The 15 Worst Types of Jobs for a Healthy Relationship

Some jobs create stress due to a lack of pay, the type of work you must do, and other factors.
Updated April 11, 2024
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 woman keeping eyes closed and massaging nose after working at laptop

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Even if you like your job, it might be a real hindrance to your personal life. In fact, a recent study by LendingTree revealed that some professions make it difficult to balance work with your personal life.

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey, LendingTree was able to determine which professions have the highest divorce rates.

Check the top 15 worst careers when it comes to divorce rates to see if your job made the list. If so, it might be time to consider a new way of making money if you want to preserve your relationship.

15. Community and social services

gwimages/Adobe EMTs loading patient into ambulance

Divorce rate: 1.56%

Caring for your community can be a difficult task for little pay. EMTs and paramedics, for example, make a median salary of $36,930, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Such low pay might not be worth the stress that comes with that type of position.

14. Health care practitioners

Iryna/Adobe group of modern doctors standing as a team with arms crossed

Divorce rate: 1.61%

Professionals in health care took on a tremendous amount of physical and emotional stress during the pandemic, which may have led to additional issues in their personal lives.

The profession is also stressful due to long hours and heavy responsibilities at work.

13. Construction

romul014/Adobe construction workers having meeting

Divorce rate: 1.8%

Construction work may become more stressful, as the need for workers outpaces the number of people currently in the industry.

Associated Builders and Contractors estimates that the industry needs to hire an additional 650,000 to keep up with current construction-project demands.

12. Sales  young man using a headset and computer in a modern office

Divorce rate: 1.83%

Sales positions may be particularly stressful for those working on commission instead of earning a more straightforward salary. Sales positions might require workers to spend more time on the road visiting clients, which means less time at home with a spouse and kids.

Pro tip: If money troubles are keeping you in a job that is bad for your relationship, crush your debts so you can find another gig that is a better fit, even if it pays less.

11. Installation, maintenance, and repair

SkyLine/Adobe repairman is coming in the house with toolbox in his hand

Divorce rate: 1.85%

Positions in installation, maintenance, and repair help to maintain goods and equipment. Stress in this profession pops up in unusual ways.

For example, the hot housing market has increased the demand for home maintenance and repair specialists.

10. Office and administrative support

yana_vinnikova/Adobe female receptionist working the computer

Divorce rate: 1.86%

Office and administrative support cover a wide variety of positions, including clerks, office administrators, and more.

A large number of positions in the field are covered by a small salary, with a median income of around $43,000 in 2021. Such a low salary can add economic strain to a struggling marriage and cause breakdowns in a relationship.

9. Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

Pixel-Shot/Adobe male janitor mopping floor in office

Divorce rate: 1.92%

It’s a dirty job, but some workers have to do it. This type of position may include janitors, housekeepers, and maid services, which may have unusual hours or require difficult manual labor to keep spaces clean.

This is a difficult job with little reward, with an hourly median wage of only $14.54 in 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

8. Production

Dusko/Adobe worker doing his job on robotic factory

Divorce rate: 1.96%

Workers in this field operate machines and other equipment to produce goods or services for our everyday lives. The field includes jobs ranging from butchers and bakers to welders and woodworkers.

These types of manufacturing jobs can be tiring or may require you to work unusual hours, which can put a strain on workers’ personal lives.

7. Personal care and service teacher and toddlers playing on the table with lots of toy

Divorce rate: 1.98%

Personal care workers attend to your needs, including child care, fitness, and beauty issues. So, if you need a child care specialist for your kids or a skin care specialist for you, chances are you’re working with a personal care specialist.

Caring for other people may leave less in your tank at the end of the day to care for your own personal life, bumping up the divorce rate among this group.

6. Transportation and material moving

APchanel/Adobe engineers checking work on railroad station

Divorce rate: 2.06%

The recent threat of a strike among national railroad workers shined a light on some of the difficult conditions that transportation and material transport workers face.

The industry has also taken a hit in recent years due to the pandemic, which has added stress to the supply chain.

5. Protective service

Wayne H/Adobe security guards

Divorce rate: 2.15%

Protective services include jobs such as police and security guards which can be stressful and dangerous. That can add to issues at home.

Pay can also be a factor. Security guards, for example, only made a median salary of around $31,000 in 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

4. Extraction

Kzenon/Adobe foreman showing worker in open-cast mining pit direction

Divorce rate: 2.47%

Extraction workers may have careers in the oil and gas industry, which might require them to be away from their spouses for long periods.

Other professions include mining, which has seen layoffs in recent years that can also add stress to a personal relationship.

3. Food prep and serving

click_and_photo/Adobe smiling waiter ready to serve a cocktail

Divorce rate: 2.49%

The food industry can be a tough one to work in, with odd hours for many positions, such as nights and weekends.

The industry also relies heavily on tips, so front-of-the-house staff like hosts and waiters as well as kitchen staff like cooks and dishwashers may have fluctuating income that depends on when they work and how much patrons leave in tips.

2. Health care support

pikselstock/Adobe Nurse with patient

Divorce rate: 2.65%

The nursing profession has taken a tough hit in recent years due to the pandemic. Many nurses have worked long hours or found themselves in an area of medicine they normally don’t practice in due to nurse shortages.

In addition, a shortage of existing home health aides is putting stress on those workers. And pay in this job adds to that stress, with annual median pay of only $29,430 in 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

1. Military

WavebreakMediaMicro/Adobe Mixed race military trainer giving training to military soldier

Divorce rate: 3.09%

A position in the military can be stressful in general, and particularly so if someone is deployed and away from their spouse for long periods.

In addition, pay for military members may be less than for other workers, with a newly enlisted soldier making less than $20,000 in annual salary.

Bottom line

auremar/Adobe workers talking and laughing at a factory

When considering a particular job or a field to work in, factor in the ability to have a healthy work-life balance if that’s important to you.

Choosing a better career can help eliminate financial stress and other factors that undermine your most important relationships.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and

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