Many associate the healthcare industry with high stress levels, but its not without its holdouts. While medical practitioners and positions in nursing are very demanding, there are still many career paths in the industry that are among the least stressful of any occupation!
CareerCast recently assessed the stress level of over 200 occupations based on 11 key factors and, as it turns out, several healthcare careers made the list!
Optometrists diagnose and treat visual disorders and prescribe glasses or contacts. They have a stress level of 17/100 because many of them own their own practices and have the stress of being a business owner and managing employees.
If not for those factors, they might come in higher on the low-stress list because of their placid and comfortable work environments, great yearly salary, and normal business hours. For those wanting to own their own business and work in the health industry, becoming an optometrist may be the right path for you.
Physical Therapists help improve mobility and alleviate pain of disabled persons. They have a stress rating of 14/100, but come in #7 on the list because of their tiring, trying jobs. Not only do they go through their own stresses, but they usually become involved in the emotional trials of their patients.
Also, they are on their feet all day and physically assist their patients. Their work environment is relatively good, however, and physical therapist job growth and salary potential are high, so it's a field worth considering, especially if you like working with others and helping people.
Occupational Therapists help various types of impaired persons develop skills to achieve self-reliance. Coming in at 13/100 on the stress scale, they have a lower stress job because most of them like their jobs and gain a sense of purpose and enjoy helping others gain a level of freedom most people take for granted. It also helps that the job market for an OT is pretty solid, so they don't have to worry about not being able to find a job.
Speech Language Pathologists provide treatment to those with hearing, speech, and language disabilities. They have a stress level of 12/100, but come in #4 on the list because their job can get trying at times and many work at schools and travel a lot for their jobs.
Still, there is a strong sense of purpose and a love of helping others among SLPs. With an above average job growth outlook, they don't have to worry about their jobs disappearing any time soon.
Dental Hygienists examine teeth and provide preventative care and education to patients. They have a relatively low stress job coming in at 12/100 on the stress scale, which is due in-part to their comfortable, quiet work environments and good potential for job growth.
Dental Hygienists also enjoy a comfortable salary, making this one of the best choices if you're looking for a relaxing position.
Medical laboratory technicians work outside of the typical direct-care, clinical setting to evaluate the accuracy of tests and interpret them. They use state-of-the-art biomedical instrumentation to analyze bodily fluids, tissues, microorganisms, and others.
CareerCast puts medical laboratory technicians at a stress rating of only 10.31, likely due to the nature of the job not directly dealing with patients. Although these techs play a fundamental role in the healthcare system, they do not experience the stresses that come with direct patient care.
Dietitians come in midway on our least stressful healthcare jobs rankings. They're responsible for instructing patients about proper nutritional care and helping to develop meal plans and strategies to manage weight and achieve a healthy lifestyle. They have a stress rating of 10/100, but come in at #5 because of their relatively busy work life and interaction with clients.
Most say they have a pleasant and drama free environment, but they have to deal with emotional stresses tied with weight loss and people's vulnerabilities--people being hangry.
There is good job growth for dietitians because their position is increasingly in demand with today's progressively health-conscious population. Additionally, running a practice as a dietitian can be highly rewarding if the career draws your interest.
Pharmacy technicians work alongside pharmacists to answer patient questions about particular drugs, prepare prescriptions, stock the pharmacy's inventory, and maintain patient profiles.
Their position is of relatively low stress due to the environment they typically work in, outside of the hospital and clinical setting. They are not responsible for the direct care of patients, and thus don't harbor any of the mental or emotional stress that comes along with it.
CareerCast gives pharmacy tech's a stress score of 9.10.
Medical records technicians are responsible for managing, organizing, and analyzing the medical data collected by healthcare providers, including information about diagnoses, x-rays, lab findings, and treatment plans.
According to CareerCast, they're rated among least stressful jobs at a score of 8.57. Due to the nature of the job, records techs aren't as emotionally invested in patients as other healthcare professionals an don't feel the stresses that a nurse or primary care physician feels.
Audiologists diagnose and treat patients hearing and balance problems, and enjoy the lowest stress job in the healthcare industry. With a stress rating of 6.3 (out of 100), it is a very low stress job for any industry.
Reasons for audiologists' low stress quotient include the fact that they usually work in quiet environments, and have a great deal of control over their schedules. If you're looking for one of the least stressful healthcare jobs, Audiologist is definitely the way to go.
Diagnostic medical sonographers come in at #1 with a stress score of only 5.11! If you're for a low-stress option to work as a fundamental member of a healthcare team, this may be the career path for you!
Sonographers are primarily thought of in reference to maternity and pregnancies, but they use also use their skills to diagnose patient traumas and in cardiology to detect blocked arteries or issues with the heart.
While any job carries with it anxieties and baggage, these jobs have some of the best work environments, salaries, work loads, and job growth. It's impossible to touch on all of the complexities and challenges that come with specific patients and job duties, so we listed the positions that are involve lower stress than others and that exist in a field where tension and demand can be high.
It's also worth noting that most of the jobs on CareerCast's least-stressful list were distinguished by high levels of anticipated growth because nothing reduces workplace stress levels quite like job security.
Do you work in any of these fields? Tell us what you think in the comments below!