Jobs With The Highest Stress For The Lowest Pay

Are you feeling underworked and overpaid? You very well may be, compared to people in the top 15 most stressful, lowest-paying careers, according to CNN Money rounded these jobs up, and explained why they made the list.

Here are the top 15:

  1. Social worker
  2. Special events coordinator
  3. Probation officer
  4. News reporter
  5. Music ministry director
  6. Membership manager
  7. Fundraiser
  8. Commercial photographer
  9. Assisted living director
  10. Minister
  11. Marriage/family therapist
  12. Curator
  13. Substance abuse counselor
  14. Film/TV producer
  15. High school teacher

What would you add to the list? Besides your own job, of course.

Stressful jobs that pay badly [CNN Money]

(Photo: helgasms!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. DerangedRoleModel says:

    Crack whore trainee.

    • idip says:

      Parking ticket writer.

      They are always hated, they only write tickets to violators but are constantly spit on, have cans thrown at, and generally threatened every now and then… need i mention this is only on a college campus, lol.

      • Karita says:

        @idip: I hold administrative hearings once a week for people who want to dispute their parking tickets. I see the abuse our enforcement officers get, and it is so sad. Nobody deserves to get treated like that.

        People are almost always nice to me because they know I’m the one that makes the decision, but I watch them as they sign in and deal with the staff up front. They aren’t so nice to people that are “below” them. Also see them come in off the street and yell at everyone around when they have just received a ticket. There is a reason we have bulletproof glass, armed security and a direct line to the police station. It’s not pretty.

        • bohemian says:

          @Karita: I had to pay the hubby’s parking ticket last summer. I wasn’t mad about it. He admitted he forgot to plug the meter, I was just running the errand since they don’t have an online payment yet. The person behind the counter was cranky and nasty. All I wanted to do was give them money, get a receipt and get on with my day. They were probably cranky from dealing with people treating them like crap but taking it out on the ones that are not treating them like crap isn’t any better.

      • Joeb5 says:

        Have you seen parking wars? I thing the lot offers have it a lot harder.

    • RandomHookup says:

      @DerangedRoleModel: That’s “assistant crack whore”, thankyouverymuch.

  2. mdkiff says:

    President of the U.S.

    • W10002 says:

      @mdkiff: That’s actually a really good one. The fate of an entire nation, making decisions that will impact billions, and the position is paid less than a CEO running a company that’s only a fraction of the country’s economy.

    • MostlyHarmless says:

      @mdkiff: On a Stress:Pay ratio, I would say, yeah it qualifies. But then, it has perks. Like people microanalyzing your each and every move. And declaring your presidency “over” every time you have a minor set back.

    • Buckus says:

      @mdkiff: The pay might be “low” relatively speaking, but I hear the benefits are fantastic.

    • bohemian says:

      @mdkiff: I think about this every time I hear some Wall Street banker crying about possibly not getting their multi-million dollar bonus. What does the prez make a year? Is it still $450,000?

    • TechnoDestructo says:


      The pay after you leave the job (but which you get BECAUSE YOU HAD THE JOB) tends to be higher than the salary itself.

      Also, of 43 US presidents, twelve have either been assassinated or had serious attempts on their life either while in office or afterward. What other job has 9.3 percent of people holding it dead within 4 years? And I’m not sure even 28 percent of soldiers in combat zones have attempts on their life…and they certainly have lower death rates.

      Actually, that’s only for developed-world troops. Being an Iraqi insurgent is probably more dangerous than being a US president.

  3. ryno365 says:

    Of course a high school teacher.

    • thehouserules says:

      @ryno365: I think any kind of teacher qualifies. I have a few friends that are elementary school teachers that have plenty of stress for not a lot of pay. Same goes for many non-tenured college professors.

    • Outrun1986 says:

      @ryno365: I agree, being a teacher definitely qualifies. It probably depends on what type of school your in and what pay your getting, but its not something I would want to be in my city. The school district here is a place of Nepotism to the extreme, and you can’t get in unless your last name is one of 2 that I will not mention here. Probably why the district sucks so much, you can only get in if your in those 2 families and if you are belonging to one of them you will get in regardless of experience or education (well you would have to have a teaching degree but your pretty much guaranteed a job the day you step out of college). You have to deal with parents complaining about this and that constantly and always my kid is the best and didn’t do it and parents who think school is nothing but a free day care service.

      Not to mention kids and parents that don’t know anything and parents that are completely unwilling to teach their kids anything so it is left on the teacher’s shoulders to single-handedly properly raise an entire class of children with minimal parental involvement.

    • lmarconi says:

      @ryno365: Teacher is soo there – though it really does depend on new teacher in inner city school making $30,000 versus tenured teacher in upper crust school, public or private making $75,000 (yeah, it happens)

      • mazzic1083 says:

        @lmarconi: Not to mention that a lot of teachers I know get to “de-stress” on all the holidays and summer / winter vacations. sure it has its stresses and lots of take home but they still get paid for only working 9 months out of the year; as long as they keep that in the back of their mind I’m sure nothing can stress them that much

    • smiling1809 says:

      @ryno365: Teachers here make good money, and it isn’t that bad as far as stress. I don’t know why teaching gets such a bad rap.

    • karmaghost says:

      @ryno365: How ’bout special education teachers and their paraprofessionals?

    • korybing says:

      @ryno365: Oh god, no kidding. My mother’s starting pay for being kindergarten-12th grade art teacher was something around 17,000 a year. Every evening and weekend was full of her grading projects, class planning, extra-curricular activities (she was the Scholar Bowl coach, theater director, and Speech team coach), and her summers were full of summer school. Not to mention having to deal with kids aged 5-18 every day, and parents of bad children who can’t possibly believe that their little hellspawn could ever do anything wrong. Also the threat of constant lawsuits from sue-happy parents.

      After growing up seeing what she went through, I would never want to teach. Which is a shame, since teaching is one of the most important jobs you can do, but nobody seems to give a rat’s ass about it.

      • Alys Brangwin can't stop the beat says:

        @korybing: Bingo. Knowing what my mom went through, I would never teach. That’s exactly why I’m in grad school getting job training to be a court interpreter. No classrooms for me!

  4. bhaughey says:

    Mouse trap refurbisher.

  5. Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:


    Just sayin’.

  6. Quake 'n' Shake says:

    Border Patrol officer

  7. Darascon says:

    Retail Holiday Help.

    But, then again, you know what you’re getting into with that one.

  8. Geekmom says:

    Apartment manager? They seem to always be stressed.

    • proskills says:

      @Geekmom: Having some insight into this one… Not really. You just only see them when they are stressed because they are at your house telling you to quiet down. They usually get free rent for about 10 hours of work per week. Pretty sweet deal, really.

