33 high-paying jobs for people who don't like stress

Square RootsAgricultural engineers are well-compensated while tending to work in low-stress environments.
  • There are many jobs that are both well-paid and offer a relaxing work environment.
  • Using data from the Department of Labour, we found 33 jobs with annual salaries over $US75,000 that also offer a relatively low-stress work situation.

Intense, high-stress jobs where you might face a lot of pressure aren’t right for everyone.

Fortunately, for those who would like to work under more relaxing conditions, there are plenty of high-paying jobs that also tend to offer low-stress work environments.

The Department of Labour’s O*NET Online occupational database includes survey-based measurements of how important various skills, activities, and personal traits are for a particular job. One of the characteristics measured is stress tolerance, which O*NET describes as jobs requiring “accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.”


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O*NET scores job characteristics like stress tolerance on a scale from 0 to 100, where a 0 means stress tolerance is not at all necessary for an occupation, and 100 suggests a job with a very high-stress environment.

We ranked occupational groups from most to least stressful using O*NET’s stress tolerance score, with lower scores indicating less stressful jobs. Since we are interested in high-paying jobs, we looked at occupations with average annual salaries of at least $US75,000, according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics data for May 2017, the most recently available release.

Several of the jobs fell in academia, with postsecondary teachers in various fields and researchers in economics, statistics, mathematics, and materials science dominating the top of the list.

Here are 33 high-paying low-stress jobs, ranked from most to least stressful, and by average annual wages in the event of a tied stress tolerance score:


33. Environmental scientists and specialists

Importance of stress tolerance: 69

Average annual salary: $US76,220

What they do, according to O*NET: Conduct research or perform investigations for the purpose of identifying, abating, or eliminating sources of pollutants or hazards that affect either the environment or the health of the population.


32. Postsecondary history teachers

Thomas Lohnes/Getty

Importance of stress tolerance: 69

Average annual salary: $US82,900

What they do, according to O*NET: Teach courses in human history and historiography.


31. Postsecondary mathematical science teachers

Importance of stress tolerance: 69

Average annual salary: $US84,710

What they do, according to O*NET: Teach courses pertaining to mathematical concepts, statistics, and actuarial science and to the application of original and standardised mathematical techniques in solving specific problems and situations.


30. Environmental engineers

Importance of stress tolerance: 69

Average annual salary: $US91,180

What they do, according to O*NET: Research, design, plan, or perform engineering duties in the prevention, control, and remediation of environmental hazards using various engineering disciplines.


29. Art directors

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Importance of stress tolerance: 69

Average annual salary: $US103,510

What they do, according to O*NET: Formulate design concepts and presentation approaches for visual communications media, such as print, broadcasting, and advertising.


28. Ship engineers

Importance of stress tolerance: 68

Average annual salary: $US77,970

What they do, according to O*NET: Supervise and coordinate activities of crew engaged in operating and maintaining engines, boilers, deck machinery, and electrical, sanitary, and refrigeration equipment aboard ships.


27. Postsecondary computer science teachers

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Importance of stress tolerance: 68

Average annual salary: $US91,590

What they do, according to O*NET: Teach courses in computer science.


26. Agricultural engineers

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Importance of stress tolerance: 67

Average annual salary: $US77,970

What they do, according to O*NET: Apply knowledge of engineering technology and biological science to agricultural problems.


25. Postsecondary geography teachers

Importance of stress tolerance: 67

Average annual salary: $US87,810

What they do, according to O*NET: Teach courses in geography.


24. Postsecondary political science teachers

Importance of stress tolerance: 67

Average annual salary: $US98,620

What they do, according to O*NET: Teach courses in political science, international affairs, and international relations.


23. Biochemists and biophysicists

Importance of stress tolerance: 67

Average annual salary: $US105,410

What they do, according to O*NET: Study the chemical composition or physical principles of living cells and organisms.


22. Computer hardware engineers

Importance of stress tolerance: 67

Average annual salary: $US119,650

What they do, according to O*NET: Research, design, develop, or test computer or computer-related equipment.


21. Orthodontists

Master Video/Shutterstock

Importance of stress tolerance: 67

Average annual salary: $US229,380

What they do, according to O*NET: Examine, diagnose, and treat dental malocclusions and oral cavity anomalies.


