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The Most Stressful Jobs of 2014

By Kyle Kensing

Jobs that require you to face unpredictable conditions, immediate dangers and high-stakes situations rank among the most stressful of 2014. These are careers that require a unique kind of mettle, but only if you're bold enough to pursue them.

Or, as Richard Keyworth, a retired firefighter in Elk Grove Village, Ill., says of his profession, it takes a “round peg in a square hole” mentality to succeed. 

“I often joke when I’m talking to people that anybody with brains runs out of a burning building,” says Keyworth, who has over 30 years of firefighting experience. He adds that the psychological stress firefighters face is far from a laughing matter, however.

“We go through a lot of psychological training,” he says. “Understand, this is not all glory. You never know if you’re not coming home one day.”

Firefighter is ranked third among the most stressful Jobs Rated report of 2014. Only enlisted military personnel and military general scored higher in a measurement of 11 stress factors, including whether your life and the life of others is at risk.

The personal dangers military personnel and firefighters face as part of their work is evident. But both are responsible for the safety of their peers as well, as Keyworth explains.

 “We operate in team environment. No one goes in by [himself or herself],” he says. “Go in as team, go out as a team.”

Firefighters and soldiers also fill vital functions to society, as their work ensures the safety of entire communities. Though it differs in nature, the same ethos is behind the No. 4 most stressful job, airline pilot. Pilots are entrusted with the safety of hundreds of passengers every day, and their skills at using the equipment keeps everyone safe.

After three decades fighting fires, Keyworth now prepares new generations of firefighters for the rigors of the job as an adjunct faculty instructor in fire science at Harper College. He’s also written a true crime book, Fires: Accidental or Arson.

In real cases like those studied in Keyworth’s book, firefighters work closely with police officers, the No. 9 most stressful job of 2014, and another good example of how a potentially dangerous field causes on-the-job stress.

Of course, not all workplace stress emanates from on-the-job danger. Jobs such as public relations executive, newspaper reporter and event coordinator are among the most stressful because of tight deadlines and scrutiny in the public eye. And senior corporate executives are on the list as they are responsible for the direction of entire companies, which means their daily decisions have an effect on an entire workforce.

The following are the 10 most stressful jobs of 2014, according to our Jobs Rated report: 

1. Enlisted Military Personnel

Jobs Rated Stress Score: 84.72
Average Median Salary: $28,840
Projected Job Growth: N/A

From serving food in the mess hall to fighting a battle on the front line to avoiding land mines along the path to a village, the duties a soldier carries out have very different levels of responsibility.

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From experience I can tell you not all jobs in the military are as stressful as others. From an infantry standpoint, absolutely it's by far very stressful. However, the support positions are usually pretty good... And most military are in support positions. I admit to being support and while this in no way diminishes my service to my country; I cannot in good conscience claim I have it as bad as those men and woman involved in direct combat operations.  The large majority of my friends who leave the military are shocked at how difficult and stressful the "civilian world" can be. 

Soccer player

as soccer is one of the worlds toughest sports,I'd like to list some injuries I have suffered as a highly payed proffessional(80,000 a week).scratched arm,split nail(index finger),cold sore on lip(training in damp weather),laughed at by rugby players and grass stains on expensive kit!add all this up and compare that to armed forces.soldiers don't realise what real pressure is.

No sorry child protection

No sorry child protection social workers

PR should be at the top of

PR should be at the top of the list. When you do your job well, it's what everyone expects. And when you make a mistake or a client gets bad PR, you're canned. Doesn't get any more stressful than that!

Apparently you've never had

Apparently you've never had people shooting at you... 


