Servicemembers and first responders have two of the most important jobs out there, and while protecting the country at home and abroad is critical, the responsibilities also come with stress. In fact, according to, the two fields have been ranked more stressful than most others.

Active duty soldiers face most stress
The rankings took a variety of factors into consideration including physical danger, having responsibility for others' lives and how much a certain job is in the public eye, all of which certainly apply to enlisted military personnel, who came in at number one in the list of most stressful jobs. In addition to being in the line of fire, soldiers often have to spend long stretches away from their loved ones, which can only add to the stress.

"This should come as no surprise that enlisted military personnel is the number one most stressful job," Tony Lee, publisher of, told NBC News. "These are the folks on the front lines. Whether they're in a battle environment or here helping out after Hurricane Sandy – military personnel are always at risk."

Firefighters close behind
Few people put their lives on the line on a more regular basis than firefighters, and their rank as the third most stressful job of 2013 is certainly well deserved. In addition to the stress caused by fires, experts say a lot of stress could be tied to the fact that they feel such a large responsibility to protecting the general public.

The high stress levels firefighters face can take their toll. A recent study from the National Fire Protection Association found that 44 percent of firefighters' deaths were caused by heart attacks, a condition commonly brought on by stress.

Long-lasting impact of stress
The high intensity environment of soldiers and firefighters could have consequences that last long after they leave their careers. Most notably, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects an estimated 20 percent of servicemembers, and it is also common among first responders. In fact, some studies have found that as many as 37 percent of firefighters could exhibit symptoms of PTSD.

The good news is that there is a growing call to understand how PTSD operates and devise strategies to treat the condition. Most notably, the National Intrepid Center of Excellence in Bethesda, Maryland, has employed some of the latest therapies and treatments to address PTSD.