Jobs That Pay Over $100k With Little Or No Competition.
Jobs That Pay: There are hundreds of thousands of people graduating from college who don’t know what to do or people who are looking for a career transition, and the key message here is that high-paying jobs are still very much tied to industries in which demand for talent outpaces supply. This article aims to bring these jobs to your fingertips.
There are hundreds of thousands of people graduating from college who don’t know what to do or people who are looking for a career transition, and the key message here is that high-paying jobs are still very much tied to industries in which demand for talent outpaces supply.
Here is my list of jobs with six-figure salaries and enough openings for qualified applicants to score a dream job.
1. Architectural and Engineering Manager
Taking the top spot on GOBankingRates’ list, architectural and engineering managers offer the highest mean pay compared to all the other occupations in this ranking.
These professionals are in charge of activities such as proposing budgets, supervising staff, leading projects, and reviewing for quality, among other responsibilities, in architectural and engineering companies. To get the job, you will need at least a bachelor’s degree with considerable experience as an architect or engineer.
Overall, employment in this field is projected to grow by 6% through 2026 — an increase of 9,900 jobs. Generally, the highest-paid architectural and engineering managers can be found earning $199,650 per year, on average, in Silicon Valley.
To diagnose and treat complications with the human foot, you’ll need to earn a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree and complete a three-year residency program to become licensed.
However, investing in your education will certainly pay dividends in your career — especially if you work in the Charlotte, Concord, and Gastonia metropolitan area in North Carolina.
Podiatrists in that region take home a staggering $256,950 per year, which is over $100,000 more than the U.S. average. Overall, these doctors can expect an increase of 1,100 positions in their field between 2016-26 — a growth rate of 10%.
3. Marketing Manager
Marketing managers assess the market demand for services and products from an organization and its competitors. They also identify potential customers and develop pricing strategies to maximize their employer’s profits.
A bachelor’s degree is required for most marketing positions, and managers typically have work experience in advertising, marketing, promotions, or sales.
These professionals are especially well off in Silicon Valley; marketing managers working in the San Jose, Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara metropolitan area in California earn an annual mean wage of $197,130. Overall, employment is projected to grow by 10% through 2026, which equates to an increase of 23,800 jobs.
4. Financial Manager
Financial managers are tasked with the financial well-being of an organization, and their responsibilities include directing investment activities, producing financial reports, and developing long-term strategies to meet the goals of their employers.
Typically, you will need a bachelor’s degree for this position, as well as five or more years of experience in a business or financial occupation. This can include prior experience as an accountant, auditor, securities sales agent, or financial analyst.
The job outlook for financial managers is overwhelmingly positive: Employment is projected to grow by a staggering 19% between 2016-26, which means an increase of 108,600 jobs.
The highest-paid financial managers can be found earning an annual mean wage of $208,670 in the metropolitan area encompassing New York; Newark, New Jersey; and Jersey City, New Jersey.
Lawyers are well-known for their lucrative paychecks, but becoming one isn’t easy — it requires years of law school and passing your state’s written bar examination. However, you’ll be handsomely rewarded in your career, especially if you work in Silicon Valley.
Lawyers in the San Jose, Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara metropolitan area in California earn an annual mean wage of $207,950. Better yet, overall employment is expected to grow by 8% through 2026 — an increase of 65,000 jobs for lawyers.
6. Sales Manager
Sales managers direct the sales teams at organizations, which includes setting goals, analyzing data, and establishing training programs for sales representatives. Many sales managers need prior sales experience and to obtain a bachelor’s degree.
Overall employment in the field is projected to increase by 28,900 jobs — a growth of 7%. For high-paying sales manager positions, check out the metropolitan area encompassing New York; Newark, New Jersey; and Jersey City, New Jersey. There, the average salary for these professionals is $195,680 per year.
7. Natural Sciences Manager
Natural sciences managers can find work in the government and a variety of industries, such as manufacturing and consulting. You will need at least a bachelor’s degree for this position. Many natural sciences managers work as scientists before becoming managers, too.
Hot jobs in this field are generally located in the Bridgeport, Stamford, and Norwalk metropolitan area in Connecticut, where the annual mean wage for natural sciences managers is a whopping $240,800 — over $100,000 more than the U.S. average. Overall, employment in the field is expected to grow by 10% between 2016-26, which is an uptick of 5,600 jobs.
8. Advertising and Promotions Manager
Creative types who don’t quite fit the mold for public relations and fundraising might want to consider advertising and promotions instead. Typically, you will need a bachelor’s degree related to advertising, promotions, or marketing, as well as related work experience.
