15 low stress jobs that pay well in 2021


Did you know that an imbalance between work and pay is among the leading causes of stress caused at workplaces? Now and then, you probably hear about or see friends, family members, and/or colleagues complaining about their hectic, stressful 9-5 work routine…but is that all there is to it? A hectic routine? Of course, the same as with every other situation, you have to peel the layers to get to the bottom of it.

That is why we have tried to list some causes, effects, and factors that go behind stress, the cloud you see hanging above everyone’s head in this modern-day and age. It’s never too late to change your lifestyle, to adopt one that helps you grow. And that lifestyle doesn’t necessarily have to be centered around a stressful job that sucks the life out of you so that you could pay rent and afford food. 

So, let’s look at 15 low-stress jobs that pay well in 2021, as well as what their job requirements and salaries are. Furthermore, we will also try to give some tips and suggestions that we hope might help you deal with stress.

So, say goodbye to that stressful, low-paying job, and save your day YOURSELF!

Tips for dealing with stress at work

Whenever the word ‘job’ comes, the word ‘stress’ is bound to follow sooner or later. In today’s troubled times, with COVID-19 still wreaking havoc, especially in workspaces, things are grimmer than before. However, there are still high-paying, low-stress jobs out there today…you need to know where to look. This guide aims to help you look for just that.

Job stress is negative physical, emotional, and/or mental reactions caused in your body when your work demands more of you than you can give, and the reward doesn’t match the efforts you put in. Other factors causing stress at work might include:

  • fluctuating job timings
  • uncooperative work environment
  • lack of reward for working over-time, and so on.

Some tips for dealing with stress at work are:

  1. Writing down your stressors.
  2. Staying organized.
  3. Eating healthy at lunch.
  4. Managing time.
  5. Forming positive relations with colleagues. 
  6. Exercise (before or during work, such as during breaks, if possible).

If your symptoms get worse over time, never hesitate to seek help to deal with your stress.

Basic requirements for low-stress, high-paying jobs

In today’s increasingly competitive job market, some of the main things you need to land a job that isn’t that demanding but also pays well are:

  • Talent and creativity: 

For no job, the profile is complete without this major requisite. If you want a job that doesn’t have you running errands all the time but pays well, too, you need to be a couple of steps ahead in the game. That means being creative, thinking outside the box, and bringing talent to the table like no other. 

  • Education: 

We all know how important this is. But in today’s demanding work environment, a simple bachelor’s degree isn’t going to get you much, honestly speaking. You need to have obtained additional certificates from courses, such as those being offered by Coursera, edX, etc. 

  • Experience: 

You might have seen or heard about professionals who possess a bachelor’s, probably a masters/M.Phil/Ph.D. and perhaps some additional course(s)…but they’re getting paid more by doing less. That’s when experience comes in—they possess more of it than anyone else around. A professional who has 2-3 years experience, in his/her field, for instance, won’t be preferred over another who possesses 5-10 years of experience. Working part-time also counts, though. 

Let’s take linguistics—the scientific study of language—as an example here to signify all these things altogether. In this field, there’s something called ESP (English for specific purposes) and syllabus design. Experts from this singular sub-field go on to design textbooks that you study from. However, designing textbooks is a lot harder than it sounds. There’s a lot of independent research that goes behind it. You have to consult different professionals from so many fields to create textbooks that suit all kinds of learners, coming from all kinds of backgrounds, with all kinds of problems and worldviews.

Despite it being challenging, this is among the most rewarding jobs in this field. Even after completing a couple of major projects, you earn enough to buy a place of your own! Creativity, education, and experience go a long way in this field, and it’s gratifying. 

Now that we have some idea about where to start from, let’s dive right into low-stress jobs that pay well in 2021:

15 Low-stress jobs that pay well in 2021

1. Data scientist

Job overview:

Among the most sought-after and highest-paying professions today, data scientists are primarily concerned with data. How to collect, analyze, modify it…all for the benefit and greater efficient running of their company’s algorithms and/or software. Yes, it involves high-level statistical and mathematical skills, but the rewards are ever-lasting. Much of those skills, as well as their sub-skills, are provided during on-the-job training. As far as a low-stress job goes, you rarely, if ever, will come home with piles of work, for much of the tasks have to be completed on-site. Good at math? Data science is among the leading professions that reward more than well for that passion. Plus, data scientists are considered the brains behind everything wherever they go. After all, maths isn’t something everyone is good at. You’d think that for a technical field like this, additional knowledge would be required. Luckily, education up till masters alone would do, too. 

Median salary: $122,840

Required education: Master’s degree

2. Actuary

Job overview:

Another job for stats and/or math lovers and problem solvers out there. Even with a bachelor’s degree, you can start working as an actuary, earn a six-figure income and not carry a lot of stress with the job, either. The role of an actuary is primarily related to coming up with solutions to critical problems using different ways. Those ways include analyzing figures, finding connections, reaching conclusions, setting insurance rates, and presenting analyses. Actuaries generally work in insurance companies, financial advisors, and banks, where they also engage in risk management to help their company reduce costs. Analyzing risk and helping their employers minimize costs. There can be both off-site and on-site training for this kind of role. But everything aside, it’s definitely a job worth mentioning under this list of least stressful jobs that pay well. 

