You just walked across the stage at graduation and you think to yourself, how can I make the freedom of college last while making sure the student loan debt doesn’t? If lucky, you will land a job in your desired field and it will make every all-nighter worth it. But for some of us, the job will either pay too little or it will create even more stress than the schooling it took to get there. In this list, any recent college graduate can find a bevy of new careers that can kick-start the next phase of their life. Of course, every job has their stresses, but professionals from these fields can vouch that the rewards and day-to-day work keeps them from tearing their hair out.
These 10 low stress jobs let you breathe easy, even on Mondays.
While not everyone has the eye for it, photographers have one of the highest paid, low-stress jobs around. “Photography is a gift that keeps on giving. When I first started out I was making around $53,000 a year. Granted, I had seven years of experience at the time, mostly doing it as a hobby. But now, I’ve been doing this professionally for 15 years and make around $68,000 a year,” said University of Virginia graduate and professional photographer Jonathan Wright. From weddings and magazines to working with business professionals, photographers have a variety of clients in their schedule. With the ability to set your own hours and work for yourself, this field has a lot to offer to anyone with the talent to do it.
2. Technical Writer
If anyone ever asks how an English major can make a living, technical writing answers the question beautifully. “After I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in English, I had no idea what I was going to do to make a living. I had only one finished short story and I was stuck. I created a LinkedIn account and found a job as a technical writer. It is very low impact, all you do is create training material and instruction manual type documents for the company,” said recent graduate of the University of Central Florida Jeremy Chambers. With flexible hours and the ability to work from home, technical writing offers one of the safest and highest paying jobs in the industry, netting around $58,000 a year.
Known as one of the least stressful jobs within the medical industry, sonographers spend their days helping patients and operating diagnostic medical sonographic (DMS) technology. With two routes of getting into the field, either through a degree or certificate program, people pursuing this profession can expect to earn $70,000 a year on average. This profession proves rewarding both financially and personally as sonographers get to reveal the gender of pregnant women’s babies.
4. Art Director
While the title does appear intimidating, the job itself only requires one to be creative. As an art director, you must produce images and create the visual aesthetic of magazines, newspapers and other publication materials. Earning a starting salary of $47,000 a year, this career requires long hours of revision and a dedication to cultivating and sticking to the style of the piece.
5. Hair Stylist
An occupation expected to grow 10 percent by 2024, hair stylists work in one of the lowest stress jobs a college graduate can get. “It only requires a certification and a state license to become a stylist. The best part is that you get tips, the schedule is flexible and if you want you can even work for yourself if you can get a decent clientele list,” said hairstylist Tonya Robinson.
6. Sustainability Specialists
With companies staying increasingly conscious of their impact on the environment, sustainability specialists have ingratiated themselves within business organizations. The job position requires activism both internally and externally. As a sustainability specialist, employers expect you to encourage employees to think about sustainable practices and incorporate them into daily practice. They also want you to foster a good public image both internally and externally, as well as examine ways to cost-save.
7. Massage Therapist
On average, a massage therapist can make up to $74,860 a year excluding tips. If you develop into a great massage therapist, you can gain loyal customers that could potentially request your in-home service. “To capitalize on the benefits of this career, I would advise getting certified to the fullest extent and become a licensed massage therapist. Going to this level inside of the field opens up all the opportunities that this career has to offer,” said massage therapist Lindsey Reid. In addition to the high pay, one gets to listen to relaxing music, always have moisturized hands and work rather flexible hours.
8. Food Scientist
As a food scientist, you will study the microbiological, physical and chemical properties of food and ingredients to make sure consumers can eat them. Netting a yearly salary around $72,000, food scientists find the nutritional information of various products, work toward better ways of packaging and preserving food, as well as develop new products. But perhaps the best aspect of this work is all the free food you get to try.
9. Software Engineer
“Software engineers write codes and develop programs used by people all around the globe. It is best to be experienced either in C++, Python, or Java before venturing into this industry. But, don’t let this drive you away, there are multiple coding camps that can teach you everything you need to know in about a year and they are just as good as university courses,” said software engineer and graduate of the University of California Los Angeles Sanjay Morales. With the explosion of technology in the last two decades, software engineers have turned into a lucrative and in-demand job that can net around $100,000-a-year salary.
As pivotal members of museums, government agencies and universities, archivists care for and manage historical collections in both private and public sectors. The hardest part of this job is the schooling required to get the position. You must get a master’s degree as well as a certification from Academy of Certified Archivists. But once in the position, archivists will net around $54,000 a year, conducting research and facilitating the usage of the archive.