Almost three quarters of IT administrators have considered switching careers due to job stress.

A survey of IT admins by research firm Opinion Matters found that 69 percent had considered throwing in the towel as a result of stress in dealing with managers and end users. It was also found that more than a third (34 percent) were working unpaid overtime equivalent to 12 additional weeks per year.

Despite the general dissatisfaction there were regional differences. Managers in London-based offices caused the most stress for IT admins (56 percent), while users in Scotland were the most stressful to deal with (42 percent).

Admins in the North East were under the most stress caused by a lack of IT budget (29 percent). Yorkshire suffered the most from being overworked, with 54.5 percent of those surveyed in the area citing understaffing in IT as a key reason for stress.

Respondents in the South West (44 percent) have the highest-level of stress-related health issues. Users in the North East have the least (10 percent).

Meanwhile, IT admins in London work an average of 7.6 hours overtime a week, compared to the Midlands who work an average of 4.5 hours.

A regional breakdown showed that 78 percent of respondents in the South West are actively considering changing careers, followed by London (75 percent) and Yorkshire and the North East (70 percent each).

Admins in Northern Ireland are the most content, with "only" 50 percent considering a career change, followed by Wales (57 percent).

Phil Bousfield, general manager of GFI Software’s infrastructure business unit, which sponsored the survey, said: “Firms need to take these findings as a wake-up call, and ensure that IT staff are supported, productive and armed with the tools they need to be successful. Doing so will deliver business value and help IT admins have a better work-life balance.”

The survey included responses from 201 IT admins.