Ever been stuck in high-stress jobs? Well, not every job tastes like a bite of a yummy slice of candy.
And that’s because every job has a soft side as well as a hard side that makes it stressful. Still, some jobs are more stressful than others.
So in this article, you’ll learn about 23 high-stress jobs and the amount one can make from them.
High-stress jobs in the health sector
Median salary: $412,365 per year
Educational qualification needed: Doctoral or professional degree
Beyond piercing skins, surgeons go through a lot. Yet, they seem not to have shoulders to lean on when bombarded with stress.
As a surgeon, you attend to patients in between life and death. And in doing so, you may need to work for long hours, waking up early or staying up late at night. Also, you may have to write off your weekends to execute essential medical procedures for the lives of your patients.
In other words, as a surgeon, you must have a strong character, discipline, and the ability to take charge of your emotions because of stress. So that you don’t allow them and other personal issues to interfere with your work.
However, while being a surgeon will require making a lot of sacrifices (even in distress), the monetary reward can be worth the stress.
2. Cardiovascular technologist (technicians)
Median salary: $48,579 per year
Educational qualification needed: Certificate or associate’s degree
As a vascular technologist or technician who works in a cardiac Catheterization (aka. Cath) lab, you must be ready to commit to at least a five-day working schedule. And most of your weekends may be part of at least a 40hour weekly work time.
By now, you should know already that being a cardiovascular technologist is a high-stress job. Yet the earnings can make you smile over the sweat of the job.
However, the beautiful thing is that you help people overcome their cardiovascular problems through medical imaging procedures such as ultrasounds, amongst others.
3. Nurse practitioner
Median salary: $115,598 per year
Educational qualification needed: an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (BSN), Master’s degree
Nurses encounter stress daily as they attend to many people hoping to get well and back on their feet again.
And you achieve that by assessing your patients’ needs, diagnosing their health, and serving solutions to their diagnosed challenges. That’s after medically interpreting laboratory tests.
In some countries, it’s believed nursing practitioners face more stress than doctors. Because they seem to do a buck of the work by acting as first-line health care providers directly to patients.
4. Rehabilitation counselors
Median salary: $38,560 per year
Educational qualification needed: bachelor’s degree in a rehabilitation and disability studies, behavioral, social science, or psychology field; a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling
Rehabilitation counseling is a high-stress job that involves helping individuals with one disability or another to live more functional yet fulfilling lives.
These disabilities may be physical, developmental, mental, or emotional. Thus, as a rehabilitation counselor, you already know your job is not a stress-free job. You help many people cope with life as they get over health-endangering hazards from specific life challenges.
It may be dealing with a person who’s trying to heal from the effect of drugs or hard substances, as the case may be.
Median salary: $46,432 per year
Educational qualification needed: Postsecondary non-degree award
Paramedic is a high-stress job that involves rendering medical emergencies and life support for victims at the occurrence of casualties. With your team, you get to the scene of the untold eventualities.
In emergencies, you give medical support to victims like first aid, carrying out CPRs, and safely conveying injured patients in an ambulance.
Though, as a paramedic, you’ll need to exert yourself both physically and psychologically, the pay is promising.
Median salary: $407,100
Educational qualification needed: Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.) and important professional licensed certificate
Anesthesiologists are health professionals that work hand in hand with other medical doctors like surgeons to help dissipate the pains of patients. As an anesthesiologist, you give drugs (anesthetics) before, during, and after medical procedures such as surgery. That’s known as perioperative medicine.
While that sounds easy to perform, monitoring how a patient is doing before, during, and after surgery can be stressful. But when you have practical training and expertise, your career as an anesthesiologist may appear like a seamless ride. Even as you receive massive earnings into your bank account.
7. Community workers
Median salary: $56,350 ($33,620 to $45,460) per year
Educational qualification needed: Bachelor degree
Being a community worker can be stressful, as it involves working with many who are disadvantaged persons. And therefore, you attend to them by assessing their various needs and helping them proffer solutions.
So as a community worker, you may be working with a non-profit organization, local authorities, development groups (rural or urban), and other groups. To help cater to the need of people like refugees and young people while addressing issues like unemployment, and the rights of migrants, amongst others.
Median salary: $215,703 per year
Educational qualification needed: Bachelor degree, Medical degree, and others
Being a physician is a high-stress job because the well-being and recovery of your patients become a great concern to you. As a physician (aka. medical doctor), you deal with many patients with diverse yet common health problems, illnesses, or challenges.
And to do that, you first need to take time to diagnose what is wrong. After which, you proffer solutions, usually in the form of prescriptions. However, while working as a physician is demanding, the salary is attractive.
