The 25 Most Stressful Jobs in America: Is Yours on the List?

From paramedic to prison guard, there are some jobs where daily stress just comes with the paycheck.

Can anyone truly say their job comes with zero stress?

For years I was a travel writer and editor, which often shows up on lists of the most-envied jobs, but even that supposed dream career came with stress aplenty. Deadlines, phone calls not returned, factual errors, incomplete information, delayed flights, taxis that didn’t show up, lost luggage, restaurant owners furious that their food received a subpar review … It was far from endless days of Caribbean beaches and four-star resorts. (Though I once knew a woman who reviewed honeymoon hotels for a bridal magazine; she might have had that dream job.)

Still, from paramedic to prison guard, there are some jobs for which stress is pretty much guaranteed with the paycheck. Career-information website crunched the numbers in 2017 to come up with its ranking of the most stressful jobsin America. The firm considered an array of factors, including the consequences of making an error, exposure to hazardous conditions, time pressures and time spent dealing with aggressive and unpleasant people.

Take a read, and if you know anyone who works in one of these fields, try to cut them some slack. We start with the job ranked 25th most stressful and climb to No. 1. If your stressful job isn’t on the list, assure yourself it’s probably No. 26.

25. Mechanics for mobile heavy equipment, except engines

Heavy equipment mechanic

It’s tough enough to be a mechanic working on cars, but the pressure rises when the machines get bigger. These workers diagnose, adjust and repair giant construction equipment, everything from cranes to bulldozers.

24. Railroad brake, signal and switch operators

It looked so mellow on Schoolhouse Rock’s “Conjunction Junction,” but in real life, these workers have to stay on track. Their jobs involve operating railroad track switches, coupling or uncoupling rolling stock in trains and signaling engineers.

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