Median salary: $108,350

Required education: Bachelor’s degree

3. Software developer

Job overview:

Most of us, if not everyone, know how important the role these professionals play in our modern, technological world. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have been able to write this, Google wouldn’t have been able to show this guide when you searched for it, and you probably wouldn’t have been able to read it on your device to begin with! Naturally, such an important job pays well, too. And why shouldn’t it? Software development is, after all, among the ‘jobs of the future,’ alongside other fields like AI. So, have a tech-savvy, creative streak? Just a couple that with some projects, portfolios showcasing your creative genius, preferably some self-taught coding courses and programs, a bachelor’s degree, and you can be on your way to creating software or an app that might make a huge difference in the world. 

Median salary: $107,510

Required education: Bachelor’s degree (alongside some coding courses/programs; optional). 

4. Art director

Job Overview: If you’re not into maths, stats, data programming, and all those things that sound similarly complicated, art might be what you need. For, as Picasso so rightly stated, “Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Where better to work at and not deal with stress than at an art museum, curator companyor a similar place. Art directors need to have a bachelor’s or related degree in visual communication, arts, or similar field, a portfolio of art projects, and some experience working for some art bodies. The last one is optional, though. Art direction is a very dynamic field of work. You get to create and even manage art projects to direct your organization’s art strategies visually. Spend a lot of time around art, and your soul is bound to get that breathe of life it needs after a stressful job.

Median salary: $94,220

Required education: Bachelor’s degree alongside portfolio(s)

5. Radiation therapist

Job overview:

If healthcare and medicine are your areas of interest, radiation therapy can be a very lucrative and low-stress career path for you. It’s mainly concerned with administering radiation treatments to patients who have cancer or other similar diseases. Furthermore, radiation therapists also have to operate equipment and take safety measures as part of their job. Even though this is among the least stressful jobs out there, keep in mind that it can be difficult at times, given that you might lose some patients now and then. If you’re emotionally strong to handle something like that every once in a while, you can bring home a six-figure income as a radiation therapist. By 2029, demand for this profession is expected to increase by 7% because more senior population members are expected to suffer from cancer.

Median salary: $85,560

Required education: Associate degree

6. Occupational therapist

Job overview:

As an occupational therapist, you will be required to work with and treat injured, ill or disabled individuals to cope with their daily life challenges. The troubles such individuals face are not always the same as those of someone who is neither ill nor disabled. Your task would be to develop ways to help these persons deal with the psychological, physical, and/or emotional problems they might encounter. Much like most medical and healthcare fields, demand for occupational therapists is also believed to increase by 16% till 2029, especially in terms of senior members of our population. The pay, therefore, might increase by that time also. There won’t be much work or stress to bring home with such a job, but you will definitely require a strong heart to deal with such people and be okay emotionally. 

Median salary: $84,950

Required education: Master’s degree

7. Genetic counselor

Job overview:

Genetic counseling is also among the least stressful job that pays well in 2021. As the title implies, this job will require you to evaluate a person’s genetic make-up, inform and advise them about the possible likelihood of them developing a genetic disease—both for themselves as well as their offspring (if they have any). Handling relevant equipment, generating medical reports based on your analyses and similar activities will also be part of the job. Since technological advancements, especially in the medical field, please continue to be made each passing moment, it’s expected that demand for genetic counselors will also increase by 21% by 2029.

Median salary: $81,880

Required education: Master’s degree

8. Freelance photographers

Job overview:

Another interesting and fun area of work with the least amount of stress and decent pay is freelance photography. Even if you aren’t a big fan of photography, you probably will grow to be one, for that’s what photography does to anyone who picks up a camera. There’s just something addictive about it. Besides, getting to capture special moments AND getting decently paid for it…now who wouldn’t want that! Some freelance photographers take additional courses to learn how to use software to create and/or edit photographic content. Even within freelance photography, you can choose different areas, such as photojournalism, scientific photography, commercial, and industrial photographer. Educational background doesn’t really matter in this field, as long as you’re good with photography and associated technology. An additional course or two and a portfolio of past projects are what clients look for in a freelance photographer. 

Median salary: $79,440 

Required education: High-school diploma; bachelor’s degree

9. Speech-language pathologist

Job overview:

A sub-field of linguistics, speech therapy, or speech-language therapy, is related to diagnosing and treating speech-related defects, such as aphasia, a condition that impairs speech comprehension and/or production due to an accident or an injury. This is the most commonly treated condition by speech therapists. Apart from a master’s, you’ll also need a license to practice. Your patients can be from all age groups. Since the aging members of our population continue to experience dementia, strokes, and other similar problems, the demand for speech therapists will increase by 25% through 2029. A background in linguistics is compulsory for a speech therapist. Although a master’s degree would suffice, some hospitals/clinics might require a speech therapist will further educational background and experience, such as a Ph.D. with 5+ years of experience and possibly even some published researches. 