20. Postsecondary atmospheric, earth, marine, and space sciences teachers

Importance of stress tolerance: 66

Average annual salary: $US98,560

What they do, according to O*NET: Teach courses in the physical sciences, except chemistry and physics.


19. Postsecondary area, ethnic, and cultural studies teachers

Importance of stress tolerance: 65

Average annual salary: $US83,330

What they do, according to O*NET: Teach courses pertaining to the culture and development of an area, an ethnic group, or any other group.


18. Epidemiologists

Importance of stress tolerance: 64

Average annual salary: $US76,230

What they do, according to O*NET: Investigate and describe the determinants and distribution of disease, disability, or health outcomes.


17. Biomedical engineers

Importance of stress tolerance: 63

Average annual salary: $US92,970

What they do, according to O*NET: Apply knowledge of engineering, biology, and biomechanical principles to the design, development, and evaluation of biological and health systems and products.


16. Geoscientists

Importance of stress tolerance: 63

Average annual salary: $US105,830

What they do, according to O*NET: Study the composition, structure, and other physical aspects of the Earth.


15. Postsecondary law teachers

Douglas McFadd/Getty Images

Importance of stress tolerance: 63

Average annual salary: $US129,840

What they do, according to O*NET: Teach courses in law.


14. Hydrologists

Importance of stress tolerance: 62

Average annual salary: $US84,290

What they do, according to O*NET: Research the distribution, circulation, and physical properties of underground and surface waters.


13. Astronomers

Importance of stress tolerance: 62

Average annual salary: $US109,560

What they do, according to O*NET: Observe, research, and interpret astronomical phenomena to increase basic knowledge or apply such information to practical problems.


12. Postsecondary economics teachers

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Importance of stress tolerance: 62

Average annual salary: $US114,820

What they do, according to O*NET: Teach courses in economics.


11. Operations research analysts

Importance of stress tolerance: 61

Average annual salary: $US86,510

What they do, according to O*NET: Formulate and apply mathematical modelling and other optimising methods to develop and interpret information that assists management with decision making, policy formulation, or other managerial functions.


10. Materials engineers

Importance of stress tolerance: 61

Average annual salary: $US98,610

What they do, according to O*NET: Evaluate materials and develop machinery and processes to manufacture materials for use in products that must meet specialised design and performance specifications.


9. Software applications developers

Maskot/Getty

Importance of stress tolerance: 61

Average annual salary: $US106,710

What they do, according to O*NET: Develop, create, and modify general computer applications software or specialised utility programs.


8. Political scientists

Importance of stress tolerance: 61

Average annual salary: $US112,030

What they do, according to O*NET: Study the origin, development, and operation of political systems.


7. Chemical engineers

Importance of stress tolerance: 61

Average annual salary: $US112,430

What they do, according to O*NET: Design chemical plant equipment and devise processes for manufacturing chemicals and products.


6. Physicists

CERN

Importance of stress tolerance: 61

Average annual salary: $US123,080

What they do, according to O*NET: Conduct research into physical phenomena, develop theories on the basis of observation and experiments, and devise methods to apply physical laws and theories.


5. Geographers

Importance of stress tolerance: 59

Average annual salary: $US76,790

What they do, according to O*NET: Study the nature and use of areas of the Earth’s surface, relating and interpreting interactions of physical and cultural phenomena.


4. Statisticians

Importance of stress tolerance: 59

Average annual salary: $US88,980

What they do, according to O*NET: Develop or apply mathematical or statistical theory and methods to collect, organise, interpret, and summarize numerical data to provide usable information.


3. Economists

SmartPhotoLab/Shutterstock

Importance of stress tolerance: 59

Average annual salary: $US112,650

What they do, according to O*NET: Conduct research, prepare reports, or formulate plans to address economic problems related to the production and distribution of goods and services or monetary and fiscal policy.


2. Mathematicians

Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock

Importance of stress tolerance: 57

Average annual salary: $US104,700

What they do, according to O*NET: Conduct research in fundamental mathematics or in application of mathematical techniques to science, management, and other fields.


1. Materials scientists

Importance of stress tolerance: 53

Average annual salary: $US101,910

What they do, according to O*NET: Research and study the structures and chemical properties of various natural and synthetic or composite materials.

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