I drive a semi for a living and I think it should be on the list. I drive around weighing 40 tons in heavy traffic with slick r

The type of stress for some

The type of stress for some of these jobs is vastly different. While many jobs, most not on your list, arre or can be very stressful, the reasons for that vary widely. The reasons a person in the military, or police/fire/emt, would have a stressful job, is not even remotely CLOSE to why an event coordinator, newspaper reporter(barring very, veyr few) or an executive would have a stressful day at work. While some aspects of others's lives may *temporarily depend on those latter folks, it's not typically continuous, it's not day to day, it's not even 7 days a week in most cases. In fact, in many, others' lives aren't dependent on them at all. How you can compare the stresses one would feel on the line of fire-both physically and metaphorically speaking, to the stresses of putting together an event, is beyond me. Yes, it can be stressful, I would never say otherwise(as no one should, no one can possibly know without filling out those shoes). But I would honestly never put event coodinator, executives, and reporters above those whose sole job exists to protect others. That's a stress that's simply unmatched. I actually find it quite sad that anyone would, to be honest. I can think of many other jobs far more stressful, for reasons above and beyond personal stress(ie, if I don't do my job right, someone will be mad at me, I might lose my job, etc..) that belong on here. When lives are dependent upon you doing yourt job correctly, to the best of your ability-regardless of what you're given to do your job(typically completely inadequate, like equipment, armor, etc..) your stress level and potential for stress level jumps up immensely. Well above the typical stress seen in other jobs. You have lives to worry about, and your own-in most cases, is not primary. An event coordinator is not going to have to worry about others' lives at stake, the even, and their job, is what they have to worry about. An executive might have to worry about the living standard of employees beneath them, but even still, no lives are really at stake. Sigh. I talk too much. To make this short, I think those who created this list are very, very shortsighted, and I would LOVE to know why they nominated these particular careers, precisely and what exactly makes them more stressful than other professions. In particular the professions where lives are not even remotely at stake, much less any sort of physical harm.

Officer stress...

What "civilian" workers don't realize is this; if you are in Law Enforcement (as I was for a number of years) the possibility of life-threatening situation must be constantly kept in the back of your mind, and just because there are moments of calm, does not mean that an officer is mentally "at ease". The only example I can think of would be to leave a can of gasoline and a pack of matches near your back door and invite some unfamiliar teenagers to play in your go ahead and do your other responsibilities of your job in your home that for 12 hours, day after day. Will you have lots and lots of days where nothing dangerous happens? ...... Sure, but after having just one life-threatening incident occur, and then continuing under the same circumstanses, day after day, that adds a significant amount of "background stress" that, unless you've been in Law Enforcement, (or the military), have NO IDEA how that adds the unseen stress that Law Enforcement and Military experience every day

What about a powerlineman ?

What about a powerlineman ? this site is bs...... I show ya hazzards

Powerline men/women

They have the 2nd most dangerous job and their stress level is very high!! Military is first and foremost it should be on the list 1st every year!! 

My first thought too!!!

My first thought too!!!


Bless them, they are there and we never get a chance to thank them.  We just complain if we have no power!! My personal thanks to all of them. 

Event Planners

 I agree that there are far more stressful jobs than an Event Planner, but as one who just so happen to be wearing a heart monitor right now; it's stressful because every single detail falls on you and there is a lot of behind the scenes work and extremely high expectations all for it to unfold in front of a large audience where anything can go wrong. Most of the work you present depends on the delivery of others and managing vendors, not to mention a generally emotional client can take its toll. I love what I do and it doesn’t feel like work, so it’s not until my heart starts beating irregularly that I realize there is a great deal of stress. You are constantly moving a mile a minute, juggling multiple tasks and it’s not until you stop that you fall. In the age of Pintrest and Google, everyone feels like they can plan their own parties, so the clients who come to you are generally clients going through a life change (wedding, baby, etc.) which brings its own set of emotional instability or clients who absolutely hate planning and organizing; which again, brings its own emotional instability because they can underestimate the magnitude of what it takes and can disregard boundaries and timelines. Just the 2 cents from someone who loves what she does, but still tend to get a bit stressed out with it. Nothing like the morning after….. that’s my moment of HEAVEN!!!  

AMEN! Totally agree!

AMEN! Totally agree!

I'm surprised that clergy

I'm surprised that clergy that never even made the list here because they are the shepherd of the souls of God's people and are called by God to teach, admonish, and encourage people with both the law and the gospel of God's Word.   They must not add or subtract anything from God's Word or they will receive God 's judgment for misleading the souls of God's people with errors.


