Stress less and earn more: These are the high-paying jobs that give you a work-life balance too

Farm management means you can be outside while earning a relatively high salary
Farm management means you can be outside while earning a relatively high salary Copyright Unsplash
By Sarah Palmer
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These are the careers where you can earn a high salary without the stress.


When it comes to finding the right job, it’s no secret that pay can play a huge role in our decision-making.

But often with a higher salary comes more responsibility - and in turn, a more stressful working week. Some career paths, though, maximise earnings for less demand on your time and energy.

As the Great Resignation trundles on in the wake of COVID-19, and social media serves us new phenomena like “quiet quitting” seemingly every other week, the ongoing trend is apparent: work-life balance is becoming increasingly important to the global workforce.

These are the jobs that pay minimum £55,000 (€63,600) and are considered relatively low stress, according to O*NET, the US’ Occupational Information Network. It’s worth noting, however, that most do require a high level of education, such as a Bachelors degree or PhD.


Average salary: €165,400

Orthodontics is a specialist branch of dentistry which treads a line between medical and cosmetic.

Most closely associated with everyone’s favourite stage of teenage trauma (braces), becoming a qualified orthodontist does take a lot of work.

However, it’s arguably one of the more fun parts of oral healthcare as the results can be very satisfying.

Caroline LM / Unsplash
Orthodontics takes a lot of study, but the salary pays offCaroline LM / Unsplash


Average salary: €105,845

Of all the healthcare professions out there, one of the most pleasant (and high-paying) is optometry.

The job comes without the years of medical training and subsequent pressure of an emergency room, plus you get your very own Snellen chart.

Optometrists aren’t medical doctors but are licensed (following extensive training) to provide patients with primary eye care that includes finding any visionary defects, diseases or abnormalities.

Computer hardware engineer

Average salary: €83,215

Because it’s a very specific skill and in high demand, computer hardware engineers are guaranteed a good salary.

While learning the specifics can be quite intensive, you’re often working as part of a team who support in big decisions and contribute their own expertise.

Art directors

Average salary: €80,700

If you’re creatively inclined, art directors help bring ideas to life.

Covering a range of media from print to television, radio and beyond, they head up creative teams of artists, copy writers, visual designers and the like to set the tone of an advertising project.


While there are often tight deadlines and pressures of targets, the work itself is ideal for people who have a vision.

Kal Visuals / Unsplash
Being an art director lets you be creative while getting paidKal Visuals / Unsplash

Postsecondary education teachers

Average salary: €78,620

Being an expert in any higher education topic comes with an impressive payslip.

Of course, this kind of work requires advanced qualifications like a Masters or PhD, plus it’s likely research will continue throughout your career.


Average salary: €77,262


As climate change becomes an increasingly significant topic on a global scale, geoscientists won’t be short of work.

The profession analyses the past, present and future of the Earth through its composition - rocks, fossils, soils and so on - to identify important developments and historic trends in the planet’s landscape.


Average salary: €73,680

Developing sustainable ways to manage water resources is a big one as weather patterns change drastically with climate change.

Hydrologists are responsible for monitoring the properties of water, gathering samples to test pollution or pH levels.



Average salary: €71,665

Geographers can be split into two categories: physical geographers and human geographers.

The former studies patterns in nature; from how certain land features are formed through to the impact the climate has on a particular region. The latter focuses more on humans and their interactions with the environment across locations around the world.

Soil and plant scientists

Average salary: €62,960

For anyone who is soothed by being close to nature, good news: you can be paid handsomely for it.


Soil and plant scientists play a vital role in ensuring the evolution and survival of certain species by monitoring plant life.

Thisisengineering / Unsplash
Understanding the science of plants is becoming more important than everThisisengineering / Unsplash

Farm manager

Average salary: €53,520

Early mornings and manual labour aside, being a farm manager has some surprising benefits.

It’s considered lower stress because of its physical, outdoor nature, and it’s well paid because you’re in charge of making the big decisions, including forward planning.

Agricultural engineers

Average salary: €39,600


An agricultural engineer works to ensure farmland or other expanses of land like forests are optimising their environment.

They oversee things such as agricultural production methods, building projects and sometimes even design vehicles and equipment that work for the land.

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