Eight high-paying jobs that are also low stress.

Want to make muchos monies without tearing your hair out?

Us too.

Australia’s top demographer Bernard Salt has been hard at work defining the four categories he says all full-time Aussie workers slot into: rich workaholics, worker robots, time-rich cash-poor, and rich lifestylers.

If you value family time, but also strive for a comfortable life, you should aim to slot into the mould of a rich lifestyler – meaning, those who work jobs that pay above the country’s average salary, but require less than 44 hours of work per week. Approximately 22 per cent of Australia’s 11 million full-timers slot into this comparably gentle, yet lucrative category.

“There are a whole range of jobs that you’ve probably never heard of that are hard to define … that are emerging that are creative, interesting and highly-skilled and offer by this assessment a good quality of life,” Salt told this week.

“When you pull [the data] apart, the people who seem to have the best quality of jobs are those with skills and education who are creative — that’s really where the economy is growing and where jobs are being created.”

  1. Rich Workaholics: Those who earn above average wage, but work an average of 62 hours a week
  2. Worker Robots: The Aussies who put in long hours but take home below-average pay
  3. Time Rich, Cash Poor: Those who put in less time per week, and therefore earn less money
  4. Rich Lifestylers: Those who earn above average wage, but work less than average hours

Thankfully, a US expert in careers information has worked out the jobs we need to pursue to generate both a healthy income and achieve that elusive work-life balance of a Rich Lifestyler.

Financial aspirations are nothing to be sniffed at. It’s admirable to want to be successful in whatever it is you do. However, an unfortunate side effect of working hard in your occupation can often be stress.

The kind of stress that makes you devour entire bags of double-stuffed Oreos, or makes your skin break out and your heart race. Or has some other (actually serious), personal or physical implications.

But it doesn’t have to be the case.

According to the Business Insider, Career Information Expert Dr Lawrence Shatkin conducted a study comparing the average stress levels and salaries of the 767 occupations identified by the US Department of Labour.

Stress was measured on a scale of 1 to 100, according to the amount and frequency of criticism received by employees, as well as the proportion of high-stress situations they face.

Here are 8 of the lowest stress jobs, paying over US$70,000 (at the moment, that’s about $98,900AUD):


Because the moon and the stars don’t make impossible demands.


Astronomers undertake scientific research, observing and analysing galaxies, stars, planets, star-forming regions and the Sun. Just to name a few.

Unfortunately, the field is quite narrow, requiring a PhD level qualification.

Stress level: 62.0

Average Annual Salary (2014): AU$151, 381


Low stress, decent wage and plentiful travel opportunities.

Geographers study the Earth’s surface, its structure, use and natural phenomena.

Geographical positions often require a Masters degree, however there are entry level positions available that are acceptable for those with a Bachelor.


Stress level: 58.0

Average Annual Salary (2014): AU$106,831

Art Directors

Are you on the creative side?

Arts directors are responsible for the visual styling of publications such as newspapers and magazines, film and television advertising and product packaging.

No qualifications necessary for this one, although many organisations will prefer employees with previous work experience

Stress level: 6.0

Average Annual Salary (2014): AU$124, 125


If crunching numbers is your game this one is for you.

Actuaries analyse risk and uncertainty and their potential financial costs.

Stress level: 63.7

Average Annual Salary (2014): AU$155, 549


Wet and wild?


Hydrologists study the patterns of movement of water across the Earth’s surface. Their knowledge can be used to find solutions regarding water quality and availability.

Stress Level: 65.5

Average Annual Salary (2014): AU$115, 761

Law Teachers (post-secondary)

They teach law.

“It was Aristotle.”

Law teachers are responsible for shaping the next generations of legal brains. No pressure. No actually, no pressure. These are low stress jobs remember?

You will require a law degree for this one. As well as a bachelor in education (or equivalent).

Stress Level: 62.7

Average Annual Salary (2014): AU$178,410

Political Scientists.

Turns out politics is only stressful if you’re the ones in charge.

Political scientists are experts in the history, development and operation of global political systems.

You’re likely to need a Bachelor’s degree (followed by a Masters) in political science or public administration.

Stress Level: 60.8

Average Annual Salary (2014): AU$197, 809


As long as you’re good with getting really up close and personal with people.

Optometrists perform eye-tests to assest the vision of patients. They also prescribe glasses and lenses if necessary.

Bachelor + four year doctor of optometry +special license = a lot of time in school.

Stress Level: 70.3

Average Annual Salary (2014): AU$159, 675

What do you do for a living? Do you feel your stress/wage ratio is in balance?