Are you looking for a new job that pays a higher salary?
You’re in luck.
I’ve compiled a list of the 30 most high paying jobs so that you can easily select a new career direction.
There’s one caveat here.
Some of the best paying jobs require a certain combination of skill, previous work experience and education.
You might need to schedule in a few years of going back to school in order to qualify for some of the best-paying job opportunities.
For this reason, I’ve broken down the following list into three categories:
- Best paying jobs requiring a specialized college education
- Best hourly-rate jobs that don’t require as much education
- Lower-stress, yet high-paying, job opportunities
I used statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to ensure income accuracy.
Here are a couple of interesting takeaways about the highest paying jobs available to you.
1. The following industries provide the best opportunity for higher salaries:
- Information technology
2. The BLS reports that the healthcare industry will add almost 2.5 million new jobs over the next decade, mainly because an aging population has increased demand.
Ready to find your “best fit” highest-paying job?
Let’s get started!
10 Most High Paying Jobs Requiring Advanced Education
Some dentists work inside teams that include:
- Dental lab techs
- Dental assistants
- Dental hygienists
You might decide to work as a general practitioner or focus on specializing in oral surgery, orthodontics or prosthodontics.
Specializing requires additional education, training and licensing when compared against becoming a general practitioner.
According to the BLS, general dentists earn an average of $159,200 per year and specialists earn an average of $200,000 or more.
2. Surgeons And Physicians
The BLS reveals that 40% of the highest paying jobs include surgeon and physician positions.
Anesthesiologists, obstetricians, gynecologists and psychiatrists are examples of physician job roles.
Generally speaking, you’ll work as a doctor in individual and group medical practices, urgent care facilities and hospitals while diagnosing and treating illnesses.
Your job duties might include:
- Educating patients
- Prescribing medications
- Referring patients to specialists
- Performing surgical procedures
The average salary in this category is $208,000 and it’s expected that 4% more physicians will be needed over the next 10 years.
3. Airline Pilots
Does the thought of flying airplanes get you excited?
Keep in mind that pilots take on more responsibility than simply flying the “birds”.
As a pilot, you’d also ensure that your airplane is ready for smooth and safe flights as you:
- Submit flight plans
- Navigate while in the air
- Perform pre-flight checks
- Respond to flight changes or emergencies
You’ll need to get the proper licensing from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and obtain a bachelor’s degree in order to become a pilot.
Once you do, you can expect to make an average of $121,430 per year.
4. Engineering And Architectural Managers
These high paying jobs include hiring, training and supervising engineering teams.
You’ll be in charge of project teams that re-engineer processes of production and execute product development plans.
Your role might also include conducting cost savings analysis and controlling company budgets.
Expect to earn a median of $144,830 as an architectural and engineering manager.
5. Chief Executives
CEOs (chief executive officers) provide the following for companies:
- Company direction
- Goal setting
- Policy creation
Working as a CEO means you’ll typically report to the board of directors and manage other company officers, such as the COO (chief operating officer) and CFO (chief financial officer).
Of course, these are million-dollar positions when working for big Fortune 500 companies.
However, you can earn just over $100,000 per year working as the CEO of a smaller company.
6. Information Systems (IT) Managers
As an IT manager, you’ll have some of the following responsibilities:
- Assessing computer needs for businesses
- Hiring, training and managing other IT workers
- Ensuring company security systems
- Making computer upgrade recommendations
Over the next 10 years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects to see an increase of 10% when it comes to the number of IT professionals needed.
The BLS also reports that you can earn an average of $146,000 as an IT manager.
Your job role as an attorney includes representing:
- Government agencies
Your day-to-day operations might include reviewing legal documents, analyzing law, working inside the courtroom and advising clients about their legal responsibilities and rights.
The average lawyer earns just under $125,000 per year.
8. Human Resources Managers
Human resources (HR) managers help with a company’s hiring and retention process.
In this role, you’ll be responsible for employee:
You’ll also need to become well versed on topics such as diversity and inclusion.
Other HR manager roles include:
- Managing benefit programs
- Overseeing payroll
- Mediating employee disputes
Expect to earn an average salary of $116,000 when working as an HR manager.
9. Financial Managers
Do you love finance and numbers?
