Critical occupations refer to professions in which workers perform critical duties to protect and serve the public; the nature of these jobs often exposes workers to events and conditions that critically impact their mental and physical well-being. In addition to the traumatic experiences part and parcel to the job, characteristics of these critical occupations - long work hours, nonstandard schedules, dangerous tasks, and a physically demanding work environment - contribute additional stressors. Yet, many workers in these occupations thrive despite the risks. Given the stressful conditions of critical occupations and potential for adverse individual and familial outcomes, it is important to consider why individuals would choose to work in critical occupations, why they might respond differently during stressful work-related events, and why some workers are particularly resilient. We posit that personality research offers intriguing insights into career selection, coping, and resilience for workers in critical occupations. Examining factors that reduce risk and promote resilience for these multiple-stressor occupations has the potential to inform research and policies that better meet the needs of employees and their families.