Jobs That Are High In Pay, Low In Stress



Low-Stress Jobs That Can Pay Well

Don't make the mistake of thinking that all high-paying jobs come with crushing stress. You can pursue low-stress jobs that offer great salaries.

If you're giving yourself hives thinking you have to choose between a high-paying, stress-filled job and a low-paying, stress-free job, relax. It is actually possible to find a job with a good salary that isn't going to make you pull your hair out. So how can you identify these kinds of lower-stress jobs?
"I'd definitely recommend looking at not only specific jobs, but also the perks and benefits associated with those jobs, as a way to reduce stress," suggests Sara Sutton Fell, CEO and founder of FlexJobs, a site for telecommuting and flexible work. "In addition to a great salary, does the job offer the chance to telecommute or work a flexible schedule? Options like that can help you stress less about commuting to work, finding time for your family, or trying to find better work-life balance."
Imagine a work week without that freeway commute, or one in which you have control over where and when you put in your 40 hours. Maybe you want to be your own boss, or maybe you just want a job where you'll be left alone to think and do your work in peace.
Yes, every job is going to have its stressful moments. But no matter what stresses you out, there are some great high-paying jobs that might offer the kind of environment you're seeking. Keep reading to find out about some high-pay jobs which might offer the low-stress environment you're hoping for.

Career #1 - Multimedia Artist

Median
Annual Salary*
$64,470
Top 10%
Annual Salaries*
>$118,890
Bottom 10%
Annual Salaries*
<$35,010
Are you most at home with a physical or digital canvas and the tools to turn your creative vision into real world images? Multimedia artists and animators design visual effects and animation for movies, video games, television, and other media, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Low Stress, High-Pay Factors: Would you love to have the freedom to do your thing without being micromanaged? According to the Department of Labor, in 2012, about 57 percent of multimedia artists were self-employed. If you equate lack of supervision with less stress, this job may be for you.
"For the independent contractors, nobody can tell them how to do something, where to do it, or what hours to work," explains Patrick Nohrden, former communications consultant for Phoenix Consulting International, an international firm providing executive search services. And, as Nohrden says, "It pays well because there is a high demand for qualified multimedia artists and so few who do it well."
Video game design in particular has a high demand for talented artists who also have a knack for technology, according to Nohrden. Given the high skill level needed for both art and technology, he adds, it's no wonder the demand still exceeds the supply of highly qualified multimedia artists.
How to Get Started: Ready to take your love of motion graphics and turn it into a career? To get started down this path, you'll need a bachelor's degree in computer graphics, fine art, animation, or a related field, says the Department. You'll also need a great portfolio of work, and strong technical skills to stand out from the competition, the Department adds.

Career #2 - Technical Writer

Median
Annual Salary*
$67,900
Top 10%
Annual Salaries*
>$105,760
Bottom 10%
Annual Salaries*
<$40,270
Have you always had a way with words? It takes a special talent to explain complicated things in an easy-to-understand manner, but it's something technical writers do on a daily basis, preparing instruction manuals, journal articles, or other technical documents, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Low Stress, High-Pay Factors: And if you enjoy working alone with plenty of time to think, this could be the low-stress position you've been looking for.
"Technical writing is a great choice for a low-stress, high-pay job for a number of reasons," explains Sutton Fell. "It pays well because it requires specific knowledge or experience in a certain area. But it's low-stress because, rather than other writing jobs where you might be required to pitch topics, generate brand new ideas, and be very creative, technical writing topics are usually assigned to you, so you'll need to cover specific, research-heavy topics that don't require too much creativity, and have very clearly-defined requirements."
"In addition, technical writing jobs offer the opportunity to work from home, be your own boss as a freelancer, and set your own schedule," Sutton Fell adds.
How to Get Started: Does this sound like the perfect fit for you? You'll usually need a college degree in journalism, English, or communications, according to the Department of Labor. You might also need some experience with a technical subject like computer science, web design, or engineering - depending on the field you'll be covering, the Department adds.

Career #3 - Sales Engineer

Median
Annual Salary*
$93,900
Top 10%
Annual Salaries*
>$154,630
Bottom 10%
Annual Salaries*
<$55,870
Do you love reading "Wired" or "Popular Science" and sharing the cool technical or scientific details with your friends? A career as a sales engineer could be a great fit for a tech-savvy people-person like you. The U.S. Department of Labor says these workers need to be able to understand complex technological products and sell them to businesses.
Low Stress, High-Pay Factors: If you have trouble sitting still, and spending your work day under the florescent lights of an office stresses you out, this job may have what you need. According to the Department of Labor, sales engineers travel extensively, and many can determine their own schedules.
"Additionally, the rewards can be quite high," as Nohrden says. "Sales engineers use their specialized knowledge in a particular technical field to further penetrate the market. If a person has a passion for certain technology, that passion can lead to high income. It pays well because so few people can do the same thing and because it takes specific knowledge of specialized technology to perform well."
How to Get Started: Ready to combine your passion for technology and science with your social personality? You'll typically need a bachelor's degree in engineering or a related field to prepare to pursue this career, the Department says. You'll also need both your technical knowledge and strong interpersonal skills to flourish in this field.

