Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Stressful jobs that pay badly

For many workers, stress is part of the job description. And sometimes, the compensation doesn't match the pressures. Here are 15 of the most high-stress, low-paying jobs.

Benefits and payroll administrator

low pay jobs Dennis Danilewicz
  • Median pay: $46,200
  • % who say their job is stressful: 92.9%

When the entire company is relying on you to get paid, you can't afford to miss a beat.

"One little mistake can cost your employer a lot of money," said Dennis Danilewicz, senior director of disbursement services at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York.

Payroll workers not only have to process new employees, promotions, and pay raises, they also have to keep track of new payroll taxes and other changes that may affect pay rates.

When things run smoothly, Danilewicz said he gets zero feedback. But when errors creep in, he hears about it immediately.

Last fall, Superstorm Sandy knocked out power at his New Jersey home for eight days and he couldn't get to work. More than 17,000 employees were counting on him. So he supervised the payroll process by phone and, thanks to his staff, everybody got paid on time.

Methodology: Starting from a database of more than 9,000 jobs, PayScale used data from over 120,000 respondents who rated their jobs for quality of life factors. The top 15 were selected based on the national median pay for workers with at least five or seven years' experience and the percent of workers surveyed who said their jobs were "fairly stressful" or "extremely stressful." They were then ranked in order of pay, lowest to highest. Only jobs with median pay less than $50,000 were eligible., and only one job per "job family" was included. PayScale conducted the survey between August 2010 and August 2012.
  @CNNMoney - Last updated March 07 2013 08:59 AM ET