The 10 best jobs for people who hate deadlines

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Odds are if you're working for a living, your job is stressing you out.

A recent CareerCast poll found that 78% of people would give their workplace a seven or higher, on a 10-point scale, for unduly stressing them, while a Gallup poll found a similar number of employees report feeling stressed "sometimes or frequently" throughout their day. Only 17% of workers can say that their jobs rarely make them feel strained, frazzled or anxious.

The biggest cause of all that office stress: Deadlines. CareerCast found that 38% of people blame tight turnarounds and hard stops as the primary cause of their workplace strain. That means deadlines are more worrisome than responsibility for the lives of others, competitive colleagues, and physically-demanding tasks, which were the other top stressors.

But what if you could rid yourself of some of that deadline pressure? While you'd be hard-pressed to find a role that was completely free of them, several jobs move at a more relaxed pace.

CareerCast analyzed its database as well as information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to identify the industries that scored lowest for deadline stress. What it found was that many consumer-facing service positions, particularly in healthcare, tended to perform best, because the deadlines imposed on these roles were more about helping an individual reach a goal.

For these roles, "seeing results through to the finish, regardless of the time invested, is ultimately more important than a set date of completion," Kyle Kensing, online content editor for CareerCast, tells CNBC Make It.

Research-based professions also scored well because of their focus on long-term results over immediate and sometimes redundant deadlines, adds Kensing.

Industries you want to avoid? Journalism and travel. Reporters and broadcasters scored highest for deadline stress because of near constant demands to put out new and timely information. Air travel roles, like pilot and air traffic controller, were up there as well, thanks to the tight timetables they must met for flight arrivals and departures.

Altogether, CareerCast found that 52 careers out of the 200 it looked at have low deadline stress, but to pare that figure back to only the best jobs, it not only factored in deadlines, but overall stress, as well as compensation, growth rate and work environment.

The following 10 occupations offer workers an ideal blend of low deadline pressure, competitive pay, rapid hiring, and comfortable working conditions.


Audiologist examining a patient's ear.
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Median salary: $75,920
Growth Outlook: 21%

Specializing in the ear, these healthcare workers diagnose and treat patient's hearing issues, balance or other related problems like tinnitus.

Biomedical engineer

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Median salary: $88,550
Growth outlook: 7%

These workers combine engineering principles with medical and biological sciences to design and create equipment, devices, computer systems and software used in healthcare.


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Median salary: $71,410
Growth outlook: 12%

These healthcare workers treat patients who are having issues with their nerves, bones, muscles, ligaments or tendons and reduce pain by making spinal adjustments or manipulations.


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Median salary: $64,310
Growth outlook: 6%

These scientists manage the overall land quality of forests, parks, rangelands, and other natural resources to ensure activities comply with government regulations and habitat protection.


Overweight women have examination at dietitian-nutritionist's office . They looking results and talk about dieting and healthy eating
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Median salary: $60,370
Growth outlook: 15%

Dietitians advise people on what to eat in order to lead a healthier lifestyle, achieve a specific health-related goal, or manage a health issue or disease.


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Median salary: $59,050
Growth outlook: 9%

Found in public, academic and medical libraries, these workers help people find information and conduct research for either personal or professional use.

Occupational therapist

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Median salary: $84,270
Growth outlook: 24%

These healthcare workers use therapeutic activities to treat injured, ill, or disabled patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities so that they can develop, recover or improve the skills they need for daily living.

Physical therapist

Physical therapist helping senior woman (80s) with leg exercises.
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Median salary: $87,930
Growth outlook: 28%

These healthcare workers help injured or ill people improve or regain their movement and manage their pain.

Massage therapist

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Median salary: $41,420
Growth outlook: 26%

These workers relax and treat clients by manipulating the muscles and soft tissues of the body to relieve pain and stress.

Speech pathologist

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Median salary: $77,510
Growth outlook: 18%

Also known as speech therapists, these workers diagnose and treat communication and swallowing disorders in children and adults.

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