Every job comes with stress, but some are just easier on the mind and body.
Career site CareerCast.com compiled a list of the least stressful jobs of 2013, comparing 11 factors like travel, public visibility, competitiveness, growth potential, deadlines and physical demands. The lower the score, the more relaxing the job.
Which jobs are the most laid-back?
1. University professor
It’s true they have to create course work, give lectures, put in office hours, and grade hundreds of papers, but long summer vacations and seasonal breaks help wash away job-related stress. However, those looking to break into the field face serious competition, and teachers without the comfort of tenure may feel a bit more on edge.
- Median salary: $62,050 in 2010.
- Job outlook: 17 percent growth through 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- CareerCast stress score: 6.45.
Tailoring is mostly a low-stress job in a quiet work environment, but that’s probably not so true for those sewing costumes for big-budget productions with strict deadlines. However, CareerCast highlights the fact that people in these occupations work creatively on a daily basis, which may have given them a lower stress score.
- Median salary: $25,850.
- Job outlook: 1 percent.
- CareerCast stress score: 6.5.
3. Medical records technician
Medical records technicians are responsible for categorizing and managing accurate patient data. They also have to be up-to-date on various laws and regulations, but otherwise their occupation keeps them behind a desk doing data entry. It’s possibly boring, but probably not stressful.
- Median salary: $32,350.
- Job outlook: 21 percent.
- CareerCast stress score: 7.5.
Yet another job with a quiet, private work environment and a focus on being creative. The stress level likely goes up if you’re the owner of your own store.
- Median salary: $35,170.
- Job outlook: -5 percent.
- CareerCast stress score: 8.26.
5. Medical laboratory technician
Medical laboratory technicians perform tests on things like bodily fluid that provide doctors with data for diagnoses. The job doesn’t require vigorous training — certification programs, vocational schools and accredited associate degrees are common — but technicians need to be accurate. Above-average pay and a decent job outlook don’t hurt.
- Median salary: $46,680.
- Job outlook: 13 percent.
- CareerCast stress score: 9.28.
With an emphasis on hearing and the proper function of ears, an audiologist’s office is probably a quiet, peaceful place to work. The salary is respectable, the work is not physically demanding, and the job growth predicted by the BLS is exceptional.
- Median salary: $66,660.
- Job outlook: 37 percent.
- CareerCast stress score: 9.35.
Dietitians teach patients how to eat better by providing personalized diets or meal plans. With the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pegging America’s adult obesity rate at 35.7 percent, the demand for the services of dietitians can only increase. They earn a decent salary and can work in a variety of locations, such as hospitals, nursing homes and schools, or they can lose the boss and be self-employed.
- Median salary: $53,250.
- Job outlook: 20 percent.
- Stress score: 10.24.
A visit to the beauty shop is usually a pleasant one, thanks to the stylist. They work in a friendly environment and make their customers look good. On the downside, they’re on their feet all day, and the pay is abysmal. Tips help, but at the end of the day, you might need a second job to support yourself.
- Median salary: $22,500.
- Job outlook: 14 percent.
- Stress score: 10.41.
Maybe the only occupation on this list with the power to shush someone, the librarian works in the most peaceful of places. Surrounded by books in a quiet and pleasant location equals a calm work environment. Taking into consideration the solid median pay, the librarian should be at the top of this list.
- Median salary: $54,500.
- Job outlook: 7 percent.
- Stress score: 10.58.
10. Drill press operator
It’s understandable why this job isn’t considered stressful — it’s probably more monotonous than anything — but working with heavy machinery that can cause injury or death without proper worker precautions isn’t carefree.
- Median salary: $31,910.
- Job outlook: 6 percent.
- Stress score: 11.32.
If you’re working in one the jobs considered the least stressful, or know someone who is, what do you think? Tell us below on our Facebook page.