America's Least Stressful Jobs 2012

The Least Stressful Jobs 2012

Least-stressful-jobs-cover2.jpg
Bring up the idea of LEAST stressful jobs and someone is sure to jump up and declare, “Hey, how do I get one of those!” Job-search portal CareerCast has once again crunched the statistics and come up with their list of the 10 in America. “The least stressful jobs are the ones where expectations on your aren’t high and you have complete control over your day,” said Tony Lee, the publisher of and “You’re not dependent on other people to do their job for you to yours.” They’re also mostly 9 to 5 jo
Photo: Martin Poole | Stockbyte | Getty Images

Bring up the idea of LEAST stressful jobs and someone is sure to jump up and declare, “Hey, how do I get one of those?”

Job-search portal CareerCast has once again crunched the statistics and come up with its list of the 10 least stressful jobsin America.

“The least stressful jobs are the ones where expectations on you aren’t high and you have complete control over your day,” said Tony Lee, the publisher of CareerCast.comand JobsRated.com.“You’re not dependent on other people to do their job for you in order for you to do yours.”

They’re also mostly 9 to 5 jobs, so you don’t have to take your work home with you. “You can turn it off when you walk out,” Lee explained.

And, it can never be overestimated that, with many of these jobs, you’re providing a skill or service that people want and seek out, so your clients are often grateful. They appreciate you and choose to work with you.

Indeed, the appeal of a low-stress job is great — especially when you consider this extraordinary fact: The salaries of many of the least stressful jobs are about the same as many on the list of most stressful jobs.

“Your salary may not even suffer” as a result of choosing a low-stress job, Lee said. But, it’s not so easy as just changing teams to a low-stress job. Many people who would choose a high-stress job like, say, firefighter, wouldn’t necessarily choose a low stress job like (spoiler alert) jeweler.

In all, CareerCast used 11 criteria to come up with its list: travel, outlook/growth potential income, deadlines, working in the public eye, competitiveness, physical demands, environmental conditions, hazards encountered, own life at risk, life of another at risk and meeting the public.

So what are these low-pressure jobs? Click ahead to read about the 10 least stressful jobs of 2012.

Read more:
America's Most Stressful Jobs 2012

By Cindy Perman
Posted 3 Jan 2012

Source: To calculate average income, CareerCast used a variety of sources, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics, trade associations and pay surveys.

10. Electrical Technician

electrical-technician.jpg
Average annual income: $56,040 Electrical technicians develop, assemble, and test electrical equipment according to principles of electrical engineering, CareerCast reports. The big reasons they made it to the list of least stressful jobs, Lee said, are that they work on their own schedule, getting called by businesses, and aren’t on any great deadlines. Plus, remember that electrical systems are at the core of every home and business and even the most do-it-yourself inclined among us don’t want
Photo: Getty Images

Average annual income: $56,040

Electrical technicians may develop, assemble and test electrical equipment.

The big reasons they made it to the list of least stressful jobs, Lee said, are that they work on their own schedule and aren’t on any great deadlines.

Plus, remember that electrical systems are at the core of every home and business, and even the most do-it-yourself inclined among us don’t want to try it themselves for fear of burning down the house, so most customers are grateful to call in an expert — and have the problem fixed.

And then there was light!

9. Furniture Upholsterer

Photo: Tim Klein | Photodisc | Getty Images

Average annual income: $29,960

If you’re a furniture upholsterer, chances are, you’re doing something you love — not just getting a job to pay the bills. Plus, clients actively seek you out — they aren't forced to work with you like that guy in the cube next to you — and they have a problem you can fix.

Not to mention — you make your own hours, and chances are that just about every sales transaction ends with a “Thank you, I greatly appreciate it!”

8. Dietitian

dietician.jpg
Average annual income: $53,250 First, if you’ve devoted your life to being a dietician, then looking up recipes and diet tips online isn’t just something you sneak on your lunch hour, they’re a regular part of your job. The clients who come to you want your help – they want to eat better and feel better. They need you. And, when they start seeing results, they’re going to be extremely grateful that you have helped them look and feel better – things they weren’t able to achieve on their own. That
Photo: Getty Images

Average annual income: $53,250

First, if you’ve devoted your life to being a dietitian, then looking up recipes and diet tips online isn’t just something you sneak on your lunch hour. They’re part of your job.

The clients who come to you want your help — they want to eat better and feel better. They need you. And, when they start seeing results, they’re going to be extremely grateful that you have helped them look and feel better — things they weren’t able to achieve on their own.

That’s a recipe for low stress!

7. Precision Assembler

precision-assembler.jpg
Average annual income: $31,250 A precision assembler works on sub-assembly or final assembly of products such as machinery, electronic equipment, or aircraft, according to CareerCast. Some work for big companies, others are small two- or three-person operations who do one specific type of assembly, one specific type of product. “It’s the low end of the manufacturing process but it’s also the least stressful end,” Lee said. “You’re doing the finishing work.” No one wants mistakes, so there’s litt
Photo: Bill Pugliano | Stringer | Getty Images

Average annual income: $31,250

A precision assembler works on sub-assembly or final assembly of products such as machinery, electronic equipment, or aircraft, according to CareerCast. Some work for big companies, others are small two- or three-person operations who do one specific type of assembly, one specific type of product.

