April is Stress Awareness Month, but what happens if you are stressed 9 till 5? Some careers are intrinsically more stressful than others, but they are not always the jobs you might expect. Chronic long-term stress can lead to high blood pressure, which increases the risk of a heart attack and stroke. Some jobs are inherently stressful, but for many people it’s how they deal with potentially difficult situations that is most important.

London Medical Laboratory’s latest research looked at what people told us about their work-related stress levels. Using data from our Heart Health Profile blood test, their feedback was then combined with the incidence of heart problems and mental health research in different professions. The results are very revealing and, in some cases, quite surprising. (This list excludes roles in the armed services and emergency services.)
Most stressful
1. Welfare professionals
obs such as social work can be a rewarding vocation, but also have their downsides, including high levels of bureaucracy and having to make difficult decisions about complex situations
2. Customer services
Whether they are public facing or on the phone, customer service workers report high levels of stress, stemming from the nature of the work and the pressure to achieve targets.
3. Legal professionals
Lawyers face lengthy training, demanding work and irregular hours. They have one of the highest suicide rates of any profession
4. Teachers
The reality of teaching can be very different from what people entering the profession envisaged. Preparation time, dealing with parents and pressure to boost students’ grades cause many to ‘burn out’.
5. Librarians
A surprising result, but being a librarian is a very public facing role which is significantly under-resourced. 1 in 3 librarians reported acute workplace stress and absences.
6. Recruitment consultants
Finding people these stressful jobs is stressful in itself! Recruitment is another public facing, initially poorly paid, job with strict targets.
7. GPs and health professionals
The demanding nature of the job, level of responsibility and long hours mean, globally, doctors have the highest suicide rate of all professionals. The immense and difficult work our healthcare workers provided during the pandemic has highlighted the highly stressful nature of this work.
Least stressful

1. Hair stylists
Even though it’s a customer facing role, and not every customer will like their cut, hair stylists reported the lowest level of stress of any job.

2. Dental technicians
Another customer facing, relatively low-paid role, but few dental technicians reported work-related anxiety.

3. Jewellers
Whether serving the public or mending items, jewellers seem to be happy with their jobs.

4. Systems software designers
Considering the deadline-driven world of hi-tech, we were surprised so few software designers, and IT workers in general, reported symptoms of stress.

5. Landscapers
An outdoor lifestyle seems to really suit some people.

6. Bloggers
The competitive, results-driven world of blogging would seem to be a hectic career. Bloggers, however, love working from home and are generally their own boss.

7. HR Managers
Dealing with the impact of Covid on workplaces and economic downturns, you might think HR is a very stressful job. But HR managers reported low levels of work-related stress and tested lower for heartrelated problems than most other professionals.