Making a living is essential, but not at the expense of your mental health. While finding a high-paying career is important, it’s also important to consider low-stress jobs that you will love.
It may sound impossible to find low-stress jobs in 2023, but there are more opportunities than most people think.
Best Low-Stress High-Paying Jobs in 2023
Here are 23 of the least stressful jobs that pay well and offer a good work-life balance:
- Massage Therapist
- Physical Therapy Assistant
- Data Scientist
- Art Director
- Technical Writer
- Environmental Scientist
- Mechanical Engineer
- Occupational Therapist
- Computer Hardware Engineer
- Computer Network Architect
- Food Scientist
1. Massage Therapist
Working as a massage therapist offers a calm environment. Most spas have relaxing music and even use essential oils to make it easier to feel less stressed. As you ease your client’s stress, you don’t have to talk, as massage therapy focuses on touch. Like a traditional therapist, you don’t have to worry about taking on your client’s stress. Instead, your job is to make your clients feel relaxed.
You don’t have to worry about major deadlines because the scheduler can only schedule the number of massages that fit into your day.
You can work full-time or part-time, daytime or night. It’s about as flexible as it gets, and you can earn an average salary of $45,000 – $50,000 per year.
Working as a librarian can be low-stress if you love books and have a college degree. You don’t have deadlines to meet, and your job is to help people. You might help research, find books, or get information on topics.
If you love working with people and helping them get the answers they need, this can be a low-stress and even fun job.
If you want to work at a public or college library, you’ll need a Master’s degree in library science, but if it’s something you enjoy, it shouldn’t be too stressful.
Of course, there will be times you’ll be stressed, especially if you’re helping a frustrated customer. Still, overall, librarians enjoy their low-stress jobs and make an average salary of $65,000 annually.
Spending your days outdoors can provide the low-stress environment you need. Landscapers design and install landscaping. They may mow lawns, plant bushes and trees, and clean up yards. If you do a good job, you’ll have a lot of requests, but if you only take jobs that fit into your schedule, you have a low-stress job that pays around $32,000 a year.
4. Physical Therapy Assistant
If you are interested in the medical field but don’t want to go through a lot of schooling, being a physical therapy assistant can be a low-stress job. You don’t have to make any critical patient care decisions. Instead, you follow the physical therapist’s lead but provide most of the hands-on care to help patients feel their best.
Most physical therapy assistants need only an associate’s degree and make around $60,000 annually.
5. Data Scientist
Businesses collect data, but then what do they do with it? Data scientists gather the data and analyze it. Without analysis, the data means nothing, so this job is important.
Most data scientists work alone, and many even work from home, reducing their stress level even further. Of course, they might have deadlines to meet since others rely on their reports, but since they can work alone, it’s easy to meet the deadlines.
Data scientists earn an average of $98,000 annually and have a bachelor’s degree in data science.
6. Art Director
Artists are typically very passionate about their hobby, and it’s even better when you can make it your work. Who doesn’t love getting paid for something they have a passion for? You might start as an artist and then work your way up to director at the same company or a new one.
If you prefer to work solo, you can work as a contractor. This way, you don’t have anyone to answer to but yourself.
Art directors make an average of $115,000 per year and typically have at least a bachelor’s degree in art design and many years of experience in art.
7. Technical Writer
Technical writers don’t have to worry about writer’s block because they write about facts and figures. So you find the data necessary to write the reports and provide it so everyone can understand.
It’s a job with deadlines, but you can work alone, so there are few distractions, and you can work as fast or slow as you need to provide the proper documentation.
Technical writers usually have computer science degrees or a related field and make around $80,000 a year.
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8. Environmental Scientist
Environmental scientists work primarily outdoors and on research-based projects. They don’t work with many people, and being outdoors can be relaxing. However, you must be passionate about the environment and finding ways to improve pollution and its effects on people and animals.
You’ll likely spend most of your time either outdoors or in a lab, have little contact with people daily, and can get lost in the research involved in the work. Environmental scientists make an average starting salary of $80,000.
Orthodontists go through a lot of schooling, but their job is not very stressful once through. They deliver only good news to patients because they help them make their smiles beautiful. They don’t have to tell patients they are sick or put them through extensive surgeries.
Sometimes orthodontists must refer patients to other dentists to get teeth pulled or to have surgeries, but they aren’t doing it themselves. They only see patients happy and smiling, especially when they get their braces or retainers off and see their new beautiful smile.
Orthodontists have a hefty salary of $200,000+, but of course, they need extensive schooling to be able to do the job.
If you love helping people, working as a dietician is a great way to make money without stress. Dieticians help people get healthy or learn how to eat right. For example, you might help clients who want to lose weight or those who need to change their eating habits because of a medical condition.
You’ll help clients meal plan, make good food choices, understand how to eat at restaurants, and how to take control of their health. You’ll see them through their ups and downs and help them understand what their body needs for optimal health.
It’s a rewarding career with many wins that don’t have the same stress level as most other medical positions. Dieticians need a degree in a nutrition-related field and make an average salary of $60,000 annually.