      • RandomHookup says:

        @proskills: Depends upon the complex. Throw in a few crack whores and a little gun violence and it’s better than Disney World.

        New slogan: We have 9-1-1 on speed dial!

  9. leastcmplicated says:

    probably any job that works on commission…

    • junip says:

      @leastcmplicated: not really. commission jobs are based on your skill by nature. when i worked on commission i was making more money than my store manager, and i enjoyed it.

      • leastcmplicated says:

        @junip: right but i was thinking with the way that the economy is, not many people are buying therefore you dont get any commission. I know my buddy works on commission for a lumber company and with all the rain we’ve been having (Georgia) his sales have been way down.

  10. Ayanami says:

    Retail customer service associate.

  11. axiomatic says:

    Low level Mafia courier

  12. DanDestructo says:

    Really? High School Teacher? I can’t see them as being one of the lowest paid, but I guess it depends on what district you work in…a lot of my friends are schoolteachers, and if you “de-annualize” their pay (my area has approx. 2 months off during summer recess), they do pretty well.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @DannyJD: They are pretty low-paid, but only in comparison to people who make more. If you make less than the average high school teacher, I could see how you might think high school teachers are paid a reasonable amount.

      I think my high school teachers were making about $28,000 to $35,000. It’s a ton of work and a ton of stress.

      • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: Factor in that you’re also going to end up being a disciplinarian these days since kids seem to be such shits who don’t get disciplined at home. You can’t teach jack if all your students are talking over you.

      • DanDestructo says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: well, thinking someone makes a lot because they make more than does kind of make sense. in my area, a lot of teachers start around the 45k mark, increasing once tenured. again, take into account they get paid a year salary on 10 months of work (with some taking in summer jobs) and you’re well into the mid 50s…

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          @DannyJD: The problem lies in the fact that they would only be paid around $45,000 for what amouts to 10 months of work, but nearly every day is more than 8 hours of work. The kids come in at 8, but you have to be there at 7 to get everything prepped. The kids leave at 3 or 4, but you have to stay for meetings or to grade papers. Teachers are being expected to take their work home now, so a lot of them end up pulling 12 hour days because of all the time required to do their jobs.

          • Rectilinear Propagation says:

            @pecan 3.14159265: Not to mention the fact that you can’t even get school districts to pay for tissue anymore much less paper or other regular in class supplies. Teachers have to spend some of their own pay for class stuff.

            That’s also why parents get those lists now telling them to buy a billion things at the start of the school year.

          • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

            @pecan 3.14159265: Contractually, they’re obligated to work 6 hours and 15 minutes in my district. They receive full health care for their entire family free, and a generous government-guaranteed pension (that the district pays their contribution to as well).

            ANYONE in a professional career is expected to take work home and most professionals don’t have contracted hours after which they can leave — they work until the work is done. Very few professionals have a 180-day work year and two months off in the summer while earning a full-time salary.

            Our teachers have a contractual maximum number of meetings a month (1 or 2, depending) which cannot last beyond a certain time limit (short) and must be paid $26/hour for every one beyond that. We have six teachers in our impoverished, money-strapped urban district who make more than $100,000/year in base salary, before the extra start accruing. (And three of them teach PE or drivers ed.)

            • lightaugust says:

              @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): If you know a teacher who can get the job done passably, not to mention well, in 6h, 15 m, I’d like to hire them.

              As an educator, you just have to know that you don’t get in it for the money. Period. You get in it for the love of the job, and the love of what you do. Unfortunately, that’s very easy to think when you’re 20 (as I did) and not so easy when you’re 36 (which I am) and the kids need the diapers (which they do). However, we do have time, and we do, depending on the district, have great benefits, both of which are increasingly valuable commodities. Secondly, we also, for the most part, get to spend most of our waking hours doing what we love, and trite as it sounds, that’s a great feeling.

              If there’s a salary argument to be made, it’s that most teachers/ educators have to get advanced degrees, and tons of extra training. And when you place careers that require advanced degrees side by side, educators do invariably come out last.

            • Alys Brangwin can't stop the beat says:

              @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): It must be nice to have a teachers union. It’s forbidden by law in NC for teachers to unionize. I never understood why no one has challenged it in court yet.

              • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

                @Alys Brangwin can’t stop the beat: For (most of) the teachers, yes.

                It’s the most powerful lobby in the state of Illinois (largest donor to statehouse races), which creates its own problems. You’ve probably read the stories about the “rubber room” in NYC where all the teachers they can’t fire go and get paid a full salary to sit there and do nothing? Illinois districts often get into similar situations where the union is so powerful nobody can be fired ever.

                • ngallion says:

                  @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): Low pay, check. High stress, check. Especially if you’re even remotely “inner city”. Basically we’re getting payed to break up fights and get sworn at all day before going home to do paperwork all night.

                  Not to mention that those jobs are nowhere near the higher-paying teaching positions.

        • rellog321 says:

          @DannyJD: What state do you live in???? In most astaes starting is in the high twenties, low thirties. And consider also, many (if not most) require continuing education to maintain licensure. Most districts often don’t pay for that, and since much of that is Master’s level, it’s more expensive. Also, in my state we need to maintain a portfolio, which is done on our time. Add to that the fact that teacher’s pay has actually decreased over the last couple of decades compared with inflation and it isn’t quite the “reasonable” pay that you speak of. Also, factor in no paid vacation, and out of pocket classroom expenses (up to near $1000/year for those of us with limited classroom budgets) and the time outside of school the we have to spend on work related things (grading, prepping, continuing education, unpaid supervisory roles, shopping for classroom materials,etc.) and that salary isn’t all that great…

      • the dodo, the cuckoo, and the nene says:

        @pecan 3.14159265:In my area, high school teachers make at least $50,000 starting salary with a bachelor’s degree. In the high school where I work (public), there are teachers who make well over 100K. Of course, if you move further downstate, you have teachers starting out with salaries of around 25-30,000 and topping out at around 45,000. The variance in teacher pay within my state is astounding.

      • smiling1809 says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: $50,000 is pretty standard around here, and discipline isn’t that hard, even witht he worst kids if you know what you are doing. So many teacher go in with an “I’m going to win” attitude, and they don’t listen or even try to understand. A kid who gets his ass beat every night is infact going to have trouble functioning at school. Teachers forget that and don’t treat the students like people who they want to help. They treat them like animals instead of finding out where they are coming from and approaching it that way.

        A little kindess, fairness, and fun can go a long way in controlling the classroom. When the kids want to be in your room, the discipline takes care of itself.

        • rellog321 says:

          @smiling1809: Spoken like a true non-teacher… I keep seeing “around here…” please back up you comments with facts. What areas are these “standards” at that they seem to buck the national trend so easily?

