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Top 10 Most Stressful Jobs in America
Everyone who earns a wage pays for it with some level of stress. Some professions are lower in pressure, and some are off the stress-o-meter charts. Which jobs are the most stressful? Here are 10 that top the list.
Miners spend long, physically demanding hours in dark, cramped conditions, unable to see the sun or get a breath of fresh air. The danger of being trapped or killed is ever-present, as is the fear that the mine will close and the workers will lose their jobs.
9: Corporate Executive
Long hours, cutthroat competition, highly visible and closely scrutinized successes and failures, and few work-free moments define the life of the corporate executive. These lucrative, white-collar jobs might seem highly desirable, but those at the top are under constant pressure to increase revenues, satisfy stakeholders and pass public scrutiny.
8: Newspaper Reporter
Most reporters work long hours meeting firm deadlines for relatively low pay. Their schedules are apt to change with little notice; when news happens, reporters race to the locations regardless if it is day or night, weekend or holiday. The job is now even more stressful as newspapers struggle to enter the Internet age and layoffs abound.
7: Those Who Fly, and Those Who Help Them
The stakes are high for pilots, with each takeoff demanding that they fly planes safely or die -- taking a lot of other people with them. Air traffic controllers, too, work under intense pressure, sitting for long stretches at their equipment and making split-second, potentially life-or-death decisions.
6: Emergency Personnel
Accidents from minor to catastrophic command the immediate presence of firefighters and emergency medical technicians, both working long hours for not a lot of money. Often in physical danger themselves, they deal with people who are injured or frightened, and they must live with the reality that no matter how well they perform, they can't save everyone.
5: Medical Professional
Those expected to fix people's ailments are under constant pressure to focus and execute. Surgeons must concentrate on precision for hours at a time, psychiatrists listen intently, dentists are on their feet for hours, and medical interns work hard without much sleep. Medical professionals are often under additional pressure to do their part to make the business profitable.
Many people think that teachers have good working schedules, but teachers take a lot of work home since there are always lessons to plan, papers to grade and records to keep. The pay isn't much compared to professions with similar educational requirements, and teachers are under constant scrutiny to improve test scores year after year.
3: Police Officer
Whether they work for local police, county sheriff's departments, the highway patrol or other agencies, law-enforcement officers must be ready to put their lives on the line every time a call comes in. They must be hyper vigilant to potential danger at every moment, yet at the same time must practice restraint to ensure excessive force doesn't cause harm to others; split-second judgments may be second-guessed for a long time.
2: Deployed Military Personnel
Military personnel may have job security with excellent benefits, but they have little freedom of choice when it comes to assignments, and orders change with little warning. When deployed, they're separated from loved ones while under constant threat of explosives and attacks. When they come home, they may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, and those in the reserves have the added concern of whether their jobs will be available when their tour of duty ends.
1: Working Parents
There's often no line of division between time spent working and time spent parenting, and it's a stressful combination in which balance is nearly impossible to achieve. When a child needs attention, the time spent taking care of his or her needs may conflict mightily with daytime duties and overtime deadline crunches. Many parents are also teachers, soldiers, doctors, police officers and any of the other stressful jobs on this list. Imagine that.