9. Clinical social worker
Median salary: $74,057 per year
Educational qualification needed: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW), and others
A clinical social worker is a health care provider that helps patients to deal with mental illness and behavioral maladjustments. And always, these problems are typical of our everyday life.
Thus, you may be attending to a client suffering from abuse (rape, drug, or emotional abuse), and the next moment, you’re trying to solve a domestic violence issue. In other words, the scope of the responsibilities of a clinical social worker qualifies it as a high-stress job, yet with a rewarding pay.
High-stress jobs in the Judicial, fire, and safety department
Median salary: $99,490 per year
Educational qualification needed: bachelors in Law degree (LLB), Law School Admission Test (LSAT, and others
At some point in one’s life, there’s a need for a lawyer, who’s also known as an attorney. It could be trying to draft legal documents for a contract, divorce, or real estate transactions. Amongst other possible situations.
So, as a lawyer, you help individuals and business organizations take care of their legal matters, depending on your specialty. Be it environmental, corporate, bankruptcy, family, or property law.
However, while you get compensated for your highly skilled service as a lawyer, there’s a level of stress you must have to undergo. Making it a high-stress job.
11. Police officer
Median salary: $66,020 per year
Educational qualification needed: high school diploma or college degree
In the business of law enforcement and public safety, a police officer is a first responder, as he’s responsible for making sure that civilians obey the law.
As a police officer, you render emergency services by simply responding to calls and investigating criminal cases. You may also get assigned to patrol a particular area to protect lives and property there.
Indeed, being a police officer is a high-stress job that may put your health at risk. Not only that. As a police officer, you may risk the lives of your family and loved ones.
12. Security guard
Median salary: $34,290 per year
Educational qualification needed: High school diploma, postsecondary degree or certificate
Unlike a police officer, a security guard is security personnel that safeguards a person, building, or valuable property of a company. While it’s a high-stress job, security guards can work in a couple of settings.
But the tasks become more stressful when they work for big companies. Working for these kinds of entities may mean huge salaries too.
Median salary: $48,898 per year
Educational qualification needed: high school diploma or GED
Firefighters are like soldiers on alert, waiting to get called up. Either by people whose lives and properties are on the verge of being utterly destroyed by a fire outbreak.
Thus, as a fighter, when the gas station down your neighborhood gets erupted by fire, you (and other fight fighters) become superheroes upon whom the lives and survival of others depend.
While your appearance at the scene of a casualty can be life-saving, you get closer to death. That’s because you risk your life in the process of trying to save others.
Hence, it can be overwhelming to see burnt skins or people shedding tears at the damage done by fire to their precious property. In any case, firefighting is a profession that offers a good salary if you’ve got the balls for what the job demands.
High-stress jobs in the transport sector
14. Truck driver
Median salary: $43,629 ($36,724 to $50,533) per year
Educational qualification needed: High diploma
Have you asked yourself why most countries seem to be in want of truck drivers? The answer is because it’s a high-stress job.
As a truck driver, your steering may be your sure companion for a long time. It could be a day, two or more, as you’ll often be away from home.
While the job is taxing, stress can still come from different angles. You may be on the road, and your anxious wife calls you, telling you things that need quick fixing at home, even though you may be hundreds of miles away.
Regardless. Truck driving can be somewhat enjoyable if you like traveling and adventure. It even gets sweeter when you take a moment to think about the pay you get for the sweats.
15. Train driver (operator)
Median salary: $46,734 per year
Educational qualification needed: high school diploma, GED or equivalent.
Train drivers either run within their country or internationally. Either way, as a train driver, your main job is to run the train under a defined schedule, with the safety of your passengers at heart.
Driving a train is a high-stress job. That’s because it’s more than just setting the wheels in motion. Yes, it involves other technical aspects like assessing the train before each journey and observing established protocols during a trip. In a very accurate manner.
16. Airline pilot
Median salary: $143,301 per year
Educational qualification needed: Private Pilot Certificate, Commercial Pilot Certificate, Flight Instructor Certificate, and others
A pilot may get hired to work in the commercial sector, military, or as the case may be. Whichever is the case, a pilot is someone who’s trained to operate aircraft.
So as an airline pilot, you carry out a high-stress job. That includes pre-flight checks such as checking the engine and the entire aircraft to ensure everything is working perfectly.
Aside from these checks, you make a plan for flights adhering to predetermined guidelines for flying the plane. With all these said, the remuneration for an airline pilot is attractive.
High-stress jobs in the technology (and science) sector
17. IT Manager
Median salary: $96092 ($84,094 to $108,089) per year
Educational qualification needed: Bachelor’s Degree in IT and others
More than ever, Information technology (IT) managers are indispensably valuable to business organizations. Particularly to relatively big ones, whose business operations are dependent on the strength of their IT capacity.