If you’re one of those people whom math comes easy to and you love dealing with numbers, working as a mathematician can be a low-stress job. Since mathematicians mostly work alone, there aren’t a lot of distractions to handle.
It can be the perfect job if you love numbers and find handling complex math problems and problem-solving enjoyable. Of course, you’ll need a Master’s degree in math to be a mathematician but can enjoy a high salary of $100,000+.
12. Mechanical Engineer
Mechanical engineers design equipment and test it. They spend a lot of time alone, problem-solving or creating new equipment. You may have to work with a team, which can be stressful if everyone isn’t on the same page, but overall, it’s a job that allows plenty of solo time and time to complete your work.
This job requires at least a bachelor’s degree to qualify and can get a starting salary of $90,000 or more, making it easier to deal with any stress the job entails.
13. Occupational Therapist
If you’re looking for a low-stress job in the medical field, consider a career as an occupational therapist.
You get patients after they’ve gone through life-altering accidents or illnesses, and now they need help learning how to do normal daily activities. So you aren’t dealing with your patients’ emergencies or devastation. Instead, you get them when they’re ready to move on to their new lives or return to their old ones.
You might help people adapt to their new norm or get back to their old way of life, but with your help.
On average, occupational therapists earn $85,000 a year but need a Master’s degree in occupational therapy.
Economists have the fun job of predicting the economy’s financial future. Rather than working with people, you work with numbers. Because the information you provide is highly sought after, it’s a high-paying job, and a lot of people rely on you. This can increase the stress levels of the job slightly, but you’ll earn a starting salary of $105,000+, which can make up for the stress.
15. Computer Hardware Engineer
Computer hardware engineers work almost exclusively alone with their computers and hardware. They are responsible for designing computer hardware and problem-solving existing issues.
You don’t have to worry about too many distractions or dealing with incompetent co-workers. If you love computer science, it can be a rewarding career with a hefty starting salary of $108,000 per year.
If you’ve always loved star gazing, you may love a job as an astronomer. Working with something you are passionate about can make your job less stressful, even when stressors exist.
You will go through many years of education, but again, in a subject you love. Once employed as an astronomer, you’ll spend a lot of time researching and understanding stars and planets. Astronomers get paid well for their hard work, earning as much as $120,000 a year.
17. Computer Network Architect
If you’re really into computers and networks, you can get a job as a computer network architect. While the job is important, if you love computer science, you may find it enjoyable rather than stressful.
Not only will you build computers, but also company-wide networks, from small to large. This is how companies communicate, so your job is important, but without a lot of distractions or other people telling you what to do.
You’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science and can make as much as $120,000 a year.
Optometrists don’t have strict deadlines because they can only see a certain number of patients daily. They may work long days or many hours, but their job is rewarding as they help people see. Optometrists deal with eye diseases, so they may have some unpleasantries, but overall, they help people improve their lives by helping them with their vision.
Optometrists make an average of $125,000 annually after completing a four-year Doctor of Optometry program.
A radiologist’s job is hectic but not necessarily stressful. Doctors and nurses rely on the radiologist for diagnostic imaging and the evaluation of the results. You work mostly by yourself, creating the reports and helping people understand what medical attention they need to feel better.
Radiologists go through a lot of schooling beyond the bachelor’s degree. They also need four years of medical school and a residency before getting a job making $200,000+ per year.
Geographers do not do research and field study, which means a lot of stress-free alone time. Instead, they study the earth and its people, so the studies will vary by region, company, and need.
Geographers gather a lot of data, take pictures, and use maps. They don’t deal with people often, and they spend a lot of time outdoors, which helps alleviate high-stress levels.
Geographers make an average of $86,000 annually and need only a bachelor’s degree in geography.
Curators often work alone with their pieces. They are responsible for curating art or artifacts for various museums. You can decide what type of curation you want to do.
You must attend school for four years and study history, art, or museum studies. But your job offers incredible opportunities to curate collections to make thousands of people happy. Curators make an average of $126,000 a year.
Cartographers make maps and collect data. This is another job that spends a lot of time outdoors, which can be good for stress levels. On the other hand, you must be comfortable with the tools and software required. What’s nice, though, is cartographers don’t have hard deadlines, so the job is pretty relaxed despite its high importance.
You’ll need a degree in cartography or geography and can make an average of $68,000.
23. Food Scientist
Food scientists have one of the most important jobs. They make sure the food we eat is safe. Because of its importance, most food scientists work alone in a lab or field setting. They spend most of their time researching and determining food safety.
You’ll need a love for food, deep research, and a lot of observation time for this low-stress job, along with a bachelor’s degree in food science or biology. Food scientists make an average of $80,000 a year.
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Tips for Finding a Low-Stress Job
Just as companies interview you to decide if you’re a good fit, you should do the same. When you’re in the interview, ask questions of the employer. Ask about the environment, how much communication it requires, the hours, and anything else that would cause your anxiety levels to soar.
