Who says high pay needs to come with high stress? If you’re looking to get into a field that pays well, without crazy life-or-death pressure, you’re in luck. There are plenty of “boring” jobs that are also very high paying.
There are a variety of jobs in fields such as business and healthcare that are reported to be low-stress. In fact, the following professions have a median salary of at least $75,000, according to the most recent numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and are some of the highest-paying jobs across the country.
Median Salary: $75,430
Post-secondary teachers tend to enjoy flexible schedules. While some teach classes at night or on weekends, these professionals generally enjoy their jobs and appreciate the opportunity to share their expertise with students, according to the BLS. CareerCast ranked university professor as one of the careers with the lowest stress level in 2017.
In addition to teaching, university professors advise students and conduct research in their fields. While most positions require you to hold a Ph.D., a graduate degree might be sufficient for community colleges, according to the BLS.
Median Salary: $75,980
CareerCast ranked audiologist as one of the least stressful jobs of 2017. According to the BLS, audiologists work with patients to identify and remedy problems related to hearing. Audiologists generally work full time in healthcare facilities or schools and rarely have to deal with overtime hours.
To succeed in this field, you’ll need to earn your doctorate in audiology, which generally takes four years. You can apply to an audiology program with a bachelor’s degree in any specialty.
Operations Research Analyst
Median Salary: $79,200
Operations research analysts use advanced math and analytics to investigate complex issues for businesses, according to the BLS. While they travel on occasion, they generally work typical hours in an office setting.
While you might be able to land an entry-level position in this field with a bachelor’s degree, the BLS reveals that most employers prefer workers with a master’s degree or Ph.D. Aspiring analysts should pursue degrees in operations research, math, engineering or a comparable quantitative or technical field. Operations research analyst is one of the highest-paying jobs for women.
Median Salary: $80,160
You can earn a healthy salary by administering radiation to treat cancer and other illnesses. Although radiation therapists are on their feet assisting patients most of the day, they tend to work standard hours, as radiation sessions are scheduled during normal business hours, according to the BLS.
Educational requirements vary, but employers generally prefer applicants with an associate or bachelor’s degree.
Median Salary: $80,500
If you’re good with numbers, you might want to consider a career as a statistician. These individuals collect data to help solve problems in a variety of industries and generally work 40 hours per week, according to Campus Explorer.
Job growth for this profession is currently high, as an increasing number of businesses are using statistical analysis to make decisions, according to the BLS. Most opportunities require candidates to hold master’s degrees in statistics, mathematics or similar fields.
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Median Salary: $85,620
A biomedical engineering career offers both professional and personal benefits. In fact, Time listed biomedical engineer as one of the highest-paying, lowest-stress careers in 2015.
Biomedical engineers analyze and design equipment, devices and computers used in the healthcare field. According to the BLS, workers in this field typically have normal schedules, but there is the potential for longer hours to meet deadlines and design standards. Job seekers can find positions in hospitals, universities, medical institutions and labs.
To enter this profession, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering. However, if you already have an engineering degree, you can get into this field by taking biomedical engineering classes or earning a graduate degree in the subject.
Median Salary: $89,820
Art directors have the potential to earn impressive paychecks. Responsible for overseeing the style and image choices for publications, movies and television, art directors find lucrative jobs at advertising and publishing companies. And according to Campus Explorer, these professionals usually work a standard 40 hours per week in a comfortable office environment.
Art directors do have to meet deadlines, which means working overtime on occasion. Some art directors work for themselves and create their own hours, a fact that helps them achieve a better work-life balance. To pursue this career, you’ll need some prior work experience and a bachelor’s degree in art or design.
Median Salary: $100,610
An actuary analyzes the financial costs of risks taken by businesses and clients. However, pursuing a career as an actuary involves little risk and plenty of rewards. The job is ranked among the best for its low stress level, according to a 2017 report by Business Insider using data culled from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Actuaries commonly hold bachelor’s degrees in math or related fields. Certain industries require certifications.
Median Salary: $101,050
Economists spend their time studying the production and distribution of resources, goods and services. According to the BLS, one in four professionals in this field worked more than 40 hours per week in 2016.
A bachelor’s degree is sufficient for some entry-level positions, but most economist jobs require a master’s degree or even a Ph.D.
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Median Salary: $106,140
Optometrists perform key functions by diagnosing and treating patients’ vision issues. While an aspiring optometrist needs to spend eight years completing first a bachelor’s degree and then a doctor of optometry program, the payoff is a generous salary and high job satisfaction with lots of job security, too.
In a U.S. News report on the best jobs, optometrists received an above-average score for flexibility. However, some optometrists do choose to see patients in the evenings or on weekends. Note that you’ll need to take an Optometry Admission Test and obtain a state license in order to practice.
Computer and Information Research Scientist
Median Salary: $111,840
Computer and information research scientists regularly earn more than six figures, according to the BLS. Moreover, these experts are in high demand in a variety of fields, including business, medicine and science.
Computer and information research scientists are responsible for identifying issues and creating technologies to address them. Only three in 10 of these professionals worked more than 40 hours a week in 2016, according to the BLS. However, those looking to enter the field might need to invest more time upfront, as most positions require a Ph.D.
Median Salary: $105,810
Mathematicians utilize techniques to solve problems in business, engineering and other fields. U.S. News ranked mathematician as the second-best job in business and noted that mathematicians enjoy above-average job flexibility.
To qualify for a mathematics position, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in math. Some positions require further education.
Computer Hardware Engineer
Median Salary: $115,080
If you’re tech savvy and want the potential to earn a six-figure salary, you might consider a career as a computer hardware engineer. These professionals research problems, create solutions and run tests on computer systems, processors, routers and memory devices.
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Many computer hardware engineers work for high-tech manufacturing firms. According to Campus Explorer, a standard workweek is normal, but professionals sometimes have to work overtime to meet deadlines. A viable candidate should hold a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from an accredited program.
Median Salary: $159,770
If you don’t mind looking at teeth for a living, a career as a dentist could provide you with both monetary rewards and flexibility. According to ExploreHealthCareers.org, full-time dentists typically work 36-hour weeks in their practices. And because dentists are often self-employed, they get to make their own schedules. Dentist was one of the highest-paying jobs in 2017.
Still, the road to becoming a dentist is a long one. You’ll have to attend dental school and pass exams, as well as secure a state license.
Median Salary: $208,000
Orthodontists improve both the appearance and function of teeth. To become one, you’ll need to earn a bachelor’s degree, attend dental school for four years and complete a residency program.
After all that education, you can relax in a career known for its low stress levels and high pay. In fact, U.S. News found that the job offers great flexibility and below-average stress.
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About the Author
With a broadcast news career that spans more than a decade, Lia Sestric has had the opportunity to cover local and national news for television and radio. The Washington, D.C.-based writer has been freelance writing for a number of years. She frequently writes about higher education, careers, and finance. Along with GOBankingRates, her work has appeared on major sites like Yahoo, The Huffington Post, MSN and many other news outlets.