Who Has the Most Stress In Their Jobs? Not Who You Think

So your boss doesn't like your report, your can't find your password to get into the client's file, and your personal assistant has called in sick for the 15th time this month.  Think you have a stressful job? Think again.

According to smartplanet.com, get over it.  The 10 most stressful jobs in the U.S. actually start with first-line supervisors of police and detectives. "These are the people responsible for police activities. Surprisingly, the front-line police officers themselves are not considered to be in as stressful occupations," the Web site reports.

Next come mental health counselors, because they often work in times of crisis.  After them are education administrators, broadcast news analysts, nurse anesthetists, and phlebotomy technicians (the ones who draw blood). Surprisingly, air traffic controllers are eighth on the list, after pilots, co-pilots and flight engineers, at seven.  The last two won't surprise anyone -- surgeons and obstetricians/gynecologists (maybe that's why so many are no longer practicing!).

Writer Joe McKendrick notes that first-line police supervisors are under so much stress because they're the ones most responsible for making sure cities and towns get and stay safe. Who doesn't have a shrinking school budget? Education administrators must please many masters.

Does the inclusion of broadcast news analysts make you scratch your head? They're not in charge of who lives or dies, or stays safe in a plane.  But these guys are under intense pressure (every second is go!), always under deadline down to the, well, second.  (I worked in a newsroom when it was down to the minute, and that was excruciating, so imagine today, with the Internet and news old in almost that exact same amount of time.)

As for nurse anesthetists, that's pretty self-explanatory.  And phlebotomy technicians?  As someone who has spent practically a lifetime giving up blood, who would be calm and happy waving a needle around stressed-out, anxious, maybe even angry recipients?

The rest are pretty much obvious, but I had to laugh at the top of another list, the jobs with low levels of stress and relatively high pay.  Dental hygienists topped the list.  Tell that to my husband, the dentist.


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