Top 15 Low Stress Jobs

by / ⠀Career Advice / June 12, 2024
Top 15 Low Stress Jobs

The world of work can be stressful, but not all jobs are created equal when it comes to stress levels. While some people thrive in high-pressure environments, others prefer a more laid-back approach to their daily grind. In this article, we will explore the top low-stress jobs you can apply to right now, even some that don’t require a degree.

What is low stress?

Before we dive into the list of low-stress jobs, it’s important to understand what we mean by “low stress.” Stress is a subjective experience, and what is stressful to one person may not be stressful to another. However, some universal factors can contribute to a job’s stress level, such as the amount of criticism and intense situations an employee is subjected to regularly.

The Department of Labor’s O*NET online occupational database measures a job’s stress tolerance on a scale of 0 to 100, with lower scores indicating less stressful work environments. Using this database, we’ve compiled a list of jobs with low-stress tolerance scores, ranging from 49 to 61.

1. Security guards

At the top of our list, with a stress tolerance score of 61, are security guards. While some security guards at busy or important locations may deal with stress daily, those working at quiet, remote locations have a much more laid-back experience. These guards are responsible for tasks such as locking down doors and windows, monitoring employees and visitors, inspecting and reporting on equipment, answering calls, and taking messages.

  • Many security guard positions require a high school diploma or equivalent. Some states and employers require additional training or certification, such as a security guard license. This training typically includes learning about emergency procedures, communication skills, and legal and ethical issues related to security.
  • The demand for security guards is expected to grow. As security concerns rise and more organizations seek to protect their assets, the need for security personnel increases.
  • Security guards often work in shifts, which can include nights, weekends, and holidays. Flexibility in working hours is often required.

2. Operations research analysts

Despite its daunting name, the job of an operations research analyst has a stress tolerance score of 61. These professionals are hired by organizations to analyze, report on, and improve their business operations. They observe a company’s typical operations and apply high-level maintenance and strategic planning to improve efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Since they don’t have to concern themselves with the day-to-day work of the company they’re consulting for, their stress levels are lower than those of a typical employee.

  • A bachelor’s degree in operations research, mathematics, statistics, or a related field is typically required. Many positions prefer candidates with a master’s degree or higher.
  • The demand for operations research analysts is expected to grow significantly. As organizations continue to seek ways to improve efficiency and reduce costs, the need for skilled analysts who can provide data-driven insights will increase.
  • Operations research analysts typically work full-time, and their work schedules may vary depending on project deadlines and organizational needs. Some positions may require additional hours during critical project phases.

3. Janitors and cleaners

While it may not be the most glamorous job, being a janitor or cleaner has a stress tolerance score of 61. The level of stress in this job depends largely on the location and size of the janitorial team. Nighttime cleaners and janitors at smaller, less busy organizations are less pressured for time and have a smaller area to worry about cleaning.

  • Most janitor and cleaner positions do not require formal education beyond a high school diploma or equivalent. On-the-job training is typically provided to teach proper cleaning techniques and the safe use of cleaning chemicals and equipment.
  • The demand for janitors and cleaners is expected to remain steady, as cleanliness and maintenance are essential for all types of buildings. The job outlook is generally positive, with opportunities available in various sectors.
  • Many janitors and cleaners work evening or night shifts, particularly in commercial buildings that are occupied during the day. This schedule can reduce stress by allowing them to work when the building is less busy.

4. Farm labor contractors

Farm labor contractors are independent recruiters who help agricultural organizations find seasonal or temporary workers. They may also be responsible for transportation, room, and board for these employees. With a stress tolerance score of 60, this job avoids much of the stress of a typical agricultural role, especially since these contractors are typically independent or freelance.

