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

A path to prosperity with less aggravation

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Want a high-paying job in a low- stress environment?

We reached out to Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D., a career information expert, to find out which jobs fit the bill. Shatkin compared average salaries and stress levels of the 747 occupations identified by the U.S. Department of Labor to identify 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 Statics and Occupational Information Network (O*NET). ​


Stress tolerance: 57.3

Average annual salary: $101,360

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 masters degree for those who want to work in government, and a doctorate may be required to work for private companies

Political Scientists

Stress tolerance: 60.1

Average annual salary: $102,000

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


Stress tolerance: 62

Average annual salary: $96,460

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.

Law teachers

Stress tolerance: 62.8

Average annual salary: $99,950

What they do: Teach courses in law.

Education requirements: Bachelor's and law degrees


Stress tolerance: 63.3

Average annual salary: $91,860

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

Education requirements: Bachelor's degree


Stress tolerance: 63.8

Average annual salary: $93,680

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

Computer and Information Systems Managers

Stress tolerance: 64.3

Average annual salary: $120,950

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
Ophthalmologist giving patient eye exam
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Stress tolerance: 65.5

Average annual salary: $97,820

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: 67

Average salary annually: $186,320

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


Stress tolerance: 67.5

Average annual salary: $69,720

What they do: Audiologists diagnose and treat a patient's hearing and balance problems using advanced technology and procedures.

Education requirements: A doctoral degree and must be licensed in practicing state.

Art Directors

Stress tolerance: 69

Average annual salary: $80,880

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
portrait of a site manager...

Urban and Regional Planners

Stress tolerance: 69

Average annual salary: $65,230

What they do: Urban and regional planners develop plans and programs for the use of land.

Education requirements: Bachelor's and master's degrees

Technical Writers

Stress tolerance: 69.3

Average annual salary: $65,500

What they do: Technical writers produce instruction manuals and other supporting documents to communicate complex and technical information more easily.

Education requirements: Bachelor's degree


Stress tolerance: 69.5

Average salary annually: $92,030

What they do: Engineers use science and mathematics to come up with economical solutions to technical problems.

Education requirements: Bachelor's degree

Dental Hygienists

Stress tolerance: 71.3

Average annual salary: $70,210

What they do: Dental hygienists clean teeth, examine patients for oral diseases such as gingivitis, and provide other preventative dental care.

Education requirements: An associate's degree in dental hygiene and a license in the state they practice in

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I'm so glad to see Dental Hygiene on here!!!

February 27 2014 at 7:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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It is free and you can do it from home. I am doing very well with them so far.

January 21 2014 at 3:02 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Jaya Priya

it was vry mch usfl 2 me thks a lot

January 13 2014 at 6:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This article is simply ridiculous. The author has no clue on the topic

January 05 2014 at 10:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

IT Manager, low stress? Are you out of your mind? Think of how bad the stress of a Help Desk Tech is, then multiply that exponentially. The totem pole falls from top down. The guy that pays for the newly implemented systems failure isn't just the guy that screwed it up. Being responsible for a team of misfits (more often than not) is suicide.

November 21 2013 at 11:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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November 14 2013 at 9:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lindsey Pionek

Haha, only a bachelor's degree and some work experience for an art director... right. First off, it takes a lot of competition and a lot of talent and work experience to get to Art Director status and I have seen many Art Directors that work day and night and have to deal with client needs in a fast-paced environment.... I'm not quite sure if that is considered "low stress".

November 10 2013 at 11:47 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Even so, these stress levels are still high. I think it utterly rediculous that these are the LOW levels. Thats sad. We need change in the world. None of us deserve to be stressed out and their really is NO justifying it either.

November 09 2013 at 2:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

From my experience in the job market the more money you make the more stress.

November 09 2013 at 1:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wait just a minute, the more stress your job has the less income you make--that doesn't make very much sense, but then again, neither did this article!

November 08 2013 at 11:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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