15 US cities with the most stressful jobs in 2022

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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Smartest Dollar.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly exacerbated stressful working conditions for frontline and essential workers, workers in a wide range of other occupations also have to deal with workplace stress on a regular basis.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), nearly 8% of American workers are employed in occupations requiring the highest levels of stress tolerance.

Job stress can be caused by high risks, demanding customers, and tight deadlines, among other factors. O*NET ranks occupations on a scale of 0 to 100 based on the extent to which a job “requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.” With a score of 100, urologists are believed to face some of the most stressful working conditions.

Many of the other top-rated jobs, such as nurse anesthetists and physician assistants, are also found in healthcare.

While many high-stress professions demand high salaries — such as healthcare, business, and law — not all do. For example, telephone operators, public safety telecommunications operators and retail sales managers are all among the most stressful occupations, but their salaries are at or slightly below the national median.

To determine the US metropolitan areas with the most stressful jobs, Smartest Dollar researchers analyzed the latest data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and O*NET. The researchers ranked subways based on the percentage of workers in the most stressful occupations.

Here are the big metropolises (1 million people or more) with the most stressful jobs.

15. St. Louis, MO-IL

St. Louis, Missouri
KENNY TONG / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of workers in the most stressful occupations: 7.6%
  • Total number of workers in the most stressful occupations: 98,270
  • Median annual salary for all workers: $42,060
  • Median annual salary of workers in high stress occupations: $63,085

14. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Florida

Miami, Florida
Littleny / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of workers in the most stressful occupations: 7.6%
  • Total number of workers in the most stressful occupations: 190 340
  • Median annual salary for all workers: $38,690
  • Median annual salary of workers in high stress occupations: $65,902

13. Kansas City, MO-KS

Kansas City, Missouri
Scruggelgreen / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of workers in the most stressful occupations: 7.7%
  • Total number of workers in the most stressful occupations: 79,790
  • Median annual salary for all workers: $43,200
  • Median annual salary of workers in high stress occupations: $62,882

12. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

New York City
Taiga / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of workers in the most stressful occupations: 7.7%
  • Total number of workers in the most stressful occupations: 684,020
  • Median annual salary for all workers: $52,020
  • Median annual salary of workers in high stress occupations: $84,360

11. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD

Baltimore, Maryland
Hethers / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of workers in the most stressful occupations: 7.9%
  • Total number of workers in the most stressful occupations: 102,340
  • Median annual salary for all workers: $48,470
  • Median annual salary of workers in high stress occupations: $71,688

10. Buffalo-Cheektawaga-Niagara Falls, NY

Buffalo, New York
Atomazul / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of workers in the most stressful occupations: 8.1%
  • Total number of workers in the most stressful occupations: 40,310
  • Median annual salary for all workers: $42,040
  • Median annual salary of workers in high stress occupations: $71,477

9. Providence-Warwick, RI-MA

Providence, Rhode Island
Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of workers in the most stressful occupations: 8.1%
  • Total number of workers in the most stressful occupations: 42,940
  • Median annual salary for all workers: $46,000
  • Median annual salary of workers in high stress occupations: $74,967

8.Tucson, AZ

Tucson, Arizona
Sean-Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of workers in the most stressful occupations: 8.2%
  • Total number of workers in the most stressful occupations: 30 130
  • Median annual salary for all workers: $38,900
  • Median annual salary of workers in high stress occupations: $58,521

7. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD

Philadelphia, downtown rush hour.
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of workers in the most stressful occupations: 8.2%
  • Total number of workers in the most stressful occupations: 220 690
  • Median annual salary for all workers: $46,500
  • Median annual salary of workers in high stress occupations: $72,606

6. Rochester, New York

Rochester New York
TarnPisessith / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of workers in the most stressful occupations: 8.3%
  • Total number of workers in the most stressful occupations: 39,630
  • Median annual salary for all workers: $42,430
  • Median annual salary of workers in high stress occupations: $66,228

5. Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma City Skyline
Natalia Bratslavsky / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of workers in the most stressful occupations: 8.4%
  • Total number of workers in the most stressful occupations: 51,330
  • Median annual salary for all workers: $39,080
  • Median annual salary of workers in high stress occupations: $60,689

4. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh
esb-professional / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of workers in the most stressful occupations: 8.4%
  • Total number of workers in the most stressful occupations: 90 130
  • Median annual salary for all workers: $43,200
  • Median annual salary of workers in high stress occupations: $66,731

3. New Orleans-Metairie, LA

New Orleans
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of workers in the most stressful occupations: 8.5%
  • Total number of workers in the most stressful occupations: 43,700
  • Median annual salary for all workers: $38,280
  • Median annual salary of workers in high stress occupations: $60,015

2. Cleveland-Elyria, OH

Cleveland, Ohio
Rudy Balasko / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of workers in the most stressful occupations: 8.5%
  • Total number of workers in the most stressful occupations: 83,650
  • Median annual salary for all workers: $42,740
  • Median annual salary of workers in high stress occupations: $68,794

1. Birmingham-Hoover, AL

Birmingham, Alabama
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of workers in the most stressful occupations: 9.8%
  • Total number of workers in the most stressful occupations: 48,770
  • Median annual salary for all workers: $39,530
  • Median annual salary of workers in high stress occupations: $56,895

Methodology

Man using too much data on his phone, tablet and laptop
Bacho / Shutterstock.com

To determine the U.S. metropolitan areas with the most stressful jobs, Smartest Dollar researchers analyzed the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2020 Occupational Employment Survey and Occupational Stress Tolerance data. from O*NET.

The researchers ranked metros based on the percentage of workers in the most stressful occupations, defined as the share of workers in jobs with O*NET stress scores of 90 and above.

In the event of a tie, the metro with the highest total number of workers in the most stressful occupations was ranked higher. The researchers also calculated the median annual salary of all workers and the median annual salary of workers in high-stress occupations.

To improve relevance, only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 inhabitants were included in the analysis.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click on links in our stories.

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