Actually, a book my priest gave me notes that "Episcopal priest" has been ranked among the best careers. I know Father Joel certainly is laid back and not very stressed.

Really?  Someone who reads

Really?  Someone who reads and repeats fiction is not a stressful job.  It ranks with librarian which is at the bottom of the list.


Anonymous, you're a joke!

I will pray for you...

I will pray for you...

Really?? Event Planners verses Police and no Teachers!

I think that not having a teachers in the top ten is unbelievable! To even rank an Event Planner! Then again, people are so horrible these days when they hire someone to do a job and pay them so much they have expectations that there will be none, zilch, zero, noda, etc slip-ups or issues. When and if they do occur they let their rath out on these poor people. Having a Bridezilla be a newsworthy topic or TV show just goes to show how awful people have become. Also, not being understanding at all for life is not perfect. So Event Planner stressful?? I guess so. Yet, not having the many other positions  that get paid much less and have high expectations as well not listed just not right. 

Stressful & Dangerous to NOT

Stressful & Dangerous to NOT have the same meaning.

When you're a Soldier in harm's way...

When you're a Soldier in harm's way the two are not mutually exclusive. I can attest to that.

Apparently, you have never

Apparently, you have never been in a combat zone!

Police Officer #9????

While I understand that there are many more than 10 stressfull jobs out there, I can't believe you actually rank Police Officer below the likes of, Event Planner, Reporter and Executive!  Seriously, if you have a bad day in one of those jobs your not likely to get shot in the face!  Just saying...

Stressful Jobs

Most Professional Fire Departments also provide ALS "Advance Life Support", as well as well as performing many other dangerous task.  During a fire you have many factors causing you stress, such as 1. Can you save this home with all the families personal belongings. 2. Is the roof going to collapse, killing or trapping you or you partner. 3. Constantly checking your air supply, so you don't run out. 4. The two most stressful situations are when you have to search for someone, or when you partner goes down. On vehicle accidents you have to make sure you don't get ran over, and at the same time removed a person that is trapped inside a vehicle, and provide EMS at the same time.  If that person is critical , and you are constantly under stress providing care, while your partners are attempting to get him out of the vehicle. You know you have the "Golden Hour" one hour to get them to the Trauma center on a critical patient, or their chances of dying increase 90%.  Don't think it's not stressful when you arrive on scene, a mother comes running to you screaming " Save my baby!", and you see this 6 month old grey color baby in her arms.  You are trying to save the babies life, and the entire family is around screaming and crying! What about that call for a person who is unresponsive in bleeding in the bathroom? You arrive don scene to find out pt is HIV +, and he has been vomiting & defecating blood all over himself.  You walk in to the bathroom and your sliding all over the blood, and you start providing care.  You partner starts an IV, and lays the needle on the floor.  You accidentally get stuck with the contaminated needle.  Now, you have to spend the next six months getting tested, and our placed on some strong antibiotics that are destroying your liver.  Now, you tell you wife and kids, you can't kiss them for a while, and you prey you don't have HIV!  Everything we do is stressful! Respond to bomb calls, booby trapped meth labs, guns victims; the shooter might be on scene, rapped and abused children, high angle rescue, confined space rescue, swift water rescue.  But even with everything we do, I'm going say the Men & Women in the Armed Forces have a more stressful job than me.  They are getting shot at, driving over road side bombs, helicopters crashing, seeing their friends die, and other loose extremities and becoming disfigured for life.  Under stressful jobs, they should be #1! I'm not in competition for who's job is more stressful.  If most people have a bad day, they have the time and a chance to fix it.  The one luxury I don't have is time! Once the emergency starts, I have a short window to mitigate the problem. When I have a bad day, it means someone has died. 


