27 jobs to avoid if you hate stress

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Stay out of the operating room if you don’t handle pressure well.
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Thomson Reuters

Do you crack under pressure? Crumble when you’re stressed?

If so, you’d be better off pursuing a career in science or education than you would in healthcare or law enforcement.

Using data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and O*NET OnLine, career-information expert Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D., helped Business Insider rank the 767 occupations identified by the US Department of Labor by “stress tolerance.”

The “stress tolerance” for each job is a rating on a scale from zero to 100, where a lower rating signals less stress. It measures how frequently workers must accept criticism and deal effectively with high stress on the job.

Here are 27 jobs that earned a stress tolerance rating of 93 or higher. If you’re the type of person who thrives under pressure or can stay cool, calm, and collected in high-stress situations, these jobs may be perfect for you.

If you’re the crack-or-crumble type, you may want to avoid them.


1. Police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers

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Rick Wilking/Reuters

Stress tolerance: 98.5

Average annual salary (2014): $39,410


2. Nurse anesthetists

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isafmedia/flickr

Stress tolerance: 98.2

Average annual salary (2014): $158,900


3. Telephone operators

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highwaysengland/flickr

Stress tolerance: 98.2

Average annual salary (2014): $39,350


4. Dancers

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zaimoku_woodpile/Flickr

Stress tolerance: 97

Average annual salary (2014): N/A


5. Obstetricians and gynecologists

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Daniel Lobo/flickr

Stress tolerance: 96.5

Average annual salary (2014): $214,750


6. Surgeons

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REUTERS/Pascal Lauener

Stress tolerance: 96.2

Average annual salary (2014): $240,440


7. Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers

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liz west/flickr

Stress tolerance: 95.2

Average annual salary (2014): $131,760


8. Healthcare social workers

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Via Flickr

Stress tolerance: 95

Average annual salary (2014): $53,590


9. Phlebotomists

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Neeta Lind/Flickr

Stress tolerance: 95

Average annual salary (2014): $31,890


10. Broadcast-news analysts

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Funny or Die

Stress tolerance: 94.7

Average annual salary (2014): $84,380


11. Education administrators (preschool and childcare center/program)

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US Department of Education/flickr

Stress tolerance: 94.2

Average annual salary (2014): $52,190


12. Mental-health counselors

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ALEXANDER KLEIN / Stringer / Getty Images

Stress tolerance: 94.2

Average annual salary (2014): $43,990


13. First-line supervisors of police officers and detectives

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Elvert Barnes/flickr

Stress tolerance: 94

Average annual salary (2014): $84,260


14. Food and tobacco roasting, baking, and drying machine operators and tenders

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Orin Zebest/flickr

Stress tolerance: 94

Average annual salary (2014): $29,410


15. General internist

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Getty Images

Stress tolerance: 94

Average annual salary (2014): $190,530


16. Probation officers and correctional-treatment specialists

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Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Stress tolerance: 94

Average annual salary (2014): $53,360


17. Chief executives

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Sebastiaan ter Burg/flickr

Stress tolerance: 93.8

Average annual salary (2014): $180,700


18. Costume attendants

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SarahSierszyn/flickr

Stress tolerance: 93.5

Average annual salary (2014): $50,270


19. Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses

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Thomson Reuters

Stress tolerance: 93.5

Average annual salary (2014): $43,420


20. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons

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Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Stress tolerance: 93.5

Average annual salary (2014): $219,600


21. Child, family, and school social workers

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Army Medicine/flickr

Stress tolerance: 93.3

Average annual salary (2014): $46,180


22. Correspondence clerks

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Moresheth/flickr

Stress tolerance: 93.3

Average annual salary (2014): $36,240


23. Funeral service managers

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Chris Hondros / Getty Images

Stress tolerance: 93.3

Average annual salary (2014): $81,080


24. Nurse midwives

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ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock.com

Stress tolerance: 93.3

Average annual salary (2014): $97,700


25. Psychiatric aides

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Texas A&M University-Commerce Marketing Communications /flickr

Stress tolerance: 93.3

Average annual salary (2014): $28,430


26. Respiratory therapists

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Medill DC/flickr

Stress tolerance: 93.3

Average annual salary (2014): $58,490


27. Umpires, referees, and other sports officials

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Flickr / Harris Walker

Stress tolerance: 93.3

Average annual salary (2014): $33,400