The Burn Out of High Demand Jobs


Picture taken by Grace Mrozinski in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Train waiting at the yard office in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

Grace Mrozinski, Hour 1

High demand jobs are burning people out. The need for employees in many different career fields are at an all time high right now. Many do not want to go into these areas of work with what they will be put through. The jobs that are in need of employees are taking a toll on worker’s mental and physical well being. These jobs are not for the weak.

The railroad is in need of people very badly. There is a need for more conductors since each engineer needs a conductor. The engineer drives the train while the conductor tells the engineer how fast to go, when to stop, and so on. My dad works at the railroad as a conductor. When asked about the upsides of working a high demand job, Matt Mrozinski claims, “The pay and benefits are a crucial part of working in a high demand job and that keeps a lot of people working.” Then he is asked what the downsides are of working in a high demand job? “The scheduling, being short handed, and how busy they are,” Mrozinski remarks. Many railroaders are on call all of the time, working 6 days on and 3 days off. Some may get called at 2:00 in the morning and have to be at work for 4:00. You also show up never knowing for sure what kind of work you will be doing in the yard. Lastly, does the railroad care for their workers? Mrozinski states, “The workers are seen as numbers.” This shows the railroad does not care for their workers nearly as much as they should as most high demand jobs are the same. It seems that almost all bigger companies do not care for their workers as smaller companies do. A lot of people quit soon after getting hired.

Another high demand job that is in need of work is in the healthcare field, specifically dental hygienists. “One of the biggest disadvantages of being a dental hygienist is that the lack of reciprocity will make it difficult for some dental hygienists to find employment or to relocate,” claims Loyola University of Chicago. The regulations are very different in different states which makes it difficult for those who have completed schooling to find a job if wanting to relocate. This makes it very difficult for jobs to grow in this field. Next, Layola states, “For the year 2020, the average salary of dental hygienists amounts to $37.06 per hour. Dental hygienists fresh from college tend to work between 36 to 40 hours per week. So, in other words, dental hygienists who have just started their careers can make anywhere from $5,336.64 to $5,929.60 per month.” The pay is crucial in the role of a dental hygienist, with the possibilities of health problems, burn out, lack of a social life, and time away from family. Lastly, Loyola exclaims, “While it can sometimes be necessary to take a shift at any time, being required to come in on weekends or after hours may prove difficult for some people. In order to maintain an excellent work-life balance, you might have to sacrifice some things. One thing that may be difficult to give up is time with your family”  This is a deal breaker for many, working after hours and so on. Like stated, this takes time away from family and social life. This can cause burn out for many which isn’t positive at all but it makes it even worse with the job being in high demand.

The last job that I would like to talk about is also in the healthcare field, this time speaking of nurse practitioners. “According to a recent Yahoo News article, a nurse in the United States earns an average annual salary of $63,000, which is more than double the global average of $26,698.” Just as the other two jobs listed above, the pay is higher than many jobs because of the work, how high demand, and in need these places of employment are. Jennifer Scheltte implies that, “Hospital nurses typically work 12-hour shifts. However, if there’s a lot of patient reporting to do before a shift change, these caregivers might find themselves putting in a 15-hour day, which can take a mental and physical toll on their bodies. It’s also worth mentioning that nurses with less job seniority have to work a lot of nights, weekends, and holidays.” High demand jobs require a lot of difficult tasks and roles such as these long shifts. This means time away from home and family which can cause burn out. Burnout is very common in the healthcare industry. “There’s a lot of stress and pressure that comes with being a nurse. While nurses don’t get much downtime on the job, they’re still required to think critically in life or death situations as well as maintain their composure when working with difficult patients and their families,” Schlette says. It takes a lot of skill to be able to be put into these situations. If you make the wrong move, it could cost someone’s life. Just knowing this in itself is a lot of stress and pressure on a person. This plays a big role in someone’s mental health as well, these workers must keep up with themselves even though it may be hard with the career field that they are in. 

All three of these jobs are at high risk of burnout. Many high demand jobs aren’t easy, they are actually very difficult. Since these jobs aren’t easy, that is why pay is much higher and there are typically more and better benefits that come with these jobs. There are many downfalls to these jobs and many don’t want to work in those conditions. SPASH students should be more involved with going to college for these jobs. If that were to happen, a lot of high demand jobs would be helped. This would also help the employees with relieving stress, the toll it’s taking on their bodies, and their mental health.