The amount of stress a worker experiences can be predicted, in part, by looking at the typical demands and crises inherent in his or her job. Our ranking system for stress considered 11 different job demands which can reasonably be expected to evoke stress (see list below).
Each demand was assigned a range of points. A high score was awarded if a particular demand was a major part of the job, fewer points were awarded if the demand was a small part of the job, and no points were awarded if that demand was not normally required. For example, "deadlines" was one demand measured.
Journalists, who often face daily deadlines, received the maximum of 9 points in this category. In contrast, biologists, who seldom face deadlines, received no points. The demands measured and the point ranges assigned to each area are as follows:
When computing a score for each occupation, points were added together for all 11 categories.
These scores, of course, reflect only a typical stress profile for any given occupation. For any individual worker, stress can vary greatly depending on the particular working conditions, his or her boss and co-workers, mental outlook and a multitude of other factors which play a part in stress.
The scores –given we rank 200 jobs – generally have many ties. To break these ties, we added a derivative of income growth potential, since jobs with greater rewards for a good performance often have a stress component. See “Growth Potential” under “INCOME” on page 3 for an explanation.
We took this growth potential figure and expressed it as a multiple, rather than as a percent. (i.e. 103% would be expressed as 1.03).