Work

The highest-paying low-stress job in the US pays $208,000 a year

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If you want a job with healthy work-life balance and above-average pay, a field that explores human behavior, culture and history might be the right move.

In a new analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data and extensive interviews with workers across industries, U.S. News & World Report identified archaeologists, anthropologists and cartographers as some of the best occupations for low stress and pay above the national median income of around $50,000.

Job openings in academia and with the government may help keep stress to a minimum for anthropologists and cartographers, while archaeologists may be hired to manage collections at museums.

The best job that doesn't require a specific level of education is also projected to be the second fastest-growing job through the next decade. The field of wind turbine technicians is expected to skyrocket by 57% through the year 2028 thanks to a growing demand for renewable energy. This type of work can be labor intensive — it involves replacing worn parts, troubleshooting technical programs and collecting data.

Data collection and interpretation is a main function for two other well-paying, stress-free jobs that cracked the top 10, survey researchers and statisticians.

The only tech-focused job on the list is web developer, which is expected to grow by 13% and generally requires, at minimum, a two-year associate's degree. The highest-paying job requiring the least amount of time in school is radiation therapist, which pays over $80,000 and requires a two-year degree.

But work is all smiles for the top-paying, low-stress job on the list: orthodontist. U.S. News notes that orthodontists interviewed for the analysis enjoy working for themselves or in a practice where they can count on regular business hours.

The median salary for the role is $208,000 a year, and even those in the lower quartile of earning power still bring in six-figure incomes. It's also the only occupation that requires extensive education and training, calling for a doctoral or professional degree in dentistry before returning to school to specialize in orthodontics.

Are are the 10 best jobs for healthy pay and low stress:

10. Wind turbine technician

Median salary: $53,880

Expected job growth through 2028: 57%

Education required: post-secondary non-degree award

9. Survey researcher

Median salary: $54,270

Expected job growth through 2028: 1%

Education required: master's degree

8. Hearing aid specialist

Median salary: $54,860

Expected job growth through 2028: 16%

Education required: high school diploma or equivalent

7. Archaeologist

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Median salary: $62,280

Expected job growth through 2028: 10%

Education required: master's degree

6. Anthropologist

Median salary: $62,280

Expected job growth through 2028: 10%

Education required: master's degree

5. Cartographer

Median salary: $63,990

Expected job growth through 2028: 15%

Education required: bachelor's degree

4. Web developer

Median salary: $67,990

Expected job growth through 2028: 13%

Education required: associate's degree

3. Radiation therapist

Median salary: $80,570

Expected job growth through 2028: 9%

Education required: associate's degree

2. Statistician

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Median salary: $84,060

Expected job growth through 2028: 31%

Education required: master's degree

1. Orthodontist

Median salary: $208,000

Expected job growth through 2028: 7%

Education required: doctoral or professional degree

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