10 Low-Stress Jobs That Pay Over $100,000 a Year and How to Get Them

Many factors contribute to the level of effort a person puts in the workplace. For some, the size of their paycheck is an incentive. For others, it’s about doing well in their role. And for more than a third, 35% of workers, stress or burnout has a significant impact on their ability to perform, according to a Q3 Joblist survey of 18,911 job seekers.

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

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

It’s important to remember that, “these are not stress-free jobs,” says Sinem Popper, chief economist at ZipRecruiter. “These are less stressful jobs compared to jobs like doctors and physicians where they deal with human life.”

  • Material world

Materials scientists study and search for ways to combine, strength, and experiment with materials such as metals, alloys, rubber, ceramics, and glass. Most of these jobs require a university degree such as a master’s or doctoral degree and extensive work experience.

Average annual salary: $100.090

  • Business Intelligence Analyst

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

Average annual salary: $100.910

  • Remote sensing scientist or technician

These scientists analyze data collected by planes or satellites, for example, to solve problems in areas such as urban planning, homeland security, and natural resource management. Most positions require graduate study including a related master’s degree, PhD, or MD, as well as experience on the job.

Average annual salary: $104,100

  • Professor of Economics

Economics professors teach graduate students or undergraduate students topics such as price theory and microeconomics. They prepare course materials and give lectures and homework. Many of these jobs require a graduate degree and experience to be considered.

Average annual salary: $104,940K

  • Chemical Engineer

Chemical engineers design chemical plant equipment and processes used to create products such as gas, plastics, and cement, including procedures used to keep people working near chemical reactions safely. This position often requires a bachelor’s degree and related work experience.

Average annual salary: 105.550 thousand dollars

  • Environmental Economic

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

Average annual salary: 105.630 thousand dollars

  • Mathematician

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

Average annual salary: $108,100

  • Brownfield Redevelopment Specialist and Site Manager

These specialists plan and supervise the clean-up and redevelopment of contaminated land. They identify pollution sources and coordinate on-site cleaning that ensures compliance with environmental law and standards. Many of these jobs require a bachelor’s degree and work experience.

Average annual salary: 124.650 thousand dollars

  • Water Resources Specialist

These professionals design and help implement programs related to water supply, quality, and regulation. Most of these jobs require a bachelor’s degree and industry experience to be considered.

Average annual salary: $137,900

  • Physical

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

Average annual salary: 152,430 thousand dollars


In addition to not dealing directly with human life, other factors that generally make these jobs less stressful are that many do not deal with clients or clients.

It doesn’t necessarily deal with tight deadlines or competitive cultures. Many can also be done at colleges, universities, or through local or federal government.

“These are places where you don’t see a large and stressful work environment,” Popper says. Sometimes, these jobs may carry more job security.

However, “there could be other factors at play in terms of geography, in terms of hours, the employer,” says Vicki Salemi, career expert at Monster, about what can influence stress levels in these jobs. “If a mathematician, for example, is hired internally by a company that is going to lay off employees, it can be stressful versus a higher education that may have a tenure.”


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