In today’s rapidly evolving job market, you might be pleased to know there are plenty of low-stress jobs that pay well, even without a degree.

With the increasing cost of higher education and growing student debt, it’s refreshing to discover opportunities that offer competitive salaries without the hefty price tag of a diploma.

These jobs not only provide financial stability but also cater to individuals looking for a more relaxed work environment.

From web development and medical transcription to creative roles such as art directors, there’s a wide range of positions that cater to your specific skills and interests.

Some of these jobs require specialized vocational training or certifications alternative to a traditional college degree.

As a result, you can jumpstart your career much quicker compared to the lengthy process of obtaining a typical four-year degree.

Let’s look at 25 low-stress jobs that pay well without a degree.

Top 25 Low-Stress Jobs Without a Degree in 2024

1. Graphic Designer

Graphic Designer

As a graphic designer, you’ll create visual concepts using computer software or by hand to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers.

A strong portfolio of your work is key to success in this field.

2. Massage Therapist

As a massage therapist, you’ll use a variety of techniques to soothe the muscles and alleviate stress in your clients.

Most states require a license, which can be obtained after completing an approved massage therapy program.

3. Fitness Instructor

Help others reach their fitness goals while staying active yourself.

As a fitness instructor, you will teach classes or provide specialized personal training sessions to individuals.

4. Administrative Assistant

Put your organizational skills to work as an administrative assistant, handling tasks such as scheduling, filing, and basic bookkeeping.

5. Real Estate Agent

Real Estate Agent

To become a successful real estate agent, you’ll need to be well-versed in your local market and complete your state’s licensing requirements.

6. Plumber

With increasingly high demand for plumbing services, you’ll find job stability and good pay in this field.

Experience through apprenticeships can lead to a successful career.

7. Electrician

Similar to plumbers, electricians are always needed. Following an apprenticeship and obtaining proper certification, you can find a steady income in this field.

8. Dental Hygienist

Dental hygienists clean teeth and help educate patients on oral care.

Training programs can be completed quickly, and often result in stable, well-paying careers.

9. Commercial Driver

Drive trucks or large vans, transporting goods to various destinations. Acquire your commercial driver’s license (CDL) and hit the road.

10. Computer Support Specialist

Computer Support Specialist

Help others troubleshoot computer and network issues.

You can work in a variety of industries with minimal formal education, relying more on your technical skills and experience.

11. Welder

Join metal pieces together using high heat, creating strong, durable structures. Gain experience through on-the-job training or vocational schools.

12. Paralegal

Assist lawyers with research, document drafting, and case management. Acquire a paralegal certificate to increase your employment opportunities.

13. Carpenter

Create and repair structures using wood and other materials. Learn carpentry skills through apprenticeships or vocational programs.

14. Social Media Specialist

If you’re constantly on social media platforms, why not turn it into a career? Develop marketing strategies based on trends and effectively engage with audiences.

15. Insurance Agent

Insurance Agent

Provide clients with insurance policies that suit their needs. Obtain your state’s required license and begin your career in insurance sales.

16. Physical Therapy Assistant

Assist physical therapists with patient exercises and treatments, facilitating recovery and improving the quality of life for patients.

17. Radiologic Technologist

Work in medical settings, taking diagnostic imaging like X-rays and CT scans. Complete a certification program and be on your way to a low-stress healthcare position.

18. Medical Secretary

Handle the administrative side of healthcare, assisting doctors and medical staff with scheduling, billing, and patient records.

19. Wind Turbine Technician

With the rise of green energy, jobs in wind power are becoming more common. Inspect, repair, and maintain wind turbines as a trained technician.

20. Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)

Medical Technician

Respond to medical emergencies and provide lifesaving care. Complete a training program and pass your state’s certification exam.

21. HVAC Technician

Good pay and steady demand await HVAC technicians, who install and repair heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.

22. Interpreter and Translator

Put your language skills to use as an interpreter or translator. Facilitate communication across cultural and language barriers in various settings.

23. Phlebotomist

Draw blood samples for medical testing, usually with minimal education beyond a high school diploma or GED.

24. Dietary Aide

Work in hospitals or nursing homes assisting with meal preparation and ensuring patients’ unique dietary needs are met.

