America’s Most Stressful Jobs 2010

With unemployment high, many people with jobs are grateful to get their weekly paychecks, but that feeling alone doesn’t take the stress out of the daily grind.

To get a sense of the most stressful jobs in America, looked at 21 different factors that can cause stress on the job, and ranked 200 professions by how significantly these demands factor into the average workday. Factors that weighed into stress levels included work environment, job competitiveness, opportunity for advancement and even perceived risk of unemployment.

CareerCast has also included a range of unemployment each profession faces around the country, a number which contributes to perceived risk of unemployment.

Here are the most stressful jobs in America:

1. Firefighter


Stress Rank: 200
Stress Score: 110.936
Unemployment: 0%-4%
Hours Per Day: 11
Time Pressure: Very High
Competition: Low

“Firefighters frequently work irregular or unusual hours, or remain on call throughout the night. They risk heat exhaustion, smoke inhalation, and serious injury while on the job, and even the state of anticipation preceding a major threat can be highly stressful in itself. Firefighters are also sometimes required to spend long hours outdoors in bad weather,” says

2. Corporate Executive


Stress Rank: 199
Stress Score: 108.625
Unemployment: 0%-4%
Hours Per Day: 11
Time Pressure: High
Competition: High

“This highly competitive field requires detailed knowledge of the financial community, economic trends as well as technological developments and implications. Senior executives are expected to excel in many different fields at once, and face daily pressure to make far-reaching decisions that can affect numerous employees and their company’s bottom line,” says

3. Taxi Driver


Stress Rank: 198
Stress Score: 100.491
Unemployment: 14%+
Hours Per Day: 9.5
Time Pressure: Moderate
Competition: Moderate

“Taxi drivers generally work erratic hours, including late nights and weekends. High speed driving in traffic, especially in major cities, is quite dangerous, and they frequently drive in bad weather conditions as well. In addition, taxi drivers are confined to their vehicle all day with a supply of cash, making them vulnerable to criminals,” says

4. Surgeon


Stress Rank: 197
Stress Score: 99.463
Unemployment: 0%-4%
Hours Per Day: 11
Time Pressure: Moderate
Competition: High

“Surgeons can be required to work at odd hours, and many operations take hours to complete. Operating calls for extreme precision and attention to detail, and can require quick decision making with life or death consequences. In addition, rising malpractice insurance costs are a major cause of stress for many surgeons,” says

5. Police Officer


Stress Rank: 196
Stress Score: 93.893
Unemployment: 0%-4%
Hours Per Day: 9.5
Time Pressure: Moderate
Competition: Low

“Police officers face potentially life-threatening situations daily. Shifts can be long and strenuous, especially in emergencies, and work requires both physical and emotional strength.

Other possible stress factors include interacting with the public and providing medical attention to injured parties,” says

See 2nd half at America’s most stressful Jobs – part 2

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