The 30 Least Stressful Jobs

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Nobody likes to feel stress. It is an unpleasant experience, and most job seekers would love to find a career that minimize the amount of time spent in high-stress situations.

With this in mind, CareerTrends found the 30 least stressful occupations in the country using data from O*NET, an occupational database sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor. O*NET assigns scores in various categories for each occupation based on the results to survey questions sent out to employers.

For this list, we focused on three different scores, all graded on a 1 to 5 scale: frequency of conflict situations, exposure to hazardous conditions, and stress tolerance. These three grades were combined to create a "Total Stress Score," which is out of 15, and the occupations with the lowest total stress scores were chosen for this list.

Survey scores explained:
  • Frequency of conflict situations: How often are there conflict situations the employee has to face in this job?
  • Exposure to hazardous conditions: How often does this job require exposure to hazardous conditions?
  • Stress tolerance: Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • Note: In the event of ties, the job with the lower stress tolerance score was ranked higher on the list.

    #30. Cartographers

    Total Stress Score: 6.86
    Conflict frequency score: 2.53
    Hazard exposure score: 1.11
    Stress tolerance score: 3.22

    Average annual salary: $65,410
    Total employment: 11,970
    Job description: Collect, analyze and interpret geographic information provided by geodetic surveys, aerial photographs and satellite data.

    #29. Judicial Law Clerks

    Total Stress Score: 6.85
    Conflict frequency score: 2.26
    Hazard exposure score: 1
    Stress tolerance score: 3.59

    Average annual salary: $59,910
    Total employment: 12,660
    Job description: Assist judges in court or by conducting research and preparing legal documents.

    #28. Hand Sewers

    Total Stress Score: 6.83
    Conflict frequency score: 2.12
    Hazard exposure score: 1.04
    Stress tolerance score: 3.67

    Average annual salary: $24,980
    Total employment: 6,920
    Job description: Sew, join, reinforce or finish, usually with needle and thread, a variety of manufactured items. Includes weavers and stitchers.

    #27. Economics Professors

    Total Stress Score: 6.83
    Conflict frequency score: 2.36
    Hazard exposure score: 1
    Stress tolerance score: 3.47

    Average annual salary: $106,980
    Total employment: 13,580
    Job description: Teach courses in economics. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

    #26. Self-Enrichment Education Teachers

    Total Stress Score: 6.82
    Conflict frequency score: 2.1
    Hazard exposure score: 1.07
    Stress tolerance score: 3.65

    Average annual salary: $42,350
    Total employment: 217,530
    Job description: Teach or instruct courses other than those that normally lead to an occupational objective or degree. Courses may include self-improvement, nonvocational and nonacademic subjects. Teaching may or may not take place in a traditional educational institution.

    #25. Sustainability Specialists

    Total Stress Score: 6.82
    Conflict frequency score: 2.18
    Hazard exposure score: 1.25
    Stress tolerance score: 3.39

    Average annual salary: $73,480
    Total employment: 926,610
    Job description: Address organizational sustainability issues, such as waste stream management, green building practices and green procurement plans.

    #24. Mail Machine Operators

    Total Stress Score: 6.74
    Conflict frequency score: 2.26
    Hazard exposure score: 1.15
    Stress tolerance score: 3.33

    Average annual salary: $29,930
    Total employment: 95,640
    Job description: Prepare incoming and outgoing mail for distribution. Use hand or mail handling machines to time stamp, open, read, sort and route incoming mail. Address, seal, stamp, fold, stuff and affix postage to outgoing mail or packages.

    #23. Bakers

    Total Stress Score: 6.72
    Conflict frequency score: 1.94
    Hazard exposure score: 1.22
    Stress tolerance score: 3.56

    Average annual salary: $26,270
    Total employment: 176,610
    Job description: Mix and bake ingredients to produce breads, rolls, cookies, cakes, pies, pastries or other baked goods.

    #22. Mapping Technicians

    Total Stress Score: 6.71
    Conflict frequency score: 2.05
    Hazard exposure score: 1.13
    Stress tolerance score: 3.53

    Average annual salary: $44,800
    Total employment: 53,620
    Job description: Calculate mapmaking information from field notes. Draw and verify accuracy of topographical maps.

