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The least stressful job that pays over $100K, according to data—and how to get it

By | Gili Malinsky |

Stress on the job is a common phenomenon. A majority of workers, 79%, experience work-related stress month-to-month, according to the American Psychological Association’s 2021 Work and Well-being Survey of 1,501 U.S. adults.

Some jobs, however, are less stressful than others. The Department of Labor’s Occupational Information Network, or O*NET, ranked 873 occupations by level of stress by noting the importance of accepting criticism and dealing calmly with high-stress situations in each job. And some of those relatively low stress jobs also pay handsomely.

The least stressful job on the list that pays more than $100,000 per year is environmental economist, with a ranking of 52 out of 100. It pays a median annual salary of $105,630, according to O*NET.

The position calls for conducting research on environmental topics like public and private land use, air and water pollution and endangered species preservation. It calls for presenting the results of said research in articles or presentations and for assessing the benefits of environmental policies and regulations.

Most environmental economists need a relevant master’s degree or Ph.D to get hired, as well as some work experience.

In terms of why the job might be comparatively lower stress, “They’re not working in very competitive conditions,” says Sinem Buber, lead economist at ZipRecruiter. Some of these positions could be done in governments or universities, which could hold more job security. They’re also less competitive than economist roles at businesses, where workers have to help meet a certain bottom line.

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