Health & Wellbeing

The Top 10 Most Stressful Jobs In The World: Are They Worth It?

Find out the top 10 most stressful jobs in the world, and the salaries they pay.
Silhouettes of military personnelGetty

Ever hear your alarm blare off at the crack of dawn and think: “I need a less stressful job?”

Most people get the bulk of the stress in their lives from their day jobs. Every job certainly comes with its own fair share of stress, but some jobs are uniquely nerve-wracking. If you think you’ve got it bad already, we’ve got the top 10 most stressful jobs in the world to show you how good you’ve got it!

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What Makes A Job Stressful?

Job stress can be caused by excessive deadlines, fear of losing one’s job, or competition with other co-workers to get sales or close accounts.

There’s also a lot of strain involved in physically demanding jobs or jobs that require one to risk their life. There are even jobs that put the life of another person in the employee’s hands, which can be a source of great stress as well.

Other jobs, especially counselling and social work, require people to share in the emotional anguish of others, which can also create a significant amount of emotional stress.

The Top 10 Most Stressful Jobs In The World

10. Event Organiser

An event organiser planning dates
(Credit: Getty)

Salary: $USD 47,350 ($AUD 67,416)  

Event organisers need to manage a million tasks at once. They work with every person involved in the event while simultaneously coordinating logistics. And that’s only the baseline stress level – when something inevitably goes wrong, event coordinators are at ground zero fixing the mess and handling the angry clients.

There’s nothing quite as stressful as being yelled at by an angry bride asking why her bridesmaids’ dresses are half a shade of pink darker than she asked.

9. Paramedic

A paramedic wheeling a patient to an ambulance
(Credit: Getty)

Salary: $USD 45,021 ($AUD 64,100)

Paramedics will have to respond to every kind of medical emergency. They’ll show up at the scene of grisly car accidents, attend to burn victims after house fires, and deal with suicides. All this second-hand pain and death can take a toll on even the strongest of people.

8. Teacher

A teacher reading to children
(Credit: Getty)

Salary: $AUD 67,694

Teaching isn’t just about the classroom work. Teachers spend plenty of overtime grading pupils’ work. They also have to manage unruly classrooms and deal with problem students. It’s an admirable job, but it’s also not for the faint of heart.

7. Mental Health Professional

A psychologist talking to a patient
(Credit: Getty)

Salary: $USD 39,943 ($AUD 56,870)

Mental health professionals have to stay calm and composed in the face of people who may be resistant to therapy and might even lash out. They’re also susceptible to their own breakdowns after enduring plenty of painful sessions. Helping other people while holding it together might be one of the most challenging jobs for any counsellor or psychiatrist.

6. Surgeon

Three surgeons operating on a patient
(Credit: Getty)

Salary: $AUD 154,251

Surgeons need to be mentally prepared for a variety of scenarios whenever they enter the operating room. Unexpected developments, complications, and sudden changes in vital signs all require surgeons to think quickly and act even faster. For surgeons, their job performance can literally mean life or death for someone else. This kind of burden is shared among surgeons, paramedics, nursing jobs, and other medical occupations.

5. Taxi Driver

A taxi driver talking to a passenger
(Credit: Getty)

Salary: $AUD 326 per day

Lots of people love to go on long scenic drives out in the country. But would they love doing those long drives every day, stuck in traffic? What if the passengers were sometimes drunk, rude, or even violent? Such is the life of a taxi driver.

4. Commercial Pilot

Two pilots flying a plane
(Credit: Getty)

Salary: $AUD 72,534

Being a pilot is quite prestigious, but it comes with a lot of its own unique stressors. Changing time zones, a constant state of jet lag, hours of staring at instrument panels, oh and of course being the only thing stopping the plane from being a metal coffin for hundreds of passengers! All of these things make being a commercial pilot one of the most surprisingly high-stress jobs in our modern world.

3. Firefighter

Firefighters fighting a house fire
(Credit: Getty)

Salary: $AUD 65,595

Bush fires, burning houses, and saving cats in trees are all in a day’s work for a firefighter. But it’s not just the very real danger of death and injury, but also the inconsistent shifts and the on-call emergencies that add stress and worry to every firefighter’s life.

2. Police Officer

A police offer looking over a cop car
(Credit: Getty)

Salary: $AUD 72,284

Police work in Australia might pay a pretty penny, but officers put themselves at risk every time they don the uniform. From arresting deadly suspects, to entering engagements with armed robbers, and even defusing hostage situations, police officers need to be the best of the best, and trained to handle the worst. That kind of regular tension can wear out even the hardiest of individuals.

1. Enlisted Military 

Silhouettes of military personnel
(Credit: Getty)

Salary: $AUD 59,500 

So what is the most stressful job in the world? Well for our money; with risks ranging from PTSD to dismemberment and even death, there’s no surprise that working in the army takes our top spot for the most stressful job in Australia. And that’s not even considering the months or even years spent away from friends and family. 

Someone Has To Do It

All of these are incredibly tough jobs, but without the grit and resilience of the people who do them, we wouldn’t have surgeons, soldiers, or firefighters. Sometimes the most stressful jobs are inherently the ones that contribute the most to society. If you know someone who works in any of these fields, take the time to appreciate the work they do, and maybe buy them a drink sometime!

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