What are the best low stress high paying jobs?
We’d all love to work in a stress-free environment where we get to pick our hours and still manage to take home a six-figure salary, but finding such a well-paying job is easier said than done.
Fortunately, we’ve explored a broad selection of jobs to discover those which feature a perfect balance between high pay and low stress to help you orient your careers on the right path to success.
The 10 Best Low Stress High Paying Jobs
We’ve examined a range of high-paying jobs and assessed them based on median salary, stress tolerance, and job satisfaction ratings to bring you this up-to-date list.
Here’s our list of the 10 best low stress high paying jobs:
10. Dental Hygienist
Median Salary: $76,220
If you’re interested in a career that involves helping people resolve their medical issues and lead a healthier life but don’t have what it takes to become a surgeon, a career as a dental hygienist is a great alternative.
Becoming a dentist takes several years of training, and you’ll have to attend dental school, pass the exams, then secure a state license so you’re able to practice your trade.
Once you’ve accomplished this, a career as a dental hygienist delivers decent monetary compensation with a degree of flexibility regarding how long – and how often – you’ll be working.
Many “full-time” dentists work around 36 hours per week in their practice, and since they are often self-employed, this means they get to draw up their own schedules.
The work itself is low stress compared to many other roles within the health sector and, on a day-to-day basis, involves conducting preliminary assessments of dental issues, assisting with more difficult procedures, and taking X-rays.
Managing a range of oral diseases such as gingivitis and providing preventative care is also part of the role of a dentist, as well as working with palladium, one of the most expensive metals you can buy.
According to the American Dental Education Association, becoming a dentist brings a range of other benefits, including maintaining a flexible lifestyle, working as part of a team, and providing compassionate care in your community.
Becoming a dentist is also a pathway to higher-paid positions in the same field, for instance, becoming an orthodontist, which requires a bachelor’s degree.
These teeth specialists can earn an average annual income of up to three times as much as a regular dentist, with an orthodontist’s median salary coming in at $208,000 once they have completed the necessary training and qualifications.
As the population continues to age in the Western world, the role of dentists will continue to grow in importance.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the sector will grow by 11% between 2020 and 2030, so a dentist’s median salary will likely improve over time.
Median Salary: $77,600
Another low-stress job within the healthcare sector is an audiologist, which comes with a slightly higher average annual salary than a dental hygienist of $77,600 per year.
The primary role of an audiologist is to help patients with hearing-related problems, and typically they work full-time in healthcare facilities and schools.
Since the ear is closely linked to balance, physical phenomena related to this are also a part of the job description, as well as other disorders associated with this area of the body.
This often involves fitting hearing aids and other protective hearing devices, assisting in research linked to ailments such as tinnitus, and managing patient hearing loss.
You don’t need an advanced degree to become an audiologist, either, and with a basic college education, you can get your foot on the career ladder and start out working as a newborn hearing screener and work towards a doctoral degree within the role.
Since audiologists work away from the stressful environment of the emergency wards, it’s an ideal role for someone with a low-stress tolerance who nevertheless still wishes to work on healthcare.
If you’re interested in stress-free jobs in this employment sector that focuses on the well-being of patients, becoming an audiologist is worth considering.
8. University Professor
Median Salary: $80,790
Another high-paying job with a healthy work-life balance is a university professor, a role that comes with flexibility baked into the job description.
Often ranked as one of the least stressful jobs available, university professors take in a healthy average annual salary of $80,790 a year, often only teaching a handful of classes each week.
Getting the qualifications to become a professor takes considerable time since a master’s degree is required on top of any additional teacher training necessary for the role.
This will vary depending on the discipline you choose to study, with some specialist subjects requiring a decade or longer to become fully proficient.
When they aren’t teaching classes, professors are free to research their chosen field of expertise, prepare coursework for upcoming semesters, work on books and prepare reports for publication.
Becoming a tenured professor – a permanent position that can only be removed under extreme circumstances – can add a new level of job security to the role, and some professors can count themselves among the ranks of the most influential people of all time.
While the debate over whether a university professor has the least stressful job might still be raging, it’s hard to argue that having extensive holidays over the summer and Christmas is a bad thing.
