31 Low-Stress Jobs That Pay Over $70,000 A Year
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Have you ever thought about your dream job? Your dream job probably involves a couple of factors: Overall compensation, the ability for advancement, and personal satisfaction with the day-to-day duties. That said, there are some things you can’t put a price on – like leaving work at work and having time to enjoy your life outside work. You have to ask yourself: Do you live to work or work to live?
Job stress is an important consideration in choosing a career path. No one wants to lose sleep thinking about the day-to-day grind or a tumultuous relationship with a boss. This is why it’s important to consider low-stress jobs that pay well. The Bureau of Labor Statistics and Occupational Information Network (O*NET) collects data on stress tolerance for hundreds of occupations. Using a scale of zero to 100, O*NET then rates each job based on stress tolerance. The lower the rating means less stress in that particular occupation.
We’ve compiled a list of jobs that, according to the O*NET database, are relatively easy on the body and mind (according to those in that particular profession) and pay over $70K a year, on average, according to the O*NET database.
Political scientists research in the world of policy, law, and governance at many levels: Local, regional, state, and national. Political scientists have a big job: They interpret and analyze policies, public issues, legislation, and the operations of governments, businesses, and organizations. They also usually teach political science at universities and colleges, publishing research results through academic publications, written reports, and public presentations. Although election cycles can be stressful, according to O*Net, political scientists have a stress tolerance rating of 61 / 100. The median annual salary for a political scientist is $60.27 hourly / $125,350 annual.
Marine Engineers and Naval Architect
Marine engineers are highly skilled and knowledgable about all the technical aspects of what it takes to keep a ship afloat and operational on the world’s oceans. They’re critical to international commerce and supply chains; The masterminds designing the ships for the shipbuilders. Marine Engineers and architects are experts in ship sizes, weights, speeds, propulsions, displacement, stability in choppy seas, buoyancy, and draft. Marine Engineers do this with regard to the importance of safety, efficiency, and economy, per the ship’s use (IE: As a cargo freighter or tanker). They also supervise other ship engineers and crew members, helping to train them for routine and emergency duties. Other tasks include monitoring vessels to make sure they comply with international regulations and safety standards for life-saving equipment and pollution preventatives. According to O*Net, marine engineers and naval architects have a stress tolerance rating of 71 / 100. The median annual salary for the highly skilled profession is $45.89 hourly, $95,440 annual.
Looking for a creative profession a la Mad Men‘s Don Draper and Peggy Olsen? Art directors are the ones who craft a vision for a product and call the shots to properly execute it. The job involves knowing your way around industry-standard creative tools like Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and Premiere, as well as project management for teams of other creatives. Art Directors are usually found in creative fields like advertising and communications industries like film, TV, digital media, and social media. Sometimes they work for a company or brand, other times it’s for an agency hired by a company to market a product. Art Directors have to manage budgets, as well as coordinate with clients and other principles on the creation of concepts and campaigns. Finally, they have to present final approval to their clients and manage feedback accordingly.
According to O*Net, art directors have a stress tolerance rating of 69 / 100. The median annual salary for the highly skilled profession is $46.77 hourly / $97,270 annual.
Computer Hardware Engineer
You probably don’t give much thought to the millions of complex electronic processes that happen every time you turn your phone or laptop on. But a computer hardware engineer sure does. Computer hardware engineers are knowledgeable how computers function (and, most importantly, their parts), along with the rapid advancements in computer hardware technology. And these days, what isn’t a computer? Practically everything has a microchip, from self-checkout machines at the grocery store to the smart television screens we watch movies on at home. Computer hardware engineers design and build the motherboards, GPUs, RAM, hard drives, and CPUs that keep society in the Information Age. They also work with software engineers on how the system will operate and perform, as well as work on a device’s power supply requirements and configuration.
According to O*Net, computer hardware engineers have a stress tolerance rating of 67 / 100. The median annual salary for the highly skilled profession is $57.48 hourly / $119,560 annual.
If you’ve ever had braces for your teeth, you certainly know what an orthodontist does. There’s a lot going on when it comes to having your teeth and jaw work together for normal, healthy function. Before being licensed to practice on their own, an orthodontist requires years and years of schooling and training: A bachelor’s degree, a dental degree (DDS or DMD), along with a certificate of orthodontics from a residency. Orthodontists know how to straighten and realign teeth with the requisite dental devices and hardware, all while mindful of a patient’s medical and dental history.
According to O*Net, orthodontists have a stress tolerance rating of 67 / 100. The median annual salary for the highly skilled profession is $100.00+ hourly / $208,000+ annual.
