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Is there a stress free job

From a global pandemic in 2020 to inflation that hit a 40-year high in 2022, to say the last few years have been stressful may be an understatement. While you can’t control national and global events, try bringing some peace to your life by looking for a job that won’t stress you out. To help you find a more manageable career choice, we scoured our Best Jobs rankings for those occupations that have average or lower stress levels. These positions also offer above-average median incomes, so you won’t be stressing about paying bills, either.

Keep reading for a look at 16 low-stress jobs that pay well. Income and education data comes from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

It shouldn’t come as a shock that many people want a low-stress job. However, finding one is harder than it seems!

Some jobs that seem like they would be stressful actually aren’t, and other careers that appear calm are the complete opposite.

The best low-stress jobs

This list of the best low-stress jobs will help you cut through the noise and find a career that won’t frazzle you on a daily basis.

1. Massage Therapist

  • Average Annual Salary: $43,000
  • Typical Education Requirements: High school diploma and certified training program

Massage therapists are purveyors of relaxation, but it’s not just their clients who get to help. A therapist’s primary goal is to soothe tired and overworked muscles. They manipulate the muscles and tissues to improve lymphatic circulation, address targeted pain, and induce a general sense of calm.

Low-stress environments are commonplace. Most massage therapists work in serene, quiet environments. They must cultivate a workspace for their clients to provide a sense of calm and prevent overstimulation, which makes it a great low-stress job for them as well!

2. Orthotist or Prosthetist

  • Average Annual Salary: $73,000
  • Typical Education Requirements: Master’s degree in orthotics or prosthetics

Orthotists and prosthetists offer similar services. Prosthetists work with artificial limbs. Meanwhile, orthotists typically deal with supportive braces for knees or spines.

Either way, these two career paths offer a low-stress environment and plenty of job security. The jobs are also rewarding, as their work makes a measurable difference in patients’ lives. They produce medically supportive devices that help people regain mobility.

Most orthotists and prosthetists also enjoy an excellent work-life balance, allowing you to enter the medical field without the stress that comes with being a physician.

3. Technical Writer

  • Average Annual Salary: $78,500
  • Typical Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in computer science, engineering, or relevant technical field

The job of a technical writer is to compile information logically and effectively. Unlike other writing positions, technical writers don’t need a modicum of creativity to be successful. However, they do need to have detailed knowledge of the subject matter.

Technical writers can work in a wide range of fields. Generally, the work is data-driven and straightforward, making it a low-stress job with little social interactivity or over-stimulating situations.

4. Librarian

  • Average Annual Salary: $60,800
  • Typical Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in library studies or relevant field

Unsurprisingly, librarians have one of the least stressful jobs around. Can you imagine a more calm environment than a library?

Typically, librarians are employed by universities, public schools, museums, and even law firms. Their job is to manage an extensive collection of material. Librarians can also classify new work, assist with research, and manage staff to keep a library running smoothly.

5. Astronomer

  • Average Annual Salary: $120,000
  • Typical Education Requirements: Doctorate degree in astronomy, physics, and other related sciences 

If you have a love of the cosmos, becoming an astronomer may be for you. Astronomers work to unravel the mysteries of the universe through mathematics, experimentation, and careful observation.

It takes many years to become an astronomer, as most positions require a high level of education. But once you enter the field, most of your time is spent researching a topic you already love. The nature of the work makes it a stress-free job as well.

6. Genetic Counselor

  • Average Annual Salary: $85,700
  • Typical Education Requirements: Master’s degree in relevant field

Genetic counseling is a unique and low-stress career path that also offers financial security. Counselors typically work in office or laboratory settings. Their job is to evaluate a patient’s family health history and recommend testing to avoid potential genetically linked health problems.

This job focuses more on the possibility of health conditions rather than treating existing issues. As a result, you can help others without directly handling a patient’s treatment.

7. Geoscientist

  • Average Annual Salary: $93,500
  • Typical Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in geosciences

A geoscientist works to further human understanding of Earth’s physical characteristics. They study its composition and structure. In doing so, they can learn more about the planet’s past, current state, and future.

This is a low-stress job because the day-to-day work of a geoscientist is fairly straightforward and analytical. They spend their days traveling to work sites, collecting samples, and analyzing data. As a scientist, you might also make observations, perform research, and create reports.

8. Cartographer

  • Average Annual Salary: $68,000
  • Typical Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in cartography, geography, survey engineering, and other related fields

Cartography is a low-stress job that combines fieldwork with office work. A cartographer is a modern map-maker. They use advanced software to map locations and gather physical data.

