Career Advice

30 [Amazing] Low-Stress Jobs That Pay Well Without a Degree!  

Forty-three million Americans are in debt from student loans. In 2022, The American Institute of Stress found that over 40% of workers felt their job was very or extremely stressful. Over 25% of American workers now view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives.

With these statistics coming into research at alarming rates, the American worker is starting to move toward low-stress jobs that pay well without a degree.

Low-stress and high-paying jobs are a high priority when it comes to job satisfaction and has a higher average salary compared to other jobs in the same market. You can enjoy the perfect work-life balance while having no regrets. In a low-stress high-paying job there is time for leisure activities and relaxation.

Some of these jobs require no degree while others may. You may need to spend a little time developing your skills, getting certified, or getting a degree but the return is a healthier lifestyle without a lot of stress.

Letting Go of Old Desires

In order to switch jobs for a better quality of life when it comes to stress requires a few things of a person. Low-stress jobs that pay well without a degree are out there, but they may not be fashionable or give you bragging rights with your friends.

Being able to say you work at an international company with a corner office is nice, and getting the perks and admiration feels pretty good too but being miserable because of it takes away a little of the luster.

When we talk about low-stress jobs without a degree that pays well, we have to let go of our need to feel important. Feeling less stress will feel better than needing medicine just to be able to eat and sleep feels.

Read More: The 45 Best Paying Jobs That Are Fun

Why Do Low-Stress Jobs Without a Degree that Pays Well Exist?

Often, these types of jobs are ones that many people wouldn’t consider doing. They may be jobs that people don’t think bring enough popularity or prestige. These may also be jobs that people simply aren’t aware of or had no idea how much they actually pay.

Read More: 10 Best Jobs For Low IQ People That Pay Well

Jobs With a Median Income of $40,000 With Promising Growth

1. Massage Therapist

Even before Covid, massage therapy was one of the most widely sought-after homeopathic treatments by people.

Now, since Covid, stress is at an all-time high and the request for massage therapy is on the rise. The demand for Massage Therapists is expected to grow 32% percent from 2020 to 2023. The median income for this job is $43,000 per year.

A Massage Therapist does have to get a certification to practice. The number of hours needed to be certified will vary by state.

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2. Solar Photovoltaic Installers

More and more people are choosing to use solar energy in their homes and businesses. A solar photovoltaic installer installs solar photo voltaic panels on roofs and other structures.

There may be jobs that require a few panels and ones that require a large volume of panels to be installed.

These installers are not required to have in-depth experience but the skills to understand electrical wiring is needed. Being able to troubleshoot complex wiring is also a skill needed.

There is some training involved in order to become certified. The certification takes approximately 3 months to get but lasts for three years.

The median salary for a solar photovoltaic installer is $46,000 and the projected need for this career is %52 between 2022-2030.

3. Personal Trainer

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has labeled personal trainer jobs as one of the top careers to have due to the increased desire to be healthy that has swept the nation.

Personal trainers have a lot of flexibility when it comes to scheduling work. Personal trainers can work part-time or full time and can work for themselves or for physical fitness facilities.

The median salary is $40,000 and the projected growth between the years 2020-2030 is $39.

4. Flight Attendants

Flight attendants are basically personal assistants on a flight. They ensure you are comfortable and safe and can answer almost any questions you may have.

This job requires good people skills and the ability to make people feel comfortable and welcome.

This job has a %30 growth projection in the years 2020 and 2030 and makes a median income of $59,000 per year.

5. Construction Painter

Construction painters paint structures such as buildings and bridges. They also paint equipment and road signs as well.

They must make sure to apply the right paints on wood and metal surfaces so they can be durable and weather-resistant. They must have knowledge about a variety of types of coating materials and an understanding of when to use them.

Read More: 24 Best Websites to Find a Job in Singapore for 2024

Fun Low-Stress Jobs

Many workers are trading their suits and tie or heels and skirts and are seeking fun low-stress jobs that make them happy to get up and go to work. Having a job that is fun automatically lowers stress, but these jobs are low-stress anyway.

6. Choreographers

Who wouldn’t want to dance for a living?

Choreographers create dance routines, leading practices, and build shows for dance recitals and entertainment. Some choreographers do go on to go to college, but this is not a requirement.

The median salary for this job is $52,000 but can go up to over $100,000.

7. Make-Up Artists

Do you want to apply makeup to performers that reflect an era, situation, or a certain setting?

You can create make-up art by working with personal care service providers, motion picture and video companies, and performing art companies.

The median salary is $100,000 per year.

8. Web Developers

Designing websites is in high demand. People who know computer systems can work with individuals and companies to create websites that drive traffic to the desired end.

Web Developers can be self-employed or work for companies, advertising agencies, publishing companies or do freelance work.

Certifications can help with some jobs, but most generally require a high school diploma. Web developers make a median salary of $477,000.

9. Travel Agent

Travel agents get to have a lot of fun helping people travel on vacations. Travel agents need to have good research and communication skills as well as planning and computer skills.

