10 low-stress jobs that pay more than $100,000 per year and how to get them

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

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

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

It’s important to remember that, “These are not stress-free jobs,” says Sinem Buber, lead economist at ZipRecruiter. “These are less stressful jobs compared to jobs like physicians, doctors where they’re dealing with human life.”

Materials scientist

Business intelligence analysts

Remote sensing scientist or technologist

Economics professor

Chemical engineer

Environmental economist


Brownfield redevelopment specialist and site manager

Water resource specialist


Physicists conduct research about physical phenomena, analyze their research and evaluate the data, and develop theories on the basis of their findings. Most of these positions require a graduate degree like a master’s, a Ph.D or a law degree and extensive experience on the job.

Median annual salary: $152,430

Beyond not dealing directly with human life, other factors that make these jobs generally less stressful are that many of them are not customer or client-facing and don’t necessarily deal with tight deadlines or competitive cultures. Many can also take place at colleges or universities or through local or the federal government.

“Those are the places where you’re not seeing a big, stressful working environment,” says Buber. At times, these jobs may even hold more job security.

Still, “there could be other factors at play in terms of geography, in terms of the hours, the employer,” says Vicki Salemi, career expert at Monster, about what could affect stress levels at these jobs. “If a mathematician, for instance, is employed internally by a company that is going to have layoffs, that could be stressful versus higher education that may have tenure.”

Check out:

21 in-demand remote jobs that pay more than $100,000 per year—and where to find them

The 10 most in-demand work-from-anywhere jobs companies are hiring for in 2022

13 careers where over 50% of workers are happy with their pay

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