Cartographers spend days outside using tools and software to take measurements in the field. In the office, a cartographer typically has a stable schedule with relaxed deadlines and no need for intense and stressful bursts of work.

9. Hydrologist

  • Average Annual Salary: $90,000
  • Typical Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in environmental science, geology, or civil engineering

Here’s another job that requires many calming hours outdoors in nature. A hydrologist’s goal is to study water flow through the Earth’s crust. Not only do they gather data about rivers and oceans, but they also analyze how groundwater moves below our feet.

Their work can also involve studying precipitation and how it affects the flow of water. As a hydrologist, you will spend time outdoors or in a lab reviewing data. 

10. Environmental Scientist

  • Average Annual Salary: $80,000
  • Typical Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in environmental science

Environmental science is an evolving field that requires considerable time outdoors. Scientists work to understand the effects of pollution on the environment and figure out ways to reduce its impact on wildlife.

The field is evolving, but environmental science is considered a relatively low-stress job. The work is study-based, involving data sampling, research, and ample time in a laboratory analyzing data.

11. Database Architect

  • Average Annual Salary: $101,000
  • Typical Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer engineering, and other related fields

A database architect works to develop a data management framework that meets clients’ needs. They can work in a wide range of industries, but they typically work on an enterprise level to help companies expand. An architect’s vision can help improve efficiency, manage logistics, and even enter new markets.

Becoming a database architect requires a deep understanding of networking and general computer science. However, it’s an independent position that doesn’t require much hands-on work outside of designing.

12. Industrial Designer

  • Average Annual Salary: $76,000
  • Typical Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in industrial design, architecture, or engineering

An industrial designer brings ideas to life. Their role within a company is to develop concepts for manufactured products. That could include everything from cars to desk lamps!

This job has tons of flexibility. Not only that, but it’s a relatively stress-free job because it involves designing rather than implementation. Industrial designers develop the concepts while others figure out how to make them happen.

13. Mechanical Engineer

  • Average Annual Salary: $90,000
  • Typical Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering

As a mechanical engineer, you can benefit from financial stability, job security, and flexibility in how you work. Plus, it can be intellectually stimulating for those who enjoy problem-solving.

A mechanical engineer’s job is to design and test equipment. Again, the exact job requirements will vary from position to position, but many consider mechanical engineers professional problem-solvers. They come up with solutions to improve efficiency through mechanical means.

14. Physicist

  • Average Annual Salary: $96,000
  • Typical Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in physics

Like geoscientists and environmental scientists, physicists conduct research and develop theories to further human knowledge. As their position would suggest, physicists deal with physical phenomena. They perform experiments to learn more about the properties of matter and energy.

It’s usually a very calm job because physicists typically work in a lab setting. There’s not much manual labor involved, and these scientists usually get paid very well for their work.

15. Physical Therapy Assistant

  • Average Annual Salary: $59,000 
  • Typical Education Requirements: Associate’s degree with relevant job training 

This low-stress job benefits from its low entry requirements and job security. Unlike other positions, there’s no need to invest in several years of study. Pair that with the decent starting salary potential, and it’s easy to get into this field without the worry that comes with other jobs.

Assistants work under the direction of a physical therapist. They help patients perform exercises that improve mobility and encourage recovery after an injury.

16. Agricultural Engineer

  • Average Annual Salary: $101,000
  • Typical Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering or biological engineering

Modern agriculture is far more complex than people realize. Farms are massive and require a fleet of machinery to bring products to your table. Agricultural engineers are responsible for designing and maintaining the machinery that makes modern agriculture possible.

The work entails design, construction, and continual improvement of farm equipment. It’s a low-stress job because most engineers focus their attention on the machinery rather than the art of farming itself. They generally work alone or in small teams on-site as well.

17. Statistician

  • Average Annual Salary: $97,000
  • Typical Education Requirements: Master’s degree in statistics or Bachelor’s degree in math, economics, computer science, or actuarial science

Those who like to work alone on computers may want to become a statistician. This job is important, as it involves collecting, organizing, and interpreting valuable data. Statisticians sift through numbers to form usable data that companies can use to improve their bottom line.

Despite the big role statisticians can play in an organization, it’s one of the calmest jobs you can find. Statisticians spend most of their time working alone, digging into the numbers.

18. Art Director

  • Average Annual Salary: $114,000
  • Typical Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in art, graphic design, or other creative fields

There’s no better way to avoid stress than to enter a field you already love. Artists can use their skills to climb the corporate ladder as art directors. In this position, your job is to develop design concepts and presentations for advertising campaigns, social media communications, and more.

