5 of the Most Stressful Industries in the U.S.

collage of a stressed out nurse and stressed warehouse worker

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collage of a stressed out nurse and stressed warehouse worker
iStock / Cheapism

We Need a Break

Is there a job on earth that isn't at least a little bit stressful? Maybe if you're a professional puppy snuggler, you never have an anxiety-ridden work day. But for the general public, work isn't all puppies and sunshine. 

THC retailer Tre House conducted research that looked into 26 different factors — including hours worked, wages, and paid sick leave — to determine the most stressful industries in the U.S. We've highlighted the top five below. 

Tired or worried female warehouse worker
FG Trade/istockphoto

1. Warehousing and Storage

Pack that box, but make sure you put all of the right items in it! Wrap everything accordingly so nothing breaks or spills in the package! Grab the tape and get moving! Hurry, hurry, hurry! 

Needless to say, warehouse workers are in a fast-paced, high-stress environment, and with an alarmingly high turnover rate, it makes perfect sense that this is the most stressful industry.

The risk of frontline worker stress is real
Charday Penn/istockphoto

2. Nursing and Residential Care Facilities

Nursing has always been a stressful gig, and since the pandemic, it's become even more glaringly apparent that these healthcare professionals do not have it easy. No matter the setting, this industry isn't for the faint-hearted. 

Somebody's got to do it

3. Waste Management and Related Services

It could be raining cats and dogs or snowing sideways and waste management workers would still have to hang on to the back of a garbage truck and sling cans. This dirty job rarely inspires a warm and fuzzy feeling for workers.

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Production Line Workers Collecting Freshly Baked Biscuits from the Conveyor Belt

4. Food Manufacturing

Manufacturing gigs are inherently stressful thanks to the fast-paced environment. Food manufacturing adds another taxing layer with subpar quality standards, contamination risks, and a laundry list of other daunting aspects.

Related: Here's What Happens Inside the KFC Kitchen

Hispanic woman working in restaurant

5. Food Services and Drinking Establishments

You know that burst of panic that shoots up your spine and lands in your gut when you remember that you forgot to put in the order of mozzarella sticks for the grumpy guy at table 4? You transfer the pressure to the cook, frantically asking them to make those mozz sticks as fast as humanly possible. Seriously, if you know you know. And if you don't, just understand that workers in the food services industry deal with all kinds of stressors. 

Related: Your Go-To Guide for Every Tipping Scenario (Including When It's OK To Skip the Tip)

Blonde hotel maid resting in laundry

Other Stressful Industries

These five industries round out the top ten in regards to being the most stressful:

  • Support Activities For Mining
  • Wood Products 
  • Accommodation
  • General Merchandise Stores 
  • Health And Personal Care Stores