24 Jobs With Low Stress and High Pay

Payscale

highest paying jobsDo you feel like you're just making it through day after grueling day of work while only barely keeping up with your bills? Maybe it's time you considered a career with low stress and high pay. They do exist, according to the fortunate folks who have discovered them.

Online salary database PayScale.com recently conducted a survey and asked workers about their stress levels at work. Those jobs considered "low stress" were rated as "a little stressful," "not stressful" or "relaxing" by at least 40 percent of the respondents in the survey.

And, it turns out that many of these jobs pay well. The following are 10 well-paid, low stress gigs. We've included the requirements for getting started in these jobs and how much they pay per year, according to PayScale.com.




1. Biostatistician

Median annual salary: $86,000

If you're a natural number-cruncher and lover of science, biostatistics will keep you employed, well-funded and, apparently, happy. Most statistician jobs require a master's degree, and 30 percent of statisticians are employed by the government, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

-- Find biostatistician jobs




2. Software Developer

Median annual salary: $70,000

Here's a great job that's expected to be in very high demand in the coming years, according to the BLS. Applicants with a bachelor's degree or higher will have better job prospects and earnings. Obviously, some developer jobs are more stressful than others depending on the company you work for, but many developers attest that the low-stress gigs do exist.

-- Find software developer jobs




3. Business Analyst, IT

Median annual salary: $69,000

As companies adopt more complicated technologies going forward, business analysts with IT skills will be in high demand. A bachelor's degree will get you started, though a master's will put you ahead of the competition.

-- Find business analyst jobs




4. Physical Therapist (PT)

Median annual salary: $69,000

This gig puts you in direct contact with people and offers the satisfaction of helping others. Plus, it has great prospects for the future as demand for physical therapists is growing, according to the BLS. You must complete at least a master's degree, pass a national exam and gain licensure in your state.

-- Find physical therapist jobs




5. Mechanical Engineer

Median annual salary: $68,000

Mechanical engineers design industrial equipment and consumer products of all kinds. Perhaps being able to actually create something makes this job satisfying and lower in stress. You need a bachelor's degree to enter the field.

-- Find mechanical engineer jobs




6. Aircraft Pilot, Corporate Jet

Median annual salary: $64,000

While pilots who fly jumbo jets for major airlines or take military planes into enemy territory may feel a lot of stress, the pilots who fly corporate jets report little stress on the job. Getting this gig requires extensive training, thousands of hours of flight time and, increasingly, a bachelor's degree.

-- Find pilot jobs




7. Database Analyst

Median annual salary: $60,000

Database experts will be in very high demand through 2018, according to the BLS. Analysts help companies optimize how they store, organize, use and present data. A bachelor's degree is common, though an associate's degree, professional certifications and work experience may also get you a job.

-- Find database analyst jobs




8. Financial Analyst

Median annual salary: $59,000

Financial analysts advise people or companies on investment decisions. Their work can be very highly paid, depending on expertise and the size of the investments. A bachelor's degree is required, as well as various professional certifications and licenses.

-- Find financial analyst jobs




9. Technical Writer

Median annual salary: $56,000

A technical writer has a knack for making complicated topics easy to understand. The job requires a bachelor's degree, ideally in communication, journalism or English, and it helps to have expertise in a technical topic. Job prospects here are good, especially when writing for the Web.

-- Find technical writer jobs




10. Internal Auditor

Median annual salary: $56,000

As business regulations become more stringent, internal auditors will be more in demand. An internal auditor checks to make sure that a company's internal financial controls are working and looks for waste or fraud. The work requires a bachelor's degree, at least, though a master's degree and further certification improves earnings and job prospects.

-- Find internal auditor jobs




More Low Stress, Well-Paid Jobs

11. Economist

Median annual salary: $78,000

Degree: Master's


12. User Experience Designer

Median annual salary: $82,000

Degree: Bachelor's


13. Application Developer

Median annual salary: $67,000

Degree: Bachelor's


14. Environmental Engineer

Median annual salary: $64,000

Degree: Bachelor's


15. Risk Management Analyst

Median annual salary: $63,000

Degree: Bachelor's


16. Contract Specialist

Median annual salary: $60,000

Degree: Bachelor's


17. Urban Planner

Median annual salary: $57,000

Degree: Bachelor's


18. Social Media Manager

Median annual salary: $56,000

Degree: Bachelor's


19. Product Analyst

Median annual salary: $56,000

Degree: Bachelor's


20. Geologist

Median annual salary: $54,000

Degree: Master's


21. Transportation Planner

Median annual salary: $52,000

Degree: Bachelor's


22. Data Analyst

Median annual salary: $52,000

Degree: Bachelor's


23. Web Content Editor

Median annual salary: $52,000

Degree: Bachelor's


24. Personal Trainer

Median annual salary: $48,000

Degree: Bachelor's


Source: All salary data is from PayScale.com. The salaries listed are median, annual salaries for full-time workers with 5-8 years of experience and include any bonuses, commissions or profit sharing.

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Antonio

Software developer a relaxed job? You must be joking. I've never seen a programmer who is not overloaded by work.

