Mira Silverwood

22 Stressful Jobs That Aren’t Worth the Burnout, Regardless of the Paycheck

Deciding whether a job is “worth” taking depends on your mindset, lifestyle, and personal preference. While we all want to pursue a career that pays well, mental well-being should be a priority. From continuous stress to mental anguish, these 22 jobs might not be worth the burnout. 

Call Center Representative 

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Being an agent in a call center is a notoriously stressful job, and there’s even a term for the mental anguish: call center syndrome. Workers have to deal with a customer’s problems in real-time and are often the first person a disgruntled caller will blame. 

Waiting Staff

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According to a scientific study, waiting staff are under more day-to-day stress than neurosurgeons. With 12-hour shifts, low pay, and dealing with customers who are often under the influence, waiting staff experience burnout more than most. 


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Working in a bar can certainly be fun, but it’s a high-pressure environment that can be daunting. Weekend shifts can see bartenders making multiple cocktails at once, managing rowdy customers, and spending hours on their feet. 

Parking Enforcement Officer

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Nobody likes to get a parking ticket, but being the one to issue the fine can be hard too. The pressure to constantly enforce rules while dealing with angry vehicle owners creates a high-stress environment to work in. 

Ambulance Dispatcher

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While rewarding, being an ambulance dispatcher can be difficult for a number of reasons. Dispatchers handle calls from people in their most panic-stricken moments and must know exactly what to say to prevent further injury. What’s more, hours are long, and overtime is usually mandatory, with many dispatchers working year-round. 

Fast Food Servers

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Far from leisurely flipping burgers, working in a fast-food chain is high-stress for many reasons. Servers are constantly on their feet taking orders and interacting with rude customers who feel they’ve been waiting too long for their happy meal. 

Garbage Collector

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Garbage collectors play an important role in our society, helping keep our streets and neighborhoods clean. But constantly clearing up waste and taking in foul odors can be overwhelming, especially on a daily basis. 


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Driving a client around all day might sound like a low-stress job, but chauffeurs are under a lot of pressure. They’re responsible not only for their client’s comfort, but their safety too, and if the customer isn’t pleased, shifts can quickly become stressful. 


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Prisons aren’t known for being joyful places to be, and the career of a jailer comes with inherent stress. From consistent night shifts to difficult inmates, jailers have a lot to cope with in this high-pressure position. Professional burnout, anxiety, and even PTSD are unfortunately common among those working in prisons.

Correctional Officer

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Correctional officers face unique challenges in their line of work and can experience mental health challenges as a result. Operating in crowded, often understaffed facilities, working conditions can be dangerous. Managing so many incarcerated individuals takes an emotional and physical toll. 

Corporate Lawyer

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From high-stakes business transactions to being on call 24/7, corporate lawyers are often victims of burnout. Constant negotiations can take a mental toll, as well as the ever-growing demands of clients, employers, and other lawyers. 


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Often portrayed as a glamorous career in the media, being a stockbroker is infamously high-stress. This career comes with overwhelming levels of responsibility, long hours, and market volatility. While some people thrive on the unpredictability of the stock market, others suffer from burnout. 

Oil Rig Worker

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Due to its off-shore nature and adventurous reputation, many people are drawn to working on oil rigs. But life on the rig can be as stressful as it is exhilarating. Oil rig workers carry out physically challenging tasks for long periods, all while spending weeks or months away from home. 

Mental Health Counselor 

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Helping clients overcome mental obstacles is undoubtedly rewarding, but being a counselor isn’t for the fainthearted. It’s hard not to get emotionally involved when a patient endures a setback, or if they get worse before their therapist’s eyes. There’s also an array of paperwork to handle, which can be hard to stay on top of. 

House Cleaner

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While some become cleaners to earn extra money, some make it a full-time career. Cleaning someone’s house sounds easy on the surface, but there are many hidden stressors within this line of work. Dealing with a client’s expectations, low pay, and the physical demands of cleaning can pile on the stress. 

Taxi Driver

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However much you enjoy driving, getting clients from point A to B five days a week can be stressful. To earn more, taxi drivers often work long hours, suffering from sleep deprivation and elevated stress. On top of this, drivers have to navigate traffic, low tips, and fare evasion. 

Dish Washer

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You might not think it, but being a dishwasher in a busy restaurant or bar requires resilience. While dishwashers have fewer tasks to focus on than waiting staff, their job is more time-sensitive. The workload can quickly get out of hand, especially on weekends.

Door-To-Door Salesperson

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Selling products or services door-to-door comes with a lot of customer rejection and even hostility. A door-to-door salesperson might traipse around an entire neighborhood before making one sale, encountering many slammed doors along the way. 

Retail Salesperson

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Depending on the store and its set of employee ethics, working in retail can be fun or highly stressful. There’s a common lack of training and coaching in retail stores, meaning workers often have to learn on the job. While learning the tricks of the trade, salespeople have to deal with irate customers and remain composed. 

News Reporter

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Journalism is frequently ranked as one of the most stressful careers, and it’s not hard to see why. Operating under tight deadlines, news reporters are always chasing the next scoop and competing with others in the field. 

Social Worker

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Social workers must navigate a stressful work environment, from diminishing resources to harrowing cases. Every client requires the utmost care and attention, which can be rewarding but draining as the years go by.


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Firefighting has been ranked the world’s second most stressful job, just behind military personnel. To save lives, firefighters are exposed not just to smoke and flames, but to traumatic situations. As such, rates of PTSD, depression, and substance abuse are high in the firefighting community.

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