In short, petroleum engineers are responsible for making sure that we have access to the energy that we need to power our homes and businesses. Petroleum engineers are the people who design and oversee the construction of systems that extract oil and gas from the ground. They monitor production rates and plan rework processes to improve production in a well’s operation. They’re highly specialized in advanced technologies, requiring a strong understanding of math and physics. Petroleum engineers typically have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, although some may also have a master’s degree or PhD. Petroleum engineers typically work for oil and gas companies, but they may also work for engineering firms or government agencies.
According to O*Net, petroleum engineers have a stress tolerance rating of 68 / 100. The median annual salary for the highly skilled profession, is $66.02 hourly / $137,330 annually.
Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers
When the lights go out because of a power grid issue, someone has to fix it. Power lines for electricity don’t install or fix themselves. Electrical power-line installers and repairers, also known as line workers, install and maintain the electrical power grid. This involves putting up new power lines, repairing old ones, and keeping electricity flowing smoothly. They connect power plants to homes and businesses, ensuring that electricity flows smoothly and safely. Lineworkers often work in teams, using a variety of specialized equipment and safety protocols. Since pretty much everything relies on electricity, it’s a vital role in society’s infrastructure.
According to O*Net, line workers have a stress tolerance rating of 68 / 100. The median annual salary for the highly skilled profession is $36.07 hourly / $75,030 annual.
Consider yourself good with numbers? What about good with numbers in a way that also involves quantitative reasoning? Mathematicians have to think abstractly and see relationships to solve problems. They have to be patient and persistent, often working on a single problem for days or even weeks at a time. Mathematicians often work in academia, as teachers and researchers. They also are employed by businesses to solve complex financial, scientific, and engineering problems or by the government to develop new ways to collect data.
According to O*Net, mathematicians have a stress tolerance rating of 57 / 100. The median annual salary for the highly skilled profession is $53.30 hourly / $110,860 annual.
A healthy mouth is a happy mouth. Dental hygienists are responsible for cleaning teeth, taking X-rays, and providing general dental care. Dental hygienists must be licensed in order to practice. In most states, this requires completing an accredited dental hygiene program and passing a written and practical exam. In addition to those reminders on flossing while in the chair, dental hygienists also educate patients on how to practice good oral hygiene – like how to properly take care of your gums.
According to O*Net, dental hygienists have a stress tolerance rating of 71 / 100. The median annual salary for the highly skilled profession is $37.06 hourly / $77,090 annual.
E-comm has redefined the idea of retail. Online merchants are the people behind the scenes of an e-commerce operation. Simply put, it’s someone who sells products or services online. They can be businesses of any size, from small mom-and-pop shops to large multinational corporations. Online merchants typically use a website or an e-commerce platform to reach their customers, with knowledge of platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and/or Magento. They also have to have a solid knowledge of drop-shipping options, digital marketing like Facebook ads and SEO, customer service, and product-market fit in order to create a scalable digital enterprise.
According to O*Net, online merchants have a stress tolerance rating of 65 / 100. The median annual salary for this profession is $37.22 hourly / $77,420 annual.
Food scientists are the people who make sure that the food we eat is safe and nutritious. They also work to develop new methods of food production, packaging, and preservation. They also inspect food processes areas and the final product for safety and quality. Food scientists often work in laboratories, conducting experiments and analyzing data. They’re highly knowledgeable in the field of chemistry, microbiology, and other sciences, as well as regulations related to the safety of the food supply.
According to O*Net, food scientists have a stress tolerance rating of 62 / 100. The median annual salary for this highly specialized profession is $35.31 hourly / $73,450 annual.
Sustainability specialists work to find the equilibrium between people, commerce, and the planet. They develop programs and policies to make sure that natural resources are used in an efficient and sustainable way. And they work with businesses, organizations, and government agencies to help them reduce their environmental impact and create sustainability policies and procedures. According to O*Net, sustainability specialists have a stress tolerance rating of 68 / 100. The median annual salary for this profession is $37.22 hourly / $77,420 annual.
Ship engineers are crucial to the maritime industry. This highly skilled crew member is responsible for the operation and maintenance of a ship’s engineering plant, which includes the propulsion engine, generators, pumps, and other mechanical equipment. In a nutshell, they keep the ship moving smoothly through the water.
According to O*Net, ship engineers have a stress tolerance rating of 68 / 100. The median annual salary for this highly specialized profession is $36.53 hourly / $75,990 annual.
Technical writers put together the manuals that come with your TV, cell phone, kitchen appliance, machinery, or car. They work closely with engineers and other technical experts to gather accurate information and precisely convey it to operators. They are masters at making complex topics easy to understand, and providing instructions in a clear, easy-to-understand way. They’re also the ones who select photographs, drawings, sketches, diagrams, and charts to illustrate the material in a helpful manner.
According to O*Net, technical writers have a stress tolerance rating of 69 / 100. The median annual salary for this profession is $35.89 hourly / $74,650 annual.