Can't believe anyone would find what happened to you hilarious. I know how stressful your job can be 


Most people don't know what an Architect does, but building projects are always complex and stressful. While protecting the "life, safety and welfare of public" (making sure buildings stand up again fire, wind, earthquake, floods, you name it), managing clients, consultants, contracts, budgets, travel to the job site, deadlines, expectations, presentations, ever increasing demands to build "green", staying current on construction technologies and building codes, competition within the industry, long nights with less pay equivelent to other licensed professionals, and the constant problem-solving design work that takes place in your head just when you're about to fall asleep or really "tune out" on vacation, and well, maintaining your image as the "all knowing" architect.... Well, I'd say that's pretty stressful. 

Military exception...AirForce Enlisted

You may be right about the Military, with the exception of the vast majority of Airforce enlisted personnel.  From first-hand experience, in various locations, it has been my misfortune to observe these folks in general, as among the human race's most idle, lazy, indifferent and self-absorbed individuals, including my own son.  I'm disgusted with the whole of them.  Their entitlement mentality and lack of pure patriotism sickens me.  They care more about stupid little Lindsay Lohan and mind-blowing video games than they do about current events, preserving families and the welfare of their own country.


You must be Army, WOW a true idiot! 


Really?!?  As a current AF SNCO with over 18 years of service I have to ask... What is this "first-hand experience" you refer to?  I have been deployed numerous times to Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Afghanistan... Leaving my children behind for months/year at a time.  I have also been stationed not only stateside, but to numerous overseas installations, again being separated from my family.  I pull my own weight and worked very hard to get to where I am, along with 98% of the other AF members. If your so called "first-hand experience" was a short stint in the AF, but left because you couldn't handle the pressures and hard work or if your so called "first-hand experience" was received on behalf of either one of your parents serving as an AF member, then you need to take another look at your comments, because they make you look like an idiot since you obviously lack the actual "first-hand experience" you claim to have.  If your "first-hand experience" was working with an AF member as an Army, Navy, Marine, or Coast Guard member, then shame on you for speaking disgracefully of your brothers and sisters in arms.  You've proven yourself to be someone no one would want in their forces.  Lastly, to slam your son... Now THAT'S the absolute worse and just bad parenting.  I feel sorry for your son having such a disgraceful parent.  With all that said, I now have to get to work to continue protecting your freedom.  

Air Force

I am with niece and nephew are career Air Force. She is a master sergant, anti-terrorist specialist and he is a sergant (security). They have had to juggle deployment and kids more than once. And, while neither has been in an active combat zone, both have been in dangerous areas. Case-in-point, my nephew was assigned to Saudi Arabia to help provide security when the barracks was bombed. I've never heard the full story, but his wife was the recipient of the Billy Jack Carter award several years ago. You don't earn that for sitting in an office, stateside.....

Come on Really ???

As an enlisted Security Forces AIR FORCE NCO combat vet with bronze star valor & a purple heart, all I can say is "WOW really, that's how you feel about us?" Sorry you have Daddy/Mommy issues with your spawn. My heart and those of an AF PJ who's been shot at numerous times rescuing soldiers from battle field, an AF Silver star wearing TACP and the AF EOD Sgt who has spend hundreds of hours searching and getting rid of roadside IEDS . . . really, really feel for you . . . Oh yes along with the AF LRS convoy driver who drove IED infested roads to bring needed items to the Army FOB - All those worthless AF enlisted folk . . . Don't have time to talk about the Fire Dogs, the Combat Communications, Red Horse combat engineers, Enlisted Aircrew members . . . . . Oh by the way, "Your welcome" go enjoy a StarBucks on us. 

I would love to bring you to

I would love to bring you to work with me then. I'll show you how "idle, lazy, indifferent, and self-abosorbed" the Air Force is. I would also like to point out that the Air Force personell in general scored higher on the ASVAB and are generally more intelligent that the other three branches (No offense guys). We are asked to do a job that is vastly different than the other three branches do. We operate mulit million dollar aircraft on a day to day basis, work on NUCLEAR missles, and monitor Space and Cyberspace... Every branch has bastard children, I'm sure that is what all you saw. Cause I have seen my share of morons in all branches. So before you run your mouth off at an entire branch of people who volunteered to protect your moronic ***, punch yourself in the face. 