    #21. Operations Research Analysts

    Total Stress Score: 6.71
    Conflict frequency score: 2.19
    Hazard exposure score: 1
    Stress tolerance score: 3.52

    Average annual salary: $84,180
    Total employment: 95,860
    Job description: Formulate and apply mathematical modeling and other optimizing methods to develop and interpret information that assists management with decision making, policy formulation or other managerial functions.

    #20. Barbers

    Total Stress Score: 6.63
    Conflict frequency score: 2.08
    Hazard exposure score: 1.03
    Stress tolerance score: 3.52

    Average annual salary: $29,140
    Total employment: 14,350
    Job description: Provide barbering services, such as cutting, trimming, shampooing and styling hair.

    #19. Proofreaders

    Total Stress Score: 6.58
    Conflict frequency score: 1.53
    Hazard exposure score: 1
    Stress tolerance score: 4.05

    Average annual salary: $37,690
    Total employment: 10,810
    Job description: Read transcripts to detect and mark for correction any grammatical, typographical or compositional errors. Includes proofreaders of Braille.

    #18. Medical Transcriptionists

    Total Stress Score: 6.55
    Conflict frequency score: 2.09
    Hazard exposure score: 1.03
    Stress tolerance score: 3.43

    Average annual salary: $35,720
    Total employment: 57,830
    Job description: Transcribe medical reports recorded by physicians and other healthcare practitioners using various electronic devices, covering office visits, emergency room visits, diagnostic imaging studies, operations, chart reviews and final summaries.

    #17. Economists

    Total Stress Score: 6.52
    Conflict frequency score: 2.17
    Hazard exposure score: 1
    Stress tolerance score: 3.35

    Average annual salary: $109,230
    Total employment: 19,090
    Job description: Conduct research, prepare reports or formulate plans to address economic problems related to the production and distribution of goods and services or monetary and fiscal policy.

    #16. Crop Farmworkers

    Total Stress Score: 6.52
    Conflict frequency score: 1.62
    Hazard exposure score: 1.57
    Stress tolerance score: 3.33

    Average annual salary: $22,130
    Total employment: 272,170
    Job description: Manually plant, cultivate and harvest vegetables, fruits, nuts and field crops. Use hand tools, such as shovels, trowels, hoes, tampers, pruning hooks, shears and knives.

    #15. Statisticians

    Total Stress Score: 6.48
    Conflict frequency score: 2.12
    Hazard exposure score: 1
    Stress tolerance score: 3.36

    Average annual salary: $84,440
    Total employment: 29,870
    Job description: Develop or apply mathematical or statistical theory and methods to collect, organize, interpret and summarize numerical data to provide usable information. May specialize in fields such as bio-statistics, agricultural statistics, business statistics or economic statistics.

    #14. Remote Sensing Scientists

    Total Stress Score: 6.46
    Conflict frequency score: 2.15
    Hazard exposure score: 1.23
    Stress tolerance score: 3.08

    Average annual salary: $98,240
    Total employment: 21,130
    Job description: Apply remote sensing principles and methods to analyze data and solve problems in areas such as natural resource management, urban planning or homeland security. May develop new sensor systems, analytical techniques or new applications for existing systems.

    #13. Upholsterers

    Total Stress Score: 6.42
    Conflict frequency score: 2.42
    Hazard exposure score: 1.05
    Stress tolerance score: 2.95

    Average annual salary: $33,550
    Total employment: 30,180
    Job description: Make, repair or replace upholstery for household furniture or transportation vehicles.

    #12. Archivists

    Total Stress Score: 6.41
    Conflict frequency score: 2.22
    Hazard exposure score: 1.1
    Stress tolerance score: 3.09

    Average annual salary: $53,880
    Total employment: 5,460
    Job description: Appraise, edit and direct safekeeping of permanent records and historically valuable documents. Participate in research activities based on archival materials.

