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|
|Very Low||0% – 4%|
|Low||4% – < 7%|
|Moderate||7% – < 10%|
|High||10% – <14%|
|Very High||14% 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:
How do we determine which jobs rate as the most and least stressful? Stress, as measured in this study, covers many elements (see the complete 2010 Jobs Rated report Methodology ), but there are three "Mega Factors" that have the largest impact on office anxiety: work environment, job competitiveness and risk. Competition among Advertising Executives and Real Estate Agents, for example, has increased exponentially as the economy has worsened, while Police Officers, Highway Patrol Officers and Firefighters regularly risk their lives and work in extremely dangerous environments. While not always as important, a long workday tends to make the impact of these mega factors even worse.
Even if you aren't a firefighter or senior corporate executive, however, it's likely that some of the same mega factors from the 10 most stressful jobs list also apply to your job. Of course, while high levels of stress are known to have an adverse effect on health and well-being, it's also true that worrying is a fundamental human condition. Perhaps we will always have to endure at least a moderate level of anxiety, no matter how many books we read or relaxation techniques we try. And considering that studies have also shown that without stress, many employees don't give their jobs a 100% effort (and thus become targets for layoffs), perhaps a moderate stress level is an acceptable compromise.
However, if peace of mind is more important to you than excitement or glamour, it may be time to find a profession that's easier on the nerves.
Keep reading to check out the 10 Least Stressful Jobs for 2010 .
Check out the Least and Most Stressful Jobs for 2011. 
Imagine that you were given the chance to cut your amount of job-related stress in half – would you do it?
It's doubtful many employees would refuse such an opportunity, especially at a time when the economy is causing heightened workplace anxiety. But while embracing a stress-free lifestyle may sound like a wonderful idea, for some it might not be worth the cost. Would you be willing to sacrifice a career with growth potential for less anxiety? How about a good salary, or a job with high levels of satisfaction? Examining the 10 least stressful jobs for 2010, this is a choice many job seekers have to make if they want less tension in their work lives.
This year's least stressful job, Musical Instrument Repairer, ranks well in the three stress "Mega Factors" (work environment, job competitiveness and risk) used to measure tension levels, but offers little earning potential or opportunity for advancement. The same deficits apply to several other jobs on the list, such as Appliance Repairer, Piano Tuner and Janitor, which are unlikely to cause tension headaches, but also have relatively low median incomes and (with the exception of Janitor) poor employment prospects.
See how our rankings are determined in the complete 2010 Jobs Rated report Methodology 
Of course, everyone's desire to climb the corporate ladder is different, and for some the relatively low stress of being a Librarian is more appealing than the potential of a high risk, high reward career like Senior Corporate Executive. Similarly, Surgeons work long hours and have little room for error, but are paid exceptionally well for their efforts. Whether this is enough to ease the pain of such a high-pressure career, however, depends largely on the job seeker.
Think it's time to ditch the rat race and find a job that won't cause indigestion? Check out one of the 10 Least Stressful Jobs for 2010:
While the majority of jobs on this list offer little growth potential or income, there are some exceptions. Actuaries enjoy relatively stress-free workplaces thanks to an excellent work environment and little risk of serious injury or death. However, the salary and employment prospects for Actuaries are also very good, thanks in part to the rigorous testing required to become licensed. This makes Actuary stand out among the least stressful jobs, and is a major reason that the profession also ranks as the best overall job for 2010.
These rankings present a stark choice between jobs with low stress, and ones with high incomes and the opportunity for growth. However, for many job seekers, an ideal career may in fact lie somewhere in between these extremes. In this case, consulting CareerCast's complete ranking of 200 jobs  (from Accountant to Zoologist) can help you find a profession with balance, so you can enjoy the right combination of salary, work environment, growth potential and, of course, stress.