  • There are no specific educational requirements for farm labor contractors, but a background in agriculture, business, or human resources can be beneficial. Relevant experience in recruitment and management is often preferred.
  • The demand for farm labor contractors remains steady due to the ongoing need for seasonal agricultural workers. As agriculture continues to rely on temporary labor, opportunities for farm labor contractors are expected to persist.
  • The work hours for farm labor contractors can vary, depending on the season and the specific needs of the agricultural employers. They may work irregular hours, including evenings and weekends, to coordinate with the schedules of both employers and workers.
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5. Agricultural equipment operators

Technology has made agricultural equipment easier to operate and maintain than ever before. These tools require very little training and are fairly easy and stress-free to operate, resulting in a reported stress tolerance score of 60. However, the level of stress in this job may vary depending on the size and scope of the agricultural operation.

  • While formal education is not always required, some operators may benefit from vocational training or community college courses in agricultural mechanics or equipment operation. On-the-job training is typically provided.
  • The demand for agricultural equipment operators is expected to remain stable, driven by the ongoing need for efficient farming practices and the adoption of advanced agricultural technologies.
  • Work hours can vary greatly depending on the season and the specific agricultural tasks. During planting and harvesting seasons, operators may work long hours, including early mornings, evenings, and weekends.

6. Laundry and dry cleaning workers

Employees at laundry and dry cleaning services are responsible for cleaning and drying customers’ garments, maintaining the washers and dryers, sorting and folding clothes, and tending to customers’ needs. With a stress tolerance score of 59, the low-stakes environment of a laundromat or dry cleaner offers few opportunities for making mistakes.

  • There are no formal educational requirements for laundry and dry cleaning workers. On-the-job training is typically provided to teach the necessary skills and procedures.
  • The demand for laundry and dry cleaning workers is expected to remain steady, with a continued need for clean garments and textiles in various industries, including hospitality, healthcare, and personal services.
  • Work hours can vary, with some facilities operating around the clock. Employees may work shifts, including evenings, weekends, and holidays, depending on the establishment’s hours of operation.

7. Search marketing strategists

Search marketing strategists are responsible for a brand’s visibility on various Internet search engines. They perform in-depth research and come up with content strategies to improve a company’s search engine optimization (SEO). These strategists typically work independently or on a small team, separate from the rest of an organization’s more direct roles, resulting in a stress tolerance score of 58.

  • A bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications, business, or a related field is often preferred. However, relevant experience and demonstrated expertise in SEO can also qualify candidates for this role.
  • The demand for search marketing strategists is expected to grow as businesses increasingly rely on digital marketing to reach their audiences. Expertise in SEO is highly valued, making this a promising career field with ample job opportunities.
  • Typical work hours for search marketing strategists are standard business hours, but flexibility is often required to meet deadlines or adapt to algorithm updates. The nature of the work allows for a degree of schedule flexibility, especially in remote or freelance roles.

8. Environmental science and protection technicians

These scientists monitor and report on the state of the environment in any given location, taking samples of and observing plants and wildlife to check for pollution that could affect the health of the area and surrounding population. While this is an important responsibility, it isn’t always a fast-paced job, resulting in a stress tolerance score of 58.

  • A minimum of an associate degree in environmental science, biology, chemistry, or a related field is typically required. Some positions may require a bachelor’s degree, especially for more advanced roles or specialized tasks.
  • The demand for environmental science and protection technicians is expected to grow as awareness of environmental issues increases and regulations become stricter. This growth is driven by the need to monitor environmental health and ensure compliance with laws.
  • Environmental science and protection technicians typically work standard full-time hours. However, fieldwork may require flexible hours, including early mornings, evenings, or weekends, depending on the project’s needs.

9. Craft artists

Craft artists promote, display, and sell their artwork, which can include ceramics, woodworking, welding, weaving, pottery, glassblowing, and more. Some even provide work for use as props for TV and movie sets. While it can be difficult to establish oneself as a craft artist and make a living, these artists experience a high degree of flexibility in their work schedule and get to do something they love for a living. The stress tolerance score for craft artists is 58.

