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List of the Most Overworked and Underpaid Jobs

Overworked and Underpaid: 7 of the Most Stressful Jobs

I quizzed you a couple weeks ago on Money magazine’s list of the least stressful jobs. Now CNN Money has compiled another list — this time of the most stressful and most underpaid jobs out there, according to their survey.

The results are based on median salary and the percentage of respondents that rated their jobs as stressful. Unfortunately, these positions sound a lot more like the jobs most of my friends and family have than the ones on the least stressful list did! To see a sampling of the most overworked and underpaid positions, read more.

  • Social worker: $43,200 median pay; 72 percent rate as stressful
  • Parole officer: $38,400 median pay; 58 percent rate as stressful
  • News reporter: $32,900 median pay; 62 percent rate as stressful
  • Substance abuse counselor: $32,400 median pay; 71 percent rate as stressful
  • Commercial photographer: $43,600 median pay; 100 percent rate as stressful
  • Film/TV producer: $47,600 median pay; 78 percent rate as stressful
  • High school teacher: $43,000 median pay; 65 percent rate as stressful

Do you work in any of these fields, or know anyone who does? Are these results surprising to you?

Source: Flickr User Arthur Legardo

Join The Conversation
jessy777 jessy777 7 years
While this is an old post I have to say something to Anonymous. Teachers not only work 2/3s of the year. They work 12 full months just like everyone else. Summers are for professional development, preparing for the next school year and many teach during the summer. There are very few jobs where people are on call 24/7 but I can tell that I have been woken at midnight by a student with a test question and been on overnight field trips with my students. I am expected as school events, even on the weekend and participate in fund raising activities. I spend my evenings grading or making lesson plans and put in well over 15 hours a day both in and out of the classroom. For the salary I make *well below national average* many wouldn't do this job. Not to mention the time required to mentor young people through important developmental times in their lives. So no, teachers are underpaid and there is not a source around that would state otherwise. But guess what, we do it because we love it. (My apologies for any errors but I am rather angry).
KadBunny KadBunny 7 years
Agreed. :) Thank you for the work you do jessy; I have a ton of respect for high school teachers. Well, teachers in general, but I think high school teachers have it harder. I've always wanted to become a social worker. It's unfortunate because the lack of pay and loads of stress associated with it have scared people away when the field needs more help than ever. I'm actually not so much worried about the pay and stress that comes with the job but how it can take a toll on someone personally and emotionally; likewise with teachers and counselors. I'm a bit of a weakling. If I can make any difference at all I'll be happy.
jessy777 jessy777 7 years
I am a high school teacher and make way less than the median salary. It is unfair jobs like teacher, social worker, counselors etc. are so underpaid. I took a large pay cut to begin my teaching career. I may not make as much and I may work twice as hard but my happiness has increased tremendously. There are days when that more than makes up for the lack of monetary compensation. I can only hope that one day these jobs are recognized and paid accordingly.
mek123 mek123 7 years
The only one that surprised me was that photographers are 100% stressful.
graduatedsqueaks graduatedsqueaks 7 years
My mom has been a social worker for the past 30+ years. After hearing all the things she goes through, it's so wild to realize how poorly she and others in her profession get paid.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I'm also surprised that nurses didn't make the list. I work in a hospital and almost all the nurses I know are way overworked...they often work back-to-back shifts, 12-hour shifts, or other weird hours. Not to mention that some specialties (like oncology, ICU, and geriatrics) are very emotionally draining on people. I thought about going into nursing and reconsidered because of how stressful it is. Social work is another highly underpaid field. My aunt has a MSSW and runs a non-profit organization and she still doesn't make a ton of money and has a lot on her shoulders.
Miss-Tina Miss-Tina 7 years
Well I know that my old co-workers and 2 of my 3 three friends that are nurses highly disagree with that. The amount people are paid depends upon their community, and the company that they work for. I am sure many in big cities, big hospitals, and big offices do make quite a bit. I do however, know that ones who work for the less fortunate do not have the money perk to the job, only the mental reward of knowing they are doing something great for their community.
filmgirl81 filmgirl81 7 years
Miss Tina, those in the medical field are paid well, so they're compensated for their stress.
Miss-Tina Miss-Tina 7 years
I am sort of surprised about the 100% stressful rate being on the photography only! I would think that there would also be other jobs on the list. Like OnlySourCherry said, nurses. Also I would think ER doctors, and Pharmacists. People who must work for a minimum of 12 hours at a time and have hectic schedules! I can understand how creative jobs can be very stressful!
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 7 years
I'm surprised that nurses aren't on this list. I always feel bad when I hear someone is in school for nursing or social work. Not that they're not noble professions, but you are setting yourself up for a hard life.
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 7 years
My mother was a social worker, and my father was a news reporter. I definitely grew up from a working class background, and my parents did very well with what they had to raise me and my sister.
syako syako 7 years
Of course three of them are in a creative field... :(
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