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What do GIs, firefighters, airline pilots and, yes, public relations execs have in common? They are on the front line when it comes to stress on the job, according to a new workplace survey.
Military personnel, whose lives are always at risk whether in Afghanistan or on a base back home, and those responsible for them have the No. 1 and No. 2 most stressful jobs out there, according to CareerCast.com. In addition to risk, the group’s “jobs rated score” also takes into account travel, working in the public eye, physical demand and danger.
Which brings us to the third-most-stressful job, which is being a firefighter. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there were 81 on-duty fatalities in 2011 and 77 in 2012. Another study showed a high incidence of heart attacks among firefighter fatalities. Some would say the risk for both military personnel and firefighters seems high compared with the reward: a median salary of $41,998 (E-7, 8-plus years of experience) for military personnel and $45,250 for firefighters.
The job of a commercial airline pilot, who zips across the sky at 565 mph with the weight of hundreds of passengers and tons of metal on his or her shoulders, is also stressful. The pilots’ median salary of $92,060 may do a better job of reflecting the risk involved, some might say.
PR execs appear in the No. 5 spot because they have the stress that comes with damage control. Just think of the hairs they’ve pulled out working for disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong. The median pay in PR is $57,550, according to CareerCast.
Rounding out the top 10 stressful jobs are senior corporate executive (median salary $101,250); photojournalist ($29,130); newspaper reporter ($36,000); taxi driver ($22,440); and police officer ($55,010). According to the Officer Down Memorial Page website, 126 officers died in the line of duty across the country last year, some by gunfire, others in accidents.
Should your job be in the Top 10? Is the above list on target or a little out of whack? Here are the areas CareerCast.com considered: travel, income growth potential, deadlines, working in the public eye, competitiveness, physical demands, environmental conditions, hazards encountered, own life at risk, life of another at risk, and meeting the public.