There are many considerations Americans take into account when looking for work. Some look for a job with good benefits, others want a healthy work-life balance, and others want a career that gives them a sense of purpose. However, for a large share of the American workforce, salary is the number one consideration.
The average working American earns $51,960 a year, but there are dozens of jobs where the average salary is more than double that.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed average annual salaries for over 800 occupations from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to identify the 79 jobs with six-figure salaries. Such high-paying jobs are relatively rare — and hard to acquire. Of the 142.5 million employed Americans, just 8.4% work in professions where the average salary is at least $100,000.
There are many reasons certain jobs pay six figures. Many of the jobs on this list are executive or management positions typically held by those who have been working in the same career for years and who have been advancing to the highest ranks within their organization and field.
Often, jobs with difficult conditions and long hours pay higher salaries. High-pressure jobs where lives are on the line also pay high salaries. However, difficult or dangerous jobs do not always guarantee high pay. For example, many of the careers on this list of the worst jobs in America are both very demanding and relatively low paying.
For many of the high-skilled jobs on the list, salaries are high in part to compensate for the substantial investment of time and money required in obtaining the needed education and experience. Surgeons, for example, require as much at 16 years of education and training.
All but two of the jobs on this list — transportation managers and air traffic controllers — require at least a four-year college education, and many require doctorate degrees or other additional certification. While they do not tend to pay six figures, many other high-paying jobs do not require a college education.These are the highest paying jobs you can get without a college degree.