Most people can agree that their job involves a certain level of stress. Even the simplest of jobs often require deadlines, and unhappy customers here and there. However, some jobs are considerably more stressful than others. And while initially, you may assume that the most stressful jobs out there are the ones that first come to mind, you might be surprised to find that research proves otherwise.

From incredibly competitive working environments to exposure to physical danger, there are all sorts of different factors that come into play that determine how stressful our profession is. And while stress levels may vary depending on your own unique circumstances, here are some of the most stressful careers according to research.

Restaurant Jobs

While restaurants are inviting and relaxing places for their customers, it can be quite the opposite for their employees. Working in a restaurant can be particularly stressful because of so many different moving parts. From receiving and unloading deliveries to seating customers, it’s often a non-stop fast pace that doesn’t slow down until the kitchen closes.

There’s a unique time pressure involved with restaurants, that can make it debilitatingly stressful for everyone from the chefs to the servers, to the hosts. To top it off, it’s a career with some of the most multitasking you’ve ever experienced in your life. You have to close someone’s check while also remembering to bring butter to Table 5, while simultaneously taking a drink order from a customer walking back from the bathroom— it’s the ultimate juggling act, and a career that is highly undervalued.

Legal Professionals

If you’ve ever seen a riveting courtroom film, then know that it’s not far off from reality. Legal professionals have enormously high levels of stress because of the responsibility they have. After all, their clients’ future is in their hands, so the stakes are unbelievably high.

Not to mention they must do extensive research on a tight deadline in order to present their client in the best possible light. To top it off, the legal system can be incredibly adversarial and difficult to navigate, which is why legal professionals are some of the most likely people to develop addictions like alcoholism.


We’re not talking about your local laid-back weather girl. We’re talking about journalists on the scene covering the latest news stories in the line of fire and in the midst of a hurricane. They can often find themselves covering incredibly controversial news stories, and may even find themselves put in danger should they expose a story on someone powerful in politics or the media. For this reason, journalists face some of the highest emotional strain out of all sorts of different careers.


Most teachers can tell you that they didn’t get into their careers for the money. Teaching requires a considerable amount of work, and much of it goes unpaid. Teachers spend hours a day planning lessons and correcting homework that they aren’t even paid for. When you add on the stress of difficult students, or argumentative parents, teachers are often some of the most underappreciated and overworked employees out there.

Healthcare Professionals

Healthcare professionals have to make critical decisions that can be a matter of life or death. They literally have their patients’ lives in their hands, and even one misstep could lead to not just a lawsuit, but potentially death.

In addition to the pressure and high intensity that health care workers deal with, they also work extremely long hours which can add on the additional challenge of fatigue. As if that weren’t enough, throw in a worldwide pandemic, and you’ve got some of the most stressed-out workers in the world!