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9 Low-Stress Jobs That Pay Well

You don’t have to live this way

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You don’t have to be a stressed-out to achieve professional success. In fact, there are plenty of low-stress jobs where you can earn a healthy income. A 2018 report from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), a U.S. Department of Labor database that aggregates data on hundreds of professions, ranked careers from most to least stressful. Here are nine of them. (Keep in mind that no job is truly “stress-free,” they’re just statistically rated lower than other professions.)

Librarian

Median salary: $59,050

Education required: Master’s degree in library science

A librarian is a professional trained in information science. They work in universities, a neighborhood library, and even for the government. Librarians are tasked with managing large amounts of information and material, from the everyday upkeep of books and periodicals to audio/video recordings and other digital resources. Librarians are also a kind of public educator, helping the community find resources and collect and understand the information they need.

Dental hygienist

Median salary: $74,820

Education required: Associate’s degree in dental hygiene

Dental hygienists clean teeth, examine patients for oral diseases, and provide other preventive dental care. Hygienists also educate individuals on how to improve and maintain good oral health. Hygienists work part- or full-time and in dentists’ offices, working closely with dentists and office staff.  

Read more: It's Hard to Change Careers—These Companies Are Making It Easier

Epidemiologist 

Median salary: $69,660 

Education required: Master’s degree at minimum, usually in a field like public health, often a doctoral degree in epidemiology

Epidemiologist are health professionals who research the cause and spread of disease and other threats to public health. They report results to public policy officials and to the general public and play a vital role in keeping our communities healthy.

Astronomer

Median salary: $105,680

Education required: Doctoral degree in astronomy/astrophysics

An astronomer is a scientist who studies space, the stars, planets, and galaxies. They normally spend their days gathering and analyzing information, writing research papers based on the data they collect and observations they make, and developing programs that allow a more streamlined way of studying space.

Hydrologist

Median salary: $79,370

Education required: Bachelor’s degree in a field like hydrology, geoscience, or environmental science

A hydrologist studies water and the water cycle. They use their training and skill to solve problems in the areas of water quality and/or availability. Hydrologists work closely with engineers, public health officials, the government, and other scientists to study and manage an area’s water supply.

Read more: 5 Rules for Answering: "What Should I Do with My Life?"

Geographer

Median salary: $80,300

Education required: Bachelor’s degree in geography

Geographers study the earth and its land, features, and inhabitants. They also study political or cultural structures and how they relate to and affect geography. Benefits of being a geographer include traveling  abroad or to remote locations to conduct research.

Hearing aid specialist

Median salary: $55,650

Education required: High school diploma or academic degree in hearing instrument fitting and dispensing

A hearing aid specialist, also referred to as a hearing instrument specialist, is someone who evaluates individuals with hearing problems and selects the most appropriate aid to improve their condition. They’ll assist patients through the entire fitting process and make the adjustments of device settings to ensure a comfortable level of hearing based on their needs.

Occupational therapy aide

Median salary: $57,620

Education required: High school diploma and certificates in CPR and basic life support (BLS)

Occupational therapy aides support occupational therapists and/or the occupational therapist assistant in their duties to help patients recover or improve their muscle and motor functions following a serious injury or illness. They also sanitize areas and equipment after each therapy session to prevent infection and transmission of disease. 

Read more: Ask a Recruiter: How Do I Change Careers?

Radiation therapist

Median salary: $82,330

Education required: Associate’s or bachelor’s degree

A radiation therapist is a professional who administers radiation treatments, often for oncology patients. Most radiation therapists work in hospitals or cancer treatment centers. They also review treatment plans with the patient and answer questions about procedures. 

Read more: What to Do if You Want to Change Careers, But Don't Know What to Do

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