Some people perform their jobs better when the pressure is on. But many others flounder in a stressful work environment.
If you are 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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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 $98,920.
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 $79,960 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 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 $78,580 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 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 $89,940 annually.
Operations research analyst
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 $85,720.
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 $128,020.
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 $82,680,
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 $80,840.
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 $113,940. It tends to be a lower-stress job, with O*NET giving it a score of 64.
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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 $89,990 annually.
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 $76,230.
Labor relations specialist
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 $82,010 annually.
Special effects artist/animator
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 $98,950.
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
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 $164,070, which can really help you boost your financial fitness.
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.