Imagine a job that doesn’t stress you out. Imagine a gig where people are almost always nice to you and they appreciate everything that you do for them. Now imagine leaving work each week, paycheck in hand and not wanting to scream at your boss or threaten to quit every five minutes.
Yes, there are jobs out there that don’t require you to rescue anyone from a burning building or even save the country. There are jobs where people ask your advice and don’t scream and yell at you for suggesting they buy a bigger size dress, jobs at which nobody accuses you of stealing their money.
High stress jobs such as police officer and politician can take a toll on your health and relationships.
Psychology Today magazine reported that the stress that police officers face includes dealing with children and women who have been abused, which takes a toll. And because of “the stigma they face from peers and superiors, police officers are reluctant to come forward because they also fear losing their jobs. When a police officer admits to needing psychological help, they are at risk of having their badges and guns taken away: They could be a threat to themselves and to others.”
Kelly London joined the California Highway Patrol after graduating from San Diego State University in 1999 and was an officer for a decade before she quit and took a job in a museum in Los Angeles. “The stress was killing me, and I couldn’t have a relationship because of the stress,” she said. “Finally after an especially horrific (car) accident I resigned. It took me two years to start looking for another job and I found one where I can help people enjoy the finer things in life. Cops have the hardest jobs in the world. I’m not sure if the public understands that.”
Recently the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Forbes magazine and CareerCast, a career information and job listing website based in Carlsbad, put together lists of the top stress-free careers. While none of these jobs are guaranteed to be completely stress-free, they are less nerve-racking than say flying a jetliner or performing heart transplants.
The number one job that made all of the lists is an audiologist, with a median salary of $79,000. Audiologists work with people with hearing issues. A master’s degree in audiology or a clinical doctoral degree is required to perform this quiet career.
Another job that all of the lists agree on as one of the least stressful are hair stylists (median salary is $24,000) although mixing the wrong chemical can turn a client’s hair orange instead of blonde, so maybe there’s a little stress in this hair-curling career.
Jeweler ranked number three on the list. Outside of the fear of being robbed by diamond thieves, this gig with a median salary of $35,000 sounds pretty relaxing.
Dietitian or nutritionist is another stress-less gig with a median salary of $55,000. Carmen Villegas, a nutritionist in a doctor’s office in Carlsbad, says that people are usually happy to see her. “More often than not my clients are asking me to help them be healthier, and they are happy to listen to me,” she said. “Sometimes they balk at eating healthier, but we can usually work something out. My job isn’t stress-free but it’s a lot less stressful and rewarding than most other jobs in healthcare.”
Librarian made it in all of the lists as well. “My job is pretty relaxing,” laughed Theresa Hartland as she stacked books at the Huntington Beach Library. “I love working with the children the best. They are so excited to be read to, and when I suggest a book that changes a young person’s life that makes up for any stress of the job.”
While the job itself is slightly laid-back, the education for the career of a librarian is tougher than trying to understand the Dewey Decimal System. (Look it up kids.) Most professional-level library positions require masters in library or information science, also known as an M.L.S. The median salary for this bookish job is $55,000.
Librarians don’t just stamp your books or collect your overdue fines, they promote workshops, run literacy programs, and organize community events.
“Libraries have changed and so have librarians,” said Sally Michaels, a retired librarian from El Cajon. “People can find a lot of information online but they still come to the library. It was the best and only job I ever had.”