High-paying jobs tend to come with a great deal of stress. It’s a trade-off: If you want to make a lot of money, you have to be willing to work long hours and put up with an incredibly stressful job.
But there is good news. Using data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), which measures how stressful a given profession is on a scale of 1-100 (a low number equals lower stress), it’s possible to identify jobs that won’t leave you a ball of nerves at the end of the day.
To give you a sense of the rating scale, obstetricians and gynecologists have a 97 stress rating (which makes sense) whereas models score a 24 (this also checks out).
Even better—many of the low-stress jobs pay well, too. We merged this research with average salary data from Glassdoor to find low-stress jobs that pay at least $70,000 a year on average.
O*NET determines stress levels by measuring how often a employee must deal with criticism and how effectively they manage stressful situations.
So whether you are just starting out in your career or you are thinking of making a change, here are some lucrative fields that won’t give you gray hairs.
Six out of 10 people in the developed world wear glasses or contacts. And guess which people they turn to for help with their vision? Yep, optometrists, who make around $110,397 a year and have a stress score of 70—not too bad.
2. Marine Architects
No, marine architects don’t build pineapples for sponges. Instead, they ensure that ships are stable and meet performance standards. They have a stress level of 71, and they make around $85,000 a year. Ay, ay, captain!
Everyone wants straight pearly whites. More than four million people get braces each year. Orthodontists make over $240,000 each year, with a stress level of 67. (No word on what the stress level is for the person in the chair.)
Was Stacy your favorite “Babysitter’s Club” character? (She was the treasurer, as she was the best at math.) For our purposes, it’s an umbrella term that covers everyone in the treasury field, including chief financial officers, comptrollers, financial directors, etc.
They have a stress level of 59, but they make bank—CFOs make around $315,000 a year on average. Matheletes unite!
6. Geodetic Surveyors
Um, what? Geodetic surveyors “measure large areas of the earth’s surface using satellite observations” and other methods. They measure just about everything from the land to the sky to the ocean floor to polar ice caps.
They are said to be crucial for national development, yet they have a low stress number of 68 and they make about $81,000 a year.