    • consumerfan says:

      @DannyJD: Schoolteachers are no longer given time to prepare for class so that (and marking) has to be done for free.
      Just before school starts, there may be a day or more working onsite plus a few days of preparation.

      Having 2 months off sounds good but it’s obviously the most expensive time for trips – you don’t get to choose the time. And if you want to work for those 2 months, you need an entirely different job.

      And, you’re working with children most of whom don’t wish to be there. I’d rather be a news reporter.

      • Rachacha says:

        @consumerfan: Your logic to me has a few holes in it.

        “Schoolteachers are no longer given time to prepare for class so that (and marking) has to be done for free.”
        Most teachers are salary employees, meaning they get paid a fee regardless of whether it takes them 1 hour or 10 hours to finish. Not exactly “Free”
        “Just before school starts, there may be a day or more working onsite plus a few days of preparation.”
        This is really no different than a professional getting ready for that big client meeting, or end of the fiscal year push. Employees will often work countless hours preparing for the meeting, often times working weekends. Just like a teacher, if they are salary employees, they receive no additional compensation for the extra hours they put in.

        “Having 2 months off sounds good but it’s obviously the most expensive time for trips – you don’t get to choose the time.”
        And if you are a parent with school aged children, you generally are limited on when you can take a vacation, scheduling around school breaks and holidays…the same time that teachers schedule their vacations.

        “And if you want to work for those 2 months, you need an entirely different job.”
        Teach Summer school. You will get paid additional money above your base salary, and most school districts are looking for teachers to teach summer school (whether it be for “fun” classes like art or computers, or woodshop, or core requirements like history or math.

        “And, you’re working with children most of whom don’t wish to be there.”
        I can’t argue with that statement.

        With that said, as with any profession, you have excellent people who are worth their weight in gold, and you have not so good people who could be gone for 6 months and you would not notice the difference. When my child was attending public school, the teachers were uninspriring and did nothing but discipline the kids (in Kindergarten). We have since moved the kids to a private school, and the teachers (and parents) actually care about the success of the kids. Teachers and parents work together to encourage good behavior and learning, and have a talent for bringing out skills in students that no one knew existed.

        • consumerfan says:


          Here’s the con. A school employs a teacher on a permanent contract. But the school doesn’t dictate syllabus or workload – the local education board and government does. So, the government continually adds requirements to schools who have no choice but to add those loads onto teachers. The government doesn’t always fund those requirements and the school doesn’t always fund them either. The cost is passed to the teacher.

          In business, this sort of situation is sorted out in market terms. Much the same for private education. For state funded education, teachers workloads continue to increase along with (sometimes absurd) requirements.

          As for the extra-curricular work, I’m not suggesting that teachers shouldn’t have to do it. I’m merely suggesting that it isn’t really a 2 month holiday. They’re contracted to work all year round, and you can’t “deannualize” their salary as DannyJD suggested.

    • lucasbeth says:

      My husband and I have the exact same level of education (Masters degrees in engineering from the same school), but as a business analyst he makes *way* more than I did annually as a high school math teacher. I counted up the hours I spent on all my teacher duties, and I worked the SAME number of hours per year as he does (even though it is all crammed into 10 months), for MUCH LESS money.

      If we want public education not to suck, we need to pay teachers more. Not because those who currently teach deserve more (many DO NOT), but because higher pay would attract the kind of people we want education their kids.

    • enine says:

      Teachers where I grew up were always complaining about low pay. They made more than my father did at a machinist job which he had to drive to the next county over and work second shift. Now I work in IT and get paid a nice salary but three houses over is a school teacher, affords to live in the same neighborhood as I, has a wife and kids to support as I do, but can afford to drive a BMW compared to my chevy, has multiple big screen tv’s to watch all the cable sports networks, can afford an apple computer, etc so he seems to be doing fine salary wise.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @enine: It’s a little unfair to be comparing then and now – the cost of living has gone up, and the demands of teaching have gone up as well. Your father worked two jobs, but what about your mother? What did she do for a living?

        No offense, but you should just a touch envious of your neighbor. Just because someone has multiple big screen TVs (which isn’t really too expensive nowadays) and an Apple computer (what are you doing, spying on him?) doesn’t mean they’re flush. I knew a 19 year old once who bought his own Mercedes – it was used, but you couldn’t tell.

      • ichiban1081 says:

        @enine: Teachers,especially working in NYC, have lots of benefits. I work for the NYCDOE and they have a very strong union. Also the benefits they receive are amazing, plus they get a lot of time off and if they work overtime it’s called Per Session. I forgot what that entitles in terms of pay but they make a ton of it. Also not all teachers work all 8 periods of the day and have multiple periods of off time where they go pay their bills, run errands, etc. Gym teachers have it the best.

      • mobiuschic42 says:

        @enine: Or he’s in incredible debt…you never know!

    • rhodies says:

      According to an article in U.S. News & World Report, teachers who generally have 186-192 work day contracts work such long hours after the school day and weekends on preparations and required district activities that they actually work only 4 hours less per year than a person with a 40 hour a week job, but – they have to do this all within 36 weeks. No wonder so many teachers do not get to enjoy a healthy retirement. It all relates back to stress.

      • rellog321 says:

        @rhodies: link? I’d be interested to read that…

        • korybing says:

          I want to know where all these school districts are where the teachers start at 50,000 a year. My mother was a teacher (she’s a principal now) and her starting pay back in the early 1990s was something around 17,000 bucks. Our school district is incredibly rural and poor, and there were only 500 kids in the entire k-12 school, so I am assuming that had something to do with the measly pay. The only person making more than 40k was the superintendent, and the school board fired him when he asked for a raise.

    • Alys Brangwin can't stop the beat says:

      @DannyJD: My mom when she started out lost her entire paycheck to my parents’ mortgage. She had a masters degree and qualified for the higher level on the payscale for nearly all the 32 years that she taught. She was never compensated for running the Key Club, the National Honor Society, or keeping score for the academic team. She taught two different foreign languages and always had at least five different preparations, meaning she was teaching French II, III, IV, V, Spanish III, IV, and sometimes V too. She would grade papers until 11 p.m. some nights, and when I got older I was able to help her file and grade papers and enter grades. I don’t know how she did it with two young children. In the summer she had about 300 dollars to have fun with before she’d need to use it from my parents’ joint account. With two little kids that wanted to go to the pool, the movies, or out for ice cream, she had to really budget and was always down to about 10 bucks by the end of July. She always missed my open house times to meet my teachers because she had to be at school herself greeting people and then cleaning up until 9 p.m. She had parent-teacher conferences four times a year and that ran until 7 p.m. She had prom and graduation duty every year, and the only years she could weasel out of graduation was when my older brother and I graduated. She almost always lost her lunch time once a month for a week to lunch duty, where she’d have to stand in the cafeteria and radio for an administrator if a fight broke out. She had planning periods that were constantly interrupted, and due to space constraints never got to use her classroom for planning. She’d get kicked out of the library when there was student overflow from other classrooms. And of course her weekends were devoted to housework, more grading papers, writing lesson plans for the coming week, and running two large student organizations efficiently. And to top it all off, that awesome salary of hers was bitten into every month by state taxes and health care and money taken out for pension and all the other normal payroll deductions, so she usually wound up with half or maybe 60% if she was lucky.

