- Different jobs have different requirements.
- But good high-paying jobs have one requirement in common.
- That requirement isn’t in some cases good grades, or even an advanced degree.
- The one requirement these 25 highest paying jobs have is dedication.
When people decide on what careers to embark on, they consider several factors, and the main one is often how much the job pays. For those who want to earn the most for their time spent, there are several jobs that are well-known for their high pay, including engineers and lawyers, but there are other jobs such as physician assistant and pilot that also can put its people in a nice income bracket.
In 2018, 24/7 Wall Street released its list of the 25 highest paying jobs in the United States.The financial news website created the ranking by studying the most up-to-date median pay data released by the U.S. Department of Labor.
“For working Americans, a job can provide a number of meaningful benefits; dignity, identity, and a sense of purpose, to name a few. For most, however, these intangible perks are of secondary importance to the regular paycheck a full-time job provides,” 24/7 Wall Street said. “While the kind of work one finds fulfilling is subjective, there is no debate about which jobs pay the most. The typical American working full-time earns $860 per week — or about $44,700 a year. In over a dozen occupations, median earnings are well more than double that amount.”
“High-paying jobs are high paying for a reason,” 24/7 Wall Street said. “They tend to be highly specialized, often requiring years of advanced — and often expensive — education beyond high school and even college. They are also almost always high pressure and challenging positions that are growing in demand at pace with or faster than the overall job growth across all occupations.”
24/7 Wall Street said that the jobs listed below are high-paying because they tend to be specialized and require education beyond high school.
Top 25 Highest Paying Jobs in the USA
25. Management analysts
Management analysts conduct “organizational studies and evaluations, design systems and procedures, conduct work simplification and measurement studies, and prepare operations and procedures manuals to assist management in operating more efficiently and effectively,” according to the Department of Labor. Other titles for this position include management consultant, operations research analyst, and management specialist.
The average median weekly earnings for management analysts are $1,499, and there are 660,000 of these workers in the United States. For this position, the projected job growth is 14.3%, and 78.3% work in the field with at least a bachelor’s degree.
24. Marketing and sales managers
Businesses hire marketers to learn what their customers want and to reach them in the most efficient way. They also hire sales people to establish relationships with clients and sell products or services. Most companies need marketers and sales people, and if those companies have multiple team members who function in those roles, they will eventually need to hire management.
The average weekly earnings for marketing and sales managers are $1,509, according to the Department of Labor. Most managers have bachelor’s degrees or better, and the projected job growth for this is faster than average.
There are 994,000 marketing and sales managers in the US because businesses large and small need to have this important role filled.
23. Physical scientists, all other
There are 270,000 physical scientists in the United States, and the field is growing at a rate of 7.2%, which is faster than average. Employed scientists all have at least a bachelor’s degree, and their median weekly earnings are $1,529.
Physical scientists typically research in their chosen field such as chemistry or biology. Other titles for physical scientists include chemist,biologist,biochemist, astronomer, geologist, and physicist.
Physical scientists are usually hired by private companies or the government to work in a lab or out in the field. Examples of employers include pharmaceutical companies, universities, and energy companies.
22. Financial analysts
A financial analyst is hired by companies to assess potential investments or the financial condition of the business. 87.4% of workers have at least a bachelor’s degree, and there are 264,000 of them in the US.
The growth rate of this job is faster than average, and the median weekly earning for this job is $1,530.
21. Mechanical engineers
Mechanical engineering encompasses multiple disciples including engineering, physics, manufacturing, and design. Mechanical engineers can create small parts such as sensors or nozzles as well as larger systems such as a car engine. The average median weekly pay is $1,534.
Mechanical engineering is a broad discipline, and mechanical engineers can choose to focus on different aspects. There are 337,000 of these workers in the US, and 76.5% of them have bachelor’s degrees or better.
20. Engineers, all other
Numerous engineers made 24/7 Wall Street’s list, and the ones who weren’t specifically named still hit spot number 20, proving that kids in college who graduate with an engineering degree of any kind have a bright future ahead of them.
The weekly median earnings for these jobs are $1,561, and 546,000 hold these positions in the US.
19. Chemical engineers
There are 78,000 working chemical engineers in the United States, and by 2026, the projected job growth is 6.5%. These workers design and develop chemical manufacturing processes, and they are hired by companies in industries such as food, fuel, or drugs.
Chemical engineers earn up to $1,636 a week on a median average, and 58.7% of them have bachelor’s degrees or better, according to the Department of Labor.
18. Computer network architects
Computer network architects earn per week on average a median of $1,636, and there are 100,000 of them employed in the United States. The majority of workers (58.7%) have bachelor’s degrees or better, but there are still a large number of people who get jobs without them.
“Computer network architects design, build and maintain a variety of data communication networks, from expansive cloud infrastructures to smaller intranets. Along with a host of technical skills, computer network architects also have a deep understanding of the company or organization's business plans and objectives. They also need business acumen to do everything from budgeting the network design and implementation to managing a staff,” U.S. News and World Reports stated.
17. Environmental scientists and geoscientists
Environmental scientists and geoscientists work to develop solutions to environmental problems. There are 80,000 of them employed in the US, and the number is growing at a rate of 6.5%.
The average median weekly earning for this job is $1,626, and every environmental scientist and geoscientist working has a college degree.
16. Information security analysts
Technology jobs are famous for paying well, and cybersecurity is a growing concern because of hacker threats and the increase of electronic records. Experts in cyber security are known as information security analysts, cybersecurity analysts, security analysts, information systems security analysts, and network security analysts.
