Attorneys have more stressful jobs than judges, and both are much more stressful than a paralegal assistant’s job. But neither come close to the stress levels endured by surgeons and fire fighters, the survey says.
Careercast, which ranked 200 jobs, says that after surgeons and airline pilots, photographers are the most stressed. Advertising accounting executives come in fourth, while newspaper reporters are seventh on the list of the most stressful occupations.
According to the report, which rates competitiveness, lifting required, environmental conditions, risk of life, meeting the public, confinement and win or lose situations as among the elements impacting stress, a federal judge has a 46.67 stress level, an attorney 64.33 and a paralegal assistant just 23.08.
A surgeon, by comparison, has a stress level of 99.46 because they take a person’s life into their own hands, while a commercial pilot rates 85.35 because the lives of the passengers and crew are in their hands.
One source told The New Lawyer that being a lawyer is becoming more intense and stressful because of the tight job market and threat of losing your job. Another contributing factor to current stress for lawyers is the consistent moving from one practice area to other.
She said: “It is great to have a job but all the uncertainty adds to the stress of the job. While in some industries your position is close to guaranteed, in law people are virtually grovelling to keep theirs. That includes doing whatever you’re told, having more intense billing targets, and still waiting to be called in by HR to hear the bad news everyone else is getting. And that’s not even getting to the job itself.”
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