7. Radiation Therapist
Median Salary: $86,850
Low-stress jobs in the healthcare industry are a great career path for people who want to be of some help in their communities but lack the stress tolerance for roles in emergency care or surgery.
A radiation therapist’s job description involves administering treatments to cancer patients, explaining the treatment process, and monitoring any adverse events so that mitigation actions can be taken.
Since the role requires ongoing interaction with patients due to courses of radiation therapy lasting several weeks, it’s a good fit for people interested in low-stress careers where they can build meaningful relationships.
While the role does involve being on your feet for much of the day, radiation sessions are typically booked during regular working hours, meaning you can participate in a positive work environment without sacrificing your work-life balance.
As with dental hygienists, there is an expectation for a high demand for radiation therapists over the coming years due to an aging population, with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipating the sector to grow by 9% by the year 2030.
A radiation therapist enjoys a higher median salary than the other healthcare roles we’ve previously explored, taking home an average annual salary of $86,850.
6. Biomedical Engineer
Median Salary: $92,620
If you’re interested in a lower-stress job linked to healthcare but would prefer to avoid being around patients, becoming a biomedical engineer is a lucrative career that helps improve lives in a myriad of ways.
As with chemical engineering and electrical engineering, biomedical engineering requires some hefty qualifications to pursue, starting with a graduate degree in a related field of study.
With an average annual salary of $92,620, the effort certainly pays off, and the role brings a great deal of flexibility in terms of where these skills can be applied.
Biomedical engineers can work in both the public and private sector, seeking employment in universities, hospitals, and medical institutions run by the federal government or corporations.
While different kinds of engineers get to work on the most expensive cars in the world, the role of a biomedical engineer is hugely rewarding, revolving around the design of replacement body parts and organs, maintaining biomedical equipment, analyzing data, and training doctors in their correct application.
Very few well-paying jobs allow you to focus on the cutting edge of modern technology, and biomedical engineers are often at the forefront of life-saving projects which change the landscape of medical practices.
Entry-level positions for this role require a solid foundation in related principles, so if you don’t have a degree in biomedical engineering, qualifications in related fields such as electrical and computer engineering are essential.
5. Art Director
Median Salary: $97,270
Becoming a working artist is the dream job for many people, but making a good living in creative industries can be notoriously difficult to achieve.
Those who successfully break into this field, however, can enjoy an average annual salary of $97,270 as an art director while delegating much of the legwork to other employees under their watch.
Art directors typically cut their teeth as artists, but are generally expected to have a thorough understanding of disciplines including photography, typography, fine art, and advertising.
They can be responsible for a wide range of projects, from working on the development of video games to running advertising campaigns for large businesses.
Art directors help coordinate a variety of elements of a given visual project, from the imagery and color schemes used, to the choice of fonts that best reflect the intended messaging.
The most successful art directors of all can even end up climbing to the top of the film industry and becoming one of the richest directors in the world.
They will help to coordinate these projects with a team of subordinate artists, reviewing their work and making observations and recommendations for how to further improve the designs.
While many jobs require you to work on-site, art directors often work on a freelance basis and aren’t committed to coming into the office on a daily basis.
This makes it one of the best low-stress jobs that pay well for someone who doesn’t want to be tied down to a single location, effectively freeing them up to work anywhere on the earth’s surface they like (within reason).
You don’t need a master’s degree or associate degree to become an art director, and many people who end up working in this field often come from entry-level artist or designer roles in smaller organizations with the potential for job growth.
It’s also a potentially highly lucrative line of work; the average annual income represents a healthy salary, but art directors at the top of their game working on high-profile projects can earn considerably more money.
Succeeding as an art director requires a combination of talent and hard work, and if you have the right mindset that distinguishes the successful from the average, you’re well on your way to achieving your goals.
Median Salary: $108,350
The first on this list of low-stress jobs that pay well to break into the six-figure salary range is an economist, typically paying an average annual salary of $108,350.
The role of an economist has a great deal of variety baked into it; as you might expect from the well-known expression, “money makes the world go round”, their skills are required in all kinds of industry, both public and private sector.