The average median pay for this job is $1,725, and there are 94,000 of these workers in the US. The expected growth rate is phenomenal—28.5%; and the majority of people working in cybersecurity have a bachelor’s degree or better, but it is not a requirement in many instances.
15. Aircraft pilots and flight engineers
Pilots and flight engineers also make high wages. The Department of Labor said their median weekly earnings were $1,736, and the number of thesepeople responsible for keeping passengers safe total to 112,000.
While flying or working on airplanes sounds exciting, the growth rate for these jobs is slower than average at a rate of 3.5%. 73.9% of those working have college degrees. Pilots must also have licenses.
14. Judges, magistrates, and other judicial workers
The justice system has different roles such as judges, magistrates, and other workers; and there are 59,000 of them currently working. The growth rate is about average, according to the Department of Labor, and 98.3% of workers have a bachelor’s degree or better.
13. Physician assistants
Physician assistants, also known as physician associates or PAs, can practice medicine and give prescriptions while under the supervision of a doctor. They are similar to a nurse practitioner, except that they are not permitted to work independent of a physician.
PAs earn a median weekly wage of $1,747, according to the Department of Labor, and there are 97,000 of them working. The need for PAs is incredibly high. The projected job growth from 2016 to 2026 is 37.3%.
12. Computer hardware engineers
Computer hardware refers to the actual equipment, and computer hardware engineers are in high-demand. There are 73,000 of them employed, and they make a median weekly salary of $1,771.
Computer hardware engineers typically work in research labs, developing devices such as processors, circuit boards, or routers. 76.1% of them have at least an undergraduate degree.
11. Software developers, applications and systems software
Computer software refers to the programs that allow people to talk to the computer, whether this is through an operating system such as Windows or an app like Candy Crush. People who create these programs can be called software developers, applications developers, coders, and software engineers.
The average median weekly salary for this job is $1,792, and there are 1.4 million coders working in the United States. The projected job growth is faster than average and in the range of 11.1% to 30.7%.
10. Electrical and electronics engineers
“Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacturing of electrical equipment, such as electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems, or power generation equipment. Electrical engineers also design the electrical systems of automobiles and aircraft,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
There are 276,000 electrical engineers in the US, and the projected job growth is 6.5%. The average median weekly earnings is $1,803, and the majority of people working in the field have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
There are 60,000 veterinarians working in the United States, and the projected job growth is high at 18.8%. Vets take care of our pets, but they also handle the medical care for larger animals such as farm animals like cows and horses and zoo animals such as giraffes.
Vets make a median weekly earnings of $1,840, and all must be licensed and receive a doctorate from an accredited vet school.
8. Nurse practitioners
Nurse practitioners play a similar role in the medical field as physician assistants, but the key difference is that they can work independently from a doctor. There are 141,000 NPs working in the US, and they make a median average salary of $1,840. NPS can often be found at hospitals, urgent care clinics, and medical offices.
Trained people in the medical field are in high demand, and this job has a projected growth rate of 36.1%.
7. Computer and information systems managers
In this day and age, all companies must have a computer system in place, and a computer and information systems manager is responsible for planning, coordinating, and managing all computer-related activities for their organization. These roles have various names, but some common examples are information technology managers, IT project managers, and IT directors.
The median weekly earning for this role is $1,843, and there are 594,000 workers currently. The majority of people working this job have college degrees, but it is sometimes not required.
6. Aerospace engineers
The sky’s the limit for aerospace engineers who either design aircraft or spacecraft. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Aerospace engineers are employed in industries whose workers design or build aircraft, missiles, systems for national defense, or spacecraft. Aerospace engineers are employed primarily in manufacturing, analysis and design, research and development, and the federal government.”
There are 137,000 aerospace engineers, and the prospected job growth is 6.1%. The median weekly earning for this job is $1,892.
Lawyers must be licensed to practice law, and their median weekly earnings are $1,901. When it comes to lawyers’ wages, this number depends on whether or not the lawyer works for the government or in the private sector, is at a law firm or in-house, what their specialty is, where they live, and more.
According to the Department of Labor, there are 781,000 working attorneys, and the projected job growth from 2016 to 2026 is 8.2%. Almost all attorneys have a juris doctorate degree, although some states make rare exceptions.
4. Physicians and surgeons
Medical doctors are well-paid, and all must have M.D. or D.O. degrees to practice in the United States. Physicians and surgeons make a median income of $1,918, according to the Department of Labor, but doctors who specialize can make mid-six figures or more.
There are 137,000 physicians and surgeons in the US, and the projected growth for the job is 6.1%.
Who would’ve thought that the friendly neighborhood pharmacist at a CVS was actually bringing in a six-figure salary? According to the Department of Labor, pharmacists have median weekly earnings of $1,923, and the projected job growth from 2016 to 2026 is 5.6%.
Pharmacists must have a doctorate from a pharmacy school.
2. Architectural and engineering managers
“Architectural and engineering managers use their knowledge of architecture or engineering to oversee a variety of activities. They may direct and coordinate building activities at construction sites or activities related to production, operations, quality assurance, testing, or maintenance at manufacturing sites,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The median weekly earning for architectural and engineering managers is $1,999, and there are 128,000 of them in the US.
1. Chief executives
There are 1.1 million chief executive officers in the US, and their median weekly earnings are $2,296. But that number is slightly misleading because the range of CEO salaries is so large because the types of companies that exist are so vast. All companies must have a leader in place, and while some companies earn $100,000 a year in business, others like Amazon can rake in billions. Additionally, many CEOs may take modest salaries but are given huge amounts of stock options. For instance, Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, reportedly only brought home a salary of $81,840 but his stock in the company makes him the richest man in the world with a net worth of $105 billion.
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