Becoming a financial manager might be right up your alley!
Here’s what your responsibilities will entail while analyzing company financial data:
- Look for opportunities to reduce costs
- Advise senior management about finances
- Stay up on market trends
- Prepare financial statements
- Supervise junior staff members
The BLS reports that financial managers earn an average of $130,000 per year.
10. Marketing And Advertising Managers
If you enjoy marketing and advertising and secure a bachelor’s degree, then you might have what it takes to become a marketing, advertising, and promotion manager.
You’ll be responsible for the advertising campaigns of companies in an effort to build brand awareness, drive new leads and convert to higher company sales.
This role comes with an average annual salary of $135,000.
10 Most High Paying Jobs (Hourly) That Don’t Require Advanced Education
11. Customer Service Representatives
Here’s what you’ll do as a customer service rep:
- Interact with customers
- Answer questions and concerns
- Take return orders
- Upsell to additional products
- Handle complaints
- Facilitate product returns
While you might sometimes work in-person and meet with customers directly, you’ll most often work remotely from an office or even from home.
All industries ranging from insurance to finance to retail need your help in this area.
The average hourly pay for customer service work is just under $17 per hour.
12. Dental Assistants
If you live in certain states, then you can become a dental assistant with no experience or higher education while undergoing on-the-job training.
Other states require passing a state certification exam after going through an accredited training program.
You’ll perform lab work, patient care, and recordkeeping in this role.
Expect to earn about $20 per hour as a dental assistant.
13. Grounds Maintenance Workers
If you like working outdoors, then you might enjoy this role.
A grounds maintenance worker entails many different types of job opportunities:
- Indoor garden maintenance
- Maintaining community playing fields or parks
- Tree trimming
These are typically seasonal jobs and you can expect to earn an average of $15 per hour.
14. Medical Assistants
Health practitioner offices need medical assistants to schedule patient appointments and help with patient exams.
You don’t need any formal education to become a medical assistant.
Requirements typically include a high school diploma and on-the-job training.
You’ll earn an average of $17 per hour in this role.
15. Bus Drivers
If you enjoy driving and would like to work outside of an office or your home, then consider becoming a bus driver.
Your job will entail transporting people from places like:
- Special events
While school bus drivers and transit bus drivers usually drive regular routes, chartered bus driving jobs to give you the opportunity to vary your routes.
Driving for a school comes with a Monday to Friday schedule and an average hourly rate of $15 to $16.
You can earn over $20 per hour if you don’t mind working weekends or evenings as a transit bus driver.
16. Financial Clerks
On-the-job training and a high school diploma is all you need to become a financial clerk, where you can work for:
- Insurance companies
- Various organizations
A financial clerk position might put you into the following roles:
- Payroll clerk
- Bank teller
Average financial clerk pay is just under $20 per hour.
17. Secretaries and Administrative Assistants
All industries need administrative assistants, including government, medicine, and law.
Your pay inside this job will range depending on the industry you’re working in and the complexity involved with your duties.
Average administrative assistant pay comes in at about $19 (approximately $40,000 per year). However, working as an administrative assistant for a top executive, for example, can increase annual pay to $60,000.
18. Construction Workers
You’ll dig shafts or tunnels, build roads, tear down buildings or construct homes and office buildings as a construction worker.
If you don’t have any desire to become self-employed, then you can work for an established construction company or contractor.
Education isn’t required with this job opportunity.
All you need is on-the-job training unless you’re looking for more technical instruction inside an apprenticeship program.
The average hourly rate is $17. You can steadily increase that median pay over time by earning certificates in specific skills. Concrete finishing is one example.
You only need a G.E.D. or high school diploma to work as a phlebotomist, although some states require additional certifications before getting hired.
Phlebotomists collect patient blood samples and work inside the medical labs of:
- Diagnostic laboratories
- Doctors’ offices
The average hourly rate for phlebotomists is $17.
20. Delivery Services Truck Drivers
If you like to drive, but don’t like the idea of a bus driver job, then consider becoming a delivery service truck driver.
You’ll pick up, transport, and deliver products or other goods in this role.
Typically, you’ll work in a specific geographic region and won’t need to travel far.