All bosses want the software ready immediately and they do not care about the time it takes to make a high-quality piece of software, although not caring about quality clearly backfires in time. And when it does, the responsibility is, of course, dumped on the programmer, who has to work even harder to fix the mistakes he was forced to do. Please take it out from the list!

Programming can also be relaxing if you do it for yourself and for fun, but you will hardly get any money from that.
- A more than 10 year experienced programmer.

January 16 2013 at 12:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
liquidghondi

You can add to the list Writer who writes about other jobs being less stressful. Ha!

July 11 2012 at 8:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brian

I have been an internal IT auditor for 10 years for a Financial/Brokerage Firm and I can tell you, yes while the pay is high (much higher than what is indicated), it is not a LOW stress job. Auditors have to have a set of skills - communication skills, technical writing skills, be able to perform analyses, etc. all of that and in such a short amount of time. I don't know where the writer get their lists from, but ridiculous! IT jobs are very stressful and I see tons on this list.

May 18 2012 at 1:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
murphy-likes-peanuts

I've been a mechanical engineer for 10 years. I would say the pay is nice but the stress level is NOT low. I'm expected to know A LOT of information and the equipment I design can potentially cause harm to others if I make a mistake in my calculations. Add to that, the challenging and strict deadlines that are put on me. Also, I can be called into the shop at the drop of a hat to resolve manufacturing issues that arise and they need an answer immediately. You need to be able to draw on some people skills to deal with the shop personnel (some will resent you for being a "big shot" engineer) and direct them during any rework or repairs that need done on the equipment. I am also expected to be in a leadership role regularly on technical matters. That includes running design review meetings and overseeing drafting and design. Plus, the industry is FULL of very smart people who have a passion for this stuff and a drive to move ahead. It's not easy to keep up with those kinds of people if you have a low interest for the material, have a work ethic that is lacking, or just don't have a significant amount of brain power to draw on. Plus, overtime is usually expected and unpaid. Also significant travel is very common.

Now, I have had one low stress engineering job, but to be honest, I hated it. It was boring and I wasn't progressing in my career or learning any new material or skills. I imagine if I would have stayed in that position I would not have been building any marketable skills and heading for career derailment. So, I think low stress engineering jobs exist, but they are very rare. Finding one that is low stress AND able to provide you with the ability to grow in your profession is even rarer.

Oh yeah, and don't forget that getting the BS in engineering in the first place isn't low stress either. You have to take a wide array of high level physics and math courses. It's NOT something you can just do casually (unless you are a brainiac). Plus, you won't have much luck getting a job in this economy right out of college if you have bad grades. Lots of companies are getting experienced engineers cheap right now and they aren't even thinking of hiring new grads because they can get some laid off engineer with 5 years experience for close to the same price.

If my chosen profession is low stress, then I don't even want to know what high stress is.

March 08 2012 at 9:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to murphy-likes-peanuts's comment
murphy-likes-peanuts

I also should have mentioned that the equipment I work on are mulit-million dollar machines. Most of the components in the machine cost more than my yearly salary. I better make sure I don't make any mistakes. It would not look good to have to scrap a $150,000 component because I forgot to carry the 1.

March 08 2012 at 9:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Don

maybe its time to start putting a resume together

July 13 2011 at 6:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
phionex207

work a day and to prove your worth.

May 16 2011 at 1:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lorenejlolo2

Lo2Lo

CS jobs are great to have without a college degree if you are willing to learn, get involve and take advantage of every opportunity that becomes availabe to you will you are woring on the job. 50K plus
is not a bad salary for no college degree.

Be smart and positive in any job and you can make the money. All jobs can be stressful but isn't life is also. It's how you handle that stress. Don't allow it to control you but you control it especially when that job can end at anytime for you in the today's market degree or no degree.

March 15 2011 at 10:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lorenejlolo2

Lo2Lo

CS jobs are great to have without a college degree if you are willing to learn, get involve and take advantage of every opportunity that becomes availabe to you will you are woring on the job. 50K plus
is not a bad salary for no college degree.

Be smart and positive in any job and you can make the money. All jobs can be stressful but isn't life is also. It's how you handle that stress. Don't allow it to control you but you control it especially when that job can end at anytime for you in the today's market degree or no degree.

March 15 2011 at 10:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mojo

i repair major appliances and i'll admit the 1st 2or 3 years are stressful after that the job is quite easy , the pay is so good that i don't consider any of these top paying jobs very top paying. a tech can easily make 100k ayears not countig benefits and if he/she does side jobs that number could increase to close to 150k a year. if you start your own business after you become a master tech 200kand up is an average earnings for a year

March 09 2011 at 6:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Laura

#17 Urban Planner is a very high stress job! Aside from the 5 years it takes to earn the degree in this field, the Planner has to be deeply committed. Actually, being an Urban Planner requires one to attend evening meetings/ public hearings (because the residents work during the day), spend weekends at conferences either promoting the city, assisting elected officials or being at a community sponsored event. And if that wasn't enough, it is also necessary for the Planner to take the initiative to do continuing education on their own time to get training on new technologies, understand details on new legistlation and the means to keep the city you represent (and yourself) out of litigation.

January 21 2011 at 4:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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