Microsystems engineers are the wizards behind the tiny components that make up our electronic devices. They’re masterminds of the processes behind what it takes for microelectromechanical systems to work. They design and develop microchips, sensors, and other miniature components that are used in our everyday devices, like cell phones, kitchen appliances, and cars.
According to O*Net, technical writers have a stress tolerance rating of 69 / 100. The median annual salary for this highly specialized profession is $49.70 hourly / $103,380 annual.
Robotics is an exciting field, helping automate tasks in a variety of sectors: Manufacturing, health care, consumer home goods, agriculture, and military, to name a few. Just think about how, not too long ago, self-powered vacuum cleaners were like a device from a sci-fi movie. Robotics engineers are responsible for designing, building, and testing of robots and the systems required for them to function.
According to O*Net, robotics engineers have a stress tolerance rating of 73 / 100. The median annual salary for this highly specialized profession is $49.70 hourly / $103,380 annual.
Agricultural engineers develop and improve equipment and processes used in farming, food processing, and distribution. They’re at the intersection of technology and biology when it comes to agriculture. Agricultural engineers think about how to enhance the food system – everything from soil science to developing new types of farm equipment and methods for storing and transporting food. They also work to improve the efficiency of agricultural production systems, minimize environmental impact, and protect the safety of food consumers.
According to O*Net, agricultural engineers have a stress tolerance rating of 67 / 100. The median annual salary for this highly specialized profession is $40.58 hourly / $84,410 annual.
Financial examiners play an important role in keeping the financial system safe and sound. Typically they work for banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions in the compliance department. They are responsible for ensuring that these organizations are following the laws and regulations that govern financial institutions. They work with directors, lawyers, trustees, and other accountants to review financial statements, analyze risk management practices, and inspect loans. Financial examiners may also be involved in investigating crimes, like fraud or money laundering, on behalf of a financial institution. Typically, financial examiners have a background in accounting or finance.
According to O*Net, financial examiners have a stress tolerance rating of 67 / 100. The median annual salary for this highly specialized profession is $39.15 hourly / $81,430 annual.
Mechatronics engineers have a couple of focus points, usually in engineering and mechanics. They use their training and knowledge in those fields to design and build advanced robotic systems, helping automate machines that help a variety of industrial tasks.
According to O*Net, mechatronics engineers have a stress tolerance rating of 67 / 100. The median annual salary for this highly specialized profession is $49.70 hourly / $103,380 annual.
“What’s out there?” It’s a question that’s boggled mankind’s mind for our entire existence as a species. Astronomers are the ones who put in the work to figure it out, studying the skies and celestial bodies beyond our rock called Earth. They usually work with universities, big research institutions, and government agencies like NASA, researching the sun, planets, other galaxies, and the universe itself, all in our relentless question to know more about the origins of life itself. Studying the skies involves using both ground-based and space-borne telescopes and scientific instruments, as well as analyzing some of the biggest data sets imaginable. It also involves working closely with the overall scientific community, carrying out research and presenting findings.
According to O*Net, astronomers have a stress tolerance rating of 71 / 100. The median annual salary for this highly specialized profession is $57.56 hourly / $119,730 annual.
Geoscientists (Except Hydrologists and Geographers)
Geoscientists are the people who study our planet. They specialize in all things related to the Earth’s crust. For example, geology, oceanography, hydrology, atmospheric science, or environmental science and how it all works together. They use their specialized knowledge to help solve problems related to natural resources, environmental pollution, and natural hazards, like earthquakes, mudslides, or volcanos. Their work involves the surveying, collection, measurement, or classification of soils, minerals, rocks, or fossil remains. They analyze and interpret that data, all in the name of research or application.
According to O*Net, Geoscientists have a stress tolerance rating of 68 / 100. The median annual salary for this highly specialized profession is $44.99 hourly / $93,580 annual.
You know the drill: Cover your right eye and read the letters towards the bottom of the illuminated chart. Optometrists specialize in all things related to the eye, especially when you need glasses or contact lenses. Optometrists ultimately are responsible for ensuring that patients have clear and accurate vision. They conduct eye exams, prescribe glasses and contact lenses, and provide other treatments to help people see correctly. Optometrists also help diagnose diseases and other issues, such as glaucoma or color blindness. They’ll also remind you about the importance of wearing sunglasses to protect eyes from the sun’s dangerous rays, along with the recent research on screen time and eye strain. They play an important role in preserving your visual health for the long haul.
According to O*Net, optometrists have a stress tolerance rating of 70 / 100. The median annual salary for this highly specialized profession is $56.76 hourly / $118,050 annual.
