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7 High-Paying Low-Stress Job Opportunities

Most people have the same dream: to find an in-demand job that pays well. Financial reward is important, but sometimes, these high-paying career paths cause crazy amounts of stress. Those people who don't function well in stressful situations have options, however. High-paying, low-stress careers do exist, and chances are, you may thrive in one of them. But before pursuing any career opportunity, be sure to research its stress tolerance score to find the highest paying and least stressful jobs you'd feel at home doing.

Stress Tolerance Score

Experts have created a scoring system to determine which jobs require a high tolerance for stress. Some careers force you to accept frequent criticism and extremely high stress work environments. These positions score the highest on the stress tolerance scale — many healthcare positions score 90 or above, and doctors and nurses live with these levels daily. Law enforcement also scores high for stress as do other first responder positions required to function well in life and death situations.

 

Think the 10 highest paid CEOs are stressed?

 

Many intelligent and capable people don't perform well under that kind of pressure. For them, such stress ruins quality of life and job satisfaction. People who don't thrive on stress should look for careers with a much lower stress tolerance score. Fortunately, a number of jobs offer high financial rewards without causing this emotional and physical suffering.

Best High-Paying and Low-Stress Jobs

The following career paths are ideal for those seeking a satisfying work life with low stress and a good salary. The Occupational Outlook Handbook and Bureau of Labor Statistics provide detailed career information on hundreds of occupations with insights into education, training and pay.

Food Scientist

Education: Bachelor's degree

Stress Tolerance: 55.8

Median Pay: $62,920

A food scientist works to make sure certain food products are safe and that agricultural facilities work efficiently. They optimize the health and sustainability of farm animals and crops by conducting research and experimentation with the nation's food supply in mind. Some food scientists work to develop efficient and healthy ways to process, package and deliver foods. 

Astronomer

Education: Doctoral or professional degree

Stress Tolerance: 62.0

Median Pay: $104,740

Astronomers study the universe as well as the interaction of matter and energy. They literally look to the stars. Through experimentation and testing, some astronomers attempt to explain the natural world and increase our scientific knowledge base. Others use their research for practical applications in technology, communications and medicine.  

Law Teacher

Education: Graduate degree and/or Juris Doctor degree

Stress Tolerance: 63.0

Median Pay: $111,210

Law teachers are highly trained professionals who teach law in postsecondary schools, universities and law schools. They are responsible for continuing their education to stay current with legal codes, government regulations and court procedures.

Mathematician

Education: Master's degree

Stress Tolerance: 57.3

Median Pay: $105,810

Mathematicians research fundamentals in mathematics to develop new theories, rules and concepts. They collaborate with other industries to solve complex problems using data. Corporate business leaders, healthcare professionals and industrial designers may hire a mathematician to help them actualize a goal. 

Optometrist

Education: Doctoral or professional degree

Stress Tolerance: 70.3

Median Pay: $106,140

Optometrists provide eye examinations and prescribe visual aids. They also work to treat eye diseases, injuries and other vision issues. Some optometrists specialize in surgical procedures and aid in physical therapy and rehab.  

Art Director

Education: Bachelor's degree

Stress Tolerance: 69.0

Median Pay: $89,820

Art directors determine the visual style of print publications, product packaging, movies and television shows. They work with clients and creative departments to develop a vision, which they convey to a staff of artists for production. The art director's team may include, writers, photographers, costumers, graphic designers and more.

Applications Software Developer

Education: Bachelor's degree

Stress Tolerance: 61.0

Median Pay: $100,080

Application software developers create and modify computer applications and design specialized programs for individual customers. They analyze needs, recommend upgrades and design models for programmers to code.  

Some people, such as surgeons and police officers, thrive in high-stress situations. Many others simply do not. These people should avoid careers with a stress tolerance score of 90 or above. In fact, they should focus on jobs that score below 70. Fortunately, a number of high-paying jobs exist in this lower range, some that require only a bachelor's degree to pursue. Far from being easy, these jobs can be challenging, satisfying and important. Not all worthwhile positions need to stress you out.

Steppingblocks is your Digital Career Counselor.

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Research your future career with real-world stats about your major, your interests, and your job title. Turn billions of data-points into actionable insights about your future with a few simple clicks. Watch the video to find out how.

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