Want a low-stress career? Consider health care

April 20, 2011 at 1:53 PM ET

Who knew that peering into people's ears could be so relaxing?

With an eight-hour workday, steady job growth and an average annual salary of roughly $63,000, audiologists must be living the good life. These health-care workers, who identify and treat hearing disorders, have the least-stressful work days, according to a new report that ranked the stress level of salaried careers.  

Careers in the health-care industry take up half of the top 10 least-stressful job rankings.

Commercial airline pilots, who deal with frequently changing schedules and ever-present jet lag, are at the other end of the stress scale.

The report , compiled by jobs website CareerCast, ranked the stress level of 200 salaried careers by assigning a numerical value to factors that invoked stress, and whether or not that factor was central to the job being evaluated, Reuters reports.

"Professions that involve low stress have very little danger and minimal physical demands," CareerCast publisher Tony Lee told Reuters.

The least-stressful careers:

  1. Audiologist
  2. Dietitian
  3. Software engineer
  4. Computer programmer
  5. Dental hygienist

Most-stressful careers:

  1. Airline pilot
  2. Public relations officer
  3. Corporate executive (senior)
  4. Photojournalist
  5. Newscaster