Logistics is a much-needed skill here to ensure travelers get the most out of their time.

The median salary for travel agents is $46,000. This is one of the funniest low-stress jobs that pay well without a degree.

10. Freelance photographers

Freelance photographers make anywhere from $50,000-$90,000 a year taking family photos, real estate, and merchandise pictures.

As long as you are good with editing software, you can be a freelance photographer. Some freelancers choose to get certifications and additional education, but it is not required.

11. Optician

This low-stress job pays well without a degree. In this line of work, you will help patients who need contact lenses and eyeglasses after their appointments.

The optometrists will diagnose and provide the prescription. You will measure them and help them pick out the glasses or contacts they want with the lenses they need.

You need a high school degree and can make anywhere from $40,000 to $60,000. This is one of my favorite slow paced low stress jobs.

Read More: 20 Best Jobs For People With IBS

Low Stress Jobs for Introverts

There is nothing wrong with being an introvert. Introverts prefer to spend time alone and be reenergized by that time alone. There are jobs that alleviate the stress of being around others that also pay well. That is a win-win!

12. Software Developer

We live in an online world and software developers are critical to making that world run efficiently. Software developer jobs allow introverts to make a good salary from home or by working in an office.

A software developer needs to be able to fix errors in software, troubleshoot, test processes, prepare reports on the specifications of the software, and analyze systems.

The average salary is over $100,000 and you may not have to have a degree. Some high school students make money being software developers while they are still in school.

Read More: Five Entry level IT Jobs to Land this Year—Without a Degree

13. Social Media Manager

Social media managers develop strategies to drive traffic to a website, increase followers, create social campaigns, produce content, review analytics, and follow the wishes of the key stakeholders in a company.

This job can be freelanced or with a company and has a median income of $50,000.

14. Graphic Designer

This job does not require a degree but can benefit from certification in certain areas of graphic design.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that graphic designers make about $50,000 per year.

Graphic designers create visual designs for books, advertising, and other projects that require designs and pictures.

These designs are created by hand or with computer software.

This is one of the more creative low-stress jobs that pay well without a degree.

15. Courier or Delivery Driver

Since Covid, more and more people have relied on delivery services for everything from groceries to packages. This is a great job for introverts because they often pick up orders and drop them off without too much or any contact with people.

There is no experience needed and no requirements for education. You can make your own schedule and work as little or as often as you want, so you are in control of your pay.

16. Bookkeeper

If you like numbers and working on your own, you may love being a bookkeeper.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that bookkeepers earn on average $42,110 per year.

You will generally only need a high school diploma or a GED.

17. Virtual Assistant

More and more people are starting their own businesses and soon become so busy they need an assistant to help keep organized and on top of things.

Virtual assistants work from home and do all of the jobs an assistant would do in a brick-and-mortar company.

You do not have to have any formal training and experience, but an understanding of computers and software can be of huge benefit.

The average hourly wage is $10-$15.

18. Medical Transcriptionist

Medical Transcriptionists listen to voice recordings made by doctors and other health care workers and convert those recordings into writing.

While not requiring formal education, it is helpful to know the medical terminology you will be working with.

The average salary for this position is $38,000 but you work from home on a schedule you set for yourself. This is among the top 9 to 5 jobs that pay well without a degree.

Read More: Top 7 Healthcare Careers You Can Start Without A Degree

19. Customer Chat Agent

Everyone needs help navigating the technological world we now live in. Chat agents are on call for the hours they choose to assist people who are having difficulty with an app or other computer programs.

The average salary is around $12-$15.

Least Stressful Jobs that Pay $100k (but you may need a degree)

You may know ahead of time that you want life to be as stress-free as possible. You may also want a lifestyle that affords you to enjoy less stress off the clock while providing you with a substantial salary. Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too?

There are jobs that are traditionally low-stress just because of the nature of what they provide and do.

The Occupational Outlook Handbook rates a career with a stress tolerance score ranging from zero to 100. This score shows the level at which workers are exposed to criticism as well as how often they must deal with stressful situations. The lower the score the lower the stress.

20. Environmental Economist

Coming in with a stress tolerance of 52 is an environmental economist. The median salary for this role is $105,630.

This job requires a focus on protecting the environment. The environmental economist analyzes the cost and benefits of regulations and policies that impact the environment as well as publishes their findings.

While this job does require an advanced degree, it is a high-impact, high-wage job with low amounts of stress.

21. Orthodontist

An orthodontist specializes in correcting the bite and look of a person’s teeth. While this field does require some heavy educational work, with a median salary of $208,000 and a stress tolerance of 67, it is one to consider.

22. Computer and Information Research Scientist

This role involves researching and finding solutions to fix computer hardware and software. Our world is digitized and that means this is a secure job.

The median salary for this position is 66 and the median income is $131,000.

23. Political Scientist

Political scientists study politics and how they are handled in governments. They look at the development and operation as well as how each originated.

