20 high-paying, low-stress jobs that are growing in the 2020s

environmental scientist

20. Technical writers

Projected new positions between 2019 and 2029: 4,300

Importance of stress tolerance: 69

Average annual salary: $78,590

19. Environmental scientists and specialists

Projected new positions between 2019 and 2029: 7,100

Importance of stress tolerance: 69

Average annual salary: $80,090

18. Financial examiners

Projected new positions between 2019 and 2029: 4,900

Importance of stress tolerance: 69

Average annual salary: $92,730

17. Database architects

Projected new positions between 2019 and 2029: 12,800*

Importance of stress tolerance: 69

Average annual salary: $101,090

Job projection is for database administrators and architects. 

16. Postsecondary philosophy and religion teachers

Projected new positions between 2019 and 2029: 2,100

Importance of stress tolerance: 68

Average annual salary: $90,160

15. Geoscientists

Projected new positions between 2019 and 2029: 1,600

Importance of stress tolerance: 68

Average annual salary: $112,110

14. Agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes

Projected new positions between 2019 and 2029: 2,600

Importance of stress tolerance: 67

Average annual salary: $98,070

13. Postsecondary education teachers

Projected new positions between 2019 and 2029: 3,700

Importance of stress tolerance: 66

Average annual salary: $75,010

12. Computer and information research scientists

Projected new positions between 2019 and 2029: 5,000

Importance of stress tolerance: 66

Average annual salary: $130,890

11. Epidemiologists

Projected new positions between 2019 and 2029: 400

Importance of stress tolerance: 64

Average annual salary: $83,620

10. Statisticians

Projected new positions between 2019 and 2029: 14,800

Importance of stress tolerance: 64

Average annual salary: $97,170

9. Economists

Projected new positions between 2019 and 2029: 2,900

Importance of stress tolerance: 64

Average annual salary: $120,880

8. Bioengineers and biomedical engineers

Projected new positions between 2019 and 2029: 1,000

Importance of stress tolerance: 63

Average annual salary: $98,340

7. Postsecondary economics teachers

Projected new positions between 2019 and 2029: 900

Importance of stress tolerance: 63

Average annual salary: $123,720

6. Food scientists and technologists

Projected new positions between 2019 and 2029: 600

Importance of stress tolerance: 62

Average annual salary: $80,190

5. Hydrologists

Projected new positions between 2019 and 2029: 400

Importance of stress tolerance: 62

Average annual salary: $90,150

4. Physicists

Projected new positions between 2019 and 2029: 1,300

Importance of stress tolerance: 62

Average annual salary: $137,700

3. Operations research analysts

Projected new positions between 2019 and 2029: 26,100

Importance of stress tolerance: 61

Average annual salary: $92,280

2. Chemical engineers

Projected new positions between 2019 and 2029: 1,400

Importance of stress tolerance: 61

Average annual salary: $114,820

1. Political scientists

Projected new positions between 2019 and 2029: 400

Importance of stress tolerance: 61

Average annual salary: $124,100

Method and data sources

After looking at the highest-paying jobs with low-stress tolerance scores, Insider was interested in looking at which of these jobs may see large employment gains between 2019 and 2029. 

To come up with our list of occupations that were both high-paying and are part of relatively low stress work environments, we used wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program and stress tolerance scores from the O*NET Online occupational database. Stress tolerance scores on O*NET range from 0 to 100, where a higher score indicates a higher stress level. We only looked at jobs that make an average annual salaries of at least $75,000 as of May 2020, the most recent year.

After compiling this list of jobs, we used the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent job projections that show employment change from 2019 to 2029 in various occupations. Because we wanted to see jobs that are estimated to grow quickly over the decade, we looked at jobs that have a projected employment percent change greater than 3.7%, the percent change for all occupations between 2019 and 2029. 

The projections may not be exactly what pans out over the decade and do not take into account changes due to the pandemic, but may give some indication of job growth in these lower stress work environments that are also well-paying.

The above jobs are ranked from most to least stressful, and by average annual wages in the case of a tie.

Madison Hoff June 29, 2021 at 07:06PM

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