If you're looking for a job with great pay and a laid-back atmosphere, PayScale found some options for you. The salaries listed are the national median annual total cash compensation (annual salary or wage, plus bonuses, profit sharing, commissions and so on) and the percentages show the percent of respondents they surveyed who answered "my job is relaxing," "not stressful" or "a little stressful" when asked if their job is stressful.
Reservoir Engineer, $136,000, 66 percent
Reservoir engineers perform modeling studies in order to determine the value of exploration and potential production of oil fields. They estimate yields and analyze economic risk of major projects.
Petroleum Engineer, $130,000, 59 percent
Petroleum engineers determine the most efficient ways to maximize extraction of fossil fuels. They may also design or develop new tools and processes for extracting fossil fuels.
Patent Attorney, $146,000, 54 percent
Patent attorneys help protect intellectual property for organizations. "As a patent attorney, I do love my job," says Judith Szepesi, a partner in a small intellectual property boutique, HIPLegal LLP. "We work in Silicon Valley, but unlike many of our start-up clients, we don't work 16-hour days."
Szepesi says she loves learning about new technology and helping start-ups create a coherent intellectual property portfolio, which can include patents, trademarks and copyrights, as well as trade secrets.
"It does take time and energy to get here. In addition to school (getting a technical degree and a law degree), all three of us did our stint in larger law firms that had high pressure to bill hours," she says. "But where I am now is amazing."
Data Scientist, IT, $113,000, 59 percent
The interest in big data has fueled demand for data scientists, who analyze and manage large caches of data. As the amount of data companies can mine continues to grow, there may be a growth in demand for people with these skills.
Geophysicist, $105,000, 56 percent
Geophysicists study and analyze the shape of the Earth and how plates, layers and other parts of the Earth move. They also study the atmosphere of the planet and physical phenomenon such as gravity, fluid dynamics, magnetism, radioactivity and electricity.
User Experience Researcher, $99,300, 62 percent
People in these positions design and analyze websites, stores and other experiences and how people use them. UX researchers identify areas that don't "flow" and identify user goals and needs. They work with other departments to keep experiences efficient and effective.
Principal Scientist, $117,000, 48 percent
Principal scientists are the leaders of research teams. They manage scientists and perform annual performance reviews while overseeing the research and providing guidance when needed.
Actuary, $97,700, 63 percent
Actuaries calculate the financial cost of risk. A background in statistics and mathematics is helpful for this job. Actuaries often work for insurance companies but may also be employed at organizations that want to keep tabs on their risk levels.
Principal Software Engineer, $115,000, 48 percent
People who work as principal software engineers oversee research into new technologies and component design. They design, develop and test new software and oversee system integrations at organizations.
Senior Product Marketing Manager, $116,000, 47 percent
Barry Solomon is a high tech consumer electronics product marketing manager. "I get to meet with external stakeholders, i.e. customers, industry analysts and press to evangelize my product and to better understand customer needs and industry trends," he says. "I then bring that knowledge back to our company so that we can improve our products (as well as our product positioning) and meet the market's needs."
Solomon says he enjoys working collaboratively with internal and external stakeholders. "It's also incredibly satisfying when customers embrace your products and trust you to solve their problems," he says.
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