Stress is an unavoidable part of life, especially when it comes to work. However, there are many jobs that come with a smaller amount of stress than a firefighter, airline pilot, or a company executive.
Career Cast put together the Jobs Rated stress rankings based on 11 factors to determine the amount of stress a particular job has. These factors include travel required, deadlines, growth potential, working in the public eye, physical demands, competition in the field, hazards encountered on a regular basis, environmental conditions, own life at risk, life of others at risk, and meeting or interacting with the public.
For example, while an information security analyst may be at the center of some of the most stressful situations in the American workplace, it isn’t as high stress as an event coordinator. This includes factors like the security breaches at Sony Pictures Studios and Target stores.
Every career has at least one high-stress factor, whether it is a hair stylist who stands on his or her feet all day, or a tenure-track university professor looking to keep their spot. Librarians sometimes have to deal with things like budget cuts. Despite these stresses, these jobs are more favorable than others in the context of the Jobs Report, which evaluates 200 different jobs.
According to the 2016 Jobs Report, the following positions are the 10 least stressful jobs of 2016. Income information and growth outlook percentage are from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ estimates, which were updated in December 2015. Growth projections are for the timeframe of 2014 to 2024.
#1 – Information Security Analyst
Jobs Rated Stress Score: 3.80
Median Annual Income: $88,890
Growth Outlook: 18%
Information security analysts plan and implement security measures to protect computer systems, networks, and data. They are expected to stay up-to-date with the latest security threats, including hacker methodologies, in order to prevent potential breaches. This job is the least stressful of the 200 jobs measured on by Career Cast. But this doesn’t mean that this occupation is completely free of stress.
#2 – Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
Jobs Rated Stress Score: 4.00
Median Annual Income: $62,540
Growth Outlook: 24%
Diagnostic medical sonographers operate sonography equipment to diagnose disease, cancer, and to take a peek at unborn babies to make sure they are developing properly. Sonographers must attend an accredited program and pass certification exams before they can practice their job. While it isn’t normally high stress, sonographers do have some sense of stress when they have to report potential problems with an unborn baby or other issues they detect via sonography.
#3 – University Professor (Tenured)
Jobs Rated Stress Score: 6.94
Median Annual Income: $70,790
Growth Outlook: 13%
University professors are responsible for creating lesson plans, lectures, and tests. They must be knowledgeable in their department and available to students who need additional help. In larger universities, tenured professors have teaching assistants who help them with lectures and grading homework and tests.
#4 – Hair Stylist
Jobs Rated Stress Score: 7.47
Median Annual Income: $23,200
Growth Outlook: 10%
Hair stylists work with clients to cut, dye, and style hair. Along with creating everyday looks, hair stylists are also hired for special events, including prom and weddings. The job isn’t generally high in stress, though there can be tension between stylists, demanding clients, and competition for the best chair in an exclusive studio.
#5 – Medical Records Technician
Jobs Rated Stress Score: 7.55
Median Annual Income: $35,900
Growth Outlook: 15%
Medical records technicians keep records of patient care by reviewing, compiling, and filing documentation of patients’ conditions, treatments, and health outcomes. They must have time management, organization, and productivity skills, as well as an understanding of data entry management, equipment maintenance, and attention to detail.