Employment in both fields is projected to grow by 10% between 2016-26, but there will be a greater number of positions available for advertising and promotions managers — 23,800 additional jobs — and it pays more.
Advertising and promotions managers in Silicon Valley sit within comfortable reach of $200,000, as the mean wage for this field in the San Jose, Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara metropolitan area in California is $197,130 per year.
9. Compensation and Benefits Manager
Compensation and benefits managers determine competitive wage rates, devise an organization’s benefits and pay structure, ensure compliance with federal and state regulations, and manage benefits vendors, among other responsibilities. Most jobs will require a bachelor’s degree and some related work experience.
Hartford, West Hartford, and East Hartford in Connecticut make up the highest-paying metropolitan area for this field, with an annual mean salary of $178,860. Employment for compensation and benefits managers is expected to grow by 5% through 2026 — an increase of 800 jobs.
10. Public Relations and Fundraising Manager
After accumulating years of work experience, you can aim for a position as a public relations and fundraising manager. These professionals create materials to enhance the public image of their employer, and they also direct campaigns to raise donations for their organization. You will also need at least a bachelor’s degree for this position and potentially a master’s degree.
Employment in the field is projected to grow by 10% or 7,700 jobs. The best opportunities are located in the metropolitan area encompassing Arlington, Virginia; Alexandria, Virginia; and Washington, D.C. — the annual mean wage for public relations and fundraising managers in this region is $181,100.
11. Postsecondary Law Teacher
These professors and faculty members teach courses in law at colleges and professional schools, sometimes in conjunction with conducting research. Like the other postsecondary teachers on this list, you’ll likely need a Ph.D., and having experience as a lawyer would certainly help.
The most in-demand jobs for this field can be found around the metropolitan area of Minneapolis; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Bloomington, Wisconsin.
There, postsecondary law teachers earn a mean wage of $161,380 per year. Overall, employment for postsecondary teachers is projected to grow by 15% between 2016-26 — an increase of 197,800 jobs.
12. Human Resources Manager
If you love working with people, a job as a human resources manager might be right for you once you ascend the ranks in the field. These professionals serve as the bridge between management and employees at an organization, and they coordinate the company’s staff and human resources activities. While most positions require a bachelor’s degree, some jobs may require a master’s degree.
For the highest-paying jobs, head to the Bridgeport, Stamford, and Norwalk metropolitan area in Connecticut, where the mean wage for human resources managers is $182,230 per year.
13. Purchasing Manager
Purchasing managers oversee buyers and purchasing agents who negotiate contracts, evaluate suppliers, and more to acquire products and services for other organizations to resell.
You need a bachelor’s degree for this position, and since managers typically handle more complex tasks, you’ll also need a few years of experience in procurement to become one.
Aim for purchasing manager jobs in the Morgantown, West Virginia, metropolitan area if you want to earn the annual average wage of $174,470.
As a physicist, you’ll conduct research, develop theories based on experiments and observation, and come up with ways to apply physical laws and theories. For jobs in academia and research, you will need to obtain a Ph.D.
Fascination with the physical world can pay off in a big way for physicists, who earn an average salary of $169,550 per year in the Buffalo, Cheektowaga, and Niagara Falls metropolitan area in New York. Job growth is solid as well, with a change of 14% or 2,800 jobs — expected through 2026.
15. Computer and Information Research Scientist
If you’re leaning toward a career in computer and information science, you’re in luck — it’s one of the fastest-growing industries on GOBankingRates’ list. The annual mean wage for these positions in the San Jose, Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara metropolitan area in California is $167,990.
You’ll need to obtain a master’s degree in computer science or a related field to get the job. But with employment projected to shoot upward by 19%, or 5,400 jobs, between 2016-26, there’s a good chance that your degree will pay for itself in record time.
The pharmacist at your local CVS is in charge of dispensing prescription medications to patients and educating them on the safe usage of their prescribed drugs.
Pharmacists must obtain a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.), which takes four years to complete. You must also become licensed within the state you plan to work.
Some of the highest-paid pharmacists can be found in Tyler, Texas, metropolitan area earning $174,870 per year, on average. Employment for pharmacists is projected to increase by 6% — or 17,400 jobs — between 2016-26.
17. Postsecondary Health Specialties Teacher
Postsecondary health specialties teachers are professors or faculty members who teach courses in health specialty fields such as dentistry, pharmacy, public health, therapy, veterinary science, and more.
Like the postsecondary economics teacher, experience varies by subject matter. Typically, you’ll need to obtain a Ph.D., though masters may be accepted at certain institutions.
The Jackson, Mississippi, metropolitan area offers the most competitive pay for postsecondary health specialties teachers, at $191,070 per year. In general, postsecondary teachers can expect to see