The average American worker earns just under $50,000 annually. While relatively few families, and even fewer individuals, earn over $100,000 a year, Americans employed in some professions are far more likely to make the coveted six-figure salary.
There are highly paid workers in every profession across all industries. But six-figure salaries are the norm in only 48 occupations. To determine the jobs that normally pay six figures, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed average annual salaries for occupations from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of jobs in these occupations is approximately 11.2 million, or about 8% of the more than 140 million workers employed in jobs considered for this ranking.
Certain fields are more likely than others to have high paying jobs. Management, health care, and engineering occupations account for 31 of the 48 six-figure occupations.
These high paying jobs almost always require a high level of education. For example, while some types of nurse practitioners are paid less than others, all must meet the minimum qualifications of many years of education and experience.
The 48 high-paying jobs may be highly coveted, but they might not be growing like other careers. The largest growth is likely to be in nurse practitioner jobs, with a projected increase in employment of 35%. The projected employment growth for 28 of the 48 six-figure occupations exceeds the average projected growth across all occupations of 7%.
On the other hand, six of the 48 six-figure occupations will shrink by 2024. The largest decline will be in the number of air traffic controllers and airfield operations specialists, with an expected decrease of 6%.
To identify America’s six-figure jobs, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed 2016 annual average pay data for the 457 jobs tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the broad occupation level of aggregation. The pay figures as well as employment totals for each occupations are from data released for May 2016 — the latest period for which data is available. The projected change in employment between 2014-2024 are also from the BLS. Projected job openings are calculated by adding the job growth over the 10 year period to the estimated amount of replacements needed to fill the jobs when a worker retires or permanently leaves an occupation.