19 High-Paying Jobs For People Who Don't Like Stress

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By Jacquelyn Smith

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

Think again.Career-information expert Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D., compared average salaries and stress levels of the 767 occupations identified by the US Department of Labor to identify jobs with that perfect combination of high pay and low stress, and it turns out there are plenty.

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).

Vivian Giang contributed to an earlier version of this article.

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19 high-paying jobs for people who don't like stress
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19 High-Paying Jobs For People Who Don't Like Stress

Stress tolerance: 53.0

Average annual salary: $94,350

What they do: Research and study substances at the atomic and molecular levels and the ways in which substances react with each other; use knowledge to develop new and improved products.

Education requirements: At least a bachelor’s degree; master’s degree or Ph.D. is needed for many research jobs.

> Find a job as a material scientist

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.

Stress tolerance: 55.8

Average annual salary: $66,870

What they do: Ensure that agricultural establishments are productive and food is safe.

Education requirements: At least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited postsecondary institution; many get a doctoral degree.

> Find a job as a food scientist

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.

Stress tolerance: 57.3

Average annual salary: $104,350

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.

> Find a job as a mathematician

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.

Stress tolerance: 58.0

Average annual salary: $75,610

What they do: Study the nature and use of areas of the Earth's surface; conduct research on physical aspects of a region; and conduct research on the spatial implications of human activities within a given area.

Education requirements: Master's degree for most positions; some entry-level jobs in the federal government only require a bachelor's degree.

> Find a job as a geographer

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.

Stress tolerance: 60.8

Average annual salary: $104,000

What they do: Study the origin, development, and operation of political systems.

Education requirements: Bachelor's degree, followed by master's or Ph.D in political science, public administration, or a related field.

> Find a job as a political scientist

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.

Stress tolerance: 61.3

Average annual salary: $117,300

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.

> Find a job as a physicist

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.

Stress tolerance: 62.0

Average annual salary: $107,140

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.

> Find a job as an astronomer

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.

Stress tolerance: 62.5

Average annual salary: $105,390

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

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

> Find a job as a geoscientist

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.

Stress tolerance: 62.8

Average annual salary: $126,270

What they do: Teach courses in law.

Education requirements: Bachelor's and law degrees.

> Find a job as a law teacher

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.

Stress tolerance: 63.3

Average annual salary: $105,290

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

Education requirements: Bachelor's degree.

> Find a job as an economist

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.

Stress tolerance: 63.8

Average annual salary: $110,090

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.

> Find a job as an actuary

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.

Stress tolerance: 64.0

Average annual salary: $84,010

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.

> Find a job as a statistician

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.

Stress tolerance: 64.3

Average annual salary: $136,280

What they do: These workers help determine the information technology goals of an organization and are responsible for implementing the appropriate computer systems to meet those goals.

Education requirements: Bachelor's degree.

> Find a job as a computer systems manager

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.

Stress tolerance: 65.0

Average annual salary: $99,530

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.

> Find a job as an applications software developer

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.

Stress tolerance: 67.0

Average annual salary: $201,030

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 one to two years of residency training.

> Find a job as an orthodontist

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.

Stress tolerance: 67.0

Average annual salary: $110,650

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.

> Find a job as a computer hardware engineer

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.

Stress tolerance: 67.0

Average annual salary: $99,160

What they do: Design, build, and maintain ships, including aircraft carriers, submarines, sailboats, and tankers. Marine engineers work on the 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).

> Find a job as a marine engineer or naval architect

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.

Stress tolerance: 69.0

Average annual salary: $97,850

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.

> Find a job as an art director

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.

Stress tolerance: 70.3

Average annual salary: $113,010

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.

> Find a job as an optometrist

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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