Special Report

America's Favorite Six-Figure Jobs

Alexander, Robert Serenbetz

7. Chief Executives
> Employment: 248,760
> Median wage: $171,610
> Projected change 2012 – 2022: 5.3%

Chief executives oversee the day-to-day operations for an entire company or organization. Their work helps the company manage its operations, finances, and often its goals. Many executives have a master’s degree in business administration. Last year, there were nearly 249,000 chief executives working in almost every industry and nearly 18% were self employed. The median annual wage of chief executives was greater than $171,000 last year. And, of course, chief executives at large multinational companies can take home even eight-figure compensation packages.

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6. Pharmacists
> Employment: 287,420
> Median wage: $119,280
> Projected change 2012 – 2022: 14.5%

In addition to dispensing prescription medication to patients, pharmacists may also provide health tips, medical screenings, and immunization shots. Like other clinical and health-related occupations, pharmacists follow a very specific schooling track. They are required to obtain a Doctor of Pharmacy –typically a four year program — and often complete a residency. Afterward, about 66% of pharmacists go on to work in drugstores and hospitals. Some pharmacists must work nights and weekends due to pharmacy store hours and hospital shifts. Of course, they are also well-compensated. Pharmacists earned an an annual median wage of $119,280 last year.

5. Computer and Information Systems Manager
> Employment: 319,080
> Median wage: $123,950
> Projected change 2012 – 2022: 15.3%

Computer and information systems managers direct the information technology needs for their organizations by recommending software and hardware purchases, ensuring network security, and hiring staffers to troubleshoot problems that arise, among other responsibilities. Such managers frequently have an undergraduate degree in computer science or information science, while many have a graduate degree such as an MBA. It is just one of five occupations with a median pay of more than $100,000 that also employed over 300,000 people as of 2013.