These 15 Low-Stress Jobs Pay Over $75,000 a Year

If a high-stress work environment sounds like a nightmare, consider these 15 well-compensated careers.

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Updated May 28, 2024
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Some people perform their jobs better when the pressure is on. But many others flounder in a stressful work environment.

If you're looking for a low-stress job that helps you move beyond living paycheck to paycheck, here are 15 great candidates.

All of these jobs pay at least $75,000. They made this list based on a combination of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) salary data and stress scores from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Information Network (O*NET).

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insta_photos/Adobe trader analyzing financial trading

Statisticians analyze data and put it to use when solving an array of issues. They work in a variety of industries, from the federal government to engineering companies.

While the job requires a lot of crunching numbers, it scored relatively low on O*NET’s stress scale, at 64 out of 100. This is a job that can also help you get ahead financially: The average annual salary is around $104,110.

Technical writer

Anastasia/Adobe working online in the apartment

Technical writing frequently involves translating complicated technical information into terms the average reader can understand. Technical writers are needed in many industries and make a median of $80,050 annually.

O*NET gave technical writing a 69 stress score. That means these workers deal with high-stress situations less frequently than they would in many other careers.

Web developer

baranq/Adobe freelancer looking at computer

Web developers create and help run websites. They can work in a variety of industries, and many decide to contract on a freelance basis. The BLS puts the average salary at $84,960 annually.

While they may have to deal with stressful deadlines and issues within their programs or software, O*NET puts the stress score for developers at a moderate 74.

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Transportation engineer

chinnarach/Adobe working on laptop and tablet

Transportation engineers are involved with planning, designing, and maintaining transportation systems. They are a type of civil engineer.

Many jobs that fall under the umbrella of engineering can be quite stressful, but transportation engineering scored very low on O*NET’s stress scale, earning a 61. Civil engineers earn a median of $95,890 annually.

Operations research analyst

Liubomir/Adobe businesswoman in glasses working

Operations research analysts use techniques such as data mining and statistical analysis to help their companies run more smoothly. This is another career choice where employees may work in a variety of fields.

O*NET gave this career path a low stress score — 61. The annual median salary for these analysts is $83,640.

Political scientist

pressmaster/Adobe answering question at political summit

Working as a political scientist may not always be stress-free. However, this job did still manage to score on the low end on O*NET’s stress rankings, at 68.

BLS data puts the average salary for a political scientist at $132,350.


Dusko/Adobe checkup in otolaryngologist's office

Audiologists work with patients who have hearing issues.

While many medical professions place high in O*NET’s stress rankings — urologists scored a whopping 98 out of 100 — audiologists earn only a moderate stress score of 75.

Workers in this job make good money as well, with a median annual salary of $87,740,

Postsecondary teacher

Rido/Adobe mature teacher writing on whiteboard

Postsecondary teachers typically teach in colleges and tend to fare well in O*NET’s stress rankings. Those who teach courses in geography and economics had the lowest stress scores, at 65 and 63, respectively.

How much postsecondary teachers make varies widely depending on what, where, and how much they teach. The median annual salary is $84,380.


Caterina Trimarchi/Adobe bookkeeper checks accounts

Economists also work in many different industries conducting research and evaluating financial policies. Typically, these jobs require higher levels of education, such as a master’s degree.

The median yearly salary for an economist is $115,730. It tends to be a lower-stress job, with O*NET giving it a score of 64.

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Genetic counselor hr specialist helping

Genetic counselors work with patients to assess their risk of developing inherited health conditions. Despite frequently working in environments such as hospitals or medical centers, O*NET gives the job only a moderate stress rating of 76.

Genetic counselors make a median $95,770annually.

Insurance underwriter

fizkes/Adobe bank manager consulting

Insurance underwriters are responsible for evaluating and approving or denying insurance applications. This is considered only a moderately stressful job, with O*NET giving it a 76.

The median annual salary for underwriters is $77,860.

Labor relations specialist

Valerii Honcharuk/Adobe businesswomen working in office

Working as a labor relations specialist may seem like a stressful gig, since people in this role help employees and management to resolve issues and negotiate contracts. However, O*NET gave it only a moderate stress ranking of 75.

A labor relations specialist makes a median of $89,980 annually.

Special effects artist/animator

DragonImages/Adobe female web designer

A career as a special effects artist or animator might seem like it would be fun all the time. However, like many entertainment-industry jobs, this role comes with a moderate amount of stress.

The gig scored a 75 on O*NET’s stress rankings. These artists can make great money, earning an annual median salary of $99,060.


Monika Wisniewska/Adobe acupuncture therapist

Acupuncturists use acupuncture needles to treat conditions or pain in their patients.

It’s fitting that the technique is often thought of as a stress reliever: The job itself is considered significantly less stressful than many others in the medical field, scoring 66 on O*NET’s list.

Acupuncturists make a median of $82,390 annually.

Computer and information systems manager

Liubomir/Adobe successful arab businessman

Computer and information systems managers are involved in coordinating and directing technology and/or computer-related activities for their employers

While computer and information system managers did score the highest in O*NET’s stress rankings of any job featured on this list — 79 — the role is also the highest-paying job here.

The median annual salary is $169,510, which can really help you boost your financial fitness.

Bottom line

Studio Romantic/Adobe work after business training

For most jobs, a certain amount of workplace stress is expected. Even the least stressful job on O*NET’s list — courier/messenger — has some degree of stress to it, scoring a 37 out of 100.

The jobs featured here are great options for those who want to build wealth slowly while also prioritizing fair work conditions and a solid work-life balance.

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Author Details

Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore

Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore is a seasoned freelance writer who also teaches writing courses at Rutgers University. She's based in Jersey City and enjoys travel, live music and, of course, spending quality time with her pup.