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10 Low-Stress Jobs That Still Pay Decent Salaries

Topics: Career Profiles
Believe it or not, there are some jobs out there that pay decent salaries ... without burnout-inducing levels of stress.

American workers are stressed out. A 2017 study conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of the American Psychological Association found that stress is increasingly affecting Americans’ well-being.

For example, nearly half of Americans (45 percent) reported lying awake at night in the past month because of their stress. About one-third of respondents said that they’d felt nervous or anxious in the last month because of it, or that they’d experienced irrationality, anger or fatigue due to stress.

It’s pretty normal to experience occasional worry or tension. In fact, it’s not even especially harmful. But, chronic stress, which is currently experienced by far too many workers, is another story entirely. It’s been linked to serious health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. And, chronic stress is also associated with other symptoms, like anxiety and social withdrawal, that take a toll on mood and behavior.

The good news is that your working life doesn’t have to be super-stressful. There are jobs that pay fairly decent wages without demanding that you abandon any hope for sanity or peace when you sign your contract. There’s a lot to be said for finding employment that you enjoy and that you can happily sustain.

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So, here are some jobs that are relatively low-stress but also come with a salary of at least $60,000 annually.

1. Art Director – $64,240 average yearly salary

art director

An art director is responsible for coordinating the concept-and-design efforts for promotions. These may be for print ads, websites, commercials or some other medium. Usually art directors organize and oversee projects while delegating work to other professionals like graphic designers and photographers. They coordinate schedules and assign deadlines in order to ensure the timely completion of projects.

Art directors usually work in an office environment. Employers generally require a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field and prior experience. Art directors must be proficient in design tools like Photoshop. These professionals should also possess excellent teamwork and communication skills.

2. Welding Engineer – $75,948 average yearly salary

The job of a welding engineer requires training and expertise. These professionals have experience working with a variety of welding techniques. Welding engineers carry out work themselves and also inspect the welds of others. They work to innovate new methods of welding in an effort to improve efficiency while maintaining safety.

Welding engineers typically spend their days working outdoors, although some work is completed indoors depending on the nature of the project. They generally work a 40-hour week or more. Night shifts are available in some positions.

These professionals have to be able to work well with others. Entry-level positions typically require a bachelor’s degree. Extensive training in the field is also a prerequisite for employment. Welding engineers must also be certified through the American Welding Society.

3. Research Analyst, Operations – $75,390 average yearly salary

An operations research analyst completes and analyzes research on a host of topics for their employer. They look at trends and seek to optimize an organization’s processes for efficiency while also reducing cost, based on their findings. Operations research analysts have to form sound opinions based on their research and then present their findings to decision-makers within an organization, usually through preparing detailed reports.

These professionals are generally employed by corporations on a full-time basis. They usually keep traditional business hours.

Operations research analysts must have excellent analytical abilities and the communication skills needed to share their findings with others. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is usually required for this job. Industry certifications may also be beneficial for certain positions.

Operations research analysts have to be able to work well in a team. But, they should also be able to do well on their own, as much of their work is completed with minimal supervision.

4. Epidemiologist – $62,067 average yearly salary

Epidemiologists do important work, studying the spread of diseases. They seek to identify patterns and variables that make certain populations susceptible to certain illnesses through observation and research. They might also be responsible for reporting findings within the academic sector and to the public health media.

Epidemiologists often work in public health. (Their focus on devising preventative strategies is an important part of improving healthcare and wellness for citizens.) Most of these scientists work in labs or offices. But, some fieldwork is often a part of the job as well.

These professionals generally have post-graduate degrees in epidemiology. Many studied biology, medicine and/or public health as an undergraduate.

5. Audiologist – $66,620 average yearly salary

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An audiologist works with patients with hearing problems. They carry out various hearing tests in order to complete an assessment and make a diagnosis. These professionals also need to clearly and compassionately present these diagnoses to patients and physicians. They assess and communicate best steps for treatment. Many audiologists also provide routine screenings — for children and infants, for example.

