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Stressful jobs that pay badly

Restaurant kitchen managers, vet techs, daycare directors... they all share one thing in common: Each day they take on a great deal of stress but don't get paid much for doing so.

Emergency services dispatcher

stressful jobs emergency services dispatcher
  • Median pay: $38,111
  • % who say their job is stressful: 91.6%

Even during slow periods, 9-1-1 dispatchers are fielding call after call after call, says Jeff Hebert, who has worked with the San Diego Sheriff's Department as a dispatcher and trainer for 19 years.

And those callers are often panic-stricken.

"You may have someone reporting a heart attack, for example, and you have to dispatch the responders while also giving advice on CPR to the caller," said Hebert.

Related: 'Finally! I got a job!'

Training and experience make it easier over time, but there's always the adrenaline rush. There's rarely a sense of relief since dispatchers often don't find out whether the person was saved or the fire put out in time.

Few people can handle the responsibility, the odd hours and the stress, said Hebert. And many people leave after five years or so.

The pay varies but salaries typically start around $25,000 -- not much considering these folks help to save lives every day.

Source: PayScale
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 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." Only one job per "job family" was included. PayScale conducted the survey between August 2011 and August 2013.
  @CNNMoney - Last updated June 24 2014 10:56 AM ET

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