These 10 Careers Tend To Have The Most Psychopaths

Business Insider just released the jobs that most psychopaths call home. As clarification on the term, author Eric Barker says, “psychopath doesn’t just mean someone who cuts you up with a chainsaw — though the majority of people who do things like that are psychopaths….Psychopathy is a personality disorder that has been variously described as characterized by shallow emotions (in particular reduced fear), stress tolerance, lacking empathy, coldheartedness, lacking guilt, egocentricity, superficial char, manipulativeness, irresponsibility, impulsivity and antisocial behaviors such as parasitic lifestyle and criminality.”

And, contrary to a past study we reported by the University of St. Gallen that said that stock market traders display similarities to certified psychopaths, hence American Psycho, that occupation actually didn’t make it onto the top 10 list provided by the recently published book The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success.

  1. CEO
  2. Lawyer
  3. Media (TV/Radio)
  4. Salesperson
  5. Surgeon
  6. Journalist
  7. Police Officer
  8. Clergyperson
  9. Chef
  10. Civil Servant

So, if you work in the above relevant industries, you may not be wrong about your boss being psycho or your coworker actually being crazy.

Don’t forget CNBC’s report that coworkers who repeatedly backstab you, steal your ideas, get the same haircut as you, wear white after Labor Day and manipulate you may actually be psychotic. Believe it or not, there are about 3 million Americans or 1% of the population walking around (not in jail) that have psychopathic tendencies and they may be working in your office. Some of these are lower-level criminals but they are not as intelligent as their white collar counterparts. According to Former criminal profiler Gregg McCrary this type of psychopath should be considered high-functioning. Unlike lower-level criminals who might rob a bank and leave behind evidence, white collar psychopaths are much harder to catch. They’re intelligent, have great interpersonal skills, powerfully persuasive and able to disguise themselves very well aka they are your superstar coworker. “A psychopath’s approach to life is all about manipulation,” McCrary said. “They make great natural psychologists. They read people well and look at them and businesses as being there to serve their needs. They’re always assessing, “How can this particular job or person meet my needs? How can I exploit them?’” McCrary said.

The good news? If you work in these professions, pychopaths usually steer clear of them: Care Aide, Nurse, Therapist, Craftsperson, Beautician/Stylist, Charity Worker, Teacher, Creative Artist, Doctor, Accountant.

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    • Lastango

      “So, if you work in the above relevant industries, you may not be wrong about your boss being psycho or your coworker actually being crazy.”
      Just to be clear, there is little or no connection between being a psychopath and being psychotic. Psychopaths are not crazy. That’s partly why they’re often successful. They represent the greater danger because they are always among the rest of us, doing the same jobs and social activities.
      Psychopaths are born that way, and their mental framework is permanent. Psychosis, on the other hand, is occasional and represents the manifestation of an underlying condition. For instance, a schizophrenic (who has the underlying disease of schizophrenia) can have psychotic episodes.
      What is psychosis like when it appears?

      • Anonymous

        This has got to be one of the most abhorrent posts I’ve ever read. First of all, you mention that psychopaths aren’t crazy. Psychopaths are characterized by a lack of empathy and remorse for the actions they do as well as an impulsive temperament and a grandiose disposition. Despite listing off these aspects, if they’re not crazy, then what are they, normal? Only in a superficial sense. (But hey, if you had a disorder too, you’d probably want to hide your true bearings and put up a facade as well).

        Then you go on to reference that psychopaths are often successful. If that was true, then I guess they’re doing a pretty good job of restraining their impulses over the decisions they make, which, if you’ve ever done a lot of research on psychopathy, they clearly have no control over. That and they’re also listening to the needs of others well enough for them to always gain a positive reputation in the workplace. I’m not saying psychopaths will never be successful in anything but in the end, most of them turn out to be lazy, unproductive, reckless, irresponsible, and overall failures.

        Then you go on to say, and this is pretty much the worst part about your post, that they are simply born that way. Yeah, by your logic, you are stating they are born reckless, born to bully, born with a desire to make others miserable and have no way of ever growing out of their traits even if they wanted to. You know, I’m curious about what sort of evidence you can provide to prove to me that psychopathy is purely a genetic disorder and nothing else. Don’t you dare say because the psychopath’s parents said they treated him/her well because no one wants to state to the public that they were abusing their child, they would get indicted if they did. Now that I’ve told you all of this, I hope you can learn to not be a jerk to everyone and actually look at both sides of the argument before asserting yours. Thank you for your time.

      • BahlSanchin

        You are confusing personality disorders with mental illness. There is a difference.

      • Egghead Einstein

        From the accounts I’ve witnessed personally and in the media I am of the opinion a psychopath can rise to the top of any field – providing he or she be lucky enough never to encounter anyone who gives a shit about what’s going on. In other words, in the rink-dinky towns that dot the continent, for a psychopath the sky’s the limit. We’ve seen mayors with major crack addictions… we’ve seen Elliot Weiner addicted to prostitutes at the same time he was conducting massive raids on the industry.

        We’ve seen Dick Cheney manage to murder 100,000 Americans right in front of their families and not one family member noticed. Cheney speaks to my point. Any other country they would have hung him, but Americans fit his victim profile and primary means of control… patriotism. Leaning on that lever, almost anyone can make a section of right-wing patriotic Americans literally lick balls.

    • Mints

      Doctors are not psychopaths, but surgeons are??

      • David B

        Absolutely. Speaking with both internal medicine doctors and surgeons on a daily basis, surgeons have a tendency to much more touchy/assholes/crazy.

