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3 of the Least Stressful Jobs With Great Growth Potential

Topics: Career Profiles

You’ve tried everything from meditation to massage to cope with stress at work, but that doesn’t mean it goes away. With workplace stress dubbed the “health epidemic of the 21st century” by the World Health Organization, there’s a constant stream of new ways to cope.

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You might dig workplace gardening, which some employers are offering as a way to reduce stress. And there’s even a new vibrating wristband to help you calm down so you don’t lunge across the table at the coworker who just took credit for your great idea.

But what if you simply found a job that was less stressful? CareerCast recently released its list of the least stressful jobs of 2017.

The 11 criteria used to rank the jobs include physical demands, working in the public eye, deadlines, competition, and risk of death or grievous injury. What’s stressful to one person may not be to another, so as you go through the list you may be able to easily weed out certain jobs simply by paying attention to your blood pressure.

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If you’re someone who stresses about job security, knowing that a job has a promising future could be a key criterion. So, we’re helping you narrow your search by highlighting three of the least stressful jobs with the best growth outlook.

Operations Research Analyst 

While this job offers a promising growth outlook of 30 percent, its stress score — 9.02 — was at the higher end of the jobs making the CareerCast list.

Operations research analysts are responsible for completing and analyzing operations research for their employer. They use their findings to help businesses and organizations operate more efficiently and cost-effectively. For example, you might recommend a different distribution schedule for a delivery company, or figure out a way for a manufacturer to reduce wasted materials to reduce costs. Because every entity, from a municipal government to a worldwide corporation, can benefit from cost savings and greater efficiency, the job is widely acknowledged for its upward potential. U.S. News & World Report ranked it as No. 5 in its list of the best business jobs.

So this could be a low-stress job for you if your skill set includes data mining, critical thinking, problem solving, and statistical analysis. See what an operations research analyst makes.


On the list for least stressful jobs, audiologist came in with a stress score of 7.31 and a job growth score of 29 percent, just below operations research analyst.

An audiologist performs hearing tests to assess and diagnose hearing problems, provides patient recommendations for further testing and treatments and advises a patient’s general physician.

Audiologist jobs are expected to grow by 29 percent from 2014 to 2024 — that’s much faster than the average of other jobs. While you may have heard a recent NPR report that hearing loss is actually in decline in the United States, demand for audiologists is expected to remain high for several reasons. Hearing loss increases as people age, and the aging population — think baby boomers — will likely fuel the demand. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association also credits increased school enrollments for the projected demand for audiologists, because federal law guarantees special education and related services to eligible children with disabilities. See the average salary and what skills are needed to become an audiologist.

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Topping the list as the least stressful job was diagnostic medical sonographer — a job with little-to-no travel and risk of death or severe harm. It also ranked low for stress, with a stress score of 4.0, because of its relative anonymity from the public eye and promising growth opportunities. Of all of the jobs on the list, it ranked third best for prospective job growth. Employment of diagnostic medical sonographers is expected to grow 24 percent from 2014 to 2024.

Medical sonographers use ultrasound technology and equipment to examine various parts of the body, providing imaging that assists physicians in making diagnostic decisions. If you’re naturally organized and detail-oriented, can work in a fast-paced environment, and think you’d work well with patients, this might be the low-stress job for you.

While some employers may prefer a bachelor’s degree, CNBC included medical sonographers on its list of top-paying professions in which a bachelor’s degree is not required. See how much the job pays.

Tell Us What You Think

What do you think about the list of list of least stressful jobs? Tell us in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.

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