Many jobs are important, but not everyone is cut out for how tough they can be. Working oil field jobs in North Dakota in the winter could be brutal. Similarly, working on rooftops in Texas in the summertime would also take a stout constitution. However, it is not always temperatures that cause jobs to be hard. Some professions cause so much stress that many people burn out after just a few years.
Air Traffic Controller
The job of an air traffic controller is notorious for causing burnout among its employees. Rotating shifts and the responsibility for thousands of lives 24x7x365 means that people in these jobs experience an incredibly high level of stress. To make it worse, the criticality of their jobs means that getting time off for special events like school plays or birthdays doesn’t happen often.
For such a vital and dangerous role, it seems incredible that police officers are paid so little. Not only do they have to put their lives on the line every day, but they also miss out on a lot of family time, as many of them have to work multiple part-time jobs to supplement their salary. High stress, insufficient downtime and having to witness some of the worst of humanity can lead to depression, poor health and alcohol or substance abuse.
Like police officers, firefighters have to deal with sleep deprivation due to shift work. They also risk their lives every time they answer a call for help. Smoke or chemical inhalation can lead to chronic health problems. It can also take a toll on the mental health of firefighters if they have to witness the loss of life due to fires. According to Forbes, more firefighters lost their lives to suicide in 2017 than in the line of duty.
Pilots have a lot of responsibility, and it starts long before they are in the cockpit. Staff scheduling, time zone changes, working holidays, missing important events and being away from home are just a few of the stressors that pilots deal with. Once they are in the cockpit, they are responsible for hundreds of lives on their planes. Imagine how stressed you would be if making a mistake in your job meant multiple casualties.
Low pay, time away from family and having their lives on the line constantly make the enlisted military the most stressful job. There is no autonomy, and the servicemen and women are dependent on their superior officers to treat them fairly and make good decisions.