High Stress Not a Problem? Choose These Career Paths [Guest Blog]

High Stress Not a Problem? Choose These Career Paths [Guest Blog]

You manage stress like a boss. Nothing seems to bother you.

High-pressure deadlines? No problem.

Long hours don’t faze you? Great.

But are you benefiting from this amazing trait in the best way imaginable for your career?

This post will help those immune to stress to:

  • Choose the best career path for you.
  • Define whether you are someone who can deal with stress daily.
  • Imagine a work setting or schedule that is chaotic.
  • Decide if you can deal with this for the rest of your life.

Can you? Count yourself as lucky.

You’re able to deal with any level of stress. Now get compensated for this unique ability.

It is your time to choose the best career path you’d like to take.

We have compiled a list of the best and worst paid, stress-induced positions.

Choose the one that speaks most to your values; be smart with your choice, and you’ll benefit in the long run.

How Immune Are You to Stress?

Ask yourself: can you deal with a high level of stress daily?

Answer truthfully.

It’s a major issue in the workplace. Stress kills.

It contributes to many health problems, such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

If you have a high-stress position now, assess how much you suffer from it.

Do you have unexplained headaches? Fatigue? Muscle pain or your stomach is upset?

It’s possible you suffer from stress more than you imagined.

Stress affects your mood in many ways. You become restless, irritable, and angry.

It can lead to depression, and you act out. Angry outbursts, substance abuse, and social withdrawal are some signs.

If you don’t see these signs – or are able to manage them properly – then you have a unique trait that many in the workplace do not.

The environment for high-stress jobs is one sign to look out for.

High-stress environments can be loud and chaotic.

It requires a lot of face-time with many different people.

And there are structural ways a work environment causes stress.

Deadlines are crucial. Meritocracy is king.

You can be promoted quickly but be fired just as quickly.

In these situations, office politics can be nasty. And this doesn’t even relate to issues like a bad supervisor or manager.

The subject of your job can also be stressful. This makes a general atmosphere that much worse. These are structural symptoms that will not change.

Public service professionals, like firefighters and police officers, will always have a stressful work environment.

The same goes for the healthcare profession.

Make sure that you are fine with this being your day-to-day.

High Stress, High Reward? Not So Fast

Your superpower is managing stress. Amazing.

But does this translate to a large salary?

Not exactly.

You’ll have to do your research and choose carefully. The first step is to ask what your values.

What are you looking for to have a fulfilling career? Do you want to help people who are in danger? Can you handle this day in and day out?

Some high-stress positions do pay well. It’s built into the pay scale for that industry.

But some high-stress jobs do not pay well, even though your job puts you in danger. Let’s see the breakdown of which high-stress jobs pay well and don’t pay well.

1. Sales

The average sales representative makes £37,500 annually.

Sales jobs are fast-paced and require a do-it-yourself attitude.

But the rewards are boundless.

Just make sure to choose a position where commission is not capped.

2. Public service

This industry has many high-stress jobs that don’t necessarily translate to high pay.

A Junior Solider makes £15,008 annually, yet the risks are well-known.

15 to 30 percent of military personnel suffer from a post-traumatic stress disorder.

The same symptoms exist for dispatchers (£15,590), EMTs (£23,023-£29,608), correctional officers (£27,688).

But the pay increases slightly for firefighters (£29,934), police officers (£19,971-£23,124) and crime detectives (£36,885-£41,865).

3. Healthcare profession

Professionals in the healthcare industry also deal with many stressful situations in the workplace. But the pay gap is quite wide.

Registered nurses, for instance, make £23,000 annually, but with more experience can may earn up to £34,105.

General healthcare physicians who work in private practice are paid between £74,504-£103,000, compared to GPs employed by Primary Care Trusts (£53,781 and £81,158).

Skill sets are critical here due to the high-stress nature of those positions.

4. Airline industry

Travelling is stressful.

Imagine being the one getting you there.

Flight attendants deal with many problems during a flight, but on average, only make £22,727.

Pilots, however, make £79,000, and air traffic controllers make £91,000.

5. Heavy machinery operators

Dangerous jobs are, by nature, more stressful.

Rotary drill operators (oil, gas, or mining) make around £25,000 – £35,000 a year.

Railroad and subway conductors earn £47,705 annually.

6. Public relations

The lower end, high-stress position in public relations and journalism is a newspaper reporter, which has a wide salary range given seniority (£25,000 – £75,000).

Event coordinators rake in roughly £32,156.

These are quite low-paid positions given the high stress that comes with the position.

Although public relations specialists rake in more money (£40,000-46,000), no massive gap exists in pay scale for this industry.

7. Finance/corporate

One of the more stressful jobs is a stock trader on the floor £26,000 to £32,000, plus commission.

This is quite different from a corporate executive who makes roughly £120,000 on the low end, to £235,000 on the upper end.

The gap here depends on the nature of what business you are operating or managing.

How to Cope with Stressful Careers

If you do decide to choose one of these career paths, you will need to establish a proper work-life balance.

Do your best not to take your work home with you. Make it a rule not to check your emails or take calls when you’re at home.

Start with the things you do have control over.

If there are structural reasons why your job is stressful, these will not change.

However, knowing this is half the battle.

For the things you can change, such as your work hours, stick to a laid-out schedule.

Commit to the change.

Take time to recharge.

You need to replenish and return to a life that is stress-free when you come home.

Find hobbies or ways to relax that do not involve substance abuse.

Get some support.

Your fellow co-workers are in the same boat as you.

Trust in them and share your experiences.

It can improve your ability to manage stress.

Track what stressors really push you to the edge and bring it up with your co-workers, family, and friends.

Emotions are not your enemy here but hiding them are.


The road ahead will be stressful.

You deal with stress better than others, but no one is Superman.

Remember that you are human and can only take on so much.

But now, you are equipped with a game plan for using this trait to have the best career imaginable for yourself.

Thanks Roger!

Some interesting figures in there about jobs that I hadn’t considered the stress factor/salary balance about.

It’s always good to remember that your colleagues may also be going through the wars facing stress, so don’t forget about them.

Sometimes talking to each other actually helps release some stress, so why not find a buddy?

And if you’re not sure how to, give this blog post a read: Helping a Coworker Who’s Stressed Out

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3 years ago

Interesting post and very helpful as well for all those who are seeking for a job so that they can prepare themselves for dealing with stress. Keep posting such helpful articles.

Roger Maftean
Roger Maftean
3 years ago
Reply to  Paras

Hi! Thanks so much for the kind words! Do you have any questions or comments that you’d like to have answered by chance?