Low-Stress Jobs

The least stressful jobs that offer good work-life balance

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.

Computer Systems Administrator

Median salary: $84,810

Education required: Bachelor’s degree

Computer systems administrators don’t always have low-stress jobs. When servers crash or an update doesn’t go as planned, it can create pressure for these technology professionals. However, when computers are running smoothly, these can be pleasant positions that involve monitoring computer networks, identifying potential problems and overseeing the installation of hardware and software.

Learn more about computer systems administrators.

Wind Turbine Technician

Median salary: $56,230

Education required: Postsecondary nondegree award

As long as heights don’t scare you, working as a wind turbine technician can be a low-stress occupation. This fast-growing job requires workers to inspect wind turbines, conduct routine maintenance and repair components as needed. While some training is required for the job, you won’t have to spend years in college or be saddled with sky-high student debt. Instead, a short-term certificate is the standard education for this line of work.

Learn more about wind turbine technicians.

Dentist

Median salary: $158,940

Education required: Doctorate

Dentists spend their days meeting with patients, filling cavities and whitening teeth. Some dentists may also straighten teeth and perform simple oral surgeries. Dental emergencies are rare and not usually life-threatening, so this isn’t a position that has workers on call at all hours of the day. While physicians and surgeons may be tasked with breaking bad news to patients, dentists don’t usually have that worry. They offer a service that typically leaves patients smiling.

Learn more about dentists.

High School Teacher

Median salary: $62,870

Education required: Bachelor’s degree

It may not seem as though high school teachers would qualify as one of the least stressful jobs, but when you look at the occupation as a whole, it’s not a bad career to have. Income can obviously vary significantly by state and district, but annual salaries in this profession beat the national average for all occupations. Plus, teaching scores high for a good work-life balance, likely in part because of the seasonal time off that comes with many positions.

Learn more about high school teachers.

Civil Engineer

Median salary: $88,570

Education required: Bachelor’s degree

Civil engineers are the brains behind much of the infrastructure we use daily. They help design and oversee the construction of bridges, roads, water systems and more. It can be a high-stakes job since mistakes could be dangerous or even life-threatening. But still, their daily work isn’t inherently stressful, helping civil engineers land on the list of low-stress jobs that pay well.

Learn more about civil engineers.

Accountant

Median salary: $73,560

Education required: Bachelor’s degree

During tax season, it may be a stretch to say accountants have stress-free jobs, but tax season doesn’t last all year. What’s more, there are some accounting jobs and specialties that don’t even involve taxes. Accountants — who review and maintain financial records — may be able to set their own hours if they are self employed or work on a contract basis. This is also a career that should see good growth in the years to come, allowing workers to select the position that best suits them.

Learn more about accountants.

Epidemiologist/Medical Scientist

Median salary: $74,560

Education required: Master’s degree

The COVID-19 pandemic shined a light on the work of epidemiologists, who are also known as medical scientists. These professionals are responsible for investigating the cause of diseases and then formulating an appropriate response. It may not sound like one of the least stressful careers, but under normal circumstances, these jobs are no more stressful than the average for other jobs.

Learn more about epidemiologists/medical scientists.

Optometrist

Median salary: $118,050

Education required: Doctorate

Optometrists have low-stress, high-paying jobs that offer good work-life balance too. They are doctors who conduct vision tests, prescribe corrective lenses and perform vision therapy. Although some optometrists work in the evenings and on the weekends, most maintain regular hours which helps keep work-related stress to a minimum.

Learn more about optometrists.

Web Developer

Median salary: $77,200

Education required: Bachelor’s degree

Several factors help make web development a low-stress occupation. Professionals in this field create and maintain websites, work that can be engaging and enjoyable. Plus, web developers can do their work anywhere which makes this a perfect option for those who want to work remotely. Finally, web developers are in strong demand and enjoy above average incomes which can help eliminate some of the worry about finding a job after graduation.

Learn more about web developers.

Occupational Therapist

Median salary: $86,280

Education required: Master’s degree

Occupational therapists have a hands-on job that involves helping people perform the tasks of daily living such as bathing or completing household chores. They may work with patients who are recovering from an illness or injury or those living with a disability. Often, their job includes creating a treatment plan, implementing it and recording progress toward goals. Occupational therapy is a career that ranks as average for stress levels.

Learn more about occupational therapists.

Occupational Therapy Assistant

Median salary: $62,940

Education required: Associate degree

While both occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants have what can be considered low-stress jobs, assistants might have a slight edge in this category. They don’t have to worry about creating treatment plans for patients. Instead, they help implement those written by therapists. These workers also only need a two-year degree which could mean lower education costs and less stress related to student debt.

Learn more about occupational therapy assistants.

Computer Systems Analyst

Median salary: $93,730

Education required: Bachelor’s degree

Computer systems analysts may be employed directly by businesses or work for clients on a contract basis. Either way, they evaluate computer systems and make recommendations that will streamline processes, boost productivity or cut costs. This is a job that can often be done remotely which some workers may find helps reduce their stress levels. The pay for this job isn’t bad either.

Learn more about computer systems analysts.

Actuary

Median salary: $111,030

Education required: Bachelor’s degree

Often employed by insurance companies, actuaries use math and statistics to calculate risk. For instance, they may help auto insurers decide what the chances are that a particular driver will make a claim in any given year. Actuarial jobs may also be found at financial firms or with the government. These professionals often work regular hours in an office setting and can make six-figure salaries, all factors that contribute to it being among the best and least stressful jobs.

Learn more about actuaries.

Statistician

Median salary: $92,270

Education required: Master’s degree

If you don’t like math, you might find being a statistician stressful. However, for those who enjoy working with numbers, this occupation can be a dream. Statisticians compile and analyze data in a variety of sectors including health care, government, research or academia. While they may occasionally get a last-minute data request that could cause some stress, these professionals typically maintain regular hours while working in an office setting.

Learn more about statisticians.

Data Scientist

Median salary: $98,230

Education required: Bachelor’s degree

Data scientists have a job that doesn’t just come with a manageable stress level; it also offers above average flexibility and high upward mobility. These workers use their understanding of statistics, computer programming and quantitative reasoning to take large sets of data and parse them down into understandable takeaways. Business, government and nonprofit leaders rely on data scientists to provide them with the information they need to make sound decisions.

Learn more about data scientists.

Software Developer

Median salary: $110,140

Median salary: $110,140

Education required: Bachelor’s degree

Looking for low-stress jobs that also offer good flexibility and plenty of opportunities for advancement? Then working as a software developer may be for you. These technology professionals might create applications or computer systems software. Either way, their work can often be done remotely, and they are paid well for their expertise.

Learn more about software developers.

These are the best low-stress jobs:

— Computer Systems Administrator.

— Wind Turbine Technician.

— Dentist.

— High School Teacher.

— Civil Engineer.

— Accountant.

— Epidemiologist/Medical Scientist.

— Optometrist.

— Web Developer.

— Occupational Therapist.

— Occupational Therapy Assistant.

— Computer Systems Analyst.

— Actuary.

— Statistician.

— Data Scientist.

— Software Developer.

More from U.S. News

10 Jobs to Consider for a Career Change

20 Careers With the Most Job Security Right Now

Best Jobs for Work-Life Balance

Low-Stress Jobs originally appeared on usnews.com

Update 08/11/22: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.

Related Categories:

Latest News

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up