    • fwdmd says:

      Teaching, as to stress – pretty much depends on where and what you’re teaching. The pay usually does suck compared with other professions with the same educational requirements, because teachers – do have to have those degrees they paid for themselves, may have big loans to pay out on – and teachers generally pay a lot for continuing ed. out of pocket. Or in unpaid time.

      Lots of teachers have a huge amount of stress – whether because they can’t figure out how to do classroom or task management, which IS their problem – or because they’re getting slammed by ridiculous requirements no normal person could meet. And that’s where the stress and additional personal costs in time – really come in.

      I liked teaching, but I always managed to find myself in healthy situations where I felt reasonably, if not well-paid, and with reasonable expectations. (not to say I worked easy-looking assignments, I just like working with very at-risk kids most teachers avoided. And I do agree its somewhat of a calling, you sort of need to feel the importance matches out the other problematic issues to feel any fulfillment.)

      The one time I was in a truly crappy and badly-managed school situation, I was able to quit. But I was single and without enough obligations to make it impossible to do so and bounce back. Not that many teachers have the luxury of such, and it’s a very hard profession to transition back out of. School-teacher doesn’t exactly endear anyone reading your resume, and shining your apple – nope.

  13. Dondegroovily says:

    At the opposite end, you got pharmacist, high pay, low stress.

  14. Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

    Music Minister:

    But they also choose the appropriate psalm or hymn for every wedding and funeral — only some of the most important events in a family’s life. And those stressful situations can create some demanding clients.

    “Every now and then you’ll get a strange request,” said Dan Fenn, Music Ministry Director at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Northfield, Minn”

    I had the organist play the Notre Dame fight song & alma mater at my wedding. Because I’m awesome like that.

    (Did anyone else notice NBC running the alma mater lyrics as the crawl after last Saturday’s game? SWEET!)

  15. bhr says:

    I have to think call center folks, especially for utilities/cable/phone. No one calls happy, everyone thinks you are an idiot and management expects you to upsell every call, regardless of the customers issue.

    • Acolyte says:

      @bhr: You beat me to it! Don’t forget also the dreaded average call handle time plus all the damn scripts you have to adhere to….

    • AdmiralKit says:

      @bhr: Throw in technical support as well. Not only are you scrambling to solve the issue while dealing with call times, but the customers are angry that their expensive device just broke on them. The network attached storage units we supported were the worst. High failure rate, bureaucracy out the wazoo, and a warehouse that would take weeks to ship replacement devices. Try telling an accountant who just lost 5 years of client records that because they only bought one unit totaling several thousand dollars instead of two that they only had an archive and not an actual backup. They just loooove that.

  16. NETHED says:

    How about Graduate students?! We are often mistaken for homeless people, we make pennies, garner no respect from anyone (except younger grad students), and our hours are “work until you pass out, we will try not to kick you while walking on you”.

    Ohh, and at the end, your research might be scooped and you can’t graduate.

    • babyruthless says:

      @NETHED: Ding ding ding. You’ve got backing from an ABD who is mired in math problems.

    • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

      @NETHED: I really hope you don’t consider being a grad student a paid career.

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        @Persistence: It might not be a career but graduate TAs do get paid and a lot of them (at least at my college) are the ones who end up teaching the classes.

        @NETHED: They got respect from me. A couple of my better teachers were graduate students.

    • utensil42 says:

      @NETHED: Yup. I was going to say it, but figured “graduate student” isn’t really a career. Hopefully.

      • NETHED says:

        @utensil42: Doing something for at least 5 years I would call a mini-career. But I agree, I can’t wait to be done.

        I’m ABD (all but dissertation), but I see poor schmucks who are going into their 8th year (!!!!!) as a chemistry grad student with very little hope of finishing soon.

        • utensil42 says:

          @NETHED: Yeah, I can see that. I’m looking at 5 (maybe 6 if the dissertation data doesn’t work out…) but am currently an ABD.

    • farcedude says:

      @NETHED: Definitely. I’m an undergrad, and see what grad students put up with (up to and including ME), and I wouldn’t touch that with a 10 foot pole.

    • Science is for girls! says:

      @NETHED: OMG this. Pay aside, you’re expected to be omniscient the day you’re admitted. While it isn’t a career, it is a full time job. And let’s face it, even if you’re full ride with a stipend, odds are you’re still living under the poverty line.

    • Buckus says:

      @NETHED: Grad student isn’t a career. It is a means to an end. When you are a successful grad student, you stop being a grad student.

    • Bob Lu says:

      @NETHED: Grad student isn’t even a real job.

    • smiling1809 says:

      @NETHED: Huh? Grad school is the easiest gig I have ever had (at a real school.) I worked full-time and go to school full-time, and am interning right now, all with a family to boot.

  17. utensil42 says:

    How about corrections officers?

  18. GitEmSteveDave_ThatChickRockingKicks says:

    What about High School Guidance Counselor? Their job is pretty meaningless.

    It’s important to have a job that makes a difference, people. That’s why I manually masturbate caged animals for artificial insemination.

  19. Tim says:

    Curator? Hmm, I’m not sure about that one.

    As for news reporter, I wholeheartedly agree.

    • AI says:

      @TCama: Yeah, what the hell. Do they mean something like a museum curator? How could that possibly be stressful. Maybe it’s not stressful, but the pay is so low the ratio is still high.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @AirIntake: Museum curators do more than just look at art and sculptures all day – they have to be experts at what they’re looking at, sometimes they handle the acquisition of materials, oversee other departments, have to sometimes oversee the financial side of keeping a museum’s catalog relevant.

        I think a great deal of stress comes from the community itself – you really have to know your stuff, and be able to defend your views, and if you are at a museum that prides itself on groundbreaking research, archive work, or restoration – your name is on the line.

    • thesadtomato says:

      @TCama: @AirIntake: Yeah, if you worked in a museum you would see how stressed they are. I find it amusing that this list essentially contains my job, my boss’s job, my co-worker’s job, and curator, all non-profit/museum jobs.

