5 Low-Stress Career Options

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Looking for a laid-back career option? Read on...

By University.com Staff

Do you hate your stressful job? Looking for laid-back career options?

You're in luck. Laid-back, low-stress careers do exist, according to CNN Money/PayScale, who surveyed more than 40,000 American workers to compile a list of least stressful jobs.

If you want to join the ranks of low-stress workers, keep reading to see some options.

Laid-Back Career #1 - Technical Writer

Technical writers often write articles, manuals, and instruction booklets on a variety of topics, including science, technology, business, and medicine. If you're passionate about the written word, you might be interested in a career as a technical writer.

Laid-back features: Technical writers, which ranked sixth on CNN Money and PayScale's list of "10 least stressful jobs", said they felt less daily deadline pressure because many of the assignments are long term.

Education: Employers in this field look for candidates with a bachelor's degree, often preferring those with a major in communications, journalism, or English, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.*

Potential earnings: The average annual salary for technical writers is $66,240.**

Start Your Communications Education. Find the Right School Now.


Laid-Back Career #2 - Marketing Consultant

Often self-employed independent contractors, marketing consultants advise businesses on market trends and product promotion. This could be a great option for strong communicators who crave a low-stress work life.

Laid-back features: More than half of the marketing consultants surveyed saying that the independence and flexibility afforded by this job outweighed the pressures of being self-employed.

Education: Employers look for candidates who have a bachelor's degree in marketing or business. While a bachelor's degree is sufficient to seek employment, a master's degree in marketing, business administration, or a related field could potentially provide a competitive edge.

Potential earnings: Pay will vary depending on the level of consulting work, years of experience, and other factors. According to PayScale's national salary data, the average is $29,287-$100,792.

Start Your Marketing Education. Find the Right School Now.


Laid-Back Career #3 - Web Developer

Tech-savvy, calm-craving people can rejoice - there's a laid-back career option for you, too... Web developers are often responsible for designing, testing, and managing websites within large companies or as independent consultants.

Laid-back features: Web developers generally enjoy a lax dress code (if they go into an office at all) and have deadlines that are often weeks or months away.

Education: Web developer positions generally need a bachelor's degree in a computer-related field. For some positions, related experience and certification may be enough.

Potential earnings: The average annual salary for this position is $79,370.

Start Your Web Development Education. Find the Right School Now.


Laid-Back Career #4 - Geographic Information Systems Analyst

If you're good at reading maps and navigating the road, you might want to consider a career as a geographic information systems analyst. These analysts gather and present geographic data used to inform higher-ups about issues from improving local traffic flow to evacuating major cities.

Laid-back feature: Although this job could potentially be high-stress - it isn't an everyday norm. A typical low-stress assignment might include suggesting ideal locations for stores or forecasting flood zones, notes the survey.

Education: A bachelor's degree in statistics, geography, or a related field is typically required for this career.

Potential earnings: The average annual salary for this position is $79,370.

Start Your Education. Find the Right School Now.


Laid-Back Career #5 - Statistician

If you already have a bachelor's degree and have a knack for crunching numbers, you might want to look into pursuing a statistician career. This low-stress career involves collecting, analyzing, interpreting, and presenting numerical data to everyone from policymakers to researchers.

Laid-back feature: Ranked third, job security and the ability to work in a variety of environments contribute to statisticians' perception of their work as low stress, says CNN Money and PayScale.

Education: A master's degree in statistics or mathematics usually is the minimum educational requirement for most statistician jobs.

Potential earnings: The average annual salary for a statistician is $76,070.

Start Your Education. Find the Right School Now.


*All education information is from the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition.

**Unless otherwise noted, all average annual salary data comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2010.

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