Many people believe that in order to earn a high wage, you must either have a college education or be capable of working in high-stress workplaces with demanding responsibilities. The truth is, there are plenty of low-stress jobs without a degree that you can get without attending a college or community college institution and many of these jobs are in high demand.
In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the best high-paying, low-stress jobs without a degree requirement. We’ll show you how to get a low-stress job with a GED and what skills you’ll need to get it.
What Is a Low-Stress Job?
A low-stress job is a job that doesn’t cause excessive mental or physical distress. Many people perform better in low-stress environments. Low-stress careers offer opportunities for creative work, family time, and even travel.
What Do Low-Stress Jobs Pay?
Low-stress jobs pay according to the level of complexity of the work that has to be done. For example, a medical record specialist who organizes patient data and captures information has an average annual salary of $45,240.
By contrast, a web developer who builds and maintains websites has a median annual salary of $77,200. A job as a web developer is considered low-stress because you only need a high-school diploma and some specialized skills to become a web developer. These skills can be self-taught or be developed through courses or bootcamps.
What Skills Do You Need to Land a Low-Stress Job?
Good communication skills allow you to understand and communicate instructions and are important for jobs of various levels of stress. Many jobs require using communication tools like video calls, email, and instant messaging. Basic reading and writing skills are also essential to perform adequately in any industry.
Initiative and Enthusiasm
Self-starters with enthusiasm are in high demand in the current workplace culture. If you have initiative, you can solve problems in which you have no previous experience. Being resourceful comes in handy in any job, particularly in high-paying jobs without a degree.
You need collaborative skills to work harmoniously with other people. Workers across all industries have to take part in physical or virtual collaborative environments. Being responsive and proactive contributes to the efficiency of the entire organization.
What Education Do You Need to Get a Low-Stress Job?
The education you need to get a high-paying, low-stress job without a degree includes a high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED) diploma. Some jobs without a degree still require postsecondary education of some kind. These options include vocational training schools, centers for continuing education, and certificates of apprenticeship.
Why College Is Not for Everyone
College is not for everyone because many people have responsibilities that demand most of their time. They cannot commit to a regular college schedule while taking care of their families or working a full-time job. Additionally, formal education at a college often requires relocation or long commutes.
Another main reason why college is not for everyone is the cost. Going to college is expensive and in today’s marketplace, a degree doesn’t guarantee a well-paid job or a job within your field of interest. Some people prefer a more hands-on environment like bootcamps and apprenticeships that offer a quick return on their investment.
Can a Coding Bootcamp Help Me Get a Low-Stress Job?
Yes, a coding bootcamp can help you get a high-paying, low-stress job without a degree. Between 74 and 90 percent of coding bootcamp students will land a job placement six months after graduation. This is because the goal of a bootcamp is to provide students with the most up-to-date, job-ready knowledge and skills to find work right away.
How to Get a Low-Stress Job with a GED
Identify your strengths and weaknesses
Identify your strengths and weaknesses before you select a job. Evaluate your tolerance of stress and your flexibility to perform in different working environments. List the skills that you can offer to a prospective employer.
Browse job sites for low-stress jobs
Browse online job listings and job offers in your area. Identify the jobs that match your skills and are less likely to be stressful. Check the median pay for the job and its growth outlook to discover if there’s potential for further job opportunities in the field.
Research the employer
Find out the mission and vision of the company you want to work for. You want to work for an employer that offers stress reduction programs for their employees. Identify employers that express interest in the mental health of their workers.
Craft a strong resume
Take your time in creating a strong resume that gets you noticed. Mention skills, related work experience, and any awards or accomplishments. Your resume has to be strong to display your proficiency. You have to show you can do the job without having a college degree. Experience can be more valuable than educational background for many jobs.
Send your application
Complete and send your application as soon as possible. Aim to find the jobs posted recently. Older job postings are likely to have several applicants already, or the position may no longer be available. Ensure you have completed all the requirements of the application including submitting additional documents such as a portfolio.
High-Paying Low-Stress Jobs Without a College Degree
|Job||Median Pay per Year||Outlook|
|Computer Support Specialist||$55,510||9%|
|Medical Records Specialist||$45,240||9%|
*These statistics are grouped under Web Developers and Digital Designers on the Bureau of Labor Statistics
Best Low-Stress Jobs That Don’t Require a Degree: A Closer Look
Web developers create and maintain websites. You don’t need a college degree to get a job as a web developer. For example, you can become a WordPress developer without even formally learning how to code. As a web developer, you can work remotely and at your convenience.
Web developers also earn a high annual salary of $77,200 on average. Combined with the high growth outlook for the career at 13 percent until 2030, web developers can enjoy more job security and job stability, which reduces career-related stress.
Digital designers create layouts, infographics, and graphic designs for reports and work closely with web developers. To become a digital designer, you need a GED or high school diploma. You can develop the required digital design skills through free courses in graphic design.
Since digital designers work on their computers, they can work remotely from anywhere. This job also allows you to display your creative skills merged with the current design trends.
Lodging managers ensure traveling guests enjoy their stay at hotels by arranging their accommodations. While it is generally a low-stress position, sometimes lodging managers have to work the night shift. This job also offers opportunities for international travel.
