Explore 12 Jobs With High Pay, Low Stress, and Big Rewards

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For some people, the number on their paycheck is enough motivation to perform their job duties sufficiently. For others, it's about doing good quality work. For more than a third of workers, stress or burnout significantly affects their ability to perform their job duties. Let's look at some more low-stress jobs that will still pay you the big bucks.

1. Library Director

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Library Directors are in charge of their library's budget. They also oversee employees and examine how the library works with the community. Some directors impact what books are purchased for the library catalog and even run programs to better connect with community members. How can a place where talking is minimal ever be stressful?

You'll need a Master's degree in Library Science to pursue this career, and the median salary sits at a lovely $83,000 annually. 

2. Petroleum Engineer

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The hardest part about becoming a petroleum engineer is getting your degree and finding a job. Most employers use computer programs for calculations accompanied by on-the-job training, making the job low-stress. Many petroleum engineers work in corporate offices as opposed to the field. If sitting in an office is your jam and you don't mind doing the work for your Bachelors in Petroleum Engineering, expect to make a cool $120,000 annually. 

3. Materials Scientist

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Yes, you will need either a Master's or Ph.D., along with plenty of experience, to make big bucks in this field. A materials scientist researches and studies the structures and chemical properties of natural and synthetic composite materials. They determine ways to combine or strengthen the materials or develop new materials with new or specific properties for use in different products and applications. Some scientists in this field would be metallurgical, polymer, glass, and ceramic scientists. The median salary is around $120,000 annually. 

4. Physicist

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Another job that requires a high-level degree and field experience; physicists research physical phenomena, develop theories using observation and experiments, and then create methods to apply physical laws and theories. Expect to earn around $179,000 a year for your work. 

5. Brownfield Redevelopment Specialists and Site Managers

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Specialists in this field plan and oversee the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated land. Their main job is pinpointing the source of contamination and assembling an on-site cleanup crew aligning with environmental law and standards. You only need a bachelor's degree and can earn $63,000 annually. 

6. Water Resource Specialist

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Water resource specialists are responsible for designing and implementing water supply, regulation, and quality programs. The average salary is $86,000 annually, and you'll need a bachelor's degree. 

7. Environmental Economist

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Environmental economists research topics such as alternative fuel use. They also compose academic articles about economic forecasts and determine the costs and benefits of different policies and regulations that affect the environment. If you have a Masters, Ph.D, law degree, and experience, you can earn around $90,000 each year. 

8. Mathematician

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Mathematicians use mathematical theories to solve problems in the business, science, and engineering fields. They research algebra, probability, geometry, etc., and draw up reports on their findings. Since I'm terrible at math, I definitely won't be able to obtain the necessary Masters or Ph.D to advance in the field, which is a shame, given that the annual salary is $118,000. 

9. Chemical Engineer

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Chemical engineers work to design chemical plant equipment and devise processes used to manufacture products like gasoline, plastic, and cement. They also outline procedures to keep people safe when working near chemicals. Put your Bachelor's degree to good use and take home $95,000 annually. Just don't mess anything up, or we'll have a Godzilla problem on our hands. 

10. Remote Sensing Scientist or Technologist

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Remote sensing scientists, or technologists, analyze data gathered by aircraft or satellites to help solve problems in industries such as urban planning, homeland security, and natural resource management. You'll need at least a Masters degree, though a Ph.D is often preferred. For your efforts, you'll earn a $105,000 salary. 

11. Economics Professor

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Economics professors teach graduate or undergraduate students topics such as macroeconomics, microeconomics, and GDP. Their job is to develop course material, give lectures in a classroom setting, and grade assignments. Again, economics involve math, which I cannot do, so getting a graduate degree in this subject is not for me. If you think you'd enjoy discussing money and wrangling students, go for it and enjoy your $144,000 annual salary. 

12. Business Intelligence Analyst

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Another high-paying job that only requires a bachelor's degree is business intelligence analysts, who take notes on business, financial, and economic data and draw reports for executives and stakeholders. They also recommend any relevant action that should be taken on behalf of the business. The average salary is $96,000. 

Author: Julia Fisher

Title: Editor

Expertise: Mental Health, Books, and Video Games


Julia Fisher is a writer and editor who has loved reading and writing since childhood. She has a bachelor’s degree in Clinical Counseling Psychology from Houghton University and is pursuing a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy from Northcentral University. She is fascinated with the psychology behind fandom and how people are influenced and shaped by the media they consume. Julia is a Tolkien aficionado who also has Dungeons and Dragons, Pokemon card collecting, and all things RPG in her geek repertoire. When she’s not working, Julia can be in the kitchen, watching Bills football and working on her unpublished novel series. She resides in Buffalo, New York, with her two chocolate labs and hundreds of books.