Median salary: $79,120

Required education: Master’s degree

10. Audiologist

Job overview:

This line of work is related to dealing with patients who suffer from hearing problems. As an audiologist, you will be required to treat patients with hearing loss, inner ear conditions, impairment, or any other issue that impedes their hearing ability. Additionally, you will also have to assist patients in buying the right kind of hearing aid depending upon their condition. Administering and interpreting hearing tests is also part of the job. With a master’s and a license to practice, you can be earning upwards of $77,000 a year from this kind of low-stress job. Like medical fields, the demand for audiologists is also expected to increase since more and more people will continue to develop hearing problems. In fact, WHO claims by 2050, almost 2.5 billion people will have acquired hearing loss to some extent, at least 700 requiring hearing rehabilitation. 

Median salary: $77,600

Required education: Master’s degree

11. Technical writer

Job overview:

If you have an inquisitive mind that inquires about what and how behind things, technical writing will do you good. It pays so well today. There are actually courses, such as those on Udemy, to explore this specific art of writing. You can even do it from the comfort of your home. All you need is an eye for detail…but technical detail. Writing software copies, product documents, manuals, gadget reviews, guides, and all manner of technical writing goes into this line of work. Even a high-school diploma can land you a pretty well-paying job as a technical writer. What’s needed the most is a portfolio of writing samples, a good eye for detail, and an exceptional ability to break down complex writing pieces into simpler ones that everyone can understand. The median salary for this kind of work is pretty neat, considering it’s so low-key.

Median salary: $72,850 

Required education: High-school diploma

12. Cartographer

Job overview:

Very underrated in present times, demand for cartographers is also expected to grow in the coming years. It’s one of the least stressful jobs out there today, with a median salary of over $65,000. Cartography is basically the art of creating maps. You will also be involved in creating navigation systems based on maps, so handling related technology is also needed. Speaking from personal experience, I have a childhood friend who, while studying BBA, became a freelance cartographer. Some of his projects paid even more than what his fellow batchmate earned as freelance writers, working day and night tirelessly. Some might even say cartography is a ‘relaxing past-time,’ for it might feel like sitting down with a cup of tea and drawing. Of course, practice makes perfect. So, with time, it’ll come easily to you. 

Median salary: $65,470

Required education: Bachelor’s degree/related field

13. Solar photovoltaic installer

Job overview:

It’s easier than it sounds. Solar photovoltaic installers assemble, install, and maintain solar photovoltaic (PV) systems or other structures. To do this, you will need to know how to measure, cut, assemble, and bolt solar panels and other similar structural frames. A lot of PV installers only obtain a high-school diploma before they land this low-stress, well-paying job. Furthermore, you can also apply for a PV installer’s role after taking some courses at your community college or any other technical institution that is in your reach. On-site training is provided for at least a year, sometimes even more, depending on the location of your company. Earning an average of $30.71 per hour, you can earn as much as $63,880 per year as a solar PV installer, minus the stress.

Median salary: $44,890

Required education: High-school diploma

14. Massage therapist

Job overview:

What can be more stress-relieving than relieving others’ stress? That’s what massage therapists are primarily there to do. Call it a muscle ache, spasm, fatigue, body aches, or whatever else you like, and it’s all stress. The common factor for such problems is stress. Post-secondary certificates, which you obtain after a maximum of 2 years of study, prepare you quickly for jobs like nursing and massage therapy. That, coupled with passing your state’s exam, will land you a lucrative, relaxed, and stress-free job as a massage therapist in no time. You can be earning more than $42,000 per year as a massage therapist. The trend for home-based freelance massage therapy is growing everywhere, day by day. Research shows massage therapy benefits include self-care on the part of the therapist, too.

Median salary: $42,820 

Required education: Post-secondary certificate/state exam

15. Optician

Job overview:

You can earn well even without a degree as an optician in 2021. The job doesn’t require much of you. It involves working with patients who need eyeglasses and/or contact lenses after they’ve consulted an optometrist. Taking measurements, fitting, designing, and adapting glass frames to help your client find the perfect eyeglasses is also part of the job. A high-school diploma or an equivalent certificate is enough to become an optician. However, some clients might require an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree instead of a high-school diploma/equivalent. During the first few months, on-site training is also provided. With an hourly pay rate of $29.25, the average yearly pay for opticians is $40,730, with some opticians earning even more than $60.840 per year. It’s an easy enough job, with the least amount of stress and good pay.

Median salary: $40,730

Required education: High-school diploma/bachelor’s/associative degree 


Occupational stress is a silent killer. You might be suffering from it without even knowing it. If you can’t handle it on your own, don’t waste any more of your health and seek help. The biggest way you can help yourself relieve that stress is to find a job that isn’t stressful and pays well. For there are jobs like that out there, and they do make a difference. So, don’t let anything hold you back. After all, health is wealth, too. You’re only given this life once, so why not live it to the fullest.