10 in-demand, low-stress jobs—one pays more than $100,000 per year

In a recent survey by the American Psychological Association, 77% of workers admitted to experiencing work-related stress in the past month. However, some jobs are found to be less stressful than others. The Occupational Information Network, run by the Department of Labor, assessed 873 occupations based on stress tolerance, with a scale of 0 to 100.

 This ranking measures the requirement for accepting criticism and effectively handling high-stress situations. Additionally, O*NET identified which jobs have a "bright outlook," signaling emerging occupations, rapid growth projections, or numerous job openings. Among these, there are 10 low-stress, high-potential occupations, each with their required training and median annual salaries, as per O*NET data.  

Cartographer and photogrammetrist

These professionals study and create maps for legal, political, and educational purposes. They also revise existing maps using tools such as aerial photographs, satellite data, and legal records. This job requires a relevant bachelor’s degree.

Stress level: 52

Median salary: $71,890

Environmental economist

These economists research and analyze various financial components — such as costs and benefits — of environmental activities, policies, and regulations. They assess environmental protection measures as well as the use of natural resources like water, air, and renewable energy. Most need a master’s or doctorate to get hired.

Stress level: 52

Media salary: $113,940

Packaging and filling machine operator and tender

Packaging and filling machine operators work in places like factories preparing goods for shipment. They inspect products to ensure there are no defects, sort them, and watch the machines to ensure production moves smoothly. This job often requires a high school diploma.

Stress level: 52

Media salary: $36,750


Archivists are responsible for safeguarding important historical documents. They organize the documents, help those who need to access them, and research and record their origins. A master’s degree is often required to do this job.

Stress level: 53

Media salary: $58,640

Computer numerically controlled tool programmer

These tech experts write programs that run machines responsible for various manufacturing, ensuring both the machines and programs continue to run smoothly. This job sometimes requires a certificate or relevant associate’s degree.

Stress level: 53

Media salary: $60,800

Electromechanical equipment assembler

Electromechanical equipment assemblers put together and maintain various machines or parts of machines (like dynamometers and actuators)The job often requires a high school diploma.

Stress level: 53

Media salary: $38,580

Industrial ecologist

These scientists help ensure various industries’ activities don’t adversely affect the environment (by creating waste, for example). They also try to ensure natural resources are used most effectively in production. They often need a master’s degree to be considered.

Stress level: 53

Media salary: $76,480

Fuel cell engineer

Fuel cells produce electricity using energy from elements like hydrogen. These engineers help develop systems using fuel cells for industries like transportation. Many get a master’s in the field before getting hired, though, a bachelor’s may suffice for some jobs.

Stress level: 54

Media salary: $96,310

Highway maintenance worker

These workers help maintain roads like highways and airport runways by repairing damage, painting traffic control lines and cleaning the roads of debris. Most get hired with a high school diploma.

Stress level: 55

Media salary: $44,930

Machine feeder and off bearer

Machine feeders and offbearers feed or remove products from machines in factories, for example. They also control and maintain the machinery itself. Most only need a high school diploma.

Stress level: 56

Media salary: $38,040

In terms of stress, many of these jobs are “not the type of job that you take home with you,” says Vicki Salemi, career expert at Monster, adding that, “there’s no way a highway maintenance worker is going to go home and log on and do their work at night.” Unlike workers who can constantly be answering emails and tackling projects, when they’re off the clock, many of these workers don’t have to think about their jobs.

Some might also genuinely love what they’re doing. “Archivists may enjoy their work environment,” says Salemi, “they’re in this field — most likely they have a passion for it.”

Salemi notes that Monster has also seen an uptick in demand for environment-oriented jobs, which may be attributed to recent government initiatives. Manufacturing jobs are in higher demand “given the increase in e-commerce and the need for factories,” she says.

If you are a job seeker, one thing it’s key to remember is “determining how stressful a job might be is subjective – and will likely vary from person to person,” says Andrew McCaskill, LinkedIn career expert. Before committing to any role, he recommends looking at the company’s LinkedIn page for any mention of values, reaching out to someone who works at the company and asking about company culture and work-life balance, and asking about the day-to-day schedule in the job interview.

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