      A curator’s job is stressful because there’s a lot more to mounting an exhibition than picking out stuff and hanging it on a wall. @pecan 3.14159265: Yes. You have to know your stuff, you have to know what stuff you need to borrow from other museums (which costs a lot of money) and then you need to figure out how to get that money (grants). It costs money to preserve collections items, so you have to figure out to get money to preserve them before or after they are displayed. Moving a collections item from one museum to the next costs $. You have to figure out how to get money . . . rinse and repeat every year, for every exhibition.

    • TVGenius says:

      @TCama: Yeah, I pretty much figured that there’d be a few TV-related jobs on there. Then again, don’t see why any of those positions are harder than any other TV position. They all suck, but we love it anyway.

    • Laura Northrup says:

      @TCama: Many curator and museum workers are paid for 20-25 hours per week and expected to work more than 40, thanks to budget constraints. It’s a field that you get into if you have a spouse willing to support you, and that’s about it.

    • Papa Midnight says:

      @TCama: I second news reporter.

  20. Etoiles says:

    I’d add a lot of retail positions, and food service. Employees in those professions have to put up with a lot of outright abuse from customers, and generally make minimum wage or not-much-over doing it.

    • kateblack says:

      @Etoiles: Absolutely. Everyone should have to work food service on Mother’s Day and retail on Black Friday at least once in their lives.

      • Yurei says:

        @kateblack: Yeah. As a cook I get to loo kforward to working probably Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s this year. -_- uhg. Least I should be getting double time and a half.

      • Etoiles says:

        @kateblack: Even “better” than GameStop on Black Friday was working CVS on Christmas Eve.

        Yes, we are sold out of tape, wrapping paper, and Christmas lights. No, I am not hiding some in the back. Yes, we did in fact order enough but the square footage of our store and stockroom are limited. No, swearing profusely at the 18-year-old behind the counter about how she personally ruined your family’s Christmas will not make anything better for anyone…

    • MamaBug says:

      @Etoiles: minimum wage? i served for 2 years and only made hourly $2.13. yes, there are tips, but 3% of that was distributed between the bartended (whether or not alchoholic drinks were ordered) bussers (whether or not they did a good job) and hostesses (who made more per hour than we did); WHETHER or not we were tipped. so, if you tipped 10%, I only made 7%. The $2.13/hr paycheck baiscally went to paying taxes.

    • colorisnteverything says:

      Agreed. I worked in retail MANY black fridays, which sucked. I also worked in food supply. We had a retail outlet that sold maninly to businesses but also to private customers and organizations. Christmas was awful, but believe it or not, the worst was Fourth of July. That sucked.

  21. riroon says:

    Way back when, I worked for an answering service in a major city while trying to afford college tuition. After two years working there, I can truthfully and honestly say that it ruined my adult life. Putting up with rude doctors, attorneys, not-so-above-board construction companies, plus all their clientele (usually p.o.’ed), I have no doubt I would’ve been a better person had I never stepped foot in the place.

    (FWIW, I became a public school teacher — cakewalk compared to the answering service job).

  22. StankGunner says:

    I used to work Quality Control at a CD manufacturer. Nothing quite as fun as always being told “What now!?” when you walk up to them.

  23. WonderKatGoBoom says:

    Elementary school teacher. What do you do with third graders’ homework when even the parents can’t complete it? ANY teacher in a low-income area (called Title 1) is in for an incredibly stressful ride. My favorite incident was when I was taking something to my best friend (3rd grade teacher) and I overheard a parent say, “Well, as long as she don’t get no F, I’m cool with dat.”

    And that’s the least depressing story.

    • merely_a_muse says:

      @WonderKat: Teaching in high income areas can be it’s own set of challenges. My mom had a kid tell her once “Well, if reading is so important then I’ll pay someone to do it for me”. Parents at her school are absolutely insane.

      So basically, teaching sucks everywhere.

    • secret_curse says:

      @WonderKat: I’ll throw in that my mom teaches in a solidly middle class town but she still has parents that coach their kids through failing the special ed tests so that they get more welfare money.

  24. BeyondtheTech says:

    Somehow, I thought “Mother/homemaker” would make that list.

  25. thehouserules says:

    I hear that entry level positions in cut-throat law firms and wall street companies are brutal. 80+ hours a week with low pay and high expectations. Same goes for medical residents. Of course, these jobs lead to potentially very lucrative jobs, but for the time being they are worked like dogs.

    • bhr says:

      @thehouserules: entry level jobs at the big law firms still pay in the low to mid $100k area. Same with most Wall Street gigs.

      • Karita says:

        @bhr: I specifically didn’t go to a big law firm because the hourly rate is awful, if you divide the salary by actual hours worked. It works out to be less than $20 an hour, and from what I’ve heard from friends that went that route, it’s brutal as far as stress. I’m happy with my $22 an hour at the small firm I work, as I still get a social life.

        No idea what kind of hours they work on Wall Street.

  26. ConsumerPop says:

    TV Producer? Really?? Every producer I know that works for a national chain/company does pretty damn well…ME on the other hand..I have to deal with their stress and don’t get paid 1/2 of what they do!

  27. endless says:

    This list is bunk.

    No retail anywhere on it?

    often times lower pay than most things on that list
    abusive customers
    little job security
    random hours

    • mianne prays her parents outlive the TSA says:

      @endless: Retail may be second only to waiting tables when it comes to bottoming out on the pay scale. But assuming one isn’t a supervisor or in customer service, I haven’t noticed much stress exhibited by most of the rank and file. Rude customer? Get rude right back. Don’t know how to handle a situation? Page a supervisor to take care of it. Get fired for being rude and excessively clueless how to do the job? There’s other stores, restaurants, and such to work at. And that’s the cashiers.. Stockroom people, janitors, and so forth are just as likely to be listening to their iPods, or texting their buddies on the job against company policy but again see my point re: getting fired, and thus try to be as oblivious as possible to customer requests and supervisor’s directions.

      Note that I am not personally in retail, but am a contractor for a major retailer and this is my general observation.

  28. Karita says:

    Consumer rights attorneys, or public interest attorneys in general.

  29. AndroidHumanoid says:

    Id say AT&T phone customer service rep.. Because everyone knows AT&T sucks and Im sure the reps get hell over the phone.

  30. Outrun1986 says:

    I would add cashier and waiter/waitress. Way too much stress for what they make. It may not seem like a lot of stress to everyone here but these people are on the front lines of all the stores and have to deal with the general public and all their issues even if it is not the cashier’s fault. They often have little training and no authority to make necessary changes. I was a cashier for a while and it wasn’t too bad but there are people that will just make you break out there, and nowadays it must be much worse. I definitely wouldn’t want to be one these days.

    As for a waitress/waiter they again, have to take all of the general public’s issues with food, there is also more to it as you are working for tips mostly. If you can’t satisfy the customer, no money for you. Some people won’t leave a tip no matter how hard they work, and even a small setback will mean no tip for the worker. Not to mention deal with complaint after complaint about food and people’s special requests constantly, you didn’t bring the water fast enough, no tip for you.

