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These are the Top 5 Highest-Paying, Low-Stress Jobs in the U.S.

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"...those who hold them don’t feel like they’re just another brick in the wall."

For today’s "top whatever" list, let's focus on something a little more lighthearted than what we covered yesterday (“Here are 6 Moments Where the Media has Wrongly Blamed Conservatives (and the Tea Party) for Violence”).

Let’s take a look at the best-paying, least-stressful jobs in America. The following occupations, according to research from online salary database PayScale.com, pay above average and don’t make you go crazy from the pressure.

Sounds like a pretty good deal, right?

PayScale.com, which specializes in compiling salary and job data from employees around the U.S., reports that these gigs are “typically knowledge-based and require highly specialized training and education,” as Bridget Quigg of the Daily News puts it.

“Being smart at something really helps you feel happy,” says PayScale.com research analyst Katie Bardaro. “The more preparation you put into a career, the more you can define your career, such as being able to set your schedule and your tasks.”

One of the reasons these jobs tend to register fairly low on the Stress-O-Meter is because those who hold them don’t feel like they’re just another brick in the wall, Bardaro explains.

These are the Top 5 best-paying, low-stress jobs according to PayScale.com data [all block quotes via Daily News]:

5. User Experience Designer

Image courtesy shutterstock.com

Median Annual Salary: $79,100

User experience (UX) designers optimize any experience where humans interact with objects, such as board games, ATMs and cars. For example, in a world where nearly anyone can create a Web site in hours, leading companies often hire UX designers to make their site more attractive and easy to use. UX designers come from a variety of disciplines, including psychology, industrial design and anthropology.

“I work on projects just as they start or even initiate the project myself,” says Mike Bibik, a senior UX designer in Seattle. “This affords [me] a greater amount of influence, and I am not dealing with the stress of project decisions or directions with which I disagree.”

4. Aeronautical Engineer

Image courtesy: The Associated Press

Median Annual Salary: $82,800

Who wouldn’t feel inspired working on the wonder of flight every day? From lowering aircraft weight and fuel needs to improving safety, aeronautical engineers spend a lot of time rethinking and improving how we travel through the air. Aeronautical engineers typically have a bachelor’s degree to start, but many earn master’s degrees and pass both licensing and professional advancement exams.

3. Economist

Milton Friedman

Median Annual Salary: $85,600

Economists pay attention to the distribution of goods and resources. They may focus on money, natural resources or other valuables, and often work to predict future outcomes. Those with a PhD fare best in what can be a very competitive job market. You have to be willing to produce plenty of reports and analyses based on hours of number crunching. The government employs the majority of economists, according to the BLS.

Click here to see the top two here.

Front page photo source: shutterstock.com

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