So, apart from being one of the best technology jobs, managing the information technology of a firm is a high-stress job. That’s because you help plan, control, and manage the IT room and resources of a company, which may include:
- Executing an upgrade of a particular software
- Installing and upgrading the company’s computer system, even as you protect your office network from malicious attacks.
However, despite being a high-stress job, once you’ve got the needed skills and experience of an IT manager, the job can be easy and enjoyable.
18. Construction worker
Median salary: $38,735 ($34,438 to $43,032) per year
Educational qualification needed: High school diploma
Construction workers are handy on construction sites as they carry out many on-site tasks. And these tasks are usually physical, making the job a high-stress job.
Thus, as a construction worker, you may be expected to take part in making or erecting scaffolding. And to prepare the construction site, digging trenches and backfilling are activities to engage yourself.
And top of that, you may operate heavy machinery on-site, even as building materials get either loaded or unloaded.
19. Structural Iron and steel worker
Median salary: $56,326 ($46,522 to $66,129) per year
Educational qualification needed: High school diploma
Structural Iron and steel worker is another high-stress job. Undoubtedly, structural iron and steel workers work hand in hand with designers and engineers in constructing bridges, buildings, dams, and other big infrastructures.
So you’ll be performing dozens of stressful tasks such as making and installing iron or steel girders and fabricating frames, amongst other things. But if this is what you love, it won’t be a stressful journey, even as you get your sweet salary every month. Depending on your agreement with your hiring manager.
High-stress jobs in the financial sector
20. Financial analyst
Median salary: $62,813 ($56,633 to $68,992) per year
Educational qualification needed: bachelor’s degree, Master’s Degree, and others
Figures scare a lot of people. But as a financial analyst, you must be adept with numbers and use your knowledge of tax laws, economy, and money markets to solve practical problems.
And that’s where the stress lies, just as the benefits. But as a competent financial analyst, you help your company (and others) solve the problem of analyzing their financial performance against a plan, taking various financial indices into careful consideration, and you earn good pay at the end of the day.
But that requires expertise not to commit grievous blunders, making it a high-stress job.
High-stress jobs in the business of family life and matters
21. Child and Family Social worker
Median salary: $45,405 per year
Educational qualification needed: Bachelor’s Degree and others
At this age, with lots of family issues, people seem to need the service of a child and family social worker more than ever.
Thus, as a competent child and family social worker, you provide a wide range of services that cut across issues like children (and youngsters) behavioral issues and family matters, adoptions, and a host of others.
In other words, you assess the lives of children and families to help meet or get their needs settled– giving them a better life. The reason is it’s a high-stress job.
But if you’re passionate about service to humanity and helping others to get better lives, it’s an enjoyable profession with promising cash out.
22. Marriage and family therapist
Median salary: $64,342 ($49,218 to $79,466) per year
Educational qualification needed: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy or Related Mental Health Field (and others)
Family life is not a bed of roses. And it is sometimes besotted with circumstances that may adversely affect healthy relationships amongst couples and their children. The reason people seek the service of a marriage and family therapist.
In other words, as a marriage and family therapist, you guide partners, couples, or groups battling the family-related problem. And some of these issues are marital conflicts, infertility, child and adolescent behavioral problems.
The length and breadth of these issues make the job a high-stress job, yet with an attractive compensation.
High-stress jobs in education
Median salary: $57280 ($46,616 to $67,943) per year
Educational qualification needed: bachelor’s degree in education, master’s degree in education, licensed certificate
There’ll always be a need for education and the school as a social institution. But what will a school look like without teachers?
As a teacher, what would your answer be, having the knowledge of the impact you cause in your field? No doubt presenting knowledge to students (children or adolescents) in schools can be stressful, regardless of levels or age.
You prepare lesson plans, present instructions in class to students and evaluate the educational progress of your learners through different means. You talk of homework, tests, and exams. And to do all of these demands mental and physical efforts, making teaching a high-stress job.
High-stress jobs: A quick recap of the list
- Cardiovascular technologist
- Nurse practitioner
- Rehabilitation counselors
- Community workers
- Clinical social worker
- Police officer
- Security guard
- Truck driver
- Train driver
- Airline pilot
- IT Manager
- Construction worker
- Structural Iron and steel worker
- Financial analyst
- Child and Family Social worker
- Marriage and family therapist
PS: Figures about the salary for each job were estimate from Salary.com, except for that of Rehabilitation counselors and police, which were gotten US Bureau of labor statistics.