  • While formal education is not always required, many craft artists benefit from taking courses in art, design, or specific craft techniques. Some may have degrees in fine arts or related fields. Workshops, apprenticeships, and self-teaching are also common paths.
  • The demand for unique, handmade items remains strong, particularly in niche markets and among consumers who value artisanal goods. Craft artists can find opportunities by leveraging online platforms and participating in craft fairs and exhibitions.
  • Craft artists enjoy a high degree of flexibility in their work schedule. They can often choose their hours, allowing them to balance work with personal life. However, they may work longer hours when preparing for shows, fairs, or fulfilling large orders.
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10. Fishing and hunting workers

Workers in this industry include commercial fishermen, deckhands, hunters, trappers, wildlife control specialists, and more. Spending much of one’s time outside has many benefits, including a reported stress tolerance score of 57. However, the level of stress in this job can vary depending on the location and organization. For example, a deep-sea commercial fishing vessel will likely be more stressful than a small-town wildlife control expert.

  • Formal education requirements vary depending on the specific role and employer preferences. Some positions may require a high school diploma or equivalent, while others may value hands-on experience and specialized training in fishing, hunting, or wildlife management.
  • The job outlook for fishing and hunting workers varies by sector and geographic region. Commercial fishing, for example, may face challenges due to environmental concerns, regulations, and market dynamics. In contrast, recreational hunting and fishing may remain popular activities for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Work hours for fishing and hunting workers can be irregular and dependent on seasonal factors, such as fishing seasons or hunting seasons. Long hours may be required during peak periods, while downtime may occur during off-seasons.

11. Computer numerically controlled tool programmers

These workers are responsible for the setup, operation, and maintenance of automatic manufacturing equipment. Some may design, program, and build the machinery itself, while others may be responsible for its operation once it has been set up at a manufacturing plant. With a stress tolerance score of 53, this job is focused more on high-level operational management, as the machines operate mostly automatically unless manual maintenance is needed.

  • Most CNC tool programmers have a high school diploma or equivalent, supplemented by vocational training, apprenticeships, or postsecondary education in machining, manufacturing, or related fields. Some employers may prefer candidates with certification in CNC programming or relevant industry credentials.
  • The job outlook for CNC tool programmers is influenced by factors such as technological advancements, automation trends, and demand for precision manufacturing. While automation may impact some traditional machining roles, there is a growing need for skilled CNC programmers to operate and maintain advanced machinery.
  • Work hours for CNC tool programmers may vary depending on production schedules and project deadlines. They may work standard full-time hours, including evenings, weekends, or overtime as needed to meet production targets.

12. Archivists

Archivists are responsible for gathering and maintaining important collections, which can include key town records or documents, historically important films, books, or other pieces of media. Some archivists also curate and promote stationary or traveling museums. With a stress tolerance score of 53, this job is generally low-stakes with a slower-paced working environment.

  • Most archivists hold a master’s degree in library science, archival studies, history, or a related field from an accredited graduate program. Specialized coursework in archival administration, preservation, and digital archives is common for aspiring archivists.
  • The job outlook for archivists varies by sector and geographic region. While demand for archivists may be influenced by factors such as funding, organizational priorities, and technological advancements, there is a continued need for professionals with expertise in preserving and providing access to cultural heritage resources.
  • Work hours for archivists are typically regular and may follow standard business hours, although occasional evening or weekend work may be required for special events, outreach activities, or project deadlines.

13. Environmental economists

Environmental economists study the effect of the utilization of the natural environment on humans. They collect and analyze data on the environmental impact of human action and come up with reliable, sustainable plans to continue to utilize natural resources with minimal negative effects on our planet. With a stress tolerance score of 52, this slow, low-stakes job is one of the least stressful on our list.

  • Most environmental economists hold a graduate degree (master’s or doctoral) in economics, environmental economics, or a related field from an accredited academic institution. Coursework in microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics, environmental policy, and natural resource economics is common for aspiring environmental economists.
  • The job outlook for environmental economists is influenced by global environmental challenges, regulatory trends, and demand for sustainable development solutions. As governments, businesses, and civil society organizations seek to address issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution, there is a growing need for skilled professionals with expertise in environmental economics.
  • Work hours for environmental economists may vary depending on project deadlines, research priorities, and organizational requirements. They may work standard full-time hours, with occasional overtime or travel for fieldwork, conferences, or stakeholder meetings.
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14. Models

Clothing and accessory organizations need people to demonstrate the attractiveness and effectiveness of their products. While it can be hard to break into this industry, being photographed is typically a low-stress task, resulting in a stress tolerance score of 51.

