Technology is a fast-paced, ever-changing industry that can be fairly stressful at times. But there are some tech jobs out there that offer great pay and relatively low stress levels.
If you’re looking for a career in the tech world where you can enjoy higher salaries without all the pressure and anxiety, then these seven least stressful tech jobs might just be what you’re looking for.
From software engineering to IT support roles, we’ve rounded up the least stressful tech positions with competitive salaries—allowing you to work hard without feeling like your job is taking over your life.
So if you want to get into technology but don’t want all of the associated stress levels, read on for our top picks for least stressful tech jobs.
Is Tech Stressful In General?
Stress levels in tech positions vary from role to role. Some positions such as tech support and machine learning engineer can be quite stressful due to high demands and tight deadlines. At the same time, other tech jobs such as software engineering require technical ability but don’t have the same level of pressure to perform.
In general, tech is known to be relatively low-stress compared to some other industries. For example, a career in healthcare, law, or finance can be quite stressful due to heavy workloads and high stakes. Compared to these, tech careers usually require less responsibility and have lower stakes—allowing you to relax and enjoy your job a bit more.
What Factors Affect Stress Levels in Jobs?
Why are some jobs more stressful than others? What makes a job stressful? If you can answer these questions with clarity, we may be able to better understand the different stress levels of tech jobs.
Let’s take a look at the stress factors that put a strain on the workers in tech roles:
- Deadlines – Tight deadlines can cause a lot of pressure, as workers have to meet their goals or else risk repercussions. Time limits are quite common in many tech roles as the projects and tasks have to be completed within a certain timeframe.
- Workload – Too much work can cause stress as workers need to finish their tasks within their given deadlines. This is especially true in tech roles as they often demand a great deal of work in short periods of time.
- Pressure from Management – Pressure from management can be a major source of stress for tech workers. This type of pressure may come in the form of unrealistic expectations, rigid performance standards, or even outright criticism.
- Jobs Insecurity – Tech workers are at risk of losing their jobs if they don’t perform up to expectations or if the company decides to downsize. This happened at scale in 2022 and 2023 when tech giants such as Microsoft, Google, and Tesla announced thousands of layoffs.
- Competitive Workplace Culture – All too often we see tech companies engaging in a competitive work atmosphere, with employees feeling the need to outperform their colleagues. This can lead to unnecessary stress and anxiety among workers and causes unhappiness and a toxic workplace atmosphere.
Signs of a Low-Stress Tech Job
How can you spot a low-stress tech job then? What signs should you look out for to assess whether a tech job indeed will not negatively affect your mental health?
Here are some signs that you’re on the right track:
- A Good Work-Life Balance – Is the role offering you enough time off to take care of your mental and physical health? Having a good amount of vacation time is important for reducing stress levels.
- Reasonable Workload – Does the job have a reasonable workload? Is it manageable and allows you to meet your deadlines without feeling overwhelmed?
- Sympathetic Management – Does the management show empathy and understanding towards workers? Do they provide support when needed or are they too demanding?
- Good Workplace Culture – Is the workplace culture conducive to mental health and good relationships between workers? Are there any signs of a competitive atmosphere or bullying?
- Mentorship and Training – Does the job come with mentorship or training to help you become more knowledgeable? Are there opportunities for personal growth and development?
These are just a few signs that you’re looking at a low-stress tech job. Doing your research and being aware of the signs can help you choose the right job for your mental health.
Least Stressful Tech Jobs With High Earning Potential
Now, let’s talk about the least stressful tech jobs you can find in the industry. Some of these jobs are in high demand, offering good salaries and impressive benefits.
Here is a list of the least stressful tech jobs with high earning potential:
1. Data Scientist
Data Scientists have the opportunity to work with and analyze large amounts of data. This involves utilizing data mining, machine learning, and AI algorithms to build predictive models and optimize decision-making processes. Data scientists also need to be well-versed in programming languages such as R, Python, and SQL.
Why It’s Low Stress:
Data Science is a highly analytical job, but it’s not overly demanding. You have the opportunity to work with plenty of data and get creative with it. Additionally, data scientists often have the ability to work from anywhere with the proper internet connection. Compared to other tech jobs, data scientists also have higher job security.
2. Full-Stack Web Developer
Why It’s Low Stress:
Compared to other programming roles, full-stack web developers typically have more autonomy over their work and the ability to choose their tasks and approaches. This type of job often requires problem-solving and critical thinking in order to solve complex problems. Additionally, full-stack web developers have access to many resources that can help them with their work such as libraries, frameworks, APIs, etc.
3. UX Developer
Why It’s Low Stress:
UX developers get to use their creativity and problem-solving skills in their everyday life while also having the opportunity to learn something new with each project they tackle. Moreover, UX developers often have the flexibility to work on their own terms at least some portion of their job tasks. Additionally, because user experience is so important in today’s digital products and services market, there are high levels of job security in this position.
