The 10 Best Jobs for People With Anxiety

portrait of Stephen Gaffney
by Stephen Gaffney

Published on January 25, 2021

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The 10 Best Jobs for People With Anxiety

Mental Health Counselor | Museum Curator/Archivist | Fine Artist | Historian | Agricultural Engineer | Hydrologist | Dietitian | Geoscientist | Medical Technologist | Fitness Trainer

We all experience anxiety at some point, but for many people anxiety is an everyday occurrence that can severely impact both mental and physical health. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders in the United States, with nearly 40 million people experiencing some form of anxiety disorder in any given year.

Anxiety can be triggered by a number of factors, including family history, certain personality traits such as shyness, physical health problems, substance use, other mental health conditions, and stressful events.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders in the United States, with nearly 40 million people experiencing some form of anxiety disorder in any given year.

In normal situations, stress can be beneficial. It helps us cope with potentially serious situations by keeping us alert. Our bodies respond to stress by releasing hormones that increase our heartbeat and breathing rate, getting our muscles ready to respond. But when the stress becomes too intense or turns into a regular occurrence, it can have a devastating impact on the body, leading to an anxiety disorder.

Severe anxiety is more than just sweaty palms — it's a condition that can lead to serious health issues if not treated, including heart disease and cancer. People with anxiety disorders often experience persistent and uncontrollable symptoms brought on by extreme fear or worry, with common warning signs including increased blood pressure, a rapid heart rate, lightheadedness, chest pain, insomnia, trembling or shaking, and exhaustion.

How to Identify Low-Stress Jobs

Avoid Jobs …

  • That require a significant amount of public interaction
  • That regularly place you in social situations
  • For which you'll be required to speak in front of an audience
  • For which you'll have constant deadlines

Seek Out Jobs …

  • That offer long-term stability and job security
  • That foster a calm, therapeutic work environment
  • That can provide mental stimulation and keep your mind from wandering
  • That allow you to take breaks and go outside for short periods

Top 10 Jobs for People With Anxiety

Here, we introduce 10 ideal jobs for people with anxiety. But don't feel limited to these jobs — anxiety shouldn't prevent you from pursuing your dream career. Remember that anxiety can be managed and treated, just like any other medical condition.

Mental Health Counselor

As a mental health counselor, not only will you learn how to control your anxiety, but you'll also gain the skills necessary to help others with similar conditions. Counselors work with patients of all ages experiencing a variety of mental health conditions, like anxiety, depression, grief, addiction, anger issues, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Duties may include leading individual and group therapy sessions, conducting clinical interviews, diagnosing behavioral conditions, developing treatment plans, filling out patient progress reports, and collaborating with other healthcare providers.

Mental health counselors work in an array of settings, such as schools, hospitals, social service agencies, private practices, metal health clinics, and government agencies.

true Job Outlook

Jobs for mental health counselors, who make a median annual salary of $46,240, are projected to grow a whopping 25% between 2019 and 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). An increased focus on behavioral research and telehealth, along with higher demand for counselors at schools and social service agencies, is expected to contribute to this field's growth.

Educational Requirements

Most mental health counselor positions require a bachelor's degree, with some requiring a master's degree in mental health counseling from an accredited program. A state license and supervised clinical experience are also common prerequisites. Licensing requirements vary by state.

Museum Curator / Archivist

As a museum curator or archivist, you'll work in a museum-like setting, which is often a quiet and peaceful environment. The work can also be very therapeutic, allowing you to focus on the task at hand rather than worrying about issues that may lead to or heighten anxiety.

Museum curators oversee a collection of exhibits and artifacts in a museum or gallery. In smaller settings, they may be in charge of all exhibits. Their work typically involves acquiring museum collections, identifying items for display, organizing exhibits and educational programs, and maintaining records.

Archivists, by contrast, preserve historical documents and artifacts, conduct research, and coordinate outreach programs.

true Job Outlook

Museum curators and archivists enjoy a strong job outlook, with employment growth projected at 11% through 2029. Curators earn a median salary of $54,570, while archivists make roughly the same at $53,950 a year. Both positions can eventually lead to the role of museum director.

Educational Requirements

In general, museum curators must have a master's degree in art history, archaeology, or museum studies, whereas archivists must have a master's degree in history, political science, archival studies, or library science.

Fine Artist

If you have natural artistic ability, a career as a fine artist could be a great fit. Fine artists include painters, sculptors, and illustrators who create art for museum exhibitions, books, art galleries, websites, art shows, and more. A client may also directly commission an art piece.

