We’ve looked at theThe 10 Most Stressful Jobs, but in the interest of balance, let’s look as some of the least stressful jobs. Again, this list has been compiled from several popular lists—everyone has an opinion on this.
I refined the list based on the criteria below:
- Above average pay
- Regular hours
- Multiple employment opportunities
- Insulated from the front line and the public
- Respected occupation
- Jobs that directly improve people’s lives
- Feeling that your work makes a difference
Here is the list—feel free to disagree!
1) College Professor
Tenured professors have something precious few have in today’s job market: job security. They work in a profession where they have the ability to influence young minds, and by doing so they also influence the future. College professors also tend to have a high degree of respect, both on college campuses and off. And not only do they have regular hours, but they also have summers and major holidays off. This gives them plenty of time to develop a side business if they like. Above average pay and solid benefit packages don’t hurt either.
2) Physical therapist
Physical therapists have regular hours (for the healthcare industry) and rarely work nights. They can work full-time or make this into a great part time job. They can be self-employed, work for other practices or for hospitals. They’re also employed in an area of healthcare that’s primary concerned with helping people to get better. Pay is above average, the profession is increasing in size and scope and is not limited by geography.
3) Technical Writer
This is really the converting the technical into plain language. Demand is growing since society is becoming increasingly technical in all areas. There’s a lot of job autonomy, the writers are sequestered from the public—and let’s be honest, interaction with the public is a major source of job stress. The work is highly specialized, generally well paid, and offers regular hours.
4) Dental hygienist
Much like physical therapists, dental hygienists have no geographic restrictions—dental practices are everywhere. They can work for multiple practices, keep regular hours, and work in a area of healthcare that isn’t in the life-and-death category. Pay is pretty solid, but you are working with the public, and that can bring some stress.
5) Civil engineer
Civil engineers work in a profession where they create projects that benefit the public. They generally have regular hours, excellent pay, and minimal public contact. The profession offers wide employment opportunities, including governments, the private sector, and universities. The profession is also well respected the public.
Another helping profession where you’re involved in improving a patient’s capabilities, rather than dealing with the risks of curing complicated diseases. Hours are pretty regular, though many do work nights and weekends if they work for chains. They can be self-employed or work for a group, and pay is well above average.
Many people dream of a job where they can work in a private office, free from the complexities of working with customers or the general public, and this is one profession where that’s the norm. It features above average pay, regular hours, and many different projects and potential employers.
8) Occupational therapist
A close cousin of physical therapists, with many of the same advantages. Pay is good, you’re usually not working with life and death situations, and the schedule is pretty regular. You can work full- or part-time, and there are few geographic restrictions. Helping patients return to work fuels a lot of the job satisfaction.
Much like statisticians, mathematicians are one of a shrinking number of professions that insulate you from customers and the general public. And since most people hate math, the field is pretty thin competition-wise. The field features high pay and strong demand in different sectors.
10) Software engineer
Since society and the economy are largely technology driven, and since software engineers are a critical part of that technology, they are not only in demand, at high pay, but also well respected. Employment is strong since there are multiple opportunities in different sectors and industries.
No one ever thinks of their job as being low stress, but what do you think of these? Do you have others that could be added to the list?
I was curious when I saw these lists come out – it made wonder where my current job – full time, homeschooling mom – fits in. Irregular schedule and no pay – but then there’s the satisfaction of knowing my job makes a difference (at least in my little people’s lives!).
These were interesting lists; my dad is a retired firefighter from a busy station and he still doesn’t sleep well because of the rotating shifts and having to wake up to alarm calls for 37 years. Sleep deprivation has to be one of the biggest stressors.
As a work at home dad, I get what you mean. Also, I have several firefighters in my family and I see the same thing. BTW, I think that firefighters as a profession are some of the very best people on Earth. It takes a certain type of person to do that job, and it seems that all of the qualities that make someone a very decent human being are also what is required to be a firefighter. I don’t mean to demean other professions, but this is a common thread I’ve seen in firefighters.
I LOVE math and wished I knew about ‘mathematician’ jobs coming out of college – that would have been nice but they are comepletely unknown to most students. What sectors are they in anyway?
Hi Rachel–They’re actually accross the board right now–government, research, academia, the computer field. Google “careers for mathemetician” and go from there. Also check the major job boards like CareerBuilder and Monster.
Very interesting list, Neal!
Being a college professor can be unstressful, I think, as long as you suck up to (or have) the prevailing political point of view. A professor who really thinks he has academic freedom, and speaks against the dominant department viewpoint, could find himself in a very stressful situation.
Hi Chuck–That’s a good point, I’ve actually heard it to be true. As much as we’d like to think of colleges and universities as bastions of free thouth, there is a certain lemming like atmosphere, not unlike that at private companies. But since it’s typical in nearly all organizations it kind of cancels itself out, wouldn’t you say?