The 10 Least Stressful Jobs in America

If your job requires frequent travel and strict deadlines it won't make the cut.

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This post is in partnership with Inc., which offers useful advice, resources, and insights to entrepreneurs and business owners. The article below was originally published at

No career is absolutely stress-free, but some jobs are certainly less stressful than others. Most of the time, the least stressful jobs are indoors and in a controlled environment that allows employees to focus on their responsibilities.

Job site CareerCast published a list of the least stressful jobs yesterday based on measurements of 11 specific factors across 200 occupations. The factors it considered are whether the job requires travel (the more travel, the higher the stress), growth potential (dead-end jobs tend to create more stress), strict deadlines, working in the public eye, competitiveness within the organization, physical demands, environmental conditions, putting your life at risk, hazards encountered, meeting the public, and having someone else’s life in your hands.

The wage and projected percentage growth of each job (between 2010 and 2020) come from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Below are the least stressful jobs:

10. Drill press operator

Median salary: $35,580

Outlook: 6%

9. Multimedia artist

Median salary: $61,370

Outlook: 8%

8. Librarian

Median salary: $55,370

Outlook: 7%

7. Medical records technician

Median salary: $34,160

Outlook: 21%

6. Dietitian

Median salary:$55,240

Outlook: 20%

5. Seamstress/Tailor

Median salary: $26,280

Outlook: 1%

4. University professor

Median salary: $64,290

Outlook: 17%

3. Jeweler

Median salary:$35,350

Outlook: -5%

2. Hair stylist

Median salary: $22,700

Outlook: 14%

1. Audiologist

Median salary: $69,720

Outlook: 37%

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I was stressed when the economy collapsed and I lost my job.
I learned how to earn a living other than manual labor and now my income is great and my stress is down.
This is how I did it





Multimedia artist? Ever try working for clients? At an agency? Sorry, but adding to the other comments, this list is, well, bs.


We have librarians here that top $100,000 US.


I am a registered dietitian and I would  like to put it out there that your stress level really depends on where you work and what your job role entails. There are clinical dietitians who handle the nutrition support  (tube feeds, TPNs, etc) in hospitals, educations, detailed nutrition assessments including interpretation of lab values & medications, and how to alter the patients diet to best accommodate all their needs... Very detail oriented and sometimes taxing job.... not to mention handling the egos of other professionals in the hospital (sorry, its true for all healthcare workers)...often times at hospitals, RDs are really understaffed, sometimes with really high expectations/large workloads...and many responsibilities as far as marketing, after hours community events, etc.... Healthcare is always changing, too, and it seems there are many new regulations with patient care and charting we have to follow.

...Plus, to be an RD, you have to have earned at least a bachelor of science and  completed a one year unpaid, approved dietetic internship...many RDs often have  a masters degrees or beyond ...and salary does not always reflect all that science intensive education/training we have to obtain! In the southern US, as a clinical/outpatient RD, I was making 40K/year, which was common for the area. With more experience, I may have been able to make up to 45-48K.... but I would have had to have A LOT more experience...really depends on where you live.. Texas seemed to have better salaries starting out, in my opinion, than the area I was in....

Registered dietitians also work as Food Service Directors, which, as are many management positions, not exactly patients/clients are really touchy when it comes to food. Salary is better here, anywhere from 50K- 70+ K...but A LOT of responsibility. 

There are, of course, outpatient RDs and RDs in health clubs...those positions may be a little less stressful due to the nature of them....  ****There are many more examples of jobs in our field,these are just a few.

Being an RD is a great career for many people who love food and have a helping personality... often very rewarding... but please don't be disillusioned thinking that it is as relaxing as tanning (like the article picture lol) .I rec'd shadowing multiple RDs if you think this is what you want to go into to get the best picture possible.... 