Most audiologists work full-time in a medical environment like a hospital or clinical or for a private practice.

Audiologists need a variety of skills in order to do their jobs well. They should be proficient with using medical technology, especially audio testing equipment. And, they need solid computer skills in order to generate reports and attend to other responsibilities of their job. A master’s degree in audiology is usually required.

6. Mathematician – $74,242 average yearly salary

The work of a mathematician centers on using mathematical equations and principals to solve real-world problems. They often utilize sophisticated software to perform their calculations. Mathematicians work with abstract structures and theories, not just with numbers. They perform multiple experiments and tests in order to prove and perfect their theories.

Mathematicians are employed by various industries, from medical technologies, to private science and engineering research companies, to the federal government. Many are also employed by universities. They generally work in a research lab but many also work in an office setting. A regular Monday through Friday schedule is most common.

These professionals generally have a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, statistics or a related friend.

7. Marketing Manager – $63,539 average yearly salary

marketing manager

A marketing manager works to oversee various advertising or sales campaigns for a business and its products. They might be assigned to a single product, or to oversee the management of a company’s marketing efforts as a whole. They generally oversee a team of individuals who work to brainstorm and implement campaigns.

Many marketing managers work in a traditional office and keep standard business hours. However, they may need to work overtime when launching new campaigns.

Marketing managers must be organized. They have to coordinate a wide range of efforts and track the smallest of changes. Most have at least an undergraduate marketing degree. Some postgraduate work is preferred.

8. Actuary – $86,631 average yearly salary

The job of actuary is to determine whether insurance companies should issue a policy and to decide what the premium for that policy should be. They play a key role within insurance companies. Actuaries use statistical analysis in their work to understand trends. They might construct probability tables to forecast risk and liability based on the statistic data. The process of risk-calculation is ongoing. The recalculate of risk is a primary responsibility for an actuary.

Most actuaries work for insurance companies. But some financial service companies also employ actuaries to help them manage investment risks. They usually work in office environments and keep traditional business hours.

These workers have college degrees and a background in actuarial science or statistical analysis. They know how to manage large data streams to discern trends. And, they can utilize technology effectively to help them with their work.

9. Hydrologist – $60,513 average yearly salary

You may not have heard of a hydrologist, but if you had to guess what they do based on the job title, you might just guess correctly. Hydrologists study water. They explore its availability, issues related to the water cycle and the impact of storms, floods, droughts, etc. They also might be responsible for coming up with solutions to problems. Or they may be asked to make suggestions as to how water in certain area can be better managed.

Hydrologists work for a government agency or for a company that studies water. Many work mainly from an office. But, fieldwork is generally also necessary. Some travel might also be required.

These professionals must be knowledgeable about the water monitoring equipment necessary to carry out their work. They also need to know how to record and interpret data so that it can be passed on and understood by others. Most have a master’s degree in physical science, natural science or another related subject.

10. Astronomer – $90,482 average yearly salary

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Working as an astronomer could be a real dream come true — if you’re willing to spend time and money on a post-graduate degree. The pay is great and, if you love learning about the cosmos, the work is fascinating. Astronomers attempt to explain, classify and discuss the universe through using observation, applied physics and mathematics. They utilize a variety of technologies to observe and measure the location and movements of objects in the sky.

Most astronomers work in a research or academic setting. These places provide access to the advanced observational technologies astronomers need to do their jobs. Astronomers typically work within research teams with observatories or academic institutions. Many work regular hours during the week but observations can lead to overnight hours, too.

Working astronomers generally possess post-graduate degrees in astronomy or applied physics. They must be fluent with computers and other technology associated with the work. And, they must have the ability to communicate their findings in written form.

The jobs featured above were identified as low-stress positions by the following sources: Business Insider, The Balance Careers, Fairygodboss and Monster. Salary data comes from PayScale’s Career Research Center.

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