Low Stress, High Paying Jobs

A low stress, highly paid job might seem like an oxymoron, but they are out there. And stumbling across this winning combination can be like finding gold.

That’s not to say that these jobs are perfect for everyone. Some people are always in panic mode and have a meltdown about an unanswered email, while others will be stuck on one-speed and won’t sweat the small, or big, stuff no matter where they work.

Still, short of being a Kardashian and getting paid to just exist, here’s the next best thing.

Uni Lecturer

Look, it might just be my lecturers, but this job seems pretty cruisey. They have a chit chat to students, teach a few classes a week, and are always on holidays. Sure they run lectures, but most of them have been running the same ones for years so there’s no need to prepare new material. And a lot of the time (in post grad at least) it’s a big class discussion they’re just facilitating.

Come end of semester and exam time, there’s plenty of marking, but that can be done anywhere (office, home, outside, café) and the great holidays surely make up for it.

Plus, unlike school teachers, uni lecturers have adult students, so their job is more of an adviser role.

But Paul Slezak from recruitment company RecruitLoop warns not to underestimate the stress they face.

“I’ve got several colleagues who are professors at universities and they’re highly stressed out for two-thirds of the year, and then have less stress once marking is done.”

The median salary on SEEK for the broader education industry is $75,000, while uni professors have a median salary of $140,000 according to PayScale. Sounds pretty good, huh?


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In-House Lawyer

I’m not saying a law degree is a walk in the park – I’ve seen those textbooks – but it seems like the hard work can pay off if you can nab an in-house legal role.

I know a guy who’s the in-house lawyer for a jewellery company and he always seems to be having a great time. And gets free jewellery.

“Not private practice roles, where business comes and goes, but in-house legal roles. Depending on the firm, these can be well-paid, low-stress roles. Other times, business could skyrocket, but it’s not consistent,” Slezak says.

Unfortunately, this role isn’t something you can walk into straight after graduation, so there might be a few years of doing the hard yards at a high stress legal firm beforehand.

According to SEEK, the mid-range salary for legal roles is $91,000.

Dental Hygienist

Dental hygienists clean, scale and polish teeth, take X-Rays and take impressions of patients’ mouths.

They don’t have to perform stressful procedures (like root canals), they work in a clean environment and there’s no chance of working overtime.

And while they might not rule the roost – that’s the dentist’s job – this means stress levels are generally lower too.

Plus, they’re paid pretty well. According to PayScale, the median salary for this job in $60,000.

So if you don’t mind interacting with the general public, having your hands down people’s mouths, dealing with bad breath, getting bitten, and being on your feet all day, this one’s for you.


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HR Manager

I’m not exactly sure what HR managers do, other than hire and fire, which sounds pretty fun. So this one all comes down to how many people are in the organisation.

Working in HR for a small company with low turnover is going to be a lot less stressful than working in a huge organisation with new recruits coming on board every week.

“Some HR roles are extremely well paid, and when you look at the number of people in the organisation it’s very easy,” Slezak said.

But it all comes down to who you’re answering to and how much is expected of you.

“As a recruiter, I found it very hands-on. I wasn’t stressed and I was paid very, very well. But my boss at the time was incredibly stressed because he had all the responsibility of all the recruiters on his shoulders.”

According to SEEK, a mid-range salary for the HR and recruitment industry is $84,000. Not bad for paper shuffling and interviewing.

Image: Candida.Performa, via Flickr