The 20 Most Stressful Jobs 2024

The Most Stressful Jobs 2024
The Most Stressful Jobs 2024 | Image Credit: Freepik

Highly demanding occupations can offer a sense of fulfillment as they directly impact people’s well-being, public safety, or a company’s success. Furthermore, these high-stress roles often come with lucrative compensation.

Discover if your job ranks among the most stressful careers, as evaluated by experts; even glamorous or emotionally rewarding can be incredibly stressful.  If you’re someone who thrives in such a role, read on to learn more about The 20 Most Stressful Jobs 2024, According to the U.S. News Best Jobs rankings. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Most Stressful Jobs 2024

 

20. Surgeon

How To Become a Surgeon
Surgeon | Image Credit: Shutterstock

Surgeons earn a median salary of $239,200 and require a doctoral or professional degree. Job growth in this field is expected to reach 1.7% by 2032. Surgeons perform critical medical procedures for various conditions, including diseases and fractures. Given the high stakes of their work, they often experience significant stress, as a mistake can have life-altering or fatal consequences. To thrive in this career, experts advise separating professional and personal life to prevent the emotional toll of work from affecting personal well-being.

 

19. Software Developers

Software developers, applications and systems software
Image Credit: Getty Images

Software Developers earn a median salary of $127,260 and typically need a bachelor’s degree. The field is expected to grow by 25.7% by 2032, making it one of the fastest-growing professions. Software developers are highly regarded, ranking No. 1 among the Best Technology Jobs and No. 2 among the Best STEM Jobs. Despite the attractive salaries, especially in top companies like Meta or Google, the job can be stressful and fast-paced. These professionals use their design and coding skills to create software, and they often experience high-stress levels due to the pressure of product updates and launches.

 

18. Sales Managers

Sales Managers
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Sales managers earn a median salary of $130,600 and typically need a bachelor’s degree. The field is expected to grow by 4% by 2032. Sales managers rank highly among the Best Sales and Marketing Jobs and the best-paying jobs. They oversee sales processes, including product development and customer response. However, this role can be stressful due to pressure to meet sales targets, motivate teams, handle rejections, and adapt to market changes, which can affect success.

 

17. Physicians

Physician
Physician | Image Credit: Flickr

Physicians, or primary care doctors, earn a median salary of $227,180 and typically need a doctoral or professional degree. The field is expected to grow by 3.1% by 2032. Physicians are often the first point of contact for patients experiencing health issues such as headaches or heart problems. Due to the high-stakes nature of their work, heavy workloads, and frequent exposure to patient trauma, physicians and other frontline healthcare workers often experience tremendous levels of stress.

 

16. Patrol Officers

Patrol officers
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Patrol officers, who are members of local or state law enforcement agencies, earn a median salary of $65,790 and typically need a high school diploma or equivalent. The field is expected to grow by 3.3% by 2032. Patrol officers are responsible for preventing illegal activity and protecting communities, but the job’s exposure to violence, crime, and physical demands can lead to high-stress levels. To maintain mental health while pursuing this career, experts recommend seeking counselling, peer support, and stress management training.

 

15. Paramedic

How To Become a Paramedic In America
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Paramedics earn a median salary of $49,090 and typically need a high school diploma or equivalent. The field is expected to grow by 5.4% by 2032. Paramedics are highly trained professionals who assess, treat, and transport patients needing urgent medical attention. While the job can be rewarding, it is also mentally and physically demanding. Paramedics operate in dangerous, high-pressure environments where quick decisions can be life-saving. The threat of violence and regular exposure to trauma contribute to high rates of PTSD, depression, and anxiety among first responders.

 

14. Nurse Practitioners

Nurse Practitioner
Image Credit: Usa.Edu

Nurse practitioners earn a median salary of $121,610 and typically need a master’s degree. The field is expected to grow by 44.5% by 2032. Nurse practitioners rank No. 1 among the 100 Best Jobs, Best STEM Jobs, and Best Health Care Jobs. These registered nurses have additional education, enabling them to take patient histories, perform exams, order labs, prescribe medicine, and authorize treatment plans. However, due to their high-stakes work, heavy workloads, irregular hours, and frequent exposure to patient trauma, nurse practitioners, like other frontline healthcare workers, face extreme stress.

 

13. Mental Health Counselors

Mental Health Counselors
Image Credit: Getty

Mental health counsellors earn a median salary of $51,240 and typically need a bachelor’s degree. The field is expected to grow by 10.6% by 2032. These counsellors help patients process life experiences that can cause grief and trauma. While assisting others in achieving better mental health is rewarding, it can also be draining. The pandemic has led to rising mental health needs, resulting in increased caseloads, more stress, and higher burnout rates for mental health counsellors.

 

12. Marriage and Family Therapist

Marriage and Family Therapist
Image Credit: Getty Images

Marriage and family therapists earn a median salary of $56,570 and typically need a master’s degree. The field is expected to grow by 14.9% by 2032. These licensed mental health professionals diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders within marriage, couples, and family systems. Although the career can be fulfilling, it is also demanding. Providing effective support while maintaining professional boundaries can be emotionally draining, and factors beyond their control can influence therapy progress.