    Nobody knows what its like being in one of these positions until you are actually there. No matter what you do some people are never satisfied, and both of these are very thankless positions, so even if you help someone, they will probably still leave in a huff.

    • bobateaforyouandme says:

      @Outrun1986: Exactly. No one ever admits that they were wrong or were being incredibly rude to you.
      It gets worse when you’re in areas where Entitlement runs very high.
      I firmly believe everyone needs to work this at one point in their lives to, hopefully, get an understanding of what it’s like on the other side of the counter.

      • Outrun1986 says:


        The entitlement attitude seems to be running super high in our society these days, and believe me its a lot worse now than when I was a cashier, so I can only imagine what its like to be one these days. It really wasn’t too bad when I was one though, good days and bad days like every other job out there. Heck I don’t even want to be shopping in the stores with the other customers during the holiday season these days, I certainly don’t want to be working in them. Note that its the other customers in the store that I have a problem with, not the employees, the employees are doing the best they can. Retail has done well at creating a total hostile shopping environment.

        Its not that you even have to be there, but if you hear about how your friends or your family members or friends of family members constantly berate the cashiers or how they complain needlessly at the restaurants (oh I ordered this and got that, I didn’t get a lemon in my drink, the water wasn’t delivered fast enough etc, its all the waitresses fault, no tip for them!) is when you start to realize there is something wrong with society when every move is criticized as being wrong or not good enough.

  31. Zaphâ„¢ says:

    Technical Support.

  32. impudence says:

    public defender

  33. sock says:

    IT professional. 7×24 work hours, always on call, no compensation for overtime, high education required, paycuts, constant threat of offshoring work. Then when the offshoring blows up, the IT professional must fix what the offshore people did.

    • Master Update Exception says:

      @sock: I wholeheartedly second this. As with anyone that works in their respective industries, people have no idea until they’re in the lion’s den. IT is cutthroat and insanely stressful.

    • pot_roast says:

      @sock: Having worked in a 24×7 IT shop, I agree with this as well. A lot of the ‘stressful’ jobs listed there are M-F 9-5 ones that won’t be calling you at 3am on a Saturday to drive in to fix a broken DNS server. IT is often viewed as a cost center, not profit, and is often the victim of the first budget cuts and raised expectations.

  34. DjDynasty says:

    I have to add my job. Working for Bil-Jac Dog food selling food in Petsmart. We have no commission, get paid $10.00 an hour (While at the store), get sent to any petsmart within 100 miles of your home which with drive time, can sometimes make the salary as low as $3.00 an hour. Have to bring 8 x 15lb cases of samples with you. AND if you don’t sell at least 10 bags and 200lbs of dog food, you’re not working next weekend. Which means a bunch of us end up buying food for everyone because no one wants to spend $50 for a bag of food which granted, it’s the only nationally sold brand with no recalls in 63 years of being in business. People care more about can they afford to eat, not the dog.

    • RandomHookup says:

      @DjDynasty: Sounds like some wage & hour issues there. It varies a little by state, but an hourly employee generally has to be compensated for travel time beyond the normal commute. If, of course, you are classified as an independent contractor, then there a a whole ‘nother set of issues.

  35. znewman3 says:

    How about a Service Desk Technician. Lots of people fearing for their jobs and taking all of their pent up anger out on you.

  36. bhr says:

    You know, I was thinking… Yeah retail/restaurant/call center work isnt on the list, and those are some crappy jobs. BUT its an 8 to 10 hour stress day, once you leave you really aren’t responsible for anything most of the time, and can live your life.

    And lets be honest, you screw up someones cable/phone bill or pants return, its still JUST cable/phone/pants (I know it seems life or death, but its not). These problems can usually be fixed with a phone call or two.

    Meanwhile a teacher has to worry about whether little Johnny is being abused, little Suzy is eating enough and little Tommy’s helicopter parents. You leave work and still think about it for all your waking hours.

    Same goes with event planners/photogs. You are usually on call 24/7 and you risk screwing up the most memorable day in someones life (something that can’t be fixed)

  37. morganlh85 says:

    Retail. The worst part is dealing with high volume, and dealing with ridiculous awful rude customers.

  38. shalegac says:

    Of course my profession would be number 1.

  39. coren says:

    I absolutely see being a producer for a tv show being high stress, but I thought they were compensated well – is that not the case?

    • bornonbord says:

      @coren: They don’t specify television “show”, just producer. This includes commercials, corporate videos, cable shows, and indie films. Almost all of those are done on shoe-string budgets which is one of the things that makes it so stressful.

      Client: “We need to have shuttle blasting into space in this video!”
      Producer: “But we only have 10k to make this ad!”
      Client: “Make it happen or you won’t have ANY money to make this ad!”

      • coren says:

        @bornonbord: @wallspray: @intellivised: Huh, the more you know.

        In retrospect, the only real knowledge of the process I have comes from someone who’s a “show runner” so it’s probably a bad read on things.

        • wallspray says:

          @coren: a show runner, also called executive in charge of production, is a very stressful job, kinda oversees everything, but the typically don’t show up unless a show is well funded, and therefore they typically make good money.

    • wallspray says:

      @coren: NOT compensated well. you are thinking “executive producer” which is a much different thing. If you replace bornonbord’s “client” with “executive producer” you have it pretty much on the money. And then you get fired cause something you had no control over happens and you go home happy to be paid nothing, as long as it means you don’t have to go back to making 30 miracles happen a day.

      I mean, not that I have experience with this sort of thing, and not that I’m bitter about it.

    • intellivised says:

      @coren: I’m a video producer (or used to be, I’m more of a technical guru) and can tell you, pay is not good – especially in television.

  40. Hotscot says:

    This is an interesting thread.
    I’d also be interested in hearing about jobs that people actually want to do, for which they planned and specifically trained, even though they’re high stress and low pay.

    …Compared to those who ended up in high stress low pay jobs because that’s all for which they’re qualified. And can they do anything about it.

    It seems to me that after national security, and health coverage, education should be the most important issue any country should address to enable future prosperity. Yet, (since my wife is a teacher), I have become aware of the ashamedly low standards in many classrooms, in many cases precipitated by minimal parental discipline or involvement, a lack of ambition or interest in learning, and a sense of entitlement.

    I am not trying to make an overt political statement. (Really). But FYI back in Scotland I obtained a Physics Degree with Hons, all paid for by our Govt, free tertiary education. I also enjoyed free, or at least no copay medical service all my life in the UK and never had to worry about medical bills. (Tax rate around 29%) Again not trying to stress a point but I speak the truth and this worked well for me.

