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

The high-paying jobs for people who don’t like stress

Think there’s no such thing as a high-paying, low-stress job? Think again. It turns out there are plenty.

To find jobs with that perfect combination of high pay and low stress, we combed through the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), a US Department of Labor database that compiles detailed information on hundreds of jobs and looked at salary data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

O*NET rates the “stress tolerance” for each job on a scale from zero to 100, where a lower rating signals less stress. (Note: We are not saying these jobs are “stress-free” – they just tend to rate lower than other professions.)

To rate each job, O*NET looks at how frequently workers must accept criticism and deal effectively with high stress at work.

Here are 32 jobs that pay more than $70,000 a year, on average, and earned a stress tolerance rating of 71 or lower, in order from highest to

Chemical engineer

Stress tolerance: 71

Average annual salary: $103,960

What they do: Design chemical plant equipment and devise processes for manufacturing chemicals and products like gasoline, synthetic rubber, plastics, detergents, cement, paper, and pulp, by applying principles and technology of chemistry, physics, and engineering.

Education requirements: Bachelor’s degree.

Civil engineer

Stress tolerance: 71

Average annual salary: $87,940

What they do: Perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures, and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, and water and sewage systems.

Education requirements: Bachelor’s degree.

Dental hygienist

Stress tolerance: 71

Average annual salary: $72,720

What they do: Clean teeth and examine oral areas, head, and neck for signs of oral disease. May educate patients on oral hygiene, take and develop x rays, or apply fluoride or sealants.

Education requirements: Associate’s degree

Medical scientist

Stress tolerance: 71

Average annual salary: $79,370

What they do: Conduct research dealing with the understanding of human diseases and the improvement of human health by engaging in clinical investigation, research and development, or other related activities.

Education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree.


Stress tolerance: 71

Average annual salary: $76,230

What they do: Investigate the growth, structure, development, and other characteristics of microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, algae, or fungi, and sometimes study the relationship between organisms and disease or the effects of antibiotics on microorganisms.

Education requirements: At least a bachelor’s degree, and some employers may require a master’s degree or Ph.D.

Postsecondary psychology teacher

Stress tolerance: 71

Average annual salary: $79,370

What they do: Teach courses in psychology, such as child, clinical, and developmental psychology, and psychological counseling. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

Education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree.


Stress tolerance: 70

Average annual salary: $77,420

What they do: Assess and treat people with hearing and related disorders. They may fit hearing aids and provide auditory training, and sometimes perform research related to hearing problems.

Education requirements: A doctoral degree and license.


Stress tolerance: 70

Average annual salary: $115,750

What they do: Perform eye exams to check for vision problems and diseases. They prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses as needed.

Education requirements: Bachelor’s, four-year doctor of optometry program, and a state license.

Art director

Stress tolerance: 69

Average annual salary: $101,990

What they do: Art directors are responsible for the visual style and images in magazines, newspapers, product packaging, and movie and television productions.

Education requirements: Bachelor’s degree or previous work experience.

Technical writer

Stress tolerance: 69

Average annual salary: $73,350

What they do: Write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance instructions.

Education requirements: Bachelor’s degree is typically required (experience with a technical subject, such as computer science, web design, or engineering, is important).

Computer hardware engineer

Stress tolerance: 67

Average annual salary: $114,970

What they do:Research, design, develop, or test computer or computer-related equipment for commercial, industrial, military, or scientific use.

Education requirements: Bachelor’s degree from an accredited program.


Stress tolerance: 67

Average annual salary: $221,390

What they do: Examine, diagnose, and treat dental misalignments and oral cavity anomalies, design appliances to realign teeth and jaws.

Education requirements: Bachelor’s degree, four-year dental school, and two to three years of residency training.


Stress tolerance: 66

Average annual salary: $83,440

What they do: Study how water moves across and through Earth’s crust. They can use their expertise to solve problems in the areas of water quality or availability.

Education requirements: Master’s degree.

Applications software developer

Stress tolerance: 65

Average annual salary: $102,160

What they do: Develop, create, and modify general computer applications software or specialized utility programs.

Education requirements: Bachelor’s degree and strong computer programming skills.

Computer and information systems manager

Stress tolerance: 64

Average annual salary: $141,000

What they do: Help determine the information technology goals of an organization; responsible for implementing the appropriate computer systems to meet those goals.

Education requirements: Bachelor’s degree.


Stress tolerance: 64

Average annual salary: $110,560

What they do: Analyze the financial costs of risk and uncertainty.

Education requirements: Bachelor’s degree and a series of exams to become certified.

Operations research analyst

Stress tolerance: 63

Average annual salary: $84,180

What they do: Use advanced mathematical and analytical methods to help organizations investigate complex issues, identify and solve problems, and make better decisions.

Education requirements: Many entry-level positions are available for those with a bachelor’s degree, but some employers prefer to hire applicants with a master’s degree or Ph.D.

Law teacher (postsecondary)

Stress tolerance: 63

Average annual salary: $126,230

What they do: Teach courses in law.

Education requirements: Bachelor’s and law degrees.

Geoscientist (except hydrologists and geographers)

Stress tolerance: 63

Average annual salary: $105,720

What they do: Study the composition, structure, and other physical aspects of the Earth.

Education requirements: At least a bachelor’s degree, and in several states geoscientists may need a license.


Stress tolerance: 62

Average annual salary: $110,220

What they do: Observe, research, and analyze astronomical phenomena to increase basic knowledge or apply such information to practical problems.

Education requirements: Ph.D. for most research jobs.

Economics teacher (postsecondar

Stress tolerance: 62

Average annual salary: $112,860

What they do: Teach courses in economics. Includes teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

Education requirements: Typically need a Ph.D. to teach at the college level, but a master’s degree may be enough.


Stress tolerance: 61

Average annual salary: $118,500

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

Education requirements: Ph.D. for most research jobs.

Biomedical engineer

Stress tolerance: 61

Average annual salary: $91,230

What they do: Analyze and design solutions to problems in biology and medicine, with the goal of improving the quality and effectiveness of patient care.

Education requirements: Typically need a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from an accredited program. Alternatively, they can get a bachelor’s in a different field of engineering and then either get a graduate degree in biomedical engineering or complete on-the-job training in biomedical engineering.


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