Five Top-Paying Careers

Whether you’re embarking on a career that is a lifelong dream or you’re someone who punches the clock to support your passions beyond the land of nine-to-five, knowing which careers offer more bang for their buck can help you evaluate your current and future career goals. Every year the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles statistics on high-salary careers, projected job, and a slew of other employment characteristics. Let’s take a look at five top-paying careers.


Management jobs are near the top of the list of high-salary careers with an annual mean wage of $105,440 in 2010. This category includes mid-to-senior-level positions in a variety of fields. From chief executives in corporations and nonprofits to human resources managers and education administrators, these positions are among current top-paying careers and job opportunities are expected to grow through 2018. Most management positions require a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Computer and Mathematical Occupations

In the “Age of Technology” it is no surprise that computer and mathematical occupations are high-income careers with positive job growth projections. Computer software engineers, network systems and data communications analysts, and similar positions are in demand and in all likelihood will be for the immediate future and beyond. Individuals in these positions not only get the benefit of job security, but also take home hefty paychecks to the tune of an annual mean wage of $77,230 in 2010. Mathematical-oriented jobs such as statisticians, actuaries, and other mathematical science occupations are also high-income careers. Most of these positions require a bachelor’s degree. More specialized computer and mathematical jobs may require a master’s degree.

Healthcare (Practitioners and Technical)

Healthcare practitioners and support positions are lucrative, stable, high-salary careers with a mean annual wage of $71,280. As in previous years, positions within this field are expected to grow with Baby Boomers approaching old age and as new medical technology and procedures continue to develop. Physicians and surgeons accrue the highest salaries in the field. Support and technical positions – such as registered nurses, home health aides, medical assistants, and licensed vocational nurses—are expected to experience the most job growth. Education for this field depends on the position and can range from an associate degree to a doctorate.

Business and Financial Operations

Positions within the business and financial sector are typically top-paying careers, but these positions are also expected to experience job growth in the next several years. The annual mean wage for occupations that fall within this field was $67,690 for 2010. Though there are several jobs that fall under this area, management analysts, auditors, and accountants are the positions that should experience the most growth through 2018. Positions within this field typically require a bachelor’s degree or higher, and specialized training in some instances.

Architecture and Engineering

The annual mean wage for architecture and engineering positions in 2010 was $75,550. This also includes related positions in the occupation such as surveying and map technicians as well as support roles such as drafters and cartographers. The minimum degree requirement for architecture and engineering positions is a bachelor’s degree.

Getting ideas for pursuing new high-salary careers? Money might not make the world go around, but it can definitely make it more fun.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Data:

  1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics statistics on high-salary careers
  2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected job growth

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