Read more: The 10 Least Stressful Jobs in America |


The authors of this study and the article have obviously never spoken to Librarians who actually work in public and/or school libraries.  It's not just customer service issues like people arguing about books they claim they never checked out or feel that they shouldn't receive fines for being overdue; it's the daily fights, customers who lack basic hygiene for whatever reason, thefts, gamers, porn viewers, constant complaints about all the above.  THAT is what we have to deal with.  On school campuses, there's also gangs, PDA, drugs, food, drinks, gum stuck in the pages, books returned that have been chewed on by younger siblings or pets that then must be repaired because there is NO money for replacements, thefts within the small collection, damages both intentional and accidental, fire alarms being set off, door alarms going off as distractions for the thieves, teachers demanding time while you have 100+ students in the library at lunch, parents questioning accounts, and the simple hope of getting your legal 30 minutes of time to eat peacefully when the library is supposed to be open from before school starting to long after it ends and there being no other staff there to help you when you just need to eat or even use the restroom.

Least stressful?  Really?

Let's not even get into the number of people who have no idea what you do each day (Don't you just shelve books?!?!) and who think your position is dying when we're now more needed than ever before.  Seriously.  How many people out there really believe that Google is the end-all/be-all of searching and how many of those people end up spewing out the same incorrect information day after day?


@librarytalker  EXACTLY. THANK YOU!!!  My mother is a librarian.  She used to work in public schools, but had to switch jobs because the stress caused her serious health problems.  And dealing with the patrons in public libraries is severely frustrating too.  Plus, I don't know a single librarian who is even making the $55,000 median of what this article states.  Most of the libraries I know are nonprofits and as a result, many pay minimum wage.

Plus all of the politics.  My mom worries that her job won't be around in the next few months or years because of government budget cuts.  Or that computers are replacing the need for libraries. Outlook, 7%?  There are few library jobs available. Libraries are closing and budgets are being cut.

Sure, based on their "criteria", a librarian seems low stress. But their criteria only painted a picture that of things we already know, business and healthcare can be stressful.  Shocker.  It idealized the librarian.  I can only imagine that it did the same for the other careers listed as well.  This article must have been written by someone in the business field with no experience with any of these jobs on the list.  I thought Time was a reputable magazine?


@librarytalkerI was hoping you would carry it a bit further than customer service. In a public library the librarian is the face of the library for the community. He/She must go to service clubs, municipal meetings, etc. to keep them informed about the library and BEG for monetary support.  They spend time writing grants in hopes of upgrading technology, renovating old buildings or  just trying to cover operating costs. Then there is dealing with a Board of Directors that us their board positions as part of their resumes and have no idea what it takes to run a library. Try being told you can not buy books in the coming year unless specifically requested in a memorial donation.  Less stress!! Spend a day or two with a librarian and then tell me about less stress.


University Professor on this list? What a joke! Facing hundreds of students every year and writing tons of proposals for grants. You might revise it to Tenured University Professor, and then up the salary to $150,000


@Hippocrates Sorry but yes, you do have an easy life. Once you get your research running and get your contacts for grants and memorize your lecture, then the most stressful job you will have is to find out where the next free lunch is located on campus. LOL, sorry, but you know it's true!


@ClauLuke @Hippocrates Come spend a week with me. Even after having research up and running, there's the never-ending search for funding and the stress of closing down the lab (and firing techs/students) if you don't obtain grants. Plus unless you're a pretty poor scholar, each class needs to be updated every year with new info, and most of us work to keep up to date with new teaching methods etc. Not to mention that many of the factors noted (travel, growth potential, strict deadlines, working in the public eye, competitiveness, etc) definitely apply here. Someone needs to do some research. LOL indeed. 


$64,000 for a University Professor? Baloney! Not unless your talking about a Southern Bible College or an online diploma mill.


@LuciusDark University professors do not make what you think. If you are talking Ivy League, maybe, but Universities do not pay as they used to, unless you are a sports coach. Asside from that, most who teach at universities are not professors. Instructors are paid way less. You need to do a bit of research.


@LuciusDark  these are mean values and I can tell you from experience (as a tenure track professor currently) that most make between $40-60k a year. I will make $65,000 if I get tenure. Oh, and I am neither at a Southern Bible College or online diploma mill. And, visiting instructors and adjuncts make far less. At my institution there are some adjunct professors that teach six classes a year (equivalent to full time) for $36,000. These are almost always individuals with PhDs.