The Top 10 Most Stressful Jobs

Updated February 21, 2017

Jobs that require longer hours, are inflexible, and put people in tense situations make for high stress careers. You must truly love your work and excel at it to not be bothered by a high stress job. Some high stress jobs are financially rewarding, but a few are emotionally rewarding. It takes commitment and passion to work in a high stress environment.

Real Estate

Long hours, weekend work and sales pressures add up to a stressful job situation for real estate agents. It is also a very competitive field, and real estate agents work on commission.


Working in advertising is a frequent job choice for the corporate whizz or creative mind, but it can also be very stressful. Being in charge of recruiting new clients and staying on deadlines can be tough. Advertising executives work around the clock, travel at times and have to keep clients happy on a daily basis.

Public Relations

Being a public relations officer requires calm in times of frenzy. Public speaking, creativity and interaction with media personnel coupled with long hours make for a challenging career. It is also a very competitive industry.

Highway Patrol Officer

The job of a highway patrol officer is not just a stressful one, but a potentially dangerous one as well. They must work long hours including weekends and holidays, and deal with potentially threatening people that have weapons or are intoxicated.


Commercial pilots are in charge of flying aircraft every day that carry large numbers of people. They face unexpected problems such as layovers, and sometimes must fly in frightening weather conditions. They have a lot of pressure on them to maintain control and keep the plane safe for passengers.

Police Officer

Police officers have a lot to deal with. The public depends on them when there is a crisis, expecting officers to keep them safe from harm. Working long hours and dealing with potentially harmful situations makes being a police officer a highly stressful and physically and emotionally exhausting career.


Being a surgeon requires more than steady hands. Attention to detail, commitment to working very long, tiring hours and a compassion for people are all qualities a surgeon should have. Surgeons have people's lives in their hands daily, and one mistake can have major repercussions.

Taxi Driver

Taxicab operators drive in condensed traffic, carry a lot of cash (making them a target for muggers) and deal with all types of people throughout all hours of the day and night. They also work alone, which can be isolating and lead to stress.

Corporate Executive

Working in the corporate world is fast paced and filled with competition. Balancing financial knowledge, long hours and high expectations can lead to stress because the decisions a corporate executive makes can affect the entire company.


Firefighters face stress every single day. They go into situations that can endanger or even kill them. Fighting fires and dealing with car accidents and emergencies around the clock is very stressful.

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About the Author

Christi Aldridge has been writing professionally since 2009. She graduated from Texas Christian University, where she was a featured contributor for several campus publications and won an award for best columnist.