 

11. Lawyers

The Richest Lawyers In The World
Lawyer | Image Credit: CBS

Lawyers earn a median salary of $135,740 and typically need a doctoral or professional degree. The field is expected to grow by 7.5% by 2032. Lawyers rank No. 1 among the Best Social Services Jobs and No. 14 among the Best-Paying Jobs. They provide legal advice to individuals or businesses in various areas of law. The adversarial nature of law, billable hour requirements, client demands, and high-stakes cases create a high-pressure environment. To manage stress, it is advised to set boundaries, delegate tasks when possible, and build time for stress management.

 

10. HR Specialist

HR Specialist
Image Credit: Maryville

HR specialists earn a median salary of $63,080 and typically need a bachelor’s degree. The field is expected to grow by 6.3% by 2032. Their duties include recruiting, facilitating employee onboarding, and managing compensation and benefits packages. According to Daniel Space, senior HR business partner director, HR specialists often experience the most stress during performance reviews and compensation processes.

 

9. High School Teacher

High School Teacher
High School Teacher | Image Credit: Cambridge

High school teachers earn a median salary of $62,360 and typically need a bachelor’s degree. The field is expected to grow by 1% by 2032. In the U.S., high school teachers instruct students from ninth through 12th grades. While rewarding, the job can be stressful. Educators often work long hours for little pay, manage overloaded classrooms, meet strict curriculum standards, and handle challenging student behaviours, leading to high attrition rates.

 

8. Financial Analyst

Financial Analyst
Financial Analyst | Image Credits: iStock

Financial analysts earn a median salary of $90,680 and typically need a bachelor’s degree. The field is expected to grow by 8.2% by 2032. Financial analysts analyze financial data, trends, and market conditions to help businesses make informed decisions. Despite their lucrative salaries, the job is demanding. The need for accuracy, staying updated on market trends, and making impactful decisions under tight deadlines, coupled with the volatility of financial markets, contributes to the high-stress levels in this profession.

 

7. Firefighter

Firefighter
Firefighter | iStock

Firefighters earn a median salary of $51,680 and typically need a postsecondary nondegree award. The field is expected to grow by 3.6% by 2032. Firefighters respond to emergencies involving fires, hazardous materials, and other disasters. According to Conor Hughes, an SHRM senior certified professional and HR consultant, firefighters work in dangerous, high-pressure environments where split-second decisions can mean life or death.

 

6. Dentists

Dentists
Dentist | Image Credit: Adobe Stock

Dentists earn a median salary of $155,040 and typically need a doctoral or professional degree. The field is expected to grow by 4.4% by 2032. Dentists diagnose and treat issues related to the mouth, gums, and teeth. According to career counsellor Lynn Berger, dentists have one of the most stressful jobs because many patients feel scared or uncomfortable about dental visits. Managing patients’ emotions can be mentally taxing, as it is an occupation with significant responsibility and limited positive feedback.

 

5. Child and Family Social Worker

Child and Family Social Worker
Image Credit: WLZW

Child and family social workers earn a median salary of $50,820 and typically need a bachelor’s degree. The field is expected to grow by 5.3% by 2032. These social workers provide interventions and support to ensure the well-being of children and families in need. According to Roehm, children’s services workers are under a heavy load due to rising rates of children struggling in school and parents balancing child care and work, especially in the post-COVID era.

 

4. Community Health Worker

Community Health Worker
Image Credit: iStock

Community health workers earn a median salary of $46,190 and typically need a high school diploma or equivalent. The field is expected to grow by 14.1% by 2032. They collaborate with community and health professionals to promote wellness. Despite their importance, these workers are often paid less than other healthcare professionals due to inadequate community resources. Additionally, loss of funding, increasing caseloads, and burnout have impacted these vital workers, according to Roehm.

 

3. Clinical Social Worker

Clinical Social Worker
Image Credit: Syracuse

Clinical social workers earn a median salary of $60,280 and typically need a master’s degree. The field is expected to grow by 9.6% by 2032. These licensed professionals diagnose and treat individuals with behavioural, mental, and emotional conditions. While rewarding, social work can be stressful. According to career consultant Kelly Roehm, roles that involve supporting communities have seen dramatic demands for time and energy, leading to increased stress levels.

 

2. Business Operations Manager

Business Operations Manager
Image Credit: Adobe Stock

Business operations managers earn a median salary of $98,100 and typically need a bachelor’s degree. The field is expected to grow by 4.2% by 2032. These managers oversee all business operations and set organizational goals. According to Burk, their stress often arises from managing budgets, optimizing processes, and meeting goals and deadlines, often without control over external factors like the business market and employee behaviour, which can impact outcomes.

 

1. Anesthesiologists

How To Become A Anesthesiologist
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Anesthesiologists earn a median salary of $239,200 and typically need a doctoral or professional degree. The field is expected to grow by 2.6% by 2032. These healthcare professionals monitor patient health during procedures and adjust anesthetic levels to manage pain.

According to organizational psychologist Etty Burk, the job is highly stressful due to the need for precision and constant vigilance, the potential for severe complications, and the unpredictability of patient responses.