14 High-Paying Jobs for People Who Don't Like Stress

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A higher salary doesn't have to mean more stress.
Updated Dec. 14, 2023
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High-paying low-stress jobs

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Think there's no such thing as a high-paying, low-stress job? Think again.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are plenty of low-stress professions in which you can pull in a pretty penny. We compared average salaries and stress levels of hundreds of occupations to identify the best 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 at how to make money and lower your stress, you're going to want to check these out.

Astronomers

Stress tolerance: 71

Average annual salary: $126,250

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.

Mathematicians

Stress tolerance: 56

Average annual salary: $112,530

What they do: Conduct research in fundamental mathematics or in the 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

Orthodontists

Stress tolerance: 67

Average annual salary: $ 237,990+

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: 66

Average annual salary: $126,140

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

Food Scientists

Stress tolerance: 62

Average annual salary: $80,190

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.

Actuaries

Stress tolerance: 70

Average annual salary: $123,180

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.

Law Teachers

Stress tolerance: 78

Average annual salary: $134,760

What they do: Teach courses in law.

Education requirements: Bachelor's and law degrees.

Art Directors

Stress tolerance: 69

Average annual salary: $114,490

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.

Statisticians

Stress tolerance: 64

Average annual salary: $97,170

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

Average annual salary: $114,270

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

Political Scientists

Stress tolerance: 61

Average annual salary: $124,100

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: 71

Average annual salary: $99,590

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)

Economists

Stress tolerance: 64

Average annual salary: $120,880

What they do: Economists study the production and distribution of resources, goods, and services.

Education requirements: Bachelor's degree

Optometrists

Stress tolerance: 78

Average annual salary: $125,440

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.

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Author Details

Ivana Stoshevski Ivana covers personal finance and culture for FinanceBuzz. She is a visual storyteller and lifestyle photographer.
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