Career Advice

7 High-paying Low-Stress Engineering Jobs

If you research the question of whether engineering is a stressful field on Reddit, the answer is often in the affirmative. However, not all engineering jobs are equal.

While there certainly are engineering jobs out there that come with long hours and high stress levels, there are certainly also many low-stress engineering jobs to choose from if you’re not a person who enjoys being under pressure.

So what engineering jobs are the happiest? While happiness and low stress levels at work often depend on the management and work culture, some engineering jobs tend to be less stressful than others. Below I list 7 of the least stressful jobs in engineering. What’s more, they also pay well.

1. Biomedical Engineers

The work of biomedical engineers combines engineering principles with science and biology. These professionals design, create, and evaluate biological and medical systems, such as medical instruments and artificial organs.

Apart from developing medical devices such as surgical lasers and pacemakers, biomedical engineers create specialized computer systems that can diagnose diseases or manage medical data.

To do their work, biomedical engineers often need to collaborate with chemists, life scientists, and medical professionals. Biomedical engineers can work in research facilities, laboratories, manufacturing plants, and hospitals.

While they may need to work longer hours when deadlines loom, biomedical engineers mostly work standard weekday hours.

  • 2021 Median Pay: $97,410
  • Entry-Level Education: Bachelor’s degree

Read More: What Are the Types of Jobs for Mechanical Engineering? 

2. Computer Hardware Engineers

Computer hardware engineers are the people who design and create computer systems and components, such as circuit boards, routers, and processors.

Apart from developing parts for computers and laptops, they also create other types of computer components, such as the internet-ready systems that are often installed in modern cars and home appliances.

Since hardware and software are often developed at the same time, hardware engineers work closely together with software developers.

Hardware engineers typically work in research laboratories and in high-tech manufacturing firms. Typically, these professionals work around 40 hours a week, except during critical phases of a project’s development.

  • 2021 Median Pay: $128,170
  • Entry-Level Education: Bachelor’s degree

Read More: The 25 Best Paying Jobs Working From Home

3. Materials Engineers

Materials engineers develop and test new materials to enhance the functionality and quality of different kinds of products, which can range from golf clubs to aircraft wings. They also test and improve current materials. They study and work with a range of materials, which may include industrial minerals, polymers, plastics, and ceramics.

Daily duties include consulting with engineers and decision-makers, selecting the best combination of materials, and determining the cause of product failure. They also consider the impact that a product or process may have on the environment.

These professionals can work in a wide range of industries, including transportation, equipment manufacturing, metal manufacturing, and computer manufacturing. They often have to collaborate with scientists and engineers.

Working hours are typically a regular 40-hour week and the job is relatively stress-free, which means it is one of easy engineering jobs that pay well.

  • 2021 Median Pay: $98,300
  • Entry-Level Education: Bachelor’s degree

4. Chemical Engineers

Chemical engineering focuses on changing raw materials into useful products in the most effective and efficient way. They use a wide range of disciplines, including math, science, economics, and biology to produce, transport, and transform materials.

The field is largely concerned with the design and operation of chemical plants. Typical tasks include researching ways to improve manufacturing processes, designing equipment, and monitoring the performance of the production process.

Chemical engineers tend to specialize in a particular field, such as nanomaterials or biological engineering. Others, known as process engineers, focus on a specific process, such as oxidation.

These professionals typically work in a laboratory or industrial setting and they mostly work 40 hours a week.

  • 2021 Median Pay: $105,550
  • Entry-Level Education: Bachelor’s degree

5. Civil Engineers

Civil engineers design, build, and maintain structural works, such as buildings, roads, bridges, dams, pipelines, and stormwater drains.

Daily duties include studying data, such as maps or survey reports, designing projects, working out construction costs, and analyzing the results of tests on soil and building materials.

These professionals mostly specialize in a field within civil engineering, such as hydraulic, geotechnical, structural, or environmental engineering.

Regardless of their specialization, civil engineers work in a variety of locations and conditions, and the job is typically a blend of office and on-location work. As is the case with the other engineering jobs on this list, civil engineers mostly have a 40-hour workweek.

  • 2021 Median Pay: $88,050
  • Entry-Level Education: Bachelor’s degree

6. Health and Safety Engineers

The job of health and safety engineers requires knowledge of both engineering and health and safety.

These professionals develop and implement systems that protect human health and the environment. This means that they strive to make the world a safe place for people, while also trying to minimize the damage that humans inflict on the environment.

Daily duties include reviewing specifications for new machinery, identifying potential hazards in facilities, and ensuring that buildings and products comply with health and safety regulations.

Health and safety managers often work in manufacturing, but can also work in other fields, such as engineering or construction.

The job requires office work and also time spent at work sites. The workweek is rarely longer than 40 hours and it’s one of the more low-stress engineering jobs.

  • 2021 Median Pay: $99,040
  • Entry-Level Education: Bachelor’s degree

7. Environmental Engineers

The work of environmental engineers is concerned with public health, sustainability, and pollution. These professionals study the effects that human actions have on different environments.

Their duties may include the design and maintenance of waste management plans, the inspection of industrial and municipal facilities, and conducting hazardous-waste management studies.

To do their job, environmental engineers need to collaborate with various other professionals, such as environmental scientists, urban planners, hazardous-waste technicians, lawyers, and other engineers.

They can work in various fields, including engineering or technical consulting services, and they also work in a variety of settings, including offices and outdoors. Except for when they’re chasing project deadlines, these professionals tend to work 40 hours a week.

  • 2021 Median Pay: $96,820
  • Entry-Level Education: Bachelor’s degree

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About Author

Founder of With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.

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