    I now work in the US as an engineer helping the economy here but would like to contribute to the development of efficient and effective educations systems in the future. I see this as absolutely necessary.

    • Outrun1986 says:

      @Hotscot: Help-desk tech support where you help people in person. Its really not bad when your helping people in person because they are less likely to chew you out vs. if you are just on the phone with them. If they see you actually helping them or at least attempting to then they aren’t going to say mean things to you etc. Tech support over the phone is another story..

      This is probably a low paying job and not one you specifically trained for though..

      • Hotscot says:

        @Outrun1986: I used to work in tech support. Loved it. My specialty was Digital Video applications and it was really interesting and fulfilling when I successfully helped customers.

  41. ftk says:

    Anything in IT.

  42. kateblack says:

    Small business owner.

    My friend’s dad, also a small business owner, said he went into business for himself so that he could work half days. (The first 12 hours, or the second 12 hours.)

  43. justsomeotherguy says:

    NOC/Tech support… I know some ppl who are raped by their employer. Random shift/schedule changes, unpaid over time, and lots of speeches about how they should be glad they have jobs.

  44. And so had know. says:

    God help me, my job involves three of the above jobs. I am thrice screwed!

  45. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    Any non-managerial retail job or customer service job. Includes being a waiter.

    But I do agree with social worker being at the top of that list. Do NOT ask a social worker to talk about their job unless you want to be depressed for the rest of your life.

    • pax says:

      @Rectilinear Propagation: I’m a teacher and the only person I know who’s more underpaid and overworked than me is my friend who’s a social worker in DC. She used to work on family reunification–i.e. parents get their kids taken away and want them (or, possibly, don’t want them) back. Now she trains foster parents and does case management for foster kids, which might actually be slightly less depressing. But yeah, I wouldn’t want her job. Very sad stories. How she manages to maintain a fairly sunny and loving personality is beyond me.

  46. EllenRose says:

    Hey, I was a curator. It wasn’t so bad, once I learned to ignore the director.

    • thesadtomato says:

      @EllenRose: <3

    • TechnoDestructo says:


      Apart from the constant threat of budget cuts and the fact that some curators (assuming their institution isn’t large enough to have a separate registrar/whatever to handle outside demands) are probably going to be being pulled a dozen different directions by other institutions, Curator seems pretty nice to me.

  47. MacMasterShane says:

    Technical Phone support.

  48. BabyFirefly says:

    Hotel Receptionist.

  49. JollyJumjuck says:

    The most stressful job by far in which I ever worked was a dispatcher for inbound car parts at an assembly plant. Besides having the plant personnel scream at me when situations beyond your control delayed the freight, and dealing with whiny union drivers, I was on call 24/7 (no additional pay) and would have to coordinate things over the phone if a driver got into an accident. All for $25K a year. I worked it for a year and a half before I finally got a better paying (and less stressful) job.

  50. redskull says:

    I would think anything newspaper related, not just reporter, would be stressful. I worked in the advertising department at a paper and it was pretty stressful coming up with 7 to 8 full page ads every day.

    I don’t get the curator thing. How often do museums change their displays? Seems like you set up some cavemen mannequins and that’s pretty much it for a few years.

    • unitike says:

      There are lots of other curators outside of the traditional museum setting. Think of film festivals, corporate collections, etc. Everyone I know in this field has Masters degree at minimum and the majority are on call at their institution virtually every day of the year. In a good month, I can expect two full days off from my job.

    • TechnoDestructo says:


      There’s a lot more to it than that. They have to preserve and catalog every item they hold, they’ve got to deal with getting things to or from other places (which may not be easy…imagine if you had to move some 30 foot mural or a 10 ton bronze statue or something).

      Still, I can’t fathom why there aren’t a thousand things worse.

  51. H3ion says:


  52. pot_roast says:

    I think that “Emergency Medical Technician” should be topping the list.. WAY above high school teacher. Low pay, long hours, dangerous/hazardous working conditions, high turnover, and very high levels of stress, both physically and mentally.

    FTA: “Just ask Heather Griffith, a social worker who works with children in intensive foster care in Boston: “You’re getting paid $12 an hour and kids are screaming at you, telling you that you are just in it for the money and you’re just like, really?” “

    How about .. you’re getting paid $10/hr, no benefits, and you’re on the side of the highway in the rain at two AM trying desperately to keep someone that was just hit by a drunk driver from bleeding out right in front of you.

    At least in my experience, that trumps sitting in your office with “kids yelling at you and you go ‘like, really?'” any day of the week.
    Membership manager: Median pay: $42,600
    % who say their job is stressful: 67%”

    Like, really? Come on… *sigh*

  53. jake.valentine says:

    The choice of including a high school teacher is really dependent on what location you are talking about. I have no doubt that it isn’t an easy job anywhere, but they are paid very well in some areas of the country.

  54. DinnerBelle says:

    Medical Billing Manager. The job where everyone hates you. Oh, also long hours, lots of stress and not-great pay.


  55. alirow says:

    Film/TV producer? Please. How about their assistants? I’m a producer’s assistant at a major Hollywood studio and I can tell you from experience, we’re lucky if we get a “thank you,” and they consider our proximity to powerful people like themselves part of our compensation package. Like to fill in the gap where the money should be. What an opportunity! We work unpredictable, often grueling hours, sometimes doing things related to the project, but often doing things that are utterly, repulsively personal for our bosses (who in general, are not the easiest-to-deal-with bunch). I’d guess that my boss’s biweekly check is probably 1/4 what I make in an entire year. I can’t believe producers made this list. And are there really that many of them to justify their own category?

  56. anaisnun says:

    Every employee that takes incoming calls at the T Mobile call center in Salem, OR.
    My gawd, I do not envy those poor people.

  57. Gragorin says:

    They forgot Nurse. I don’t know of any other position that in most states has that many lives in their hands on a daily basis and is yet paid so little and overworked so much.

  58. Mecharine says:

    What exactly is a Music Ministry?

  59. StanTheManDean says:

    I have always believed life ending danger is one of the greater stresses, therefore I nominate:

    Law enforcement, especially street patrol officiers.

    Firemen, at all levels.

    • jake.valentine says:

      @StanTheManDean: While I agree they can be stressful, they are also paid very, very well in some areas of the country. The article seems to be taking this into account as a 50/50 equal in weighting along with the stress level. Also, just because any two given strangers you meet may be cops or firefighters, it does NOT mean they have even remotely similar day-to-day jobs. A cop in Vegas or LA is going to face far more stress on a daily basis than an officer from a more rural or suburban department. Same goes for a firefighter: a guy/gal with a fire department in an vertically urban city with older buildings like NY or Philly is probably going to have waaaaayy more daily stress than say a firefighter from a newer (modern fire codes) and spread out city like Phoenix or Vegas.

