**K you id like to see u do the job that those guys to you'd probably shit ur pants the second you even showed up at a fire and how would you like to get woken up in the middle of the night just because some old lady has complaints of chest pain

You are missing the

You are missing the point....they are getting PAID so too bad they get "woken up in the middle of the night"....don't you see that is the issue....they are "at work" and are lying in bed sleeping. That doesn't mention the grocery shopping, cleaning of their personal cars and all the other lounging they spend 90% of their time doing. You'd probably "shit ur pants" doing lots of doesn't mean you should get the Cadillace pay that these bozos get. You could give them halff the salary and people would still line up to get he job.

In case you're unaware, about

In case you're unaware, about 75% of the people who save your ass in an emergency do so on a volunteer basis. That means that these people aren't getting paid to risk their lives. That means that these people don't work duty shifts, because they're always on duty. These people carry pagers with them 24/7 365, they leave work, school, and their warm cozy beds to respond to your emergencies. So yeah you can can give them half salary, you can give them no salary, but that doesn't change the fact that these people wake in the dead of the night just to rush to our aid regardless of the holiday or the weather or the million of other reasons that you don't have to show up for your office job.



24 hour Firemen

A firefighter working a 24 hour shift usually gets paid for just 16 of those 24 hours. A 24/48 hour shift (24 on and 48 off) is the Equivalent of working 8 hours a day, 7 days a week. When a firefighter gets injured and gets put on desk duty until they heal it changes to a 40 hour week for the same pay. Also there are no lunch breaks, bathroom breaks or any sort of break. You leave immediately when the call comes in no matter what. In a busy station a 24 hour shift means 24 hours of answering calls!

Here they get paid for every

Here they get paid for every minute that they are "working", whether they be sleeping, watching tv or working out.

real estate agents

You must be f**** kidding realtor sells the house but when it comes down to closing and deadlines and the real stress it is all in the escrow companies hands and you can hardly get a return phone call from the realtor. An escrow officer works 12 hours a day and has to spend nine of the hours fielding phone calls from buyers, sellers lenders and occasionally realtors. If a home doesn't close on time realtors don't get blamed escrow does. Even though half the time the delay is caused by the loan. Somehow still escrows fault. Spend a day in an escrow office and then maybe re rank your list cause this is a joke

real estate agents

Wow! Obviously someone got up on the wrong side of the bed. Some of the escrow offices that I have worked with have just been amazing. If you are lucky enough to be a realtor in a big city you will work with one of these. Competion is what makes this country great. If you live in a small town you often have no choice which title company to use. They are closed weekends, holidays and by 4:30 daily. As a realtor I work during all those times, plus answer all my calls...especially the ones from the title office. As a realtor we can go months without a paycheck. All the while we can be working 40-60 hours a week. I am sure that at the end of the escrow officers week they know how much and exactly when they will be paid. If you want to try true stress on for size try being the only provider for a family of 4 with 2 in collage and have real estate as your career. All of us involved in the real estate business have high levels of stress. I do know that those with a guarenteed paycheck have lower levels of stress.

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