Special Report

25 Highest Paying Jobs in America

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15. Judges, magistrates, and other judicial workers
> Median annual earnings: $93,288
> Total number of workers: 61,000
> Projected employment change 2018-2028 3.4%
> Judges, magistrates, and other judicial workers with a bachelor’s degree: N/A

With just 61,000 Americans working as judges, magistrates, and other judicial workers, it is the least common job to rank among the 25 highest-paying professions. Judges are the only job to rank among the highest paying in which most workers are elected rather than hired, as approximately 90% of state judges are voted into office, according to Harvard Law Today. One of the 15 highest-paying jobs in America, most judges, magistrates, and other judicial workers earn over $93,000 annually.

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14. Physician assistants
> Median annual earnings: $95,212
> Total number of workers: 109,000
> Projected employment change 2018-2028 31.1%
> Physician assistants with a bachelor’s degree: 93.8%

Physician assistants, who help to provide medical care, are one of just 14 occupations in which most workers earn over $95,000 annually. This profession typically requires at least a master’s degree, and physicians assistants are some of the best-educated workers. It is also projected to be one of the five fastest growing occupations in the country, as the baby boomer ages and needs more medical care. The BLS predicts an employment growth of 31.1% from 2018 to 2028.

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13. Aircraft pilots and flight engineers
> Median annual earnings: $96,564
> Total number of workers: 118,000
> Projected employment change 2018-2028 5.6%
> Aircraft pilots and flight engineers with a bachelor’s degree: N/A

Piloting is one of just a handful of America’s highest-paying jobs that do not require a college education. Most pilots earn their pilot’s license from the FAA. Pilots are one of the most gender-imbalanced of any occupation, as over 92% of pilots are men. There are over 100,000 male pilots, but fewer than 10,000 female pilots.

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12. Chemical engineers
> Median annual earnings: $96,876
> Total number of workers: 86,000
> Projected employment change 2018-2028 6.3%
> Chemical engineers with a bachelor’s degree: 91.1%

Over 91% of chemical engineers hold at least a bachelor’s degree, a far larger share than in most other jobs in the United States. This high level of specialization and education helps drive up their pay, which exceeds $96,000 in most cases. Chemical engineers work to design and produce fuel, medicine, and other products. A male dominated field, an estimated 86% of chemical engineers are men.

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11. Computer hardware engineers
> Median annual earnings: $97,864
> Total number of workers: 71,000
> Projected employment change 2018-2028 6.1%
> Computer hardware engineers with a bachelor’s degree: 76.7%

Building and testing computers as a computer hardware engineer is one of the most lucrative jobs in the country, with a median annual income of $97,864. The number of employed computer hardware engineers is projected to increase by 6.1% between 2018 and 2018, slightly greater than the national projected growth figure for all occupations, but behind projected growth for software engineers, which are expected to increase by more than 20%. This is likely due to the fact that more innovations in computer tech come from software.