There might be some sales involved, depending on the position. Some drivers recommend additional products while going about their deliveries.
All you need is a driver’s license and quick on-the-job training to work as a delivery driver.
The average hourly rate is $15 and some delivery jobs come with excellent benefit packages.
10 Most High Paying Jobs That Come With Less Stress
Stress can be subjective from person to person.
However, some jobs come with less overall stress than others and I used the following metric when rating this area: The job must score under 70 inside the O*NET stress tolerance rating system.
The following occupations are low-stress, yet high paying jobs (each pays over $70,000 annually).
21. Technical Writers
Higher education degrees aren’t usually required to become a technical writer.
If you have a knack for writing with clarity and authority when it comes to technical issues, then you can perform this high paying job.
Some job opportunities in this industry might ask whether you have some general educational background in engineering, technology or computers.
Work as a technical writer involves writing for:
- Journal articles
- Instruction manuals
- Technical documents
The average annual salary for technical writers is about $72,000.
22. Software Developers
A software developer creates systems and applications that run on:
- Mobile devices
- Desktop computers
Some software developers have worked toward a bachelor’s degree in computer science.
However, this type of higher-level education isn’t typically required to work in the field.
Many highly successful developers gained the required skills by teaching themselves how to code or going through independent online coding courses or boot camps.
The average annual salary for software developers comes in at $107,000.
You’ll love working in this industry if you naturally enjoy numbers.
Statisticians can work in a large number of fields, such as business or agriculture.
Your role includes:
- Collecting data
- Analyzing data
- Using data to solve problems
Many statisticians have gone through college and obtained a master’s or doctorate degree in statistics or mathematics.
However, it’s possible to get your start with an entry-level position even if you only have a bachelor’s degree.
The average statistician salary is $92,000.
24. Art Directors
Working as an art director means you can work on exciting projects such as:
- Television or film projects
- Product launches
- Magazine issues
A bachelor’s degree is often required to become an art director and you’ll need to work your way up the ranks as a photographer or graphic designer first.
Once you become an art director, however, you’ll work for PR firms, editorial publications or independent companies.
Art directors make an average of $94,000 per year.
25. Operations Research Analysts
Operations research analysts help companies identify organizational problems.
They then help solve those issues using:
- Data collection
- Data analysis
It’s possible to get this position with a bachelor’s degree.
However, you should know that many higher-paying operations research analyst job opportunities require previous experience, plus advanced degrees.
The average salary in this area is $85,000.
You’ll analyze financial risks through the use of statistics, math and other factors when working as an actuary.
Insurance companies are the biggest employers for actuaries.
A bachelor’s degree is required and it’s likely that you’ll need to pass extra exams before getting hired.
Once hired as an actuary, you’ll create models that predict the economic impact and financial risk involved with illnesses, accidents and natural disasters.
Median pay for actuaries comes in at $108,000.
Optometrists specialize in everything related to the eyes and treat eye injuries, diseases and other visual problems.
You’ll need a bachelor’s degree to become an optometrist.
Additionally, you’ll have to finish a Doctor of Optometry (OD) program. An OD program takes four years to complete.
Optometrists earn an average of $115,000 per year.
An audiologist helps people who struggle with hearing and balance problems.
You might also work in ear research.
A state license and doctoral degree are required to start working in this field.
The median audiologist income is $78,000 per year.
29. Political Scientists
Would you enjoy researching the following political topics?
If so, then you can earn an average of $122,000 as a political scientist.
You’ll need a public administration or political science Ph.D. and will typically work for:
- Think tanks
- Political groups
- The government
30. Chemical Engineers
Chemical engineers solve problems relating to the use of chemicals, energy, drugs, and food by employing physics, biology, and chemistry.
You’ll need a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and will typically find yourself working in:
- A manufacturing setting
- An office
- A laboratory
The average chemical engineer salary is just under $109,000.
There you have it!
Thirty of the highest paying jobs available today.
My goal was to include enough job opportunities to fit almost any education or experience level.
You shouldn’t have any challenge finding your next high paying job from the above list.
What’s your next step?
Narrow this list of 30 of the highest paying jobs down to the one option that fits your interests and education level best.
Then, start the application process until you’re earning more than your current salary.
You can do it!