I have worked alongside Air

I have worked alongside Air Force, Marine, and Army personnel at different times throughout my 13 year naval career amd I have to say that for the most part, Air Force personnel are the most unreliable, unqualified, tunnel-visioned people I have ever worked with. I need bombs loaded onto a trailer... takes one guy to open the mag, another to run the forklift, another to drive the truck and then you wait for a 4th to come out 2 hours later and sign off on everything. God forbid any of this happens outside of the hours of 0800 to 1700. You need an 0-6 to get that kinda work done. I love when I get sent to an AF base for training, I get put into what looks lie an apartment as a barracks, anybody inthe army marines or navy knows what a barracks really is, and I hear the airmen cry about how they have to go down two floors to wash laundry. The Air Force is a pampered group of underacheiving people that didnt want to risk their lives, but wanted the paycheck and recognition that comes with such bargain.


I just read your article online, about the top ten most stressful, and least
stressful jobs. Although there are many professions that did not make it
onto your list, I find myself wondering how paramedic did not make the cut?

A Paramedic is often considered one of the most dangerous jobs, for a number
of reasons. For one, like a taxi driver, a paramedic works in an ever
changing and unpredictable, and mobile setting, and paramedic "offices" can
be literally any place on the planet. Most often the office is the patients'
home. However, it could be anywhere - a farm, a forest, a beach, a busy
intersection or crowded interstate highway. It could be in sweltering heat
in the middle of summer, out in the burning sun, or in the dead of winter
during a blizzard and whiteout conditions, when every road around is closed
to the public, paramedics along with firefighters and police officers need
to be out providing a service to those in need. It may involve downed power
lines, fires, shootings, stabbings, hangings, suicides and murders,
poisoning, sexual abuse, choking, burns, illicit drugs and the people who
make those drugs a part of their lifestyle, whom do not have the ability to
control their thoughts or actions. It can involve drownings, physical and
emotional abuse not only to patients (adults and children alike) but to the
paramedics themselves. It can involve being hit, kicked, spit on, and yelled
at repeatedly including profanity and insults.

Paramedics carry multiple drugs, including narcotics (comparable to that of
a taxi driver carrying a great deal of money at any given point during the
day). Paramedics work with no protective gear other than steel toed boots,
and often have no idea what they are walking into at 3:30am, when someone is
yelling for help down a dark alley in a rough part of town, or an unknown
persons home, having no idea of what communicable disease the potential
patient may carry. Paramedics are required to treat each patient they come
into contact with, with the same amount of respect, and compassion, and if
someone is in trouble they are required to act quickly, while still making
sure they protect themselves, from such things as needle sticks and bodily
fluids, protective pets, and weapons.

Another aspect of a paramedics job is to deal with the emotional stressors
that come with the taking responsibility for the health and well being of
others. A paramedic is often the person that needs to provide hope, and
support, and even just a smile, in a moment that patients often describe as
the worst and/or scariest moment of their lives. A paramedic may also be the
last person a patient speaks to, or sees alive. In the event of someones
death, a paramedic needs to be able to be there for the patient just as a
family member would be. To be the person, and stranger at that, who needs
to inform family members of the loss that has just taken place. To be the
person who was responsible, and to know everything was done that could have
been, but still a death took place. To speak to family members, and to
provide an explanation of why their loved one is now deceased without
letting ones own emotions become involved is one of the most stressful
moments a person could ever experience. And the after thought that although
a paramedic did everything he or she could, that maybe if the scenario is
replayed in the mind enough times, maybe there was something that could have
been done differently. To witness an innocent child being abused or
neglected, or worse to find one dead. To deliver patients to the hospital,
and transfer the care of those patients to the doctors and nurses, and to
never know what the outcome of that patient was, is a stressful thought.

