Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate relationships between biographical variables of gender, age experience and employment position and occupational stress of staff members in Catholic primary schools. Design/methodology/approach – Survey data were collected from 356 staff members from Catholic primary schools in New South Wales, Australia. Research hypotheses were tested using multivariate analysis and comparison of means. Findings – Age, gender and position are found to be related to three out of the four identified domains of occupational stress as well as overall occupational stress. In addition, male staff experience higher levels of general occupational stress than their female colleague overall. Practical implications – The findings hold implications for school systems and school administrators in relation to teacher retention, schools as organizations and gender issues. Further research regarding stress of teacher's aides is also recommended. Originality/value – The paper includes non-teaching staff and investigates the role of employment position as a biographical variable.