Laurence Shatkin, author of the new book 150 Best Low-Stress Jobs, has listed massage therapy as No. 21 on the list of the 25 most low-stress jobs.

The list is ranked by over a dozen common stress factors, as well as by pay, growth, opening, personality type, interests, education level, gender, age, part-time work and self-employment. Readers review descriptions of the 150 best low-stress jobs that appeal to them for a career change or career direction.

Here are 25 of the overall best low-stress jobs*, according to Shatkin’s book.

1. Computer Software Engineers, Applications; Annual salary: $79,780

2. Computer systems analysts; Annual salary: $69,760

3. Sales Managers; Annual salary: $91,560

4. Civil Engineers; Annual salary: $68,600

5. Environmental Scientists and Specialists, including Health; Annual salary: $56,100

6. Construction and Building Inspectors; Annual salary: $46,570

7. Environmental Engineers; Annual salary: $69,940

8. Carpenters; Annual salary: $36,550

9. Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists; Annual salary: $37,660

10. Environmental Science and Protection Technicians, including Health; Annual salary: $38,090

11. Painters, Construction and Maintenance; Annual salary: $31,190

12. Mobile Heavy Equipment Mechanics, except Engines; Annual salary: $40,440

13. Cement Masons and Concrete Finishers; Annual salary: $32,650

14. Natural Sciences Managers; Annual salary: $100,080

15. Industrial Machinery Mechanics; Annual salary: $41,050

16. Tile and Marble Setters; Annual salary: $36,590

17. Brickmasons and Blockmasons; Annual salary: $42,980

18. Maintenance and Repair Workers; Annual salary: $31,910

19. Operations Research Analysts; Annual salary: $64,650

20. Water and Liquid Waste Treatment Plant and System Operators; Annual salary: $36,070

21. Massage Therapists; Annual salary: $33,400

22. Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors; Annual salary: $25,910

23. Civil Engineering Technicians; Annual salary: $40,560

24. Sheet Metal Workers; Annual salary: $37,360

25. Mechanical Engineers; Annual salary: $69,850

*Jobs were selected using relevant levels of work conditions, including but not limited to: stress tolerance; types of people dealt with daily; duration of typical work week; frequency of conflict; level of competition and time pressures. The jobs were then ranked based on median annual earnings, projected growth through 2016 and the number of job openings projected per year.

SOURCE:, 2009