    • Randy

      I was gonna guess politicians because some of them are very very greedy, conniving and narcissistic and men on the down low who would beat his “wife” when confronted homosexuality. I think hardcore video gamers are ones too because of those disgusting bloody zombies make them smile which is kind of creepy. Also prostitutes and porn stars. Mel Gibson is one scary motherfucker. OJ Simpson beat his wife and her boyfriend to death and felt nothing. Then all of the jobless robbers.

    • lauren

      I know a lot of teachers I had in school were definitely psychopaths.

    • jalskdmco

      actually the teaching profession is full of psychopaths. Its a position of power, the power to completely rule over other humans and psychopaths are very attracted to that. Just look at the way a lot of teachers teach, by putting fear into their students and completely controlling them, instead of letting them make their own choices and negotiating with them.

      • General Rush Hour

        Not to mention Politicians, one of the more ultimate forms of power there is.

        I think they left that one out because people would shit their pants knowing a solid chunk of their politicians are essentially psychopaths.

      • Fuckyouall

        There are psychopaths in politics but the amount of rationalization that goes in politics indicates politicians are short sighted and guilty for their actions. Psychopaths do not feel a need to rationalize anything.

      • General Rush Hour

        It´s no different then a boardroom trying to keep a company afloat.
        The world is perfectly created for psychopaths to flourish.

      • Fuckyouall

        Are you at all knowledgeable of the requirements to become a teacher? A psychopath would not make it through, generally speaking.

    • Sally

      What do they all these careers have in comon? Power and control over other people. Yep, typical psychopath behaviors of obsession over control. But, I think one more should be added to the list :social workers.

      • Fuckyouall

        The school counselor who works with at-risk teens, receives low pay, and does not have much legal room to control their clients are social workers as well, as are those who help people receive custody of their children again.

        Why are people being so glib about the nuanced professions they are listing?

      • rainydaygirl

        Social workers are the ones who take people’s children in the first place, and in western anglo countries children are often taken into state custody based on false accusations and on the basis that something ‘might’ happen in the future. Social workers, once they have a child, will do all they can to keep said child in their custody, even if it means telling lies, In the UK there is also contested adoption. I have seen it happen so many times to people and I have heavily researched this subject. Don’t tell me I’m lying. Also, social workers are technically on the list, they work as ‘civil servants’.

      • rainydaygirl

        Social workers are on the list. They are classed as civil servants. Civil service basically means any job where you work for the government and tax payers pay your wages. Civil servants can also be engineers and journalists. Usually when someone tells you that they work as a ‘civil servant’ however, they actually mean that they are a social worker and they don’t want to go into it with you.

      • rainydaygirl

        Social workers are on the list as ‘civil servants’. Civil service is any job where tax payers pay your wages. Social workers come under that category.

    • Ella

      You can add airline pilot to that list.

    • anon

      psychopaths float to the top of any profession-the Peter Principal at work-the teacher who hates children becomes a principal, the nurse who gets tired of abusing patients becomes the director of nurses–the cop on the take floats up to detective and captain-the better to work over their marks with less interference. Thanks to whoever gave humans a reptilian brainstem–and thanks to this author who thinks psychopathically-that the only prevention from being a psychopath is FEAR–he gives himself away—these guys are so narcissistic they love describing themselves.

      • Fuckyouall

        They likely will not float to the top of scientific and artsy careers, or any other profession that requires passion, credibility, creativity, and patience. Psychopaths are too glib to be passionate; their constant mimicking does not leave much room for creativity, and much creativity comes from within; and credibility should be obvious, as well as patience.

        “the nurse who gets tired of abusing patients becomes the director of nurses”

        If someone who worked long enough to become the director of nurses got away with abusing patients, something is wrong with everyone around them.

    • BahlSanchin

      Financial Services Industry execs didn’t even make the list? I call bullshit.

    • Pingback: Hiring the right psychopath | Practical Ethics()

    • Hannah

      I have no idea why journalism is on the list. Hedge-fund Manager, sure, politician, sure. Journalist? I don’t think so buddy.

      • Egghead Einstein

        Maybe 20 years ago.. today there are little to no journalists, and their badge does not give them special access as it used to…. social media killed the usefulness of being a journalist to a psychopath. But decades ago press badges were supremely powerful, and in my opinion, would form excellent alibis for their exploits, not to mention access to very high-value and challenging targets for their control.

      • Hannah

        As a journalist for 16 years, I agree that internet media has decreased the value of professional journalism. Now a days anyone can create a blog for free and offer their own version of “news.” Yes times have changed. But journalists as psychopaths? I don’t think so buddy. The ones controlling news are the heads of GE, News Corp, Disney, Viacom, Time Warner and CBS. THOSE are the psychopaths. The journalists are merely pawns. Rupert Murdoch, Jimmy Immelt, Bob Iger, Sumner Rosthein, Jeff Bewkes…THOSE are the psychopaths. CEOs of American media are the ones with the power. Media execs are the ones with high preponderance of psychopathy. Not Journalist.

    • Methusaleh

      Superficial char? Yeah, those people are dangerous. So are articles without proofreaders.

    • dude8484

      Does the world just love psychopaths then? I can see right through these people and recognize them all the time, they’re not as uncommon as you would think, they are in just about every job I’ve ever worked, yet everyone else is so easily persuaded and manipulated by them or just give up and let them get away because they are obsessive and constantly working at stabbing people in the back, while you might be enjoying a day off or vacation, leaving work problems at work, they are there while you’re gone working overtime and spreading lies and manipulating people.

      The problem is they usually develop a better relationship with the management because they are always going to them and snitching on everybody and spreading lies anytime they feel they were disrespected so the management gets to know them a lot more and gets all of their information on the rest of the crew from them while at the same time rewarding this person because they are constantly working over time and kissing ass and doing all they can to make everyone else look bad.

    • Michael G. Roberts

      What crap!