Some examples of the subcategories of the field of economics include financial economists, international economists, and labor economists who conduct research and analysis of labor statistics.
A bachelor’s degree is pretty much essential if you want to work as an economist, but once you’ve earned one you’ll be considered a highly sought-after asset by all kinds of businesses and institutions.
Take the next step and earn a master’s degree in economics, and you can expect a significantly higher average annual salary, although you might find the extra responsibility transforms the role into a high-stress job.
The typical job description of an economist involves studying employment cycles, exchange rates, and other business data in order to make financial recommendations to the employer.
You might also be involved in studying the production and distribution of goods and/or services in order to assess flaws and recommend improvements to streamline these processes and save money.
While entry-level economists are likely to work standard office hours, achieve the status of a consultant, and you’ll experience that perfect combination of increased wages and decreased office time.
With their keen understanding of money, economists exhibit the mindset that allows you to stay laser-focused on your goals, setting them on the path toward a lucrative career.
Median Salary: $101,900
Mathematics is another discipline with broad applications which can be applied to science, management, and a range of other fields.
An entry-level position will require a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics or Applied Mathematics, and completing a master’s degree will increase your chances of getting a high-end salary within a more reputable organization.
These skills are relevant throughout both private and public sectors, helping to solve problems related to business or engineering, or as part of a research team.
The job description typically involves using mathematics skills to create formulas and models which explain a theory designed to solve real-world problems, making this a career ideally suited towards people who are passionate about number crunching.
Job seekers who are good with numbers and find pleasure in problem-solving will find a career as a mathematician hugely rewarding since the real-world outcomes from their work can be incredibly meaningful to society at large.
Those who truly excel in this field of expertise may even find themselves among the hallowed company of some of history’s most influential people of all time, making revolutionary contributions to our understanding of the world.
2. Software Developer
Median Salary: $103,620
Software developers are responsible for creating a range of applications for use in computer systems, used in everything from video games to business administration tools.
With an average annual salary of $103,620, it’s also one of the best-paid of low-stress jobs you can find.
To qualify as a software developer you’ll need relevant training in software engineering or computer science and will be familiar with computer hardware, holding a bachelor’s degree in these fields.
A strong understanding of programming is also essential, requiring familiarity with coding languages including C++, Java, HTML5, PHP, and other languages commonly used for software applications.
The mindset required to perform this role well involves a combination of logical thinking and creativity, as well as a desire to innovate new concepts and tools.
This mindset has helped create the vast wealth of some of the richest people in the world, which demonstrates just how much perseverance and hard work can pay off.
While coding can be a challenging role, given the right expertise these challenges prove to be hugely rewarding, which minimizes the degree of stress while boosting your overall engagement.
The ability to perform this role from home also reduces the levels of stress experienced, with many companies now operating on a hybrid working model or even based around fully remote work.
This makes it a perfect opportunity to engage in highly-skilled, meaningful work without the additional stress of commuting on a daily basis.
Median Salary: $111,030
If you’re looking for a highly paid job with low stress and potentially high rewards, becoming an actuary could be the answer.
An actuary’s job description involves analyzing the financial costs of risks taken by clients and businesses, for example by assessing financial security systems based on their complexity and other mechanisms.
These risk assessments can cover asset management, liability management, and valuation, analyzing both sides of a balance sheet to determine the appropriate course of action.
It can take some time to earn the necessary qualifications to become an actuary, with a bachelor’s degree required as a minimum before you can land a role in this profession.
Once you’ve completed the relevant training, however, you can earn a competitive average annual salary of $111,030.
It’s another high-paying, low-stress job that is ideal for those who enjoy running through data, finding correlations, and drawing insightful conclusions to help clients make the best financial decisions.
Landing a highly paid job with very little stress involved isn’t easy, but with the right qualifications and mindset, you can find a niche that is both financially rewarding and personally stimulating.
This guide should help you to choose which career path is right for you, equipping you with the knowledge to gain the right qualifications to pursue your ideal stress-free job.
Here’s a quick recap of the 10 best low stress high paying jobs:
- Software Developer
- Art Director
- Biomedical Engineer
- Radiation Therapist
- University Professor
- Dental Hygienist