Many organizations hire art directors, so there’s plenty of versatility in career choice. There are also opportunities to pursue work as a freelancer or independent contractor. 

19. Philosophy and Religion Professor

  • Average Annual Salary: $90,000
  • Typical Education Requirements: PhD In philosophy or religious studies

Philosophy and religion can be hot-button topics, but the act of learning and teaching these topics in an academic setting tends to be a very calm experience. Unlike core subjects like math or science, these courses are more open to interpretation and expression.

Teaching courses in philosophy, religion, or theology can be quite rewarding. Not only can you share your knowledge, but you surround yourself with open discussions and healthy debates.

20. Food Scientist

  • Average Annual Salary: $80,100
  • Typical Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in food science, agricultural engineering biology, or other related fields

Next time you pick up your favorite snack at the grocery store, take a moment to thank the food scientists that made it possible! A food scientist studies the complex nature of food. They analyze nutritional content, uncover new food sources, and research to ensure that processed foods are safe.

This field includes many disciplines. However, it involves a lot of lab work, observation, and research. As a result, it’s one of the best low-stress jobs you can find.

21. Landscaper

  • Average Annual Salary: $32,000
  • Typical Education Requirements: High school diploma

Many studies establish a connection between being outside while performing physical exercise and lowering stress levels. As a landscaper, you get to spend your day outside working in nature. While it does involve physical labor, it’s an easy field to enter.

Landscapers perform various duties, including mowing lawns, picking up yard debris, and more. The work can be challenging, but the final product is always rewarding. You also don’t have to worry about taking work home with you!

22. Orthodontist

  • Average Annual Salary: $208,000
  • Typical Education Requirements: Doctor of Dental Medicine with orthodontics specialty

Orthodontics is a high-paying field that doesn’t come with much daily stress. While other healthcare professionals have to deliver bad news or work with sick patients, orthodontists typically don’t have to worry about any of that. They simply work to create beautiful smiles that leave patients happy!

This career path takes a lot of hard work. However, it pays very well and offers incredible job security.

23. Geography Professor

  • Average Annual Salary: $59,750
  • Typical Education Requirements: PhD In geography

Geography professors typically teach students at local colleges or large universities. While geography is science-based, it’s a low-stress topic that can be exciting to those genuinely interested in the Earth’s physical features.

Professors can share their expertise with a revolving classroom of students, eventually earning tenure and obtaining job security for the rest of their careers.

24. Material Scientist

  • Average Annual Salary: $88,500
  • Typical Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in chemistry or related fields

Ever wonder how manufacturers came up with synthetic materials like PVC or PE? It was thanks to the work of a material scientist!

A material scientist studies the structure and composition of materials. The goal is to create new ones or improve the materials we already have. 

This job is science-based which means it’s naturally not very stressful. You can work independently to perform experiments, research data, and more.

25. Dietitian

  • Average Annual Salary: $60,000
  • Typical Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in nutrition or related field

Dietitians can work in many different environments. You’ll see them in hospitals, private practices, or even finding freelance jobs.

Their job is to help individuals and families develop a diet plan that works for their health and fitness goals. It’s about more than just putting people on diets. Dietitians formulate nutritionally balanced plans that encourage a lifestyle change and better overall health.

It’s a rewarding career that can foster real change, while being a low-stress job compared to many other positions in the medical field.

26. Data Scientist

  • Average Annual Salary: $98,000
  • Typical Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in data science or computer-related fields

Businesses collect mountains of data from researchers, but they’re unable to use it without help from a data scientist. Data scientists analyze and organize information, parsing it down so that it’s easy to understand and utilize.

Nearly every industry needs data scientists, so there’s no shortage of positions available. Best of all, data scientists typically work alone and often have opportunities to complete their jobs at home (making it one of the best jobs for introverts).

27. Curator

  • Average Annual Salary: $126,000
  • Typical Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in art, history, museum studies, and other related fields

Life as a curator is generally pretty quiet. It involves overseeing collections of art or historical documents. Curators often manage preservation methods, organization, and cataloging as well.

Curators can work in museums or art galleries. Either way, the work involves restoring old items to their former glory and displaying them for the masses! Even with all the responsibilities involved, it’s a low-stress job with many aspects to love.

28. Mathematician

  • Average Annual Salary: $112,000
  • Typical Education Requirements: Master’s degree in mathematics

If you enjoy the complexities of math, becoming a professional mathematician is a viable route to pursue. While some find math to be daunting, those who excel at it can enter a rewarding field that isn’t very stressful.

