THINK THERE IS such thing as a high-paying, low-stress job?

Think again.

Career-information expert Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D., compared average salaries and stress levels of the 767 occupations identified by the US Department of Labor to identify jobs with that perfect combination of high pay and low stress, and it turns out there are plenty.

The stress tolerance for each job is a rating on a scale from zero to 100, where a lower rating signals less stress. It measures how frequently workers must accept criticism and deal effectively with high stress on the job. The data was gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Occupational Information Network (O*NET).

Stress tolerance is measured by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Occupational Information Network, with lower scores indicating less stress on the job.

Material Scientist


material scientist

Source: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade/Flickr

Stress tolerance: 53.0

Average annual salary: $94,350 (€87,526)

What they do: Research and study substances at the atomic and molecular levels and the ways in which substances react with each other; use knowledge to develop new and improved products.

Education requirements: At least a bachelor’s degree; master’s degree or Ph.D. is needed for many research jobs.

Food Scientists


food scientists

Source: Lauren Grosskopf

Stress tolerance: 55.8

Average annual salary: $66,870 (€62,034)

What they do: Ensure that agricultural establishments are productive and food is safe.

Education requirements: At least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited postsecondary institution; many get a doctoral degree.




Source: University of the Fraser Valley/flickr

Stress tolerance: 57.3

Average annual salary: $104,350 (€112,484)

What they do: Conduct research in fundamental mathematics or in application of mathematical techniques to science, management, and other fields. Solve problems in various fields using mathematical methods.

Education requirements: Bachelor’s or master’s degree for those who want to work in government, and a doctorate may be required to work for private companies.




Source: Simon Fraser University - University Communications/flickr

Stress tolerance: 58.0

Average annual salary: $75,610 (€70,143)

What they do: Study the nature and use of areas of the Earth’s surface; conduct research on physical aspects of a region; and conduct research on the spatial implications of human activities within a given area.

Education requirements: Master’s degree for most positions; some entry-level jobs in the federal government only require a bachelor’s degree.

Political Scientists


political scientists

Source: Evgeniy Isaev/flickr

Stress tolerance: 60.8

Average annual salary: $104,000 (€96,481)

What they do: Study the origin, development, and operation of political systems.

Education requirements: Bachelor’s degree, followed by master’s or Ph.D in political science, public administration, or a related field.




Source: Shutterstock/Matej Kastelic

Stress tolerance: 61.3

Average annual salary: $117,300 (€108,819)

What they do: Conduct research into physical phenomena, develop theories on the basis of observation and experiments, and devise methods to apply physical laws and theories.

Education requirements: Ph.D. for most research jobs.




Source: Grand Canyon NPS/flickr


Stress tolerance: 62.0

Average annual salary: $107,140 (€99,394)

What they do: Observe, research, and analyze astronomical phenomena to increase basic knowledge or apply such information to practical problems.

Education requirements: Ph.D. for most research jobs.

Geoscientists (Except Hydrologists and Geographers)



Source: HWUPetroleum/flickr

Stress tolerance: 62.5

Average annual salary: $105,390 (€97,770)

What they do: Study the composition, structure, and other physical aspects of the Earth.

Education requirements: At least a bachelor’s degree (in several states, geoscientists may need a license).

Law Teachers


law teachers

Source: Jirka Matousek/flickr

Stress tolerance: 62.8

Average annual salary: $126,270 (€117,141)

What they do: Teach courses in law.

Education requirements: Bachelor’s and law degrees.




Source: Shutterstock/Stasique

Stress tolerance: 63.3

Average annual salary: $105,290 (€97, 677)

What they do: Economists study the production and distribution of resources, goods, and services.

Education requirements: Bachelor’s degree.




Stress tolerance: 67.0

Average annual salary: $201,030 (€186,496)

What they do: Examine, diagnose, and treat dental misalignments and oral cavity anomalies; design appliances to realign teeth and jaws.

Education requirements: Bachelor’s degree, four-year dental school, and one to two years of residency training.

Marine Engineers and Naval Architects



Source: Shutterstock/DoublePHOTO studio

Stress tolerance: 67.0

Average annual salary: $99,160 (€91,991)

What they do: Design, build, and maintain ships, including aircraft carriers, submarines, sailboats, and tankers. Marine engineers work on the mechanical systems, such as propulsion and steering. Naval architects work on the basic design, including the form and stability of hulls.

Education requirements: Bachelor’s degree (practical experience is also highly valued).

Art Director


art director

Source: See-ming Lee/flickr

Stress tolerance: 69.0

Average annual salary: $97,850 (€90,775)

What they do: Art directors are responsible for the visual style and images in magazines, newspapers, product packaging, and movie and television productions.

Education requirements: Bachelor’s degree or previous work experience.