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10 most stressful jobs for 2014, and 10 jobs that pay well with minimal stress

Posting in Technology
It's been said that stress is in the eye of the beholder, and that some people tend to thrive on it while others whither. But there are some jobs that demand a high tolerance for stress, day in and day out.

In a recent report at Business Insider, Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D. poured through more than 700 occupations identified by the U.S. Department of Labor, and rated them on the basis of high-stress situations, as well as the consequences of making errors. As you might imagine, those jobs with life-or-death consequences as a result of errors rate high on the stress scale.

Vivian Giang of Business Insider compiled Shatkin's ratings to arrive at a number of stressful occupations. Here are her top 10:
  1. 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. (Average salary: $78,270/year).
  2. Mental health counselors: Often working in crisis mode with clients. ($40,080)
  3. Education administrators: Responsible for keeping schools functioning -- not an easy task in an era when budgets are being cut and pressure is on to deliver skills for an unforgiving global economy. ($43,950)
  4. Broadcast news analysts: Always on deadline, and in the Internet era, that means to the second. ($55,380)
  5. Nurse anesthetists: Responsible for keeping patients sedated -- and then bringing them back out of it. ($148,160)
  6. Phlebotomy technicians: They surely face resistance going around and drawing blood from people.($29,730)
  7. Pilots, co-pilots, and flight engineers: The safety of hundreds of passengers are in their hands.($114,2008)
  8. Air traffic controllers: Responsible for clearing up traffic jams in the sky. ($122,530)
  9. Surgeons: Open patients up and puts them together again. ($187,200+)
  10. Obstetricians and gynecologists: On the front lines of women's health. ($187,200+)
In a separate report, Giang also explored Shatkin's analysis of jobs that pay decently with relatively low levels of stress:
  1. Dental hygienists: Cleaning teeth, taking X-rays, keeping patients calm. Not an easy task by any means, so it's surprising to see this as the least-stressful job on the list. (Average salary: $70,210/year)
  2. Engineers: Designing and overseeing construction of all things great and small. ($92,030)
  3. Technical writers: Explaining how software or machinery is supposed to work -- could be stressful, but not as much as most other jobs. ($65,500)
  4. Urban and regional planners: Considering future development and how it will fit into projected population growth. ($65,230)
  5. Art directors: Overseeing the look of multimedia, online and print presentations. ($80,880)
  6. Audiologists: Measure hearing acuity, prescribe remedies for hearing problems. ($69,720)
  7. Orthodontists: Responsible for anything to do with the mouth. ($186,320)
  8. Optometrists: Tests for visual problems and prescribes glasses or contacts. ($97,820)
  9. Computer and information systems managers: Oversees IT systems, writes or installs code. Stress levels may depend on workload, and number of times alerts come in on weekend nights that servers or databases are down. ($120,950)
  10. Actuaries: Calculate how long people will live, and other risky things -- but from the relative safety of an office environment. ($93,680)
Thumbnail photo: James Martin/CNET

— By on December 3, 2013, 9:50 AM PST

Joe McKendrick

Contributing Editor

Joe McKendrick is an independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. He is a co-author of the SOA Manifesto and has written for Forbes, ZDNet and Database Trends & Applications. He holds a degree from Temple University. He is based in Pennsylvania. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure