Some of the tasks that we could effortlessly do a few years ago might not be as enjoyable or simple anymore. While this does not mean that you are less productive or full of energy, it might be time to find a job position that is not as stressful or demanding. Luckily, some viable options allow you to look after your finances while making the most out of your professional life.
The best 17 low-stress jobs for 50-years-old are:
- Freelance Writer / Technical Writer
- Virtual Assistant
- Art Director
- Personal Chef
- Financial Advisor
- Sell Your Crafts
- Hair Stylist / Makeup Artist
- Zookeeper / Animal Rescue
While they might all seem a great choice for you, some occupations are better than others, depending on your preferences and needs. Read on to find out the best low-stress job for you.
What are low-stress jobs and why are they essential for 50-years-old
During your career, you might have noticed that some tasks that resulted quite straightforwardly for you could make your coworkers tear their hair out. In turn, you might not cope well in certain situations that are often considered not demanding.
Indeed, low-stress jobs are not so for everyone, and being able to decide on the best one for your needs is essential to enjoy your second career at its fullest. However, for this list, we have used the standardized model created by O*NET (Occupational Information Network).
Each job position is ranked on a scale from 0 to 100, based on the stress tolerance required in the occupations. Stress tolerance refers to how often an employee has to deal with criticism as well as high-stress situations. The higher the score given, the more stressful the jobs are.
Understanding what your stressors are is essential to identify their causes, as well as their triggers. The most common stressors affecting employees in the workplace are:
- Tight deadlines
- Heavy workload
- Frequent changes in organization and duties
- Job insecurity
- Boring work
- Inadequate skills, equipment, or work environment
- Lack of opportunities
- Harassment and discrimination
- Poor relationships with coworkers and bosses
- Long hours
- Lack of autonomy
While the detrimental effects of stress on our mental and physical health are known, they can be even worse in individuals older than 50 years old. Weight gain, diabetes, hypertension, and memory loss are only some of the risks associated with it.
To limit these side-effects, you will need to look for specific characteristics in your next occupation. These often include:
- Opportunity for socialization
- Meaningful purpose
- Flexibility of schedule
- Opportunity to keep active and spend time outdoors
- Steady income
- Personal satisfaction and rewards
Let’s dive into the options for anybody looking for a low-stress job.
If you have been looking after your garden, you are also familiar with the benefits gardening can yield with your body and mind. However, studies have confirmed that it can improve your upper and lower body strength, prevent joint conditions and arthritis as well as maintain your heart health.
Moreover, exposure to sunlight can help you feel happier, improve lung conditions, and even boost the immune system. All this, while allowing you to have fresh vegetables on your dinner table every day. Becoming a gardener can get you to benefit from all these characteristics, as well as improve your finances.
- ONET ranking: 67
- Median salary: $15.08 Avg. Hourly Rate
If you are a naturally organized individual, and you love literature and research, becoming a librarian can offer you the chance to work in a quiet, peaceful environment while pursuing your passion. Librarians are subjected to a medium level of stress, especially as often the budget is limited, and many duties need to be completed within tight deadlines.
However, library work can also offer you endless personal satisfaction, especially as you will become the main point of contact for researchers and students. Another associated benefit with this job is that you can decide where to work, including university libraries, schools, and even private bookshops.
- ONET ranking: 73
- Median salary: $50,242 Avg. Salary
If you love history and would like to help preserve materials, documents, reports, photographs, and articles, becoming an archivist is an excellent choice. Archivists are in charge of looking after historical proofs and data. Moreover, these professionals’ main task is to decide on the value of specific records, catalog them, and preserve them for the future.
Today, computers and machines have made this job more relaxed, yet archivists are just as needed as always. Aside from benefiting from incredibly low levels of stress, you will be able to work in close contact with historians and researchers.
- ONET ranking: 53
- Median salary: $49,781 Avg. Salary
4. Freelance Writer / Technical Writer
If you have always wanted to see your story published, yet there is never enough time to dedicate to your passion, you can turn such a hobby into your full-time job. Unlike a few decades ago, there are increasing opportunities for writers to make a living. Of course, with the rising number of blogs and websites, many entrepreneurs need excellent copies and content to attract readers and buyers.
However, if you are incredibly knowledgeable in a specific discipline, you could even opt to become a technical writer and make the most out of this skill. Lastly, if you are not concerned with seeing financial returns immediately, you could opt to use Amazon’s Self-Publishing tool to see your name on an e-book’s cover!
- ONET ranking: 69
- Median salary: $49,588 Avg. Salary
Another option to create something from scratch – again, if you are not after immediate financial rewards – is to launch your blog. In this case, finding a niche, a writing style, and a story worth telling is essential to see your audience expanding. The stress connected to this kind of job relates to the incomes, which can be unsteady.
While it can take longer to perceive incomes from this occupation, blogging offers you unlimited earning potential. Of course, bloggers need to be familiar with SEO strategies, affiliate links, and sponsored content. Aside from selling your digital product through your site, these are the tools you need to master to monetize your passion project.
- ONET ranking: 75
- Median salary: $14.90 Avg. Hourly pay
If you have pursued a career in education, and you are now trying to escape the stress related to facing a full classroom, tutoring can be the perfect occupation. Aside from already having the necessary knowledge, you can teach students face-to-face or online.
These features allow you to set your schedule, work from home, and participate in the success of your students. Once you have created a substantial client base for your business, incomes will become steady and significant.
- ONET ranking: 65
- Median salary: $17.64 Avg. Hourly Rate
With the hospitality industry is in continuous expansion, the advent of low-cost airlines, and online booking platforms, the tourist sector is always on the rise. Even if you have been building a career as a hotelier, it might not be attractive to join a hotel team after 50 years old. Indeed such jobs always come with low pay, long shifts, and continuous interaction with the public.
However, thanks to other online portals such as Airbnb, you can go back to the values that are the core of hospitality, without the additional stress. However, for this occupation, you should consider renting out a room or an entire property to travelers, be open for interactions, and embrace the fact that incomes might not be steady.
- ONET ranking: 70
- Median salary: varies
A survey conducted in 2016 on pet owners reports that 74% of those saw improved mental health conditions after welcoming a dog. Other studies published in 2018 also explore the effects of pet therapy and ownership on the stress response. However, embracing a cat or dog into your home might not be a viable option for many individuals due to financial and time-related constraints.
Yet, if you are looking for a job that helps you exploit the passion you have for animals, as well as the willingness to spend more time outdoors, you could opt to become a pet sitter. As for other professions, some dog sitters can experience burnout, especially if they decide to work long hours or be open to multiple visits per day.
However, this job can also help you renew your energy and enjoy time with a furry friend while improving your finances.
- ONET ranking: 80
- Median salary: $13.16 Avg. Hourly Rate
9. Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants do not cover a position that is universally considered low-stress. Indeed, if you struggle with organization, planning, and customer interactions, this job might become extremely demanding and highly stressful for you.
However, if you can keep several agendas and appointments under control, remember times and dates, and plan, this job offers several valuable opportunities. While administrative assistants do have to deal with a medium level of stress per day, the fact that you can now work from a remote position has benefits such as:
- Working from the comfort of your home
- Setting your schedule
- Cutting on commuting times and commitments
- You can work with international entrepreneurs
- Job offers are not limited to your geographical area.
- ONET ranking: 75
- Median salary: $15.75 Avg. Hourly Rate
10. Art Director
Along with the expansion of media platforms and tools, art directors have always become more in-demand. If you have experience in liberal art, graphic design, or even marketing, you could opt to become a certified art director. Wages widely depend on your experience and qualifications, which can influence your incomes.
However, if you love to work in a social, artistic environment, art directors are the professionals in charge of the visual style and images in several media. Since they also take care of packaging strategies, and magazine and newspaper image selection and location, there are several fields in which to work.
- ONET ranking: 69
- Median salary: $66,919 Avg. Salary
11. Personal Chef
Many younger professionals pursue a career as a chef due to their love for ingredients, foods, recipes, and cooking. However, becoming a chef, head chef, or cook within the hospitality industry can be one of the most stressful jobs to accept. Indeed, ONET’s score for this job is over 88!
However, if you genuinely love to cook and you are trying to find a compromise between earning a steady salary while avoiding the massive pressure of a catering kitchen, you can opt to become a personal chef. These professionals look after selected clients and often have the chance to build personal relationships and dedicate themselves to creating new dishes.
Aside from being a more rewarding solution to pursue your passion, becoming a personal chef can benefit your finances without requiring you to learn new skills. Of course, this job might not be equally easy for all people, and a passion for cooking is essential.