“It’s the low end of the manufacturing process but it’s also the least stressful end,” Lee said. “You’re doing the finishing work.”
No one wants mistakes, so there’s little pressure — and you can work at your own pace, Lee said.

6. Audiologist

audiologist.jpg
Average annual income: $66,660 An audiologist is someone who works with the hearing impaired to help improve their hearing and it’s generally in a health-care or educational facility, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It involves testing, diagnosing and determining a course of treatment. You’re helping to repair one of the person’s core senses that is used for everything from work to social interaction, so there’s gratification in the work you do and the immense appreciation from the
Photo: Getty Images

Average annual income: $66,660

An audiologist is someone who works with the hearing impaired to help improve their hearing. It’s generally in a health-care or educational facility, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It involves testing, diagnosing and determining treatment.

You’re helping to repair one of the person’s core senses that is used for everything from work to social interaction, so there’s gratification in the work you do and immense appreciation from the people you’re doing it for — a clear path to low stress.

5. Medical laboratory technician

medical-lab-tech.jpg
Average annual income: $36,280 These are the people who actually work in a lab. They do lab tests and analysis – everything from blood work to autopsy-related tests – whatever health-care need comes in. They have to be slow and precise – there are no deadlines. “Anyone who’s ever waited for a medical report knows there are no deadlines!” Lee quipped. “They want to get it done right.”
Photo: Getty Images

Average annual income: $36,280

These are the people who actually work in a lab. They do lab tests and analyses — everything from blood work to autopsy-related tests — whatever health-care need comes in. They have to be methodical and precise — there are no deadlines.

“Anyone who’s ever waited for a medical report knows there are no deadlines!” Lee quipped. “They want to get it done right.”

4. Dressmaker/tailor

tailor-dressmaker.jpg
Average annual income: $26,560 Like the furniture upholster, nine times out of 10, a dressmaker or tailor has chosen this profession for a love of the work. Add to that the fact that you get to set your own hours your customers are often immensely grateful that you’ve made them look better and that is a perfectly tailored situation for low stress. But here, too, is a perfect example of how it’s not always as simple as swapping a high-stress job for a low one – you wouldn’t find many firefighters
Photo: Laurence Dutton | Stone | Getty Images

Average annual income: $26,560

Like the furniture upholster, nine times out of 10 a dressmaker or tailor has chosen this profession for a love of the work. Add to that the fact that you get to set your own hours and your customers are often immensely grateful that you’ve made them look better. That's a perfectly tailored situation for low stress.

But here, too, is a perfect example of how it’s not always as simple as swapping a high-stress job for a low one — you wouldn’t find many firefighters trading in their helmets for a measuring tape or pin-cushion wristlet.

3. Hair stylist

hair-stylist.jpg
Average annual income: $22,760 Speaking of jobs you wouldn’t expect a former firefighter to pick up – hairstylist. First, hairstylists have the advantage of doing something they love. Plus, they’re in the business of making people look pretty, which makes their customers more appreciative. Imagine if every day at the office ended with, “Thanks, you are amazing!” Hey, a girl can dream.
Photo: Redshorts | Digital Visions | Getty Images

Average annual income: $22,760

Speaking of jobs you wouldn’t expect a former firefighter to pick up — hair stylist.

First, hair stylists have the advantage of doing something they love. Plus, they’re in the business of making people look pretty, which makes their customers more appreciative. Imagine if every day at the office ended with, “Thanks, you are amazing!”

2. Jeweler

jeweler.jpg
Average annual income: $35,170 Here, too, a jeweler takes up the profession for a love of the craft – working with gems and helping customers find just the right earrings or necklace, be it a custom piece or something out of the case. You’re working with beautiful things, precious things that make people – or the ones they love – smile. “People in this profession really tend to enjoy it,” Lee said.
Photo: AP

Average annual income: $35,170

Here, too, a jeweler takes up the profession for a love of the craft — working with gems and helping customers find just the right earrings or necklace, be it a custom piece or something out of the case.

You’re working with beautiful things, precious things that make people — or the ones they love — smile.

“People in this profession really tend to enjoy it,” Lee said.

1. Medical records technician

medical-records-tech.jpg
Average annual income: $32,350 And the No. 1 least stressful job is… medical records technician! Medical records technicians should not be confused with medical lab technicians – these guys work in the doctor’s office, not the lab, and their job is to make sure the records are in the right place and there when the doctor needs them. You might have thought the No. 1 job would be more glamorous, but admit it – manila folders give you a lot less lip than that guy in the cube next to you! And this i
Photo: Getty Images

Average annual income: $32,350

And the No. 1 least stressful job is … medical records technician!

Medical records technicians should not be confused with medical lab technicians. These guys work in the doctor’s office, not the lab, and their job is to make sure the records are in the right place and there when the doctor needs them.

You might have thought the No. 1 job would be more glamorous, but admit it — manila folders give you a lot less lip than that guy in the cube next to you!

And this is not a job you take home with you.

“You don’t even think of it before you walk in to the office and you’ve forgotten about it before you even walk out the door!” Lee said. “It’s very low stress — but it’s providing a service that people need.”