Think there's no such thing as a high-paying, low-stress job? Think again.
According to career-information expert Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D., there are plenty of low-stress professions in which you can pull in a pretty penny. Shatkin compared average salaries and stress levels of the 767 occupations identified by the U.S. Department of Labor to identify jobs with that perfect combination of high pay and low stress.
The stress tolerance for each job is a rating on a scale from zero to 100, where a lower rating signals less stress. It measures how frequently workers must accept criticism and deal effectively with high stress on the job. The data was gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Occupational Information Network (O*NET).
So, if you're looking to up your pay and lower your stress, you're going to want to check these out.
Stress tolerance: 62.0
Average annual salary: $105,680
What they do: Observe, research, and interpret astronomical phenomena to increase basic knowledge or apply such information to practical problems.
Education requirements: Bachelor's degree, but most astronomers go on to get a master's and Ph.D.
Stress tolerance: 57.3
Average annual salary: $101,900
What they do: Conduct research in fundamental mathematics or in application of mathematical techniques to science, management, and other fields. Solve problems in various fields using mathematical methods.
Education requirements: Bachelor's or master's degree for those who want to work in government, and a doctorate may be required to work for private companies
Stress tolerance: 67.0
Average annual salary: $208,000+
What they do: Examine, diagnose, and treat dental malocclusions and oral cavity anomalies. Design and fabricate appliances to realign teeth and jaws to produce and maintain normal function and to improve appearance.
Education requirements: Bachelor's degree, four-year dental school, and one to two years of residency training.
Computer Hardware Engineers
Stress tolerance: 67.0
Average annual salary: $114,600
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: 55.8
Average annual salary: $65,300
What they do: Ensure that agricultural establishments are productive and food is safe.
Education requirements: At least a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited post-secondary institution; many get a doctoral degree.
Stress tolerance: 63.8
Average annual salary: $102,880
What they do: Actuaries analyze the financial costs of risk and uncertainty.
Education requirements: Bachelor’s degree and a series of exams to become certified.
Stress tolerance: 62.8
Average annual salary: $111,140
What they do: Teach courses in law.
Education requirements: Bachelor's and law degrees.
Stress tolerance: 69.0
Average annual salary: $92,780
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.
Stress tolerance: 64.0
Average annual salary: $87,780
What they do: Use statistical methods to collect and analyze data and help solve real-world problems in business, engineering, the sciences, or other fields.
Education requirements: Typically need a graduate degree
Applications Software Developers
Stress tolerance: 65.0
Average annual salary: $103,620
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
Stress tolerance: 60.8
Average annual salary: $117,570
What they do: Political scientists study the origin, development, and analyze the structure and operation of political systems and trends.
Education requirements: Bachelor's degree, followed by master's or Ph.D in political science, public administration, or a related field
Marine Engineers and Naval Architects
Stress tolerance: 67.0
Average annual salary: $92,560
What they do: Design, build, and maintain ships, including aircraft carriers, submarines, sailboats, and tankers. Marine engineers work on mechanical systems, such as propulsion and steering. Naval architects work on the basic design, including the form and stability of hulls.
Education requirements: Bachelor's degree (practical experience is also highly valued)
Stress tolerance: 63.3
Average annual salary: $104,340
What they do: Economists study the production and distribution of resources, goods, and services.
Education requirements: Bachelor's degree
Stress tolerance: 70.3
Average annual salary: $111,790
What they do: Optometrists 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
Stress tolerance is measured by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Occupational Information Network, with lower scores indicating less stress on the job.