Civil engineers are the builders. They design and build public works: Roads, bridges, tunnels, airports, arenas. They help construct the infrastructure that makes modern life possible and enjoyable. This involves a lot of juggling and project management, as well as collaborating with other people on projects, including architects, elected officials, environmental scientists, other engineers, and construction workers. In addition to ensuring that projects are safe and structurally sound, civil engineers must also take into account factors such as environmental impact, traffic patterns, and budget constraints. According to O*Net, civil engineers have a stress tolerance rating of 71 / 100. The median annual salary for this highly specialized profession is $42.58 hourly / $88,570 annual.
A biostatistician uses skills in math and science to help identify and solve problems in the field of biology. They collect data and then use that data to answer questions about how a particular organism or group of organisms behaves. They might use their skills to study how diseases spread or the effect of a new drug on patients. Biostatisticians often work with biologists and other scientists to design experiments, and they also analyze the results of those experiments to see what conclusions can be drawn.
According to O*Net, biostatisticians have a stress tolerance rating of 67 / 100. The median annual salary for this highly specialized profession is $44.36 hourly / $92,270 annual.
Climate Change Policy Analysts
Climate change policy analysts are passionate about the intersection of policy and how it can impact marco environmental issues. A climate change policy analyst is responsible for researching and analyzing environmental issues related to climate change. They work with government officials, scientists, and other experts to develop policy recommendations. In addition to their research duties, climate change policy analysts also often play a role in educating the public about climate change and its effects. This can involve developing educational materials, speaking at events, and advising corporations and other institutions.
According to O*Net, climate change policy analysts have a stress tolerance rating of 70 / 100. The median annual salary for this profession is $35.21 hourly / $73,230 annual.
It’s impossible for nanosystems engineers to not sweat the small things. The small things is exactly what nanosystem engineers do. They’re responsible for designing and developing nanoscale systems – IE: devices that are smaller than 100 nanometers (that’s significantly smaller than the width of a piece of human hair). They work with various materials and technologies to create products that are smaller, faster, and more efficient than ever before. They research microscopic interactions between various materials, providing scientific or technical guidance or expertise to scientists, engineers, and technologists.
According to O*Net, nanosystems engineers have a stress tolerance rating of 67 / 100. The median annual salary for this highly specialized profession is $44.99 hourly, $93,580 annual.
Document Management Specialists
Document management specialists are employed by an organization to manage documents and records. They develop systems for electronic document processing, retrieval, transmission, and destruction. They also do this in regard to compliance with records and document management laws.
According to O*Net, nanosystems engineers have a stress tolerance rating of 67 / 100. The median annual salary for this highly specialized profession is $44.65 hourly / $92,870 annual.
Physics Teachers, Postsecondary
Physics is how we explain the world: Energy, matter, and how they interact. It’s an understanding of how the universe operates. Therefore, it’s the job of physics professors to teach students about these fundamental principles. They develop and deliver lectures, lead discussions, and oversee lab experiments, usually in a college or university setting. In addition to their teaching duties, physics professors also conduct research and publish their findings in academic journals, usually with a specialized focus.
According to O*Net, postsecondary physics teachers have a stress tolerance rating of 71 / 100. The median annual salary for this highly specialized profession is $90,400 annual.
Environmental engineers work to protect and improve the environment. They may design systems to reduce pollution, develop recycling programs, or find ways to reduce energy consumption. They also inspect and ensure compliance with environmental regulations. They also work on projects related to industrial waste, like cleaning up contaminated sites and finding safe ways to dispose of hazardous waste. In addition, environmental engineers may be involved in creating plans to prevent environmental problems in complex land-use projects.
According to O*Net, environmental engineers have a stress tolerance rating of 71 / 100. The median annual salary for this highly specialized profession is $44.29 hourly / $92,120 annual.
An acupuncturist is a trained medical professional who uses needles to stimulate pressure points on the body. This ancient practice is believed to help promote healing by releasing trapped energy and promoting balance in the body. Treatment is usually administered on a series of visits, with varying durations for each session. During this time, the acupuncturist will carefully insert needles into specific points on the patient’s body. The needles are then left in place for 15-20 minutes before being removed. Some people report feeling a sense of relaxation or improved well-being after treatment, while others say they have experienced more significant changes, such as reduced pain or increased energy levels. Acupuncture is generally considered safe when performed by a trained professional.
According to O*Net, acupuncturists have a stress tolerance rating of 66 / 100. The median annual salary for this highly specialized profession is $39.63 hourly / $82,420 annual.
Mathematical Science Teachers, Postsecondary
Math professors in academic settings have an important job: Teach courses on mathematical concepts, statistics, and actuarial science – the mathematics of probability and statistics to analyze and solve the outcome of uncertain future events. At the postsecondary level, this usually means much more than just teaching linear algebra – It also means research as well.
According to O*Net, math professors have a stress tolerance rating of 66 / 100. The median annual salary for this highly specialized profession is $73,650 annually.
Information courtesy of according to the O*NET database.