If you thrive on stress, an ultra-anxiety-ridden profession like firefighter or police officer might be a good line of work for—but so might newspaper reporter, broadcaster or, yes, PR executive, says a new Job Stress report from CareerCast. Your life might not be on the line in those media and comms professions, but 21st-century developments like the proliferation of social media as a news-consumption forum—and the resulting client demands and expectations—have turned our livelihoods into bona fide pressure cookers.
Finding ways to ease the stress is an important job skill for PR people. “If PR professionals think in 2-to-5-year cycles, it takes the stress out of the everyday [work],” said Kristina Libby, CEO of comms agency the Social Works Co, according to the report. Ultimately, stress can and will differ between individuals, as Libby’s attitude demonstrates. “My favorite quote is, ‘It’s PR, not ER,’” she said. “A lot of people who work in PR thrive on their high-stress, high-anxiety environment. I actually think PR done really well is a low-stress environment.”
CareerCast analyzed 11 factors in identifying the most and least stressful jobs, including deadlines, hazards, public scrutiny, physical demands, competition and career growth potential.
On-the-job stress can be caused by a variety of reasons. Taxi drivers not only drive in traffic and bad weather, but they face increased competition from online transportation companies, including Uber and Lyft. For professions like firefighter, military and police officer, stress results from putting their lives at risk and being responsible for the lives of others. In the cases of newspaper reporter and broadcaster, working under tight deadlines and the fear of lawsuits or layoffs may cause stress—broadcasters have a negative job outlook of -9% and the outlook for Newspaper Reporters is -8%.
“Even though they may be stressful, these professions are crucial to American’s safety and democracy,” said Kyle Kensing, online content editor for CareerCast, in a news release. “Firefighters, military and police officers protect us, and newspaper reporters and broadcasters have a big impact in showing us the truth amidst the trend of ’fake news.’”
If you don’t flourish in a physically demanding, hazardous or unpredictable environment, CareerCast’s least stressful job—diagnostic medical sonographer, with an annual median income of $63,630 and growth outlook of 24%—might be good fit for you. Although it requires advanced training, audiologist is another low-stress profession (annual median income of $74,890 and growth outlook of 29%). If you have an aptitude for math, find intrigue in the secrets of data and have the determination to work through problems until you come up with a good solution, consider the profession of operations researcha ($78,630 salary and 30% growth outlook).
CareerCast’s Most Stressful Jobs of 2017
|Profession Stress Score Median Salary Growth Outlook|
CareerCast’s Least Stressful Jobs of 2017
Profession Stress Score Median Salary Growth Outlook
|Diagnostic Medical Sonographer 4.00 $63,630 24%|
|Compliance Officer 5.73 $65,640 3%|
|Hair Stylist 6.71 $23,710 10%|
|Audiologist 7.31 $74,890 29%|
|University Professor (tenured) 8.17 $72,470 13%|
|Medical Records Technician 8.57 $37,110 15%|
|Jeweler 8.95 $37,060 -11%|
|Operations Research Analyst 9.02 $78,630 30%|
|Pharmacy Technician 9.10 $30,410 9%|
|Medical Laboratory Technician 10.31 $50,550 16%|
To rank the most and least stressful careers from the 200 professions on the Jobs Rated report, CareerCast evaluated 11 stress factors: travel required; growth potential; deadlines; working in the public eye; competition in the field; physical demands; environmental conditions; hazards encountered on a regular basis; own life at risk; life of others at risk; and meeting or interacting with the public at large.
Median Annual Salary and Projected Hiring Growth by 2024 are via the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Source: CareerCast; edited by Richard Carufel