- ONET ranking: 71
- Median salary: $20.66 Avg. Hourly Rate
12. Financial Advisor
If you have been working in finance throughout your career, and you are now looking for a new, exciting challenge to take on, you could consider becoming a financial advisor. This career advancement can help you see an income increase from day one, without having to return to college or face a steep learning curve.
Indeed, after gaining the relevant qualifications and leveraging your experience, everything that is there to do is creating a solid client base. This step, of course, can take several weeks, yet you can expect exponential growth after some time working in the field.
To expand the popularity of your enterprise, you could opt to create an online portfolio or website where clients can reach you. Alternatively, you can rely on word of mouth and networking strategies among the people in your current workplace.
- ONET ranking: 77
- Median salary: $59,193 Avg. Salary
The decision to become a historian necessarily relates to an underlying passion for history and research. If you have always been a bit of a bookworm and you find it exciting to discover something new, working as a historian can give you excellent satisfaction. However, pursuing such a career can require you to return to college and gain the necessary qualifications before applying for a job position.
Instead, if you already have experience in the sector, you could opt for an internship or work experience to refine your skills as a historian.
- ONET ranking: 55
- Median salary: $48,809 Avg. Salary
14. Sell Your Crafts
Starting your own business from scratch can require you to invest large sums of money and time, as well as committing to the project. However, if you have never been an entrepreneur before, doing so implies a steep learning curve. Indeed, you will need to have an understanding of accounting, marketing, production, delivery, and online interfaces to start seeing returns on your investment.
Instead, if you are already creating crafts such as clothes, dolls, jewelry, and accessories, you could opt to open an e-commerce store and enlarge your reach. Such a strategy is straightforward, yet it can help you take your hobby a step further.
- ONET ranking: N/A
- Median salary: N/A
15. Hair Stylist/ Makeup Artist
Whether you love styling hair and makeup for a living or just as a hobby, short, practical courses can help you gain the certifications you need to make a living out of this hobby. While at the beginning of your second career, salary expectations are low, there are continuous advancement and development opportunities in the field.
- ONET ranking: 70
- Median salary: $11.06 Avg. Hourly Rate
16. Zookeeper / Animal Rescue
If you love animals and you are ready to get your hands dirty and learn something new, working in a zoo as a zookeeper or curator helps you live in close contact with some of the most interesting species. While the job is not particularly demanding, you might have undertaken the required qualifications and safety courses to operate safely.
Moreover, while any job that takes you close to animals and allows you to stay in the open air is beneficial, not all zoos are sustainable. Instead, opt to find an organization aimed at rescuing animals or rehabilitate them, and make sure that facilities ensure the wellbeing of all animals.
- ONET ranking: 66
- Median salary: $12.67 Avg. Hourly Rate
Changing careers and finally leaving behind the stress of 9-to-5 shifts can be exciting. Especially as it brings prospects of increased incomes and opportunities. However, if you are not as concerned about improving your financial situation, there are no better occupations than the ones in volunteering organizations or charities.
Volunteering allows you to follow your passions, as well as dedicating yourself to what matters the most, in your opinion. These jobs are highly rewarding, and, aside from boosting low levels of stress, they can also help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- ONET ranking: 60
- Median salary: N/A
Picking a job or occupation for your second career can be tricky and intimidating. Especially if you are trying to lower the level of stress in your life. However, it is essential to remember that not all jobs are equally comfortable for all applicants. And they can become stressful if your skills or personality are not suitable for it.
- ONET: Stress Tolerance
- BetterHealth Channel: Work-related stress
- HuffPost: Stress And Aging: 5 Ways Stress Affects Post-50s (And How To Create A Less Stressful Lifestyle)
- Psychology Today: 10 Mental Health Benefits of Gardening
- AIS: How Can Your Garden Reduce Your Stress Levels?
- ALA: The Top 10 Reasons to Be a Librarian
- Amazon: Self-Publishing
- Oxford learning: How Tutoring Helps
- Airbnb: Become a Host
- Habri: Survey: Pet Owners and the Human-Animal Bond
- PubMed: The effect of pet therapy on the physiological and subjective stress response: A meta-analysis.
- PSI: Pet Sitter Burnout: What does it mean?
- Investopedia: Financial Advisor Career: Pros and Cons
- Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute: Zoo and Wildlife Career FAQs
- HealthDirect: Benefits of volunteering
- Payscale: Salary Comparison