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The 5 Most and Least Stressful Jobs of 2013

Happy New Year! We may be a little past New Year’s Day but we’re just barely cracking 2013, a year of new opportunities to improve your employment situation and help alleviate work stress. Some jobs are more stressful than others though. Presented here are the five most and least stressful jobs for 2013, and tips for avoiding work stress in your job search.

The five most stressful jobs come courtesy of CareerCast by way of NBC News Business. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that first responders make up much of this list. And anyone who saw the movie Flight may not be shocked to see pilots taking a spot on this list.

  1. Enlisted military personnel
  2. Military general
  3. Firefighter
  4. Commercial airline pilot
  5. PR executive

Looking to grab a less stressful job? Here are the top five least stressful jobs. This doesn’t mean that people in these professions won’t face stress (and as the article points out many university professors have taken to Twitter to voice their disagreements) but it may be interesting to note the jobs as you go forward in your job search.

  1. University professor
  2. Seamstress/tailor
  3. Medical records technician
  4. Jeweler
  5. Medical laboratory technician

One thing it seems that the two groups have in common are expected hours. The most stressful jobs are populated by professionals who work odd hours, or must be available any time such as firefighters or the public relations executives who specialize in crisis management. Uncertain hours and the inability to follow a circadian rhythm can lead to increased work stress as employees struggle to find time to relax.

On the flip side, those professions listed under the least stressful jobs follow a stricter pattern in terms of job repetition and hours. While a university professor’s hours may vary slightly from semester-to-semester, certain things like breaks and not teaching night classes give the position consistency.

Consistency and predictability seem to punctuate those careers with the least amount of work stress- something to keep in mind as you begin your job search. If you don’t mind odd hours, or a lack of predictability from day-to-day, you should consider a position like those listed such as consulting or freelance work. If, however, you are someone who works better in a controlled environment and time frame you may find less work stress in jobs with consistent hours.

These are, of course, not concrete rules to which jobs cause the most work stress. However, they are things to consider in your job search when trying to narrow down not only what jobs you’re looking at, but also what kind of work environments fit you best. Good luck though to the future firefighters, military members, pilots and PR pros! (I feel your pain PR people.)

Are you considering any of these jobs in your job search? Share with us in the comments section below!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by bottled_void

Jen Schiller

Jen works as a Marketing Project Manager for a restaurant, a kitchen assistant for cooking classes, helps with database management, does some freelance writing, and more. She received her B.A. from the University of Maryland in Government & Politics in 2011. Currently, she resides in the Washington, D.C. area and is an avid sports fan.