    #11. Door-To-Door Sales Workers

    Total Stress Score: 6.4
    Conflict frequency score: 2.35
    Hazard exposure score: 1
    Stress tolerance score: 3.05

    Average annual salary: $26,160
    Total employment: 7,510
    Job description: Sell goods or services door-to-door or on the street.

    #10. Ushers

    Total Stress Score: 6.38
    Conflict frequency score: 2.69
    Hazard exposure score: 1.06
    Stress tolerance score: 2.63

    Average annual salary: $21,060
    Total employment: 114,000
    Job description: Assist patrons at entertainment events by performing duties, such as collecting admission tickets and passes from patrons, assisting in finding seats, searching for lost articles and locating such facilities as rest rooms and telephones.

    #9. Mathematicians

    Total Stress Score: 6.37
    Conflict frequency score: 2.08
    Hazard exposure score: 1
    Stress tolerance score: 3.29

    Average annual salary: $112,560
    Total employment: 3,170
    Job description: Conduct research in fundamental mathematics or in application of mathematical techniques to science, management and other fields. Solve problems in various fields using mathematical methods.

    #8. Geographic Information Systems Technicians

    Total Stress Score: 6.29
    Conflict frequency score: 1.9
    Hazard exposure score: 1.03
    Stress tolerance score: 3.36

    Average annual salary: $87,310
    Total employment: 223,370
    Job description: Assist scientists, technologists or related professionals in building, maintaining, modifying or using geographic information systems (GIS) databases. May also perform some custom application development or provide user support.

    #7. Crossing Guards

    Total Stress Score: 6.25
    Conflict frequency score: 2.4
    Hazard exposure score: 1.31
    Stress tolerance score: 2.54

    Average annual salary: $27,730
    Total employment: 68,640
    Job description: Guide or control vehicular or pedestrian traffic at such places as streets, schools, railroad crossings or construction sites.

    #6. Massage Therapists

    Total Stress Score: 6.23
    Conflict frequency score: 1.94
    Hazard exposure score: 1
    Stress tolerance score: 3.29

    Average annual salary: $43,170
    Total employment: 92,090
    Job description: Perform therapeutic massages of soft tissues and joints. May assist in the assessment of range of motion and muscle strength, or propose client therapy plans.

    #5. Etchers and Engravers

    Total Stress Score: 6.22
    Conflict frequency score: 1.25
    Hazard exposure score: 1.63
    Stress tolerance score: 3.34

    Average annual salary: $31,880
    Total employment: 9,490
    Job description: Engrave or etch metal, wood, rubber or other materials. Includes such workers as etcher-circuit processors, pantograph engravers and silk screen etchers.

    #4. Statistical Assistants

    Total Stress Score: 6.13
    Conflict frequency score: 1.97
    Hazard exposure score: 1
    Stress tolerance score: 3.16

    Average annual salary: $44,220
    Total employment: 13,510
    Job description: Compile and compute data according to statistical formulas for use in statistical studies. May perform actuarial computations and compile charts and graphs for use by actuaries.

    #3. Library Technicians

    Total Stress Score: 5.88
    Conflict frequency score: 2.53
    Hazard exposure score: 1
    Stress tolerance score: 2.35

    Average annual salary: $34,200
    Total employment: 94,170
    Job description: Assist librarians by helping readers in the use of library catalogs, databases and indexes to locate books and other materials. Answer questions that require only brief consultation of standard reference. Sort and shelve books or other media.

    #2. Agricultural Sorters

    Total Stress Score: 5.73
    Conflict frequency score: 2.14
    Hazard exposure score: 1.1
    Stress tolerance score: 2.49

    Average annual salary: $23,260
    Total employment: 35,290
    Job description: Grade, sort or classify unprocessed food and other agricultural products by size, weight, color or condition.

    #1. Models

    Total Stress Score: 4.72
    Conflict frequency score: 1.68
    Hazard exposure score: 1.1
    Stress tolerance score: 1.94

    Average annual salary: $37,240
    Total employment: 4,460
    Job description: Model garments or other apparel and accessories for prospective buyers at fashion shows, private showings or retail establishments. May pose for photos to be used in magazines or advertisements. May pose as subject for paintings, sculptures and other types of artistic expression.

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