      • btrotta says:


        Firefighting, where ever you are, is a stressful job. At a typical house fire we expend the same amount of energy as a marathon runner, except we do it over the course of a half hour instead of the 2 and a half hours the runner does. Vertical or horizontal, it doesn’t matter, it all beats the crap out of you.

        Any added stress the big city guys get because of an increased number of runs is offset by the fact that most of the smaller departments are also doing EMS, which adds it’s own challenges and stress.

  60. JiminyChristmas says:

    My S.O.’s mother started her career in the mid-1970s as a social worker, specializing in child protection cases. How would you like to deal with physically and sexually abused children (and their abusers) all day every day for the 2009 equivalent of $25,000/year?

    That is a stressful job. A lot of the jobs people are talking about here are crappy jobs, but they are not stressful. They may be thankless, unrewarding jobs full of petty indignities but they are not stressful in the true sense of the word. If you are a waiter and make a mistake at work, what is the worst thing that can happen? What if you’re a child protection worker? That’s where stress comes from.

    Likewise, some of these people in the stressful job list need to get some perspective. Music ministry director? Film producer? Commercial photographer? Give me a break.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      A lot of the jobs people are talking about here are crappy jobs, but they are not stressful.

      @JiminyChristmas: OK, let’s not start doing that. Yes, a social worker’s job is extremely stressful. But that doesn’t mean other people’s jobs aren’t stressful.

      If you are a waiter and make a mistake at work, what is the worst thing that can happen?

      You’re fired. Being completely disposable IS stressful.

  61. Wokcus says:

    Any teacher should be on this list, not just high school.

  62. El_Fez says:

    You know, all these people with stressful jobs should be thankful that they HAVE jobs. The most stressful position I’ve been in in a VERY long time was me wondering if I’m going to make rent this month and why nobody is bothering to return my calls. I’m going out of my mind with stress and getting a slightest sliver of what I was making from my rapidly running out unemployment.

    So pardon me if I think the social workers and teachers of the world are whiners. I would LOVE to have their job.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      So pardon me if I think the social workers and teachers of the world are whiners.

      @El_Fez: Only if you’ll forgive other people for thinking the same of you.

  63. Brazell says:

    Social worker, definitely… should be #1.

    Whoever said grad student… oh please. You’re still in school. As stressed out as you’ve ever been writing that final section of your thesis, as pressured as you’ve been to do your TA work on top of everything else, school is pleasure. I love my job, but not nearly as much as I loved school. Your life is spent listening to people smarter than you lecture to you, it’s the ultimate life.

  64. ConsumerPop says:

    Also, I should add people who work in a drugstore pharmacy….I live in an area that is mostly senior citizens, and they treat these techs like crap. They verbally abuse them if their medications are not ready on time, or if their medication is out of stock. Usually there are only 2 people working back there, and it changed every month or so.

  65. angryneo says:

    In-flight missile repair

  66. gerrycomo says:

    Scientologist PR.

  67. nstonep says:

    cougar wrangler.

  68. jdmba says:

    Film Producer? I assume that this “article” is a joke with that there. As someone who does contracts to hire film producer’s, I will tell you that it’s a lot of money for (sometimes virtually, sometimes almost) no work. And if this is the one real producer on set (e.g., a line producer), if I told you how much they make a week, you would faint.

  69. kimdog says:

    Oh Hai. I’m a social worker who does fundraising. What do I win?

  70. unitike says:

    How about a curator/fundraiser/special events coordinator? Since this is a university position in the arts, substance abuse counseling also comes into play, although far from officially.

  71. fatetwister64 says:


  72. kenposan says:

    I am a social worker. The stress and low pays sucks. Glad to see we are finally being recognized. LOL

  73. wiley14 says:

    American software engineer.

  74. ChunkyBarf says:

    Photographer at PlayGirl

    (not that there is anything wrong with that)

  75. Papa Midnight says:

    Customer Service. Period.

  76. SisterHavana says:

    -Child care worker.
    -Receptionist/switchboard operator for a large company
    -Customer service rep

  77. Steven Francis says:

    You forgot about security guards and watch man. They spend at least 8 hrs in a day sitting alone. It is really boring and needs a lot from an individual to be able to do so.

  78. P=mv says:

    I’m sorry..but 911 operator makes about the same as a manager at MacDonalds…My husband has more stress than most doctors I know.

  79. blash says:

    How the hell is Soldier not on this list? Risking your life has gotta be the highest stressor and the pay isn’t much more than peanuts (unless you consider veteran’s benefits… when you get them).

  80. Tratios says:

    I would say any enlisted military job up to E7. As an officer, I think about the level of stress the lower enlisted deal with for the pay and started to laugh at the jobs listed. I think the majority of Soldiers would see those jobs as vacations. One reason Soldiers are transitioning over to teachers is the lack of stress. Most of the jobs listed for stress just require the person process organization skills, if they lack those then yes I can see how the job may be stressful.

  81. karmaghost says:

    How ’bout special education teachers and their paraprofessionals?

  82. HogwartsAlum says:

    Any administrative support job which requires you to do “other duties as requested.” Which really means, “Do all my crap work that I don’t want to do.”

    Also answering the phone. :P

  83. vladthepaler says:

    Some of these are really hard to believe. News reporter? You spend half an hour reading a teleprompter into a camera, what’s stressful about that? And I thought film/tv producers were well paid.

  84. bbagdan says:

    High school teacher?! Where I live they make 60-70-80k and get 4.5 months of vacation. Where do I sign up?

  85. korybing says:

    How about freelance artist? Never know where your money is going to come from or if you’ll make enough this month to pay the bills. The job is rewarding, there’s nothing like being your own boss and making art, but the stress is astronomical.

  86. Gustastic says:

    veterinary technician or assistant

  87. harrier666 says:

    Airline Pilot.
    I make 17k last year. I was on the road an average of 25 days a month. I flew in horrible weather, had lightning strikes, emergencies, 4 hour nights after 16 hour working days. And, through it all, in the back of my mind I knew I had many many lives behind me. To deal with the stress, I can not drink, enjoy recreational drugs nor prescribed medications, or do many other things someone might do to relax.

  88. jhenley01 says:

    Tech support

  89. uber_mensch says:

    Air traffic controller.

  90. tfcocs says:

    This study nailed it; and I know, being a social worker for the past seventeen years.

    Being a social worker is like being both a police officer and a nun; excepting, of course, the fact that you can’t carry a gun, but you can have a family. Either way you get scr**ed.

  91. Deranged_Kitsune says:

    Phone tech support.

    People are angry, stupid, over-demanding. And you’re bound by ridiculous policies that you have no power over but catch constant blame for.