The 8 most stressful jobs in tech
By Sarah K. White, CIO
The most stressful tech jobs
Everyone experiences stress at work, but some jobs involve more overall stress than others. That's especially true for the tech industry, where high demand meets a lack of talent, which results in understaffed IT departments and a lack of support in up and coming areas like big data, security, mobile developers and more.
For some people, a stressful job is no issue, but for others it can be draining and even become a health issue. And science backs this up; numerous studies have suggested that stress at work can shorten your life span and cause negative health problems. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), "Along with its emotional toll, prolonged job-related stress can drastically affect your physical health. Constant preoccupation with job responsibilities often leads to erratic eating habits and not enough exercise, resulting in weight problems, high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels."
The APA also cites a loss of mental energy in addition to the health problems that can stem from a negative working environment or a stressful job. It can also perpetuate a negative and cynical attitude, leading to problems with depression, which can ultimately reduce your overall immunity.
CareerCast released a list of the most stressful and least stressful jobs for 2016 across every industry. For technology, there were eight jobs on the list that were categorized as being the most stressful jobs in the industry. The study looked at 11 stress factors including the amount of travel, growth potential, deadlines, working in the public eye, competitiveness, physical demands, environmental conditions, hazards encountered, own life at work, life of anther at risk and meeting the public. Respondents were asked to rate each category on a scale of 1 to 10 to find the "stress score" of each job.
[ Related story: Tech and IT workplace hiring trends for 2016 ]
The most stressful tech and IT job on the list was for Web developer, which might be associated with its rapid growth. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, web developer jobs are expected to grow by 27 percent by 2024, which is much faster than average. The average salary for a web developer is $63,490 per year and the typical entry-level worker has at least an Associate's degree.
Next on the list is the role of a technical writer, which the BLS predicts will grow 10 percent by 2024. The average salary, according to the BLS, is $69,030 per year and the average entry-level technical writer has at least a Bachelor's degree. It's typically a full time job that requires working closely with engineers to develop instruction manuals, how-to guides, journal articles and other documentation.
Computer Systems Analyst
Computer Systems Analysts are responsible for studying the computer systems at a company and the procedures around IT in order to increase efficiency. But it's also one of the more stressful jobs in IT, especially as more businesses rely on fast changing technology. According to the BLS, computer systems analyst jobs are expected to grow 21 percent by 2024, which is faster than the national average for most industries, and the average salary for this job is $82,710 per year.
Network and Computer Systems Administrator
Network and Computer Systems Administrator jobs aren't growing as fast as other tech jobs, with the BLS predicting just an 8 percent increase by 2024. But that hasn't stopped it from being one of the more stressful jobs in tech. Responsible for the overall operations of technical networks for companies, Network and Computer Systems Administrators earn, on average, $75,790 per year.
Data has exploded in the last few years, which has left businesses scrambling to hire data professionals, only to face a lack of qualified candidates. In fact, this job is so new that the BLS doesn't even have data on the exact position, just similar roles. But CNN Money states that the potential 10-year growth for this role is 18.7 percent with a median salary of $124,000 per year.
Computer Service Technician
With a rise in technology comes a greater need for people to help troubleshoot and fix computers and other devices at work. So it's no surprise that Computer Service Technician is on the list of most stressful tech jobs. The BLS predicts that this role will grow 12 percent by 2024 and cites the average salary as $50,380.
Software Engineers are tasked with creating computer programs, meeting deadlines, dealing with clients and answering to a businesses' expectations for developing software and programs. All of that, combined with fast growth -- the BLS predicts this job will grow 17 percent by 2024 -- makes for a stressful career in tech. However, the salary might make up for it for some, with the average Software Engineer earning $97,990 per year.
Computer Programmers are held to similar expectations as Software Engineers, but they write, test and code the applications and software developed by the engineers. Surprisingly, this job is actually on the decline, with the BLS predicting an 8 percent decline in growth by 2024. The BLS cites the average salary for this role as $77,550 per year.
What's it all mean
While these jobs may be stressful, the study also emphasizes that stressful jobs can be rewarding. Only you can know how you respond to and deal with stress, and if you can handle it, these jobs can lead to a long, rewarding and successful career. Interestingly, in contrast to this list, the number 1 least stressful job of 2016 across all industries -- not just tech -- was Information Security Analyst, where the stress score was just 3.8. The median salary for this job is $88,890 per year and the growth outlook is strong, with an 18 percent expected increase in jobs.