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Low stress jobs: Man rests face in hands

11 Low-Stress Jobs to Consider If You’re Tired of the Grind

Last updated: January 8, 2020
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Over the past couple of years, stress levels in America have risen dramatically. According to the American Psychological Association, a majority of Americans are suffering from moderate to high stress — 44% of individuals surveyed said that their stress levels had risen over the past five years. Low-stress jobs are more needed than ever.

Consider some of the following statistics from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health — maybe you can relate:

  • 25% of people say that their jobs are the number one cause of stress in their lives
  • 40% of workers said that their situation was “extremely stressful”
  • 75% of workers believe that there is more on-the-job stress today than there was the last generation

If you are currently in a stressful job, you may be scared to leave. Willingly leaving a job can be intimidating. You may think that there might not be another opportunity out there for you. Perhaps you’re worried about securing another high-paying position.

No matter your reason, there’s no need for you to worry. It’s now easier than ever to find full-time jobs with less stress.

When compiling our list of 11 low-stress jobs, we used the information provided by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Information Network (O*NET). This site has a Stress Tolerance chart that ranks stress levels for each role from 1-100. The higher the score, the more stressful the job. For instance, according to the table, urologists have the highest Stress Tolerance level at 100, while models have the lowest rating at 24.

We also tried to include information such as annual salary and education requirements. We’re confident that by using this list of low-stress jobs, you’ll find a gig that promotes work-life balance, allowing you to show up to work every day happy and stress-free. All of the jobs on the list are low stress, but we’ve ranked them by Stress Tolerance score, with the least stressful job listed last.

11. Web Developer

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Web developers are similar to software developers, except they focus more on designing and creating websites. This is another excellent position for freelancers and independent contractors. The O*NET Stress Tolerance rating for web developers is 74.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the median salary for this role is $69,430 per year. Additionally, the role is expected to grow by 15% by 2026. The education requirements for this position vary. You’ll need to have at least some sort of college education. More importantly, you’ll want to have experience with both graphic design and programming.

10. Information Security Analyst

If you’re familiar with computers and software, you should look into the information security analyst career path. The expected job growth for this role is tremendous, especially as cybersecurity becomes a growing concern.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that these individuals “plan and carry out security measures to protect an organization’s computer network and systems.” Some people consider information security analysts to be “ethical hackers.” You can work in this position remotely.

Information security analysts have an O*NET Stress Tolerance level of 73. The expected growth for this role between 2016 and 2026 is 28%, which is much faster than average. The median salary for information security analysts is $98,350 per year. You’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree to get started in this position.

9. Technical Writer

If you have a knack for writing and conveying complex information, you’ll want to consider a career as a technical writer. Technical writers have an O*NET Stress Tolerance level of 69.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that the median salary for technical writers is $71,850 per year and that this role is expected to grow by 11% between 2016 and 2026, which is faster than average.

If you wish to work from home as a technical writer, you’ll at least need an associate degree. Many companies also want you to have experience working with a technical subject as well.

8. Tutor

Tutoring has quickly grown into one of the best work-from-home jobs available. You can choose to tutor a complex subject, like calculus to high school students. Or, you could teach English as a second language to international students. Regardless, there are many opportunities to tutor from the comfort of your home.

Tutors have an O*NET Stress Tolerance level of 65. The Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t provide exact information for tutors. However, many of the tutoring platforms that allow you to work remotely pay around $18-$20 an hour depending on your level of experience. If you can teach a more technical subject, you can expect to earn more when tutoring.

7. Massage Therapist

While this isn’t a job you can do online, it’s still an excellent low-stress option where you can set your own hours. When working as a massage therapist, both you and clients will find yourself surrounded by peaceful music and relaxing fragrances. The Stress Tolerance level for massage therapists is 63.

You’ll need training and job experience to work in this role, but you don’t need any sort of college degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2019 median salary for massage therapists was $41,420 per year. The job outlook from 2016 to 2026 is expected to grow by 26%, which is much faster than usual.

Because you are your own boss, you can choose when you book clients. You can build flexibility into your schedule for a work-life balance.

6. Software Developer

More and more companies are looking to create mobile apps for Android and iOS. Working as a software developer not only puts you in a low-stress situation, but the pay is quite lucrative as well. Software developers who work with applications have an O*NET Stress Tolerance rating of 61.

Furthermore, the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the median salary for software developers is $105,590 per year. Jobs are quite abundant as well. The BLS expects software developer roles to grow by 24% between 2016 and 20216, which is must faster than average.

Many software developers have a bachelor’s degree in a field like computer science. More importantly, you’ll need to have strong programming skills. You’ll likely need to excel in one type of programming language, like Java or C++, to become a successful software developer.

5. Operations Research Analyst

If you’re someone who loves working with data and numbers in a low-stress environment, you’ll want to check out operations research analyst jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that operations research analysts “use advanced mathematical and analytical methods to help organizations solve problems and make better decisions.”

The median salary for operations research analysts is $83,390 per year. You’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree to work in this role. This role is growing dramatically, with the job outlook expected to grow 27% between 2016 and 2026. Operations research analysts have an O*NET Stress Tolerance level of 61.

4. Medical Transcriptionist

Medical transcriptionists are trained individuals who work with hospitals and doctor’s offices to transcribe verbal notes from healthcare professionals. If you would like to work in this role, you’ll need postsecondary education and training. You’ll also need familiarity with various terms used in a doctor’s office, including those involving anatomy and physiology.

The median salary for this position is $34,770 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, you can work in a freelance position from the comfort of your home. This position has an O*NET Stress Tolerance level of 61.

3. Political Scientist

If you have a Ph.D. or master’s degree in public administration or political science, then this position could be right for you. You’ll conduct research about political trends and movements in this role. Political scientists have an O*NET Stress Tolerance level of 61. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that those in this position make roughly $117,570 per year. The position is expected to grow by 3% between 2016 and 2026.

2. Editor or Proofreader

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Editing and proofreading jobs are an excellent starting point for those looking to shift into remote work. O*NET indicates that proofreaders and editors copy editors have a Stress Tolerance level of 61. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the median salary for editors is $59,480 per year. The organization predicts that there will be “little or no change” in expected job growth between 2016 and 2026.

Most editors need some sort of college education to begin working in this role. Having experience working with technical or legal texts could also make you more attractive to companies.

1. Archivist

According to the Society of American Archivists, “archivists work wherever it is important to retain the records of people or organizations, including universities, large corporations, libraries and museums, government institutions, hospitals, historical societies, and religious communities.”

Archivists work with an array of documents, including:

  • Digital materials
  • Analog film
  • Rare manuscripts
  • Postcards
  • Diaries
  • Organizational records
  • Photos
  • Letters

Archivists have an O*NET Stress Tolerance level of 52. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the median salary is $48,400 per year and that the job outlook is expected to rise by 13% between 2016 and 2026, which is faster than average.

You’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree to work in this field. You may need a master’s degree as well, depending on the type of work that you’re doing. For instance, a Master’s Degree in Archival Science is meant for those who would like to handle and preserve old documents.

Find the Right Low-Stress Job for You

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The thought of finding a new job can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. With freelancing and the gig economy growing in popularity, you can find a position that promotes a healthy work environment built to your needs. Studies show that remote work can lower stress levels by more than 80%. Be sure to check out our Job Board for the latest job opportunities.

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