Make a list of what you need in a job, and don’t back down from them. Only you know what makes you feel comfortable in a position and able to perform well.
Consider asking to talk to current employees or to take a tour of the building. You’ll know right away if the stress levels are something your anxiety can handle.
If you talk to current employees and get the feeling that they aren’t happy, it could be a sign that it’s not the right place for you. The same is true when you tour the office. If you don’t like the proximity everyone is to one another, or the environment feels chaotic, it may be too stressful for you.
Is Your Job Too Stressful?
All jobs have some level of stress. Sometimes it’s not the work you do but the environment you’re in that makes the job stressful.
Obvious high-stress careers include police, firefighters, and lawyers. But any career can be stressful if you’re experiencing any of the following:
Constantly having someone look over your shoulder to check your work or to see how you’re spending your time is stressful. But, as a new employee, it’s common to have someone watching over you until you get the hang of things.
Once you’re vetted, though, it’s unnecessary to have someone watching your every move. It can be more distracting and stressful, making you deliver less than optimal performance because you don’t have the freedom to operate how you want.
It can be stressful if you don’t feel free to provide your opinions and do the work how you think it should be done as long as you’re providing the desired results.
Micromanagement may look like your boss asking you questions every few minutes or making you check in at every step of your work. In addition, your employer may monitor your emails, chats, or phone calls or require you to complete progress reports to prove you spent your time wisely.
Too many distractions can be stressful. For example, if you’re focused on a task and have to be interrupted by phone calls or co-worker questions constantly, you might feel bogged down and unable to complete your tasks.
Working in a large office or in an industry where the phone constantly rings or you’re pulled in different directions to handle other tasks can cause stress.
Not being able to focus on your tasks and complete them on time can feel hard. It can be even more stressful if you have strict deadlines but feel like there’s never enough time to meet them.
Lack of Communication or No Feedback
No news isn’t always good news. Employees occasionally want to hear that they’re doing a good job or at least hear how the company is doing as a result of their work. You aren’t seeking praise but rather feedback and communication to know that you’re on the right track.
If you don’t feel like your boss provides adequate feedback, don’t be afraid to ask questions or to ask for his feedback so you can relax.
Sometimes, though, too much feedback can be stressful. For example, it can be hard if you have a boss breathing down your neck wanting results or yelling at you because the results aren’t what he wanted.
It’s important to balance not enough and too much feedback. You want to feel important and know how the company and you are doing, but not so much that you feel micromanaged.
Low Salaries and No Opportunities for Advancement
Not getting paid what you’re worth can be demoralizing and stressful. It makes it hard to get up and go to work, and once there, it makes it difficult to want to work hard.
Even if the pay is there, if there’s no room for advancement, you can feel the stress of a dead-end job. No one wants to stay in the same position for the rest of their career. Advancement is the key to challenging yourself, feeling empowered, and improving your net worth.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Low Anxiety Jobs?
Low-anxiety jobs are jobs that don’t cause you too much stress. Some jobs have strict deadlines, make you work with too many people, or are too demanding. No two people have the same tolerance for the anxiety jobs cause, so it’s a personal decision to determine which job is the least stressful.
What’s the Most Relaxing Job?
The most relaxing job is the one you’ll enjoy and won’t feel stressed about doing each day. A massage therapist, for example, is a low-stress job because of its environment and the lack of talking in sessions, but for some, that might feel stressful. On the other hand, data scientist jobs are not stressful for people that love analyzing data but could send another person through the roof with anxiety. It’s a personal decision to determine which job is the most relaxing for you.
How Do I Find a Stress-Free Job?
To find a stress-free job, figure out what makes a job stress free for you. Of course, this won’t be the same for your friends or neighbors, so create your own list. What does a job need for you to feel comfortable? Then when you look for jobs, you can ask pointed questions of the employers to see how many of your requirements the job meets to decide if it’s low-stress enough for you.
What’s the Most Stressful Job?
The most stressful jobs are those that many people rely on you for, demand your attention from, and have strict deadlines. Lawyers and doctors, for example, are high-stress jobs. Many people need their advice, attention, and help to solve their problems. Doctors and lawyers can feel drained at the end of the day after dealing with so many people needing their attention.
How Do I Get a Job if I Have Anxiety?
Before you get a job, talk to your therapist about what you can handle. Then, don’t take a job that will put you over the edge and make you unable to work. There are plenty of jobs that offer work-from-home opportunities or even the chance to work solo outdoors that could be good for your anxiety levels and allow you to make a living.
Where Should I Work if I Have Social Anxiety?
If you have social anxiety, it’s best to find a work-from-home job. If you can’t, look for a job in a small office without a lot of people and in a role that doesn’t require a lot of interaction with too many people. While some exposure to people is good for your anxiety, too much can interfere with your ability to work.
What Jobs Have the Most Free Time?
Some jobs have more free time than others, such as teachers or firefighters. For example, teachers typically get summers off, and firefighters often work a few days in a row (non-stop) and then have a few days off.