Global job-search engine CareerCast recently released its annual job stress report identifying the leading low-stress and high-stress professions for 2017.
The report analyzes 11 factors that represent the most common stressors in any given profession, such as deadlines, public scrutiny and physical demands. It considers the likelihood a worker will encounter one of the factors in a typical day.
“Workplace relationships aren’t factored, since that will vary greatly for most people in the same field,” said Kyle Kensing, CareerCast’s online content editor.
Working under tight deadlines and the fear of lawsuits or layoffs caused newspaper reporters and broadcasters to rank in the top 10 high-stress professions.
“Newspaper reporters face consistently tight deadlines, thus score highly for deadlines as one of its contributing stress factors,” said Kensing.
Enlisted military, firefighters and pilots ranked in the top three for having the most stress. Some employees thrive on stress, and benefit from working in professions that put their lives at risk.
The impact that stress has on the workforce is not emphasized enough, said Jeanette Bronée, Nourishment Expert and founder of health consultancy Path for Life.
“In the moment, stress can make us feel as if we are more efficient and productive, but essentially we are not effective, which is what performance is all about,” said Bronée.
Bronée once worked as a fashion executive who thrived on her high-stress profession. She said she loves challenging herself and feeling “on.” Stress gave her tunnel vision where she focused on only what was urgent and right in front of her. Eventually she gave up her demanding career to help others take charge of their health.
On-the-job stress can be caused by a number of reasons. Political journalists must adapt to new policy directions anytime there’s a change in administration, such as the new presidency, for instance, and taxi drivers not only endure bad traffic and weather, they face increased competition from ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft.
Years spent in a stressful job can cause physical discomfort and health maladies, but Bronée said you don’t have to quit your job or take time off. The cause of stress is not from being busy, but from worrying about what you won’t get done.
Bronée advised to fight stress by shifting your attention. She practices mindfulness to stop “stress-thinking” and become more focused and effective.
“When we change our relationship with time and our very own body we start seeing self-care as the foundation for being busy, performing and thriving, all at the same time,” said Bronée. Those who love the natural high that stress induces should try finding this in other aspects of their life, such as an intense workout, Bronée said.
Those who don’t flourish in a physically demanding, hazardous or unpredictable environment should consider professions such as diagnostic medical sonographer, information security analyst or university professor. These jobs appeared in CareerCast’s list of low-stress professions.
CareerCast’s least stressful job — diagnostic medical sonographer, with an annual median income of $63,630 and growth outlook of 24 percent — could be a good fit for those seeking to avoid stress while earning a solid income. Although it requires advanced training, audiologist is another low-stress profession and has an annual median income of $74,890 and growth outlook of 29 percent.
Those with an aptitude for math, who find intrigue in the secrets of data and have the determination to work through problems should consider the profession of operations research analyst with an annual salary of $78,630 and 30 percent growth outlook.
Mia Mancini is an intern at Workforce. Comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.