Finding a job where stress is rarely an issue is the goal of many job seekers. But how can you tell whether a job will be stress-free before you've actually spent time managing the daily duties?
Some measures of stress are easy to define. If you or the life of others may be at jeopardy, chances are it's a pretty stressful job. If the deadlines for getting work done are tight, and if you have others closely watching your every activity, you can bet the stress may be unbearable.
On the other hand, if you spend your days working one-on-one with others helping them in some way, and your schedule tends to be set more by you than by others, you likely have a job with a low, healthy stress level.
"I've worked in the beauty industry for so many years, and the greatest gift you can give someone is when they turn around in the chair and they get to see themselves 'revealed,’” says Billy Lowe, a hair stylist in Los Angeles.
Lowe says that the entrepreneurial side of being a hair stylist is stressful, but the personal relationships working with clients provide an “incredible experience.” In those moments, Lowe says, “I don’t even feel like I’m working at work.” Job satisfaction and the pleasure of helping others can certainly go a long way to outweighing stress. Of course, what induces stress can vary from person to person. And make no mistake: No job is completely free from stress.
Consider Darlene Veghts, the interim director of Barbour Library at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Veghts has nearly 20 years of experience working as a librarian, the No. 9 least stressful job of 2015.
She says that librarians’ work is evolving because of technology, with much of their holdings now stored digitally. Yet she says that being surrounded by books makes it an ideal work environment for her.
“A lot of people think we read all day, but very few librarians do that,” she says.
Among librarians’ duties is assisting patrons, which Veghts says is a rewarding part of the job. She adds that being a librarian can be a great career path for someone who loves books—Veghts says she got started in the field after fulfilling a work-study as an undergraduate at the University of Pittsburgh library. But serving others offers the greatest reward, she says.
Being of service to customers also is the case for jewelers and tailors, which can boast of a low level of stress on the job. And while certainly different in nature, other less stressful jobs on our list include tenured university professor, medical records technician, dietician and medical laboratory technician, which all are service jobs.
University professors provide the service of advanced education to students, while medical records technicians, medical laboratory technicians, audiologists and dieticians provide services that either streamline healthcare processes or make patients’ day-to-day lives better.
The following are the 10 least stressful jobs of 2015, according to our CareerCast.com Jobs Rated report:
1. Hair Stylist
Hair stylists typically work either with walk-in customers or build their own regular clientele. The most successful doing the latter can open their own businesses and thrive.