Creating original works of art can be highly therapeutic. Art therapy has shown to be effective in reducing anxiety symptoms, improving quality of life, and helping regulate emotions.

Most artists are self-employed and work in private studios. Some also offer art lessons or teach art classes and workshops. Illustrators may work for publishing companies, advertising and branding agencies, fashion houses, and film companies.

true Job Outlook

The BLS projects that jobs for fine artists will remain flat (0% change) through 2029; however, this could change with economic growth. Fine artists make a median salary of $50,550, though renowned artists can make significantly more.

Educational Requirements

A formal degree isn't necessary to become an artist, but earning a bachelor of fine arts in a specific type of art, like sculpting, painting, or illustration, can help you fine-tune your craft and make useful industry connections.


Historians study and interpret past events, such as military conflicts, political struggles, periods of social and economic upheaval and unrest, medical advancements, and scientific achievements.

Work may include researching recorded histories, analyzing written records and artifacts, preserving historical materials, educating the public about historical events, proposing theories, and writing articles.

Historians usually work for colleges and universities, the government, museums, historical societies, nonprofits, research organizations, and consulting firms. Most of the work they do takes place in a quiet, low-pressure environment, making this an ideal career for anxiety-prone individuals. Duties can also be highly engaging, helping you stay focused on the task at hand.

true Job Outlook

Competition in this field can be tough, as jobs are somewhat scarce and history degrees are plentiful. The median annual salary for historians is $63,680, with the top 10% earning more than $115,000 each year. The BLS projects that job growth for historians through 2029 will be on par with the national average rate, or 3%.

Educational Requirements

Although you can land an entry-level position as a historian with just a bachelor's degree, most traditional historian jobs require you to hold a master's degree in history, sometimes even a doctorate. Internships are highly recommended.

Agricultural Engineer

As an agricultural engineer, you'll spend a good portion of your workday in the great outdoors, surrounded by plants and animals. Studies have shown that contact with nature at work can reduce stress. In fact, humans are said to possess a natural biological connection to nature, a phenomenon known as biophilia.

Agricultural engineers help solve agricultural-related production problems, working to develop new technologies and processes in order to increase yields, improve land use, and conserve resources. Responsibilities may entail finding sources of alternative energy, reducing crop loss, managing agricultural waste, and developing improved fertilizer application techniques.

These engineers spend their workdays both indoors and outdoors, sometimes working directly with farmers. Work is generally done on behalf of government agencies, colleges and universities, engineering firms, and consulting firms.

true Job Outlook

A career in agricultural engineering can pay extremely well. The median salary for agricultural engineers is $80,720, with 1 in 10 making over $161,000 a year. Jobs in this field are projected to grow at a rate of 2% through 2029. Advancements in alternative energy production and automated farming technologies will likely fuel growth in agricultural engineering.

Educational Requirements

To be an agricultural engineer, you must possess a bachelor's degree in biological engineering or agricultural engineering. Some jobs may require a state engineering license for more advanced positions.

The steps to becoming a licensed professional engineer (PE) are as follows:

Earn a bachelor's degree in engineering from an accredited program Pass the Fundamentals of Engineering exam Complete four years of progressive engineering experience under a PE Pass the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam


Hydrologists help solve water-related problems by studying the physical properties of water, both above and below the Earth's surface. Work may include studying how precipitation impacts the flow of water through creeks and rivers, collecting water and soil samples to test for contaminants and pH levels, and analyzing the feasibility of hydroelectric power plants and irrigation systems.

Most hydrologists split their workdays between the office and the outdoors. According to Michael Depledge, chair of Environment and Human Health at the University of Exeter Medical School, "There is a clear correlation between close proximity to a body of water and better psychological and overall health outcomes." This relationship between water and mental health makes a career in hydrology a solid option for anyone with anxiety.

true Job Outlook

Jobs for hydrologists are projected to grow 5% between 2019 and 2029. Factors like environmental concerns, droughts, flood risks, population growth, and the overall management of water resources are expected to contribute to growth in this field.

A career as a hydrologist can be quite lucrative. The median salary for hydrologists is $81,270, with the highest 10% bringing home more than $127,000 annually.

Educational Requirements

A bachelor's in hydrology — or a bachelor's in geosciences, engineering, or earth science with a concentration in hydrology — is typically required to land a position as a hydrologist. Certain employers may require you to have a master's degree. Additionally, some states require licensure.