25. Respiratory Therapist Assistant


Support respiratory therapists in administering breathing treatments and caring for patients with respiratory conditions.

Education requirements vary, but often a certificate program is sufficient.

Qualities of a Low-Stress Job

Manageable Workload

One important quality of a low-stress job is a manageable workload.

In these types of positions, you’ll find that your tasks and assignments are reasonable, allowing you to complete them within your working hours.

You won’t feel overwhelmed or constantly burdened by too much work. This is important for maintaining good mental health and avoiding burnout.

Flexible Schedule

Another characteristic of low-stress jobs is a flexible schedule. These jobs often allow you to set your own hours and work at your preferred pace.

You may have the option to work remotely, part-time, or on a project basis.

This flexibility can greatly reduce stress levels by giving you control over your own schedule and allowing you to balance your personal and work responsibilities more effectively.

Good Work-Life Balance

A key aspect of low-stress jobs is a good work-life balance.

When a job promotes a healthy balance between your professional and personal life, you are less likely to feel overwhelmed or stressed about meeting deadlines or completing tasks at the expense of your personal well-being.

These jobs typically offer a fair number of vacation days, sick leave, and personal time off, without the expectation of being constantly accessible outside of work hours.

Supportive Work Environment

Lastly, a supportive work environment contributes significantly to low-stress jobs.

In these environments, you can expect to find:

  • A positive company culture that encourages open communication and collaboration
  • Supportive management that provides clear expectations and constructive feedback
  • Opportunities for personal and professional growth and development
  • Colleagues who collaborate well and foster a sense of teamwork

A good workplace culture greatly impacts your overall happiness and satisfaction at work, making it an essential component of low-stress employment.

Benefits of Working Without a Degree


Lower Education Costs

One of the main benefits of working without a degree is the reduction in education costs.

By not pursuing a college degree, you can save thousands of dollars in tuition and student loan repayments.

Additionally, you won’t have to worry about the extra expenses that come with college, such as textbooks and housing.

Quick Entry into the Workforce

Without a degree, you can enter the workforce faster than those who choose to attend college.

This means you can start earning a salary and gaining valuable work experience while your peers are still in school.

This can give you a head start in your career, allowing you to progress more quickly and potentially reach higher levels of income or job positions.

Variety of Career Options

There is a wide variety of low-stress jobs that pay well without a degree.

Some options include:

  • Medical transcriptionist: $32,011 per year
  • Optician: $35,800 per year
  • Web Developer: $77,210 per year
  • Plumber: $56,330 per year

These careers and many others show that you don’t need a degree to find a well-paying, low-stress job.

Often, these jobs require certification, an apprenticeship, or on-the-job training, all of which can be more affordable and accessible compared to a traditional college education.

This variety of options gives you the opportunity to find a career that fits your interests and skills without the pressure to obtain a degree.

Tips for Finding a Low-Stress Job Without a Degree


Consider Your Interests and Skills

Before starting your job search, take the time to think about your interests and skills.

Make a list of your strengths, hobbies, and what factors contribute to a low-stress work environment for you.

This will help you narrow down potential job options that align with your preferences, making it easier for you to find a suitable role.

Research Job Requirements and Training

Once you have a list of potential jobs, research the specific requirements and training needed.

Look into online resources, job postings, or consult industry professionals to understand the skills, certifications, or training required for each role.

This will give you a clearer idea of how to prepare yourself for these low-stress jobs without a degree.

For example, some positions may require attending trade schools, on-the-job training, or obtaining licenses or certifications.

Network and Seek Opportunities

Networking is a powerful tool for finding job opportunities. Get involved in relevant professional groups or online communities related to your target industry.

Attend job fairs, workshops, or local events to meet others who work in your desired field.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to people with expertise or connections in your area of interest, as they may provide valuable guidance or potential leads.

Keep Developing Your Skills

Always stay proactive in improving and acquiring new skills.

Keep yourself updated on industry trends and changes to ensure you remain competitive in the job market.

Pursue training, certifications, and online courses to improve your skillset, making it easier to find and excel in low-stress jobs without a degree.

Continuous learning and self-improvement will not only enhance your marketability but also increase your chances of finding a fulfilling, low-stress position.