To become a lodging manager, you need to complete a certificate program in hotel management or a high school diploma combined with several years of experience. This job offers an average annual salary of $56,670 and a projected growth outlook of 9 percent through 2030.
Computer Support Specialist
Computer support specialists provide technical support to computer users. They troubleshoot computers for hardware or software issues. To qualify for a job as a computer support specialist, you need a high school diploma and the information technology (IT) certifications requested by your employer.
This is a low-stress job because computer support specialists don’t have to solve engineering problems. Computer support specialists work on-site or remotely, by phone or chat.
Medical Records Specialist
Medical records specialists organize health information using a computer. Since they work at hospital offices and clinics, they spend the day in a relaxed atmosphere. To get this job, you need a high school diploma or a GED and certification in medical record management.
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Massage therapists provide massage treatments to improve their clients’ quality of life, so they must work in low-stress surroundings. They need short-term certifications and a license to work in most states. One-third of the workforce is self-employed, allowing them to choose their own hours and rates.
Costume attendants select, fit, and maintain the costumes for cast members in the entertainment industry. They work with makeup artists in a very creative environment, including stage presentations. This job offers plenty of opportunities for extensive travel, including international travel.
This creative, hands-on job has a growth outlook of 44 percent, much higher than the average across all occupations. You will need a high school diploma or a GED and short-term job training.
Travel agents organize excursions, book travel for clientele, and provide information about tourist sites and activities available in a particular location. If you like working with people in a relaxed environment, a job as a travel agent could be good for you. A high school diploma or a GED is sufficient to get this job.
Photographers employ their technical knowledge, creativity, and composition abilities to create photos that tell stories or document events. This job offers plenty of opportunity for travel and is so low-stress it could be considered a well-paid hobby. There are no formal education requirements to get a job as a photographer, just a high school diploma and a good eye.
Skincare specialists provide facial and body skincare treatments in a salon, spa, or dermatological office. They use laser and electrolysis systems for hair removal and skin conditioning. They also offer other skincare procedures, such as peels, masks, and scrubs.
Skincare specialists work in calm environments like clinics and spas. To become a skincare specialist, you need to complete a state-approved cosmetology program and pass a state exam to get a license.
Companies That Offer Entry-Level Low-Stress Jobs
- EY: EY is a company that provides consulting, assurance, and tax services. EY employees have 24/7 access to EY Assist, which connects them to health care professionals. EY also organizes discussion groups for managing stress and virtual coaching sessions.
- Google: Google offers entry-level jobs that are well paid and include access to onsite wellness centers and mental health apps. Google offers workplace accommodations for physical or mental health concerns.
- PwC: PwC is a company that offers advisory services and human resource consulting. Employees benefit from well-being coaching sessions to address occupational stress and six free therapy sessions.
- Starbucks: Starbucks gives its employees 20 free counseling sessions a year. The company is currently expanding its employee assistance program (EAP).
- Target: As part of its benefits package for all employees, major retailer Target offers its US employees free access to Daylight, a website that helps users navigate stress and worry.
Where to Find Low-Stress Jobs That Don’t Require a Degree
Apprenticeship.gov is an organization created by the US Department of Labor to help job seekers find the right job regardless of their academic status. Apprenticeship.gov offers apprenticeship training programs across all industries. The website offers access to hundreds of occupations, including low-stress jobs without a degree.
Upwork is a freelance marketplace that offers online jobs without qualifications. Many jobs don’t have education requirements, and there are job opportunities regardless of your experience. At Upwork, a solid work portfolio is more relevant than a graduate degree. Since Upwork is an international platform, you can also find employment from companies located across the world.
The US Office of Personnel Management
The website of the United States Office of Personnel Management offers jobs with and without a degree. It hosts the official website of the federal government’s telework program. There are job openings for veterans, military spouses, and individuals with disabilities.
Consider an Online Degree Later in Your Career
After landing and working in a low-stress job without a degree, you can consider earning a degree or online degree later in your career. Online degrees are flexible, remote, and can cost less or take less time than a traditional degree program.
Earning a degree later in your career would be a smart move if you desire further career advancement, and a degree or diploma is required to qualify for it. Adding a higher education credential to your existing work experience will make you a very strong candidate for career growth.
Low-Stress Jobs Without a Degree FAQ
One of the best websites to find low-stress jobs in your area is Monster Jobs, where you can find local US jobs by browsing by location. LinkedIn and Indeed also allow you to filter results by location. All these services also let you sign up for job alerts for new postings with your predetermined filters sent directly to your inbox.
Practicing mindfulness effectively reduces occupational stress and increases well-being. Mindfulness increases psychological flexibility, mental health, and time management. You can enroll in mindfulness-based programs online or in your area.
An apprenticeship program is a career path developed by employers to prepare their future workforce. An apprentice program typically includes on-the-job training, classroom instruction, and paid work experience.
People with anxiety can find low-stress jobs without a degree such as data entry clerk, graphic designer, or library page. If you have a social anxiety disorder, you can get a job without a degree as an animal trainer or an animal shelter assistant.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.