Top 20 Most Stressful Jobs in America

It would seem logical that these top 20 most stressful jobs in America are also the highest paid ones, but for the most part, they aren’t even close. In fact, some of them barely make minimum wage.

While there are plenty of those that clear $100,000 a year, some of them are well below that, which begs the question why are people doing them? The answer isn’t simple. Some really like their jobs, regardless of the levels of stress involved. They deem that other aspects of the job they enjoy far outweigh the stress factor. Others spent a considerable amount f time, effort and money to get the education needed for their job which turned out not quite how they imagined it and now they feel stuck. Abandoning their degree and starting a new job feels too much and they see the daily grind till retirement (or suicide, whichever comes first) as their only option. Some people simply don’t have any other options.

Top 20 Most Stressful Jobs in America


While some stress is natural and can even have positive effects, a long-time exposure can be, and often is, quite damaging. High blood pressure, various heart diseases, and depression are just some of the possible outcomes of a high job-related stress.

According to the American Psychologists Association, there are several key factors that contribute to the stress at work:

• A sense of powerlessness
• Job description
• When you’re a square peg and your job is a round hole
• Traumatic events on the job
• Work setting

Anyone of these can be an overwhelming factor and in many cases, there is a combination of two or more of them at work. Coping with them is no easy task and there are countless methods devised for people under a high amount of stress, but in most cases, the only solution is eliminating the sources of stress altogether by changing the job. Unfortunately, this is much easier said than done and people are often forced to continue the 9-to-5 grind in stressful environments.

Comparing high-stress jobs worldwide can be quite interesting since Most Stressful Jobs in India and most stressful jobs in America don’t have much of an overlap. Regardless of whether you chalk up the differences to culture or simply job availability in different countries, it would be interesting to see the real reasons behind it.

When creating our list of top 20 most stressful jobs in America, we looked for the credible sources and we found two. The first one is Career Cast and the other is U.S. News. Curiously enough, both studies omit some occupations that are usually associated with high levels of job-related stress, like teachers and air traffic controllers. We will leave it up to you to decide whether is this just some myth-busting or simply an overlook on their part. Now, let’s see the list of top 20 most stressful jobs in America.