Career #4 - Actuary

Median
Annual Salary*
$94,340
Top 10%
Annual Salaries*
>$176,190
Bottom 10%
Annual Salaries*
<$57,430
Do you love getting lost in baseball stats, or enjoy relaxing by solving math problems when you've got some time to kill? A career as an actuary could give you time alone to think. Using mathematics and statistics to estimate the likelihood of things like natural disasters or accidents, is what actuaries do, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Low Stress, High-Pay Factors: "This job appeals to people who enjoy working with concrete details in order to predict outcomes," says Nohrden. "The fact that it is not a deadline-oriented occupation lowers the stress, which can appeal to people who like to work at their own pace."
And, he adds, this job pays well, too. "Few people pursue a career as an actuary, reducing their numbers, so the industry has a limited supply, making employers pay more for them," Nohrden explains.
How to Get Started: Ready to take your love of math to the next level? You'll need a bachelor's degree in mathematics, statistics, actuarial science, or another analytical field to get started, the Department of Labor says. It's a good idea to take some courses in calculus and business, like accounting and management, the Department explains, adding that many employers will want you to have passed at least one actuary exam needed for professional certification before you graduate.

Career #5 - Dental Hygienist

Median
Annual Salary*
$71,110
Top 10%
Annual Salaries*
>$96,690
Bottom 10%
Annual Salaries*
<$47,880
Are you a detail-oriented person who prefers interacting with people one-on-one without a lot of outside distraction? In a career as a dental hygienist, you might spend most of your day working with individuals to provide preventative dental care and educate people about maintaining good oral health, says the U.S. Department of Labor.
Low Stress, High-Pay Factors: Unlike the dentist, who might inspire fear among patients, being a dental hygienist is all upside, according to Nohrden.
"Their functions are purely preventative in nature, which allows them to take delight in knowing that they kept something bad from happening rather than reacting to something that has already happened. Also, their 'customers' rarely complain about the service provided and happily return again and again." So why does this career pay so well? "The number of dental hygienists is limited because they require special education and state licensing; therefore, their value increases and employers must pay more for them," says Nohrden.
How to Get Started: Ready to take the dental hygienist plunge? Put down your floss and head back to school. You'll typically need an associate's degree in dental hygiene to get started, the Department of Labor reports. You'll also need to get licensed, though requirements are different in different states.

Career #6 - Computer Programmer

Median
Annual Salary*
$76,140
Top 10%
Annual Salaries*
>$123,490
Bottom 10%
Annual Salaries*
<$43,640
You want to build things, but you want to build them out of 1s and 0s instead of wood or bricks - that's right, you love computer programming. This is another career that could give you plenty of time to sit and work in peace, using programming language to bring new software to life. Creating software programs by writing code is what these workers do, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. You might even be able to find a position that lets you do what you love on your own schedule or from home, as the Department of Labor also tells us that many programmers are telecommuters.
Low Stress, High-Pay Factors: As Sutton Fell explains, "the jobs can be low-stress because they offer a lot of flexibility in terms of when, where, and how you work. Working from home and working a flexible schedule are common with programmer jobs."
And they pay well, Sutton Fell adds, because not everyone can program. "You need to have a specific degree and a certain amount of experience to succeed in this career field," she explains.
How to Get Started: If you're ready to stop tinkering around and get serious about your future, you'll need a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field to pursue this career, the Department says, adding that some employers do hire workers with an associate's degree.

Career #7 - Personal Financial Advisor

Median
Annual Salary*
$75,320
Top 10%
Annual Salaries*
≥$187,199
Bottom 10%
Annual Salaries*
<$33,190
Do you hate crowds? This career could give you the chance to work in an office setting, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. And if you like to help others, you may find this position very satisfying. Using your financial know-how to help others plan for things like retirement or putting their kids through college are some of the duties of this position, according to the Department of Labor.
Low Stress, High-Pay Factors: According to the Department, "the work of personal financial advisors tends to be less stressful than other financial occupations." About one in five personal financial advisors were self-employed in 2012, according to the Department of Labor, meaning they didn't have the added stress of having to answer to a supervisor. Their jobs can also include travel to conferences for a nice change of pace.
"It typically pays well because financial advisors work on commissions, and they often deal with large investment activities," says Nohrden, who adds that because of the increased licensing requirements there aren't as many financial advisors as there used to be. "This decreases the inventory of financial advisors, thereby increasing their value."
How to Get Started: If you're ready to put your financial savvy to work, you'll typically need a bachelor's degree in finance, economics, accounting, business, mathematics, or law to prepare to pursue this field, the Department says.


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