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.

Loss prevention officer

low pay jobs gene smith
  • Median pay: $23,000
  • % who say their job is stressful: 54.3%

Loss prevention officers typically monitor retail floors for shoplifters, watching video screens or walking the aisles.

"The most stressful part of the job is to decide when to apprehend and when not to," said Gene Smith, a veteran of 35 years in the industry and president of the Loss Prevention Foundation. "You have to be right 100% of the time."

A wrong call could bring a lawsuit, but being too hesitant could mean lost inventory.

Safety is another concern. They never know when a shoplifter will pull out a knife or gun.

Yet, wages fall well short of the judgment and guts required of the job. The median pay is only $23,000.

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

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