10 low-stress jobs that pay more than $100,000 per year

Many factors contribute to a person’s exertion level in the workplace. For some, the size of their paycheck is a motivator. For others, it’s about doing a good job in your role. And for more than a third, 35% of workers, stress or burnout significantly impacts their productivity, according to a third-quarter Joblist survey of 18,911 job seekers.

Ideally, your job is not so stressful that completing the various tasks becomes a challenge. And within the workforce, there are several jobs that are inherently less stressful than others. The Department of Labor’s Occupational Information Network (O*NET) compiled a list of nearly 900 occupations and ranked them by stress level. They did this by noting the importance of accepting criticism and dealing calmly with stressful situations in any job.

Here are 10 jobs on the list that pay an average annual salary of more than $100,000 and have a comparatively low stress tolerance (all have a level of less than 70 out of 100), including their average annual salaries and requirements to consider.

It’s important to remember, “These aren’t stress-free jobs,” says Sinem Buber, senior economist at ZipRecruiter. “These are less stressful jobs compared to jobs like doctors, doctors, where people’s lives are at stake.”

materials scientist

Materials scientists study, explore ways of combining and strengthening, and experiment with materials such as metals, alloys, rubber, ceramics, and glass. Most of these positions require a college degree, such as a master’s degree or Ph.D, and significant work experience.

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Average annual salary: $100,090

Business Intelligence Analysts

These analysts take note of business, financial and economic data, prepare reports for executives and stakeholders, and recommend relevant actions to be taken on behalf of the company. Most of these positions require a bachelor’s degree and some experience to be considered.

Average annual salary: $100,910

Remote sensing scientist or technologist

For example, these scientists analyze data collected from aircraft or satellites to solve problems in areas such as urban planning, homeland security, and natural resource management. Most positions require graduate school, including a relevant master’s degree, Ph.D. or MD, and work experience.

Average annual salary: $104,100

economics professor

Economics professors teach graduate or undergraduate students on topics such as price theory and microeconomics. They prepare teaching materials, give lectures and grade homework. Many of these positions require a college degree and experience to be considered.

Average annual salary: $104,940

chemical engineer

Chemical engineers design chemical plants and the processes used to make products such as gas, plastic, and cement, including procedures that keep people working in close proximity to chemical reactions safe. This position often requires a bachelor’s degree and relevant work experience.

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Average annual salary: $105,550

environmental economist

These economists conduct research on topics such as the use of alternative fuels, write academic articles on economic forecasting, and evaluate the costs and benefits of policies and regulations that affect the environment. Most of these positions require a relevant master’s, Ph.D., or law degree and work experience.

Average annual salary: $105,630


Mathematicians apply mathematical theories to solve problems in economics, engineering, and science, do research in algebra, geometry, probability, etc., and write reports of their results. This position often requires a relevant master’s degree, Ph.D. or MD and relevant work experience.

Average annual salary: $108,100

Brownfield Remediation Specialist and Site Manager

These specialists plan and monitor the remediation and remediation of contaminated areas. You will identify sources of contamination and coordinate on-site remediation to ensure compliance with environmental laws and standards. Many of these jobs require a bachelor’s degree and work experience.

Average annual salary: $124,650

Water resources specialist

These specialists design and help implement programs related to water supply, quality and regulation. Most of these positions require a bachelor’s degree and experience in the field to be considered.

Average annual salary: $137,900


Physicists research physical phenomena, analyze their research, evaluate the data and develop theories based on their findings. Most of these positions require a college degree, such as a master’s, doctorate, or law degree, and significant work experience.

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Average annual salary: $152,430

Aside from not directly dealing with human lives, other factors that make these jobs generally less stressful are that many of them aren’t client or client-centric and don’t necessarily deal with tight deadlines or competitive cultures. Many may also take place at colleges or universities, or through local or state agencies.

“These are the places where you don’t see a big, stressful work environment,” says Buber. Sometimes these jobs can offer even more job security.

Still, “other factors could be at play, such as geography, hours worked, and employer,” says Vicki Salemi, a careers expert at Monster, of what might influence stress levels in these jobs. “For example, if a mathematician is employed in-house by a company that is being made redundant, that could be stressful compared to higher education, which may be permanent.”


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