Diet and nutrition play a major role in physical and mental health management. According to the National Institutes of Health, dietary habits at all stages of life are connected to attention, mood, behavior, and anxiety disorders.

As a dietitian, you'll learn how to help others — as well as how to manage your own anxiety — through proper nutrition. Work often includes evaluating patients for nutrition risk, conducting nutritional assessments, counseling clients on proper diet, creating meal plans, and developing educational materials.

Dietitians work in a variety of industries, including healthcare, public health, research, and education.

true Job Outlook

The BLS projects that dietitian and nutritionist jobs will grow 8% between 2019 and 2029. Continuing research on the effects of proper nutrition on physical and mental health, particularly in the area of preventative healthcare, is expected to drive demand in this field. Dietitians earn a median income of $61,270 per year.

Educational Requirements

A bachelor's degree in nutrition, dietetics, or food science is required for most dietitian positions. In addition, most states require licensing or certification.

Many employers prefer candidates who have earned the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credential. To earn the RDN, you must complete a bachelor's program and a 1,200-hour supervised internship.


Geoscientists study the Earth's composition, including its processes and history. Geoscience is a broad field that encompasses an array of scientific disciplines. Depending on which area of geoscience you're involved with, work may include searching for natural resources, conducting field studies, studying rock and soil samples, analyzing fossils, investigating sources of pollution, and studying seismic activity.

Most geoscientists work with sophisticated equipment, such as ground penetrating radar, X-ray machines, seismographs, electron microscopes, and remote sensors. Much of the work of geoscientists is conducted outdoors or in a low-pressure laboratory environment, making this a great career option for those with anxiety disorders.

true Job Outlook

The number of geoscientists is projected to grow 5% between 2019 and 2029, slightly faster than the average for all jobs. Our increasing reliance on alternative energy will create demand for geoscientists to source and develop sites for alternative energy production.

Geoscientists make an impressive median income of $92,040 a year, with the top 10% earning over $188,000.

Educational Requirements

A career in geoscience typically requires a bachelor's degree in geoscience, physics, geology, environmental science, engineering, or another closely related field. A master's degree is usually required for more advanced positions.

Medical Technologist

Medical technologists, also called clinical laboratory technologists or scientists, collect and analyze blood, urine, and tissue samples ordered by doctors in order to look for abnormalities. They may also be involved in the study of blood samples for use in transfusions.

These health professionals typically work in a laboratory setting, often within a hospital or other medical laboratory facility. Although the job of a medical technologist can be demanding and stressful, you're typically so engaged and concentrated on your work that your mind won't have the time to wander and worry about things that may be causing you anxiety.

true Job Outlook

Employment of medical technologists and technicians is projected to grow 7% through 2029, translating to an increase of close to 25,000 jobs. Demand for workers is expected to grow in step with the entire healthcare industry due to the aging population. Advancements in medical technology, testing procedures, and higher demand for genetic testing will also drive employment.

Medical technologists and technicians make a median annual salary of $53,120.

Educational Requirements

A bachelor's degree in medical technology, life sciences, or a similar health- or science-related field is normally required to land a job as a medical technologist. Some states also require licensing.

Fitness Trainer

One of the best ways to mitigate anxiety is to exercise. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, exercise can reduce stress and is vital for maintaining mental fitness. By working as a fitness trainer, you can assist others with stress-related issues while also helping yourself overcome your own anxiety.

Fitness trainers are highly trained professionals with advanced knowledge of exercise science, human anatomy, nutrition, and physiology. With the goal of improving clients' overall health and conditioning, fitness trainers develop tailored exercise programs, which may include cardiovascular exercises, strength training, and stretching.

Most certified fitness trainers work at fitness and recreational sports centers. Approximately 11% are self-employed.

true Job Outlook

The BLS projects jobs for fitness trainers and instructors will grow a staggering 15% between 2019 and 2029 — that's an increase of more than 57,000 jobs. The median annual salary for fitness trainers and instructors is $40,390, with the top 10% earning more than $75,000 a year.

Educational Requirements

A college degree is not required to become a fitness trainer, though many employers prefer candidates with a bachelor's in exercise science, kinesiology, or physical education. Certification from an accredited organization may also be required.

Editor's Note: This article contains general information and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a professional advisor before making decisions about health-related issues.

Feature Image: Prostock-studio / Shutterstock is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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