  • While formal education is not always required for modeling, many successful models complete high school or obtain equivalent qualifications to enhance their career prospects and develop essential skills such as communication, marketing, and self-management.
  • While modeling careers can be transient and competitive, successful models may enjoy long-term success, recognition, and financial stability through strategic career planning, diversified income streams, and professional development opportunities. Many models transition into related fields such as acting, entrepreneurship, fashion design, or philanthropy to pursue multifaceted career paths beyond modeling.
  • Work hours for models can vary widely depending on assignment schedules, industry demands, and seasonal fluctuations. They may work irregular hours, including evenings, weekends, and holidays, to accommodate client needs and production timelines.

15. Pump operators

At the bottom of our list, with a stress tolerance score of 49, are pump operators. This job involves monitoring and maintaining pumps and manifold systems that transfer materials to and from various vessels and other operations. Pump operators are typically stationary for long periods, resulting in a fairly low-stakes environment. However, the level of stress in this job can vary depending on the location and industry, with larger companies and more complex infrastructures requiring a higher level of responsibility and stress.

  • For pump operators, the education requirements can vary depending on the employer and the specific job responsibilities. In many cases, a high school diploma or equivalent is sufficient for entry-level positions as a pump operator. However, some employers may prefer candidates with additional vocational training, certifications, or specialized coursework related to pump operations, mechanical maintenance, or industrial technology.
  • Pump operators are employed across various industries, including oil and gas, chemical processing, water treatment, manufacturing, agriculture, and construction. The demand for pump operators is closely tied to the overall demand for products and services within these industries. Growth in sectors such as oil and gas exploration, water infrastructure development, and manufacturing activities can create job opportunities for pump operators.
  • Work hours for pump operators can vary depending on industry demands, production schedules, and shift rotations. They may work full-time or part-time hours, including day shifts, night shifts, weekends, holidays, or on-call shifts to ensure continuous operation of critical equipment.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while no job is completely stress-free, there are plenty of options out there for those looking for a more laid-back work environment. From security guards and janitors to craft artists and models, the jobs on this list offer a range of opportunities for workers of all levels of experience. So if you’re looking to dial down the stress in your work life, consider applying to one of these low-stress jobs today.

FAQ

Q: What defines a low-stress job?

A low-stress job is characterized by factors such as minimal criticism, fewer intense situations, manageable workloads, and a generally relaxed work environment. While stress levels can be subjective, certain jobs universally tend to have lower stress tolerance scores based on factors like these.

Q: How is stress measured for different jobs?

The Department of Labor’s O*NET online occupational database measures a job’s stress tolerance on a scale of 0 to 100, with lower scores indicating less stressful work environments. This database takes into account various job demands and the frequency of stress-inducing situations.

Q: Do I need a degree to apply for these low-stress jobs?

Some jobs listed in the article require a degree, but not all. They are accessible to individuals with various levels of education and experience, providing opportunities for those looking to enter the workforce or change careers without the need for extensive formal education.

Q: How can I apply for these low-stress jobs?

To apply for these jobs, you can search for openings on job boards, company websites, or local employment agencies. Tailoring your resume to highlight relevant skills and experience, even if you lack a degree, can also increase your chances of securing a position.

Q: Can the stress level of these jobs vary?

Yes, the level of stress in these jobs can vary depending on the location, size of the organization, and specific responsibilities. For example, a security guard at a busy location may experience more stress than one at a quiet, remote site.

Q: Are these jobs always low-stress?

While these jobs generally have lower stress tolerance scores, individual experiences may vary. Personal factors, workplace environment, and specific job duties can all influence the stress levels of any given position.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by wangstdo; Freepik; Thank you!

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