Pulling your hair out at the sight of another email from the boss? The American Institute of Stress survey found that 77% of Americans routinely experience physical symptoms triggered by stress; 76% identified their professional life and their finances as leading causes of their anxiety.
When it comes to identifying low-stress jobs, the AIS points out that every individual has different needs. Each person’s ideal office environment is unique, so it’s difficult to formulate a composite of a low-stress job that is applicable to all workers. One source of tension that the institute identifies for employees has to do with their level of control on the job. The AIS found “workers who perceive they are subjected to high demands but have little control are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease.”
Jobs that have a high degree of autonomy, flexibility, and variety tend to enable workers to protect themselves from burn-out, and stay engaged and passionate about their work.
If you are looking to lighten your stress load, consider these roles.
Speech Language Pathologist — See Open Jobs
Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) evaluate, diagnose and treat language, speech, communication and swallowing issues and disorders. They can apply their expertise to a wide range of jobs. This may include helping children through early intervention programs, assisting elderly patients in skilled nursing facilities or advising professionals to achieve accent reduction. SLPs can work in a facility or cultivate private practices.
Interested in this role? Candidates need an MS in speech-language pathology, plus clinical experience. They also need to pass a national exam to secure certification.
Freelance Writer — See Open Jobs
These creatives pen articles, reports, instruction manuals, correspondences, and more. Freelancers are often one-person shops, expected to handle all aspects of the business. This includes creative strategy, marketing, tracking invoices and nurturing relationships with clients. That’s on top from the researching, writing, and editing that make up the cornerstone of the business. While the work can be challenging, freelancers enjoy control and flexibility in their day-to-day.
In order to do this job, you need at least a BA in journalism, English or a related field, plus a solid track record of success in the field.
Personal Trainer — See Open Jobs
Turn your love of working out into a full-time gig. Trainers support, educate and motivate their clients by helping them to outline and achieve their personal fitness goals. Enjoying flexible schedules, they tend to be busiest early in the morning, during the lunch hour and in the evenings. Weekends can also be hectic.
Whether you choose to work at a gym or open a private studio, you’ll need a CPR certification and a certification from the American Council on Exercise, the National Academy of Sports Medicine or a similar certifying entity.
Baker — See Open Jobs
If you’ve ever seen an episode of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, you know that baking truly merges the creative and the scientific. Their special orders, like wedding cakes, can be very high pressure. So they have to be good communicators and excel at customer service. Bakers tend to have unusual hours-often rising in the middle of the night to prepare for the morning shift.
In order to do this job, you need to apprentice first to learn the industry.
Archivist — See Open Jobs
Archivists cultivate collections of historically significant materials according to certain standards in which they are well-versed. They deal with unique and often irreplaceable materials. They are trained to know both what should be preserved and also how to preserve it. Archivists work in libraries, museums, and universities, among other professional environments.
Sound like the right job for you? Make sure you have a bachelor’s degree in archival or library science.
Optometrist — See Open Jobs
Seeing is believing for these doctors. Optometrists conduct eye exams, prescribe glasses and contacts, as well as checking for diseases. While they enjoy many benefits of working in the medical industry even while owning private practices, they encounter fewer emergencies than some of their colleagues in more high-pressure positions.
In order to do this job, you need to earn a bachelor’s degree, complete a four-year doctor of optometry program and be licensed in your state.
Barber — See Open Jobs
The best barbers do more than cut hair. They refine their clients’ style and bolster their confidence. It takes more than a smooth hand to do this job. Barbers need to be good communicators so that they can ensure that their clients get the look they want. If they do it well, barbers can cultivate a loyal customer base, which can lead to starting a business.
Before grabbing a pair of scissors, you need to complete a barbering program (the length of which varies by state) and to serve as a barber’s apprentice.
Originally published at medium.com