4. QA Engineer
Why It’s Low Stress:
Although QA engineers often have to work within tight deadlines and intensive environments, this type of job is still considered low-stress due to its methodical nature. Since there is so much room for automation in modern-day quality assurance engineering roles, QA engineers can save a lot of time with their tests while still producing reliable results. Additionally, QA engineers are typically able to work from anywhere with the proper internet connection.
5. Database Architect
Database architect is a tech job that involves designing and developing database structures for organizations. This includes planning, creating, and managing the data structure of an organization as well as making sure it can be accessed and used efficiently. Database architects must possess a deep understanding of computer programming languages such as MySQL, Oracle SQL, MongoDB, and Postgres; they must also have a good grasp of data models and database design principles.
Why It’s Low Stress:
Database architecture roles provide freedom in terms of project management and decision-making. These professionals get to choose their tasks as well as how to approach them in order to best meet an organization’s needs. Working on large-scale databases can also be very satisfying since even small changes can have big impacts on the overall system’s performance. Additionally, database architects typically have access to many resources that can help them with their work such as libraries, frameworks, APIs, etc.
6. Computer Hardware Engineer
Computer hardware engineers are responsible for designing, developing, and prototyping computer systems and components. This includes motherboards, processors, memory chips, network cards, and more. Computer hardware engineers must be able to understand circuit design principles as well as coding languages such as Java/C++/Python.
Why It’s Low Stress:
Computer hardware engineering roles involve a lot of creative problem-solving in order to meet the specific needs of modern-day computing systems. Unlike software development positions which are often filled with tight deadlines and stress-inducing environments, computer hardware engineering roles require engineers to take their time in order to produce reliable results. Additionally, there is no shortage of job opportunities in this field due to the ever-increasing demand for hardware components.
7. Cybersecurity Analyst
Cybersecurity analysts are tech professionals responsible for protecting organizations from cyber attacks and data breaches. They monitor networks, analyze suspicious activity, detect potential threats, and develop security measures to protect against these malicious attacks. Cybersecurity analysts must have a deep knowledge of network architecture, web application theory, and encryption protocols in order to identify weaknesses in an organization’s security system.
Why It’s Low Stress:
Cybersecurity roles provide a lot of freedom because they typically allow analysts to work with minimal oversight. Furthermore, the job can be quite satisfying since detecting and preventing cyber attacks can save organizations a lot of money and reputation. Additionally, the demand for qualified cybersecurity professionals is high due to the ever-increasing threat of cyber attacks in today’s digital world.
Do You Need a Degree to Find a Job in Tech?
For the majority of tech jobs, there are ways to become a specialist without attending university. Some of the great alternatives to getting a degree include self-study and coding bootcamps.
That said, a university degree gives the highest guarantee of job placement and advanced career success compared to all other education options. Common degree options include Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degrees.
While a university degree provides the best career success probability, it also takes the longest to complete and is often the most expensive option. On the other hand, coding bootcamps often provide a job guarantee and take only a few months to finish. While bootcamps are often a cheaper option than a university degree, they still cost a significant amount (an average of $13,500).
Self-study is the cheapest option to acquire the required education to become a tech professional; however, this option requires high levels of self-organization, self-motivation, and time investment.
The best way to go is to compare the available options and pick the one that best suits your needs.
Low-Stress Companies for Tech Professionals
Some workplaces are known to have lower stress levels than others. Let’s review some of the industries that provide a more relaxed environment for tech workers.
1. Non-Tech Companies
While tech companies often offer great benefits and extra high salaries, some are also known to have competitive and fast-paced culture. This may create a stressful environment for tech workers.
Non-tech companies, on the other hand, might not offer the same pay but they often have more laid back atmospheres. For example, some banks, consulting firms, and healthcare organizations employ tech workers with less stress than what they would experience in a tech company.
2. Government Organizations
Government organizations often have a more relaxed atmosphere and they allow their tech professionals to take their time in order to produce reliable results. Furthermore, government entities offer competitive salaries and amazing benefits that tech workers can take advantage of.
Working in government institutions can be very rewarding and exciting for tech professionals who are looking for the least-stressful job.
Tech professionals in the education sector often have more flexible hours and fewer management expectations. Education institutions offer a great environment for individuals who enjoy teaching and sharing knowledge.
Tech professionals can also find fulfilling and creative roles in the education sector, such as coding teachers or software engineers. This type of job allows the worker to be more in charge of their own tasks and goals.
For the tech-savvy out there, least stressful tech jobs that pay well can be a great career option. There are more and more opportunities for those looking to break into the industry and make a good living without sacrificing their mental health.
From data scientist to UX designer, these seven least stressful tech jobs provide an excellent opportunity for anyone who wants to earn a good salary while working in a more relaxed and less stressful environment. With the right qualifications, these least stressful tech jobs can open the door to great opportunities and success.
Elmar Mammadov is a software developer, tech startup founder, and computer science career specialist. He is the founder of CS Careerline and a true career changer who has previously pursued careers in medicine and neuroscience.
Due to his interest in programming and years of past personal experience in coding, he decided to break into the tech industry by attending a Master’s in Computer Science for career changers at University of Pennsylvania. Elmar passionately writes and coaches about breaking into the tech industry and computer science in general.