Mathematicians study established principles and develop their own theories. They can also conduct research to learn how to apply mathematical concepts for science, business, and more.

29. Occupational Therapist

  • Average Annual Salary: $85,000
  • Typical Education Requirements: Master’s degree in occupational therapy

Occupational therapy is another field that can help you make a significant change in someone’s life. Not to be confused with physical therapy, occupational therapy helps patients adapt to daily living.

They help patients overcome pain, illness, or physical disabilities. The goal is to help them take care of themselves or return to work. It’s a hands-on job that directly impacts how people live, making it rewarding without being very stressful.

30. Personal Trainer

  • Average Annual Salary: $63,000
  • Typical Education Requirements: High school diploma and certification training

A physical trainer helps people achieve their fitness goals. Whether that’s losing weight, reaching peak physical fitness, or simply living a healthier life, trainers make it happen! They design exercise routines, provide support, and more.

This is a great low-stress job because of its flexibility. Personal trainers can work at hospitals, in gyms, or on their own as freelancers. Many also develop products or workout routines they can sell, opening up a world of opportunity without the anxiety.

31. Bioengineer

  • Average Annual Salary: $98,000
  • Typical Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering or related fields

Bioengineers are professional problem-solvers in the world of medicine. They analyze issues and develop solutions to push healthcare further. 

The day-to-day life of a bioengineer can involve research, equipment design, testing, and more. The goal is to improve the quality and efficiency of patient care.

Bioengineers don’t interact with patients directly. Instead, they focus on the research and engineering side, making it a low-stress position with a positive payoff.

32. Developer

  • Average Annual Salary: $107,000
  • Typical Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in software engineering, computer science, or related field

For the most part, being a developer is a low-stress job because it requires independent work. While deadlines and occasional collaboration exist, most developers have flexibility in establishing their schedule and where they want to work. It’s also common for this to be a remote job, eliminating the stresses of office life.

Developers work behind the scenes to create web pages, software programs, games, and more.

33. Geographer

  • Average Annual Salary: $85,600
  • Typical Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in geography

A geographer’s duties can vary dramatically based on who they work for and what project they’re working on completing. As a whole, geography pertains to the study of Earth, its features, and its inhabitants.

An average day for a geographer might include gathering field data, capturing photos, observing maps, and more. It’s certainly an exciting field that usually involves travel and tons of time outdoors. But despite the action, it’s actually one of the calmest jobs you can find.

34. Wind Turbine Technician

  • Average Annual Salary: $52,650
  • Typical Education Requirements: High school diploma, trade degree, and job training 

Wind energy is becoming more prevalent worldwide, leading to rising demand for wind turbine technicians. As long as you don’t fear heights, this job is an excellent low-stress opportunity. 

Technicians climb massive turbines to perform inspections, conduct routine maintenance, and make repairs. It requires job training and good physical fitness. There’s also the opportunity to travel to some exotic locations where you can get the best view of anyone!

35. Audiologist

  • Average Annual Salary: $86,500
  • Typical Education Requirements: Doctor of Audiology degree

An audiologist works directly with patients to diagnose and treat hearing disorders. They also deal with balance issues and problems with other neural systems.

While this healthcare sector is complex, audiology is considered to be one of the least-stressful careers around. It usually doesn’t involve life-threatening complications. Not only that but much of the diagnostic work is completed with advanced technology and equipment.

Even modern treatments are tech-driven, leading to more positive outcomes for patients suffering from hearing loss.

36. Chemical Engineer

  • Average Annual Salary: $114,800
  • Typical Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering or related fields

While most don’t realize it, many of the products you use are created through chemical processes. Everything from food to fuel goes through complex processes designed by a chemical engineer.

Chemical engineers can work in several industries. They play a crucial role in pharmaceuticals, healthcare, petrochemical plants, and more.

This job is low-stress because it’s all science-based. Most of the work involves independent research, experimentation, and data analysis.

37. Medical Stenographer

  • Average Hourly Pay: $20.00
  • Typical Education Requirements: High school diploma and training

Medical stenographers are important to the healthcare industry. However, they don’t have to deal with the stresses of patient interaction or direct care.

Stenographers work to transcribe medical reports done by healthcare professionals. That might include voice recordings, data from imaging studies, and more. They document the work of physicians and other professionals in a calm environment.


No matter what industry you’re interested in, there should be a low-stress job for you. It might not be obvious at first, but they’re out there.
Use this list as inspiration to help you find a career that keeps you calm and eager to go to work each day. Life is too short to hate your job!

Hannah Morgan Career Sherpa

Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.