2020 was a difficult year for nearly everyone, and though Covid-19 cases are significantly dropping across the U.S., 2021 is still not without its challenges. In January, 84% of adults reported feeling at least one emotion associated with prolonged stress, according to the American Psychological Association's January 2021 Stress Snapshot.
Work can often be a source of pressure, but for anyone currently looking for a new job, there are positions whose work requirements are less stressful than others. In fact, there have been stories of people YOLOing as the economy reopens: ditching their jobs in favor of ones they can do with more ease or that they're more passionate about.
Career website FlexJobs recently posted a list of more relaxed jobs that also offer some flexibility. The list is based on a Department of Labor ranking of dozens of jobs according to their "stress tolerance," meaning the extent to which a role requires "accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations." Each job got a ranking of 0 to 100. The higher the rating, the more stressful the job.
"The jobs identified by the Department of Labor as requiring a lower level of stress tolerance may be a great fit for parents or anyone seeking to reduce their stress levels," says Brie Weiler Reynolds, career development manager and coach at FlexJobs. "Many of them are jobs with a high degree of independence and autonomy, which can be empowering rather than stressing."
Here are five of the least stressful jobs FlexJobs picked out, along with their median annual salaries according to PayScale.
Business intelligence analysts collect data from sources like industry reports and public information, analyze that data, and write recommendations for their organizations accordingly to help them grow. A bachelor's degree is required to be considered for this position.
Stress level: 63
Median annual salary: $69,597
Statisticians gather and analyze data about fields such as business or medicine, and use math skills to theorize about future scenarios and solve problems in those fields. These positions typically require a master's degree in mathematics.
Stress level: 64
Median annual salary: $74,648
Operations research analysts identify problems for their businesses and organizations by collecting information from databases and gathering input from workers. They then use statistical analysis, simulations, and predictive modeling to develop solutions to given problems. These jobs require a bachelor's degree.
Stress level: 61
Median annual salary: $77,377
Actuaries calculate and analyze the cost of risk in a given industry. They compile statistical data, estimate the likely cost of an event, and design and administer internal policies accordingly. Health-care actuaries, for instance, assess the cost of risk for their organizations from illnesses or pandemics. This position requires a bachelor's degree.
Stress level: 70
Median annual salary: $96,542
These administrators use special software to store and organize data like financial information or customer shipping records for a given company. They ensure the data's secure, build and maintain databases according to the company's needs, and restore any lost information.
Stress level: 69
Median annual salary: $115,068
One thing to keep in mind when looking for a lower-stress job is to find one "that has very clear constraints," suggests serial entrepreneur Jennifer Kem. That is, a job "that gives me the boundaries that I know I can work within to achieve [actual results]." That will make it easier to organize your time and help you know exactly when you're hitting your goals.
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