Americans weigh many factors when they seek employment — good benefits, vacation time, work-life balance, stimulating work environment, and a job that has meaning to society. For many, though, salary is the dominant consideration.
The average working American earns $53,490 a year, but there are dozens of jobs where the average salary is more than twice 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 average salaries.
Not surprisingly, many of the jobs on this list are in health care. More than one-fourth of all six-figure jobs on this list are related to medicine, including nine of the top 10 highest paying jobs. Salaries are high in that sector in part to compensate for the substantial investment of time and money required to obtain the needed education and experience. These jobs are among the 19 occupations the BLS forecasts will grow by a double-digit percentage for the 10-year period ending in 2028.
Other 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 steadily ascending to the highest ranks in their organization.
Often, jobs with difficult conditions and long hours pay higher salaries. High-pressure jobs where lives are on the line, such as air traffic controllers, also pay high salaries. Difficult or dangerous jobs do not always guarantee high pay, however. For example, many of the careers on this list of the worst jobs in America are both very demanding and relatively low paying.
All but four of the jobs on this list — nuclear power reactor operators, commercial pilots, 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.