I believe that, as one tier of the many services under the umbrella of
emergency services, that paramedics are not given enough credit for the work
that they do. Granted not every call that a paramedic goes on involves
danger or high stress, some people just need someone to talk to. But even
then, that person is counting on a paramedic to provide them with something.
Police officers, firefighters and paramedics work side by side with many
other resources, to help those in need. Paramedics take risks, and become
involved in dangerous situations. With danger and risk, usually comes
stress. I would be very interested in knowing what position on the list
paramedic is at, and why it is not in the top ten, along with the other
emergency services. As your articles states, "Jobs that require
unpredictable conditions and high stakes situations, are among the most
stressful of 2014. Each fulfills a vital function to society, as their work
ensures the safety of others.", I cannot think of a better way to describe
the roles and responsibilities of a paramedic.

That's interesting that you

That's interesting that you made such a long list of things that you do as to make it seem like you are owed something for it. You do the job because you love it and are a person of service. Why are you trying to justify that any further? You come off like you are entitled to something.I'm an ex veteran (enlisted) and currently a firefighter. I work closely with medics. Our job is only stressful if we let it be. Maybe write about how rewarding the job is and how much you love it. Just saying.   


I agree with you. I thought it would be in the top 4 anyway! My husband's a paramedic, works 2 full time jobs, 84 plus hrs a week, one on ambulance, one in ER. Very stressfull, long hrs  Many times they go without eating or sleep for long periods of time, back to back calls. It has definately taken a toll on his body, but he still loves what he does....God bless our paramedics

Well said! As a fellow

Well said! As a fellow paramedic, I couldn't agree more!

for 11 years on shift now 28

for 11 years on shift now 28 hrs of my 48 hr shift done. Less then 2hrs of sleep last night who knows what happeneds in the next 5 min could be anything!! Go home tomorrow for 10hrs before I start my 12hr shift at the hospital because I don't make enough on my first full time job. But!! I love my job love the brotherhood of firefighters, love my city and most of the public I keep safe. And still have to protect and treat the most vile of people when they are in need. Stress oh ya. Like many of in my field I've told mothers that there baby is dead wives and husbands there is nothing that can be done, pulled the body's of a mothers, fathers and other love ones out of burning buildings knowing I am being watched by the family, the news and who know who else, all while knowing there is nothing I can do to help and wondering if I should just go through the motions of life saving efforts to make them feel like there is hope, but never do when there is none. What does everyone do when they don't know what to do. They call there fire department. 

While Paramedics are not

While Paramedics are not covered in the Jobs Rated report, Emergency Medical
Technicians are. They are among some of the most stressful jobs of the 200
professions we track, coming in at number 21 out of 200 professions."

List is flawed

Apparently they didnt consider Corrections Officer. That clearly is the most stressful job their is...

You've got to be nuts or an

You've got to be nuts or an adrenaline junkie to want most of these jobs. You couldn't pay me enough to fight fires, arrest bad guys or fight in a war.

Nuts or Adrenaline Junkie?

Maybe I just like defending the country and I believe someone has to do it?

I am an EMT and also a

I am an EMT and also a Volunteer Fire Fighter I dont do it for the the rush I do it to serve the people of my community

Not adrenaline junkies just

Not adrenaline junkies just want to serve and protect the nation I love

stressful jobs or careers

I read the article on the top 10 most stressful jobs or careers and found it rather upsetting to know that a Correctional Officers were not included in the top 10. This is one of the most thankless careers out there and yet people don't realize the demand and stress of this job can be. Men/Woman deal with the worst criminals in their state and yet they are not still recognized for the job they do. We walk the line everyday with nothing to protect us except our fellow brothers and sisters. If you had done the research of Corrections Officers you might have learned our life expectancy after our 20 yr. career is only, if lucky 10 yrs. This is something to think about next time you decide to research on the top 10 stressful jobs. 


I  couldn't  agree  more. I  checked this to see where we  fell on the list  and was shocked to see it wasn't on there.  

You are correct.

It is the most dangerous job there is bar none.


care to compare the number of correction officers killed in the line of duty last year to the number of enlisted military personal, then tell me how dangerous it is. 

Are u serious

Yes combat is extremely dangerous and stressful and life is endanger. But how long is your tour. Try doing a 20 bid as a correction officer in a supermax . Compare ptsd stories with you . Were talking about stressful job's that deterriate life exoectancy. Not friendly fire

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