9. Judges and Magistrates
> Hours worked/year: 1,935
> Median hourly earnings: $62.08
> No. employed: 25,900
> Hours worked/week: 37.2
> Median annual income: $119,270
> Top annual income: $142,670
Most Judges were once lawyers, meaning they already have a bachelor’s degree, a law degree, a Bar certificate, and frequenlty a successful career as an attorney before they gained the position. This explains the judges’ extremely high salary. The median annual income for the position is $119,270, well above than the national average, with some high-ranking judges earning more than $140,000. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many judges and magistrates work 40-hour workweeks. But those with limited jurisdictions in small courts work substantially less than full-time, and many even take second jobs. Yet, even they make a very respectable $59,000 annually.
8. Occupational Therapists
> Hours worked/year: 1,902
> Median hourly earnings: $35.18
> No. employed: 100,300
> Hours worked/week: 38.6
> Median annual income: $72,320
> Top annual income: $102,520
Becoming an occupational therapist is not easy. According to the BLS, therapists need a master’s degree or higher. In addition, they must attend an academic program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) before taking the national certifying exam. Occupational therapists devote themselves to helping individuals cope with physical and learning disabilities. Because therapists usually work by appointment, many work less than the standard 40-hour workweek. Yet, their median salary is impressive, standing at $70,000 per year. U.S. News and World Report ranked the position as one of the 50 best careers of 2011.
7. Principals (Education Administrators, elementary and secondary school)
> Hours worked/year: 1,846
> Median hourly earnings: $46.49
> No. employed: 222,270
> Hours worked/week: 39.5
> Median annual income: $86,970
> Top annual income: $129,480
In order to be eligible to be a principal, applicants mush have a teaching certificate and also possess sufficient experience in school administration. Principals are responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of faculty and students. According to the BLS, the workload can be stressful and demanding at times. However, while some principals work year-round, the vast majority at the elementary and middle school level work full-days during the school-year, but do not work summers. This means principals have nearly three months to themselves. That, combined with a median salary in excess of $85,000, and the high end making nearly $130,000, principal is a great deal for all who are fortunate enough to earn the position.
> Hours worked/year: 1,819
> Median hourly earnings: $27.35
> No. employed: 148,240
> Hours worked/week: 38.3
> Median annual income: $54,500
> Top annual income: $83,510
There are several different types of librarians, and depending on the position, workloads can either be demanding or much lighter than the national average. According to the BLS, those working at colleges can work full-time, and even weekends and some holidays. However, nearly half of librarians (63,000 out of the 148,000 positions) work in elementary, middle, and high schools. This means that their schedule is limited to the morning to mid-afternoon on school days, and rarely in the summers. U.S. News and World Report listed the job in its Best Careers of 2009 report.
5. Dental Hygienists
> Hours worked/year: 1,802
> Median hourly earnings: $32.38
> No. employed: 177,520
> Hours worked/week: 34.6
> Median annual income: $68,250
> Top annual income: $93,820
Dental hygienists work alongside dentists, cleaning teeth and assisting in surgeries. The position pays well, nearly $35 per hour. This salary is quite substantial for the low stress, light hours and relatively easy certification. The most appealing part of the position is the fact that dental hygienists earn full-time wages while working more than five hours less per week than the national average. According to the BLS, “Flexible scheduling is a distinctive feature of this job. Full-time, part-time, evening, and weekend schedules are common.” It was listed by U.S. News and World Report as one of the best Careers of 2011, and it is also one of the fastest-growing positions in the country.