This helps with foreign relations as well as establishing policies. There is a requirement of a bachelor’s degree at the minimum for an entry-level position but with a stress tolerance of 61 and a median salary of $122,00, that seems like an easy condition.

24. Computer Hardware Engineer

If you understand and enjoy how to make, research, and design computer systems and components, this job is for you.

A computer hardware engineer also builds prototypes and tests them, updates computer equipment for new software, and creates the documentation of the specifications of the computer system.

This job with a stress tolerance of 66 has a median salary of $128,000

25. Actuary

An actuary works in the area of risk assessment. This job is primarily done through insurance companies.

Even though an actuary deals with stressful situations in life, such as analyzing the risk of events such as death, sickness, disability, and accidents, the job itself has a stress tolerance of 70.

With a bachelor’s degree as a requirement in education, the median salary is $105,000.

26. Economist

The economy is important to every facet of life. An economist helps with problems in the economy by researching production and distribution of the goods and services we need and formulating plans to help with any problems that may occur.

The stress tolerance of this career is 64 and the median salary is $105,000. If you have this job, you can unwind at the end of the day with an energizing massage.

27. Mathematician

This job is all about the numbers. For a low stress tolerance of 56 and a median salary of $108,000, mathematicians conduct research apply mathematical theories, and analyze date to solve problems dealing with many different industries.

28. Computer Network Architect

Computer network architects help build and design the networks that make all of our technology useful.

They help to create disaster plans in case of a loss of network usage, update hardware, and many other functions that help us to stay connected.

The stress tolerance level is 71 with a median salary of $120,000.

29. Chief Sustainability Officer

Sustainability is the name of the game with this career. CSOs help companies to see issues that may affect the management, employees, customers, and shareholders.

They look at energy and conservation of resources and help the company function better as a whole. The stress tolerance level is 74 with a median salary of $179,000.

Every job has bad days too. You can destress by getting exercise on a home elliptical machine.

30. Wind Energy Operations Managers

Wind energy is a part of our sustainability as a country. Wind energy operations managers develop potential sources of wind energy and create plans to develop that energy.

They look at cost and assess the potential of these energy sources as well.

The stress tolerance level is 75 and the median salary is $124,000.

Stress in the Workplace

Reddit users offer advice to people who seek jobs with less stress. In threads where people ask about low-stress jobs, people are quite candid about having a need to stay away from stressful situations such as poor management, unreasonable deadlines, and harsh expectations. It is clear the toll stress in the workplace has on workers. There are two main types of stress on a worker:

  • Physical: These stressors include lighting, posture, noise, and other environmental factors that make a person have a difficult time doing their job.
  • Psychosocial: This category is by far more harmful to a worker. These factors include bullying, harassment, inflexible job hours, job insecurity, poor expectations, and unreasonable or high job demands. These stressors affect the employee mentally, physically, and behaviorally. This type of stress over a period of time has a negative impact on a person’s cardiovascular health as well as is linked to diabetes. The mental strain these stressors have on the worker is dangerous. Workers experience burnout, anxiety, substance abuse, and depression. The business also suffers from more absenteeism and reduced productivity.

Managing the Work Environment

“True relaxation, which would do me the world of good, does not exist for me.” – Gustav Klimt

Managers, owners, and bosses have an obligation to create a workplace that fosters a healthy place to work. Workplace stress can be prevented by anticipating sources of stress and finding solutions to those stressors. There are three areas in which stressors can be reduced:

Primary interventions

Primary interventions focus on the physical and psychosocial stressors in a workplace such as:

  • ‍Creating a worker-friendly environment
  • Offering restful breaks
  • Involving employees in decision-making and planning workload‍
  • Allowing sufficient time and resources for finishing specific job tasks
  • Matching jobs with employee skills and qualifications
  • Providing a clear way of promotion and rewards
  • ‍Riding the work environment of physical hazards‍
  • Providing equipment and technology‍
  • Establishing a system of control measures to reduce exposure to occupational hazards‍
  • Requiring the use of personal protective equipment

Secondary Interventions

These areas help a worker cope with stressors that they may encounter by:

  • Offering training on stress and strategies to use
  • Training in areas of cognitive behavior
  • Routine health screenings

Tertiary Interventions

This type of intervention helps to address the level of illness caused by stressors such as:

  • Providing medical care
  • Helping with a plan to return to work when the illness is over or in remission

Signs of Workplace Stress

Employers need to ensure they are cognizant of behaviors that are a sign of workplace stress in employees. These signs can be:

  • Fighting in the workplace
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability or short temper
  • Changes in appetite
  • Frequent headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Low morale
  • Substance abuse

Having a plan in place to address these symptoms goes a long way in helping to get employees the help they need and the company back to productivity.

More and more people are trading high-stress jobs for ones that can give them a quality of life that is both peaceful and productive. Going to work and earning a living does not help you or your family if you are sick and depressed due to work.

Do yourself a favor and take back control of your life and career and explore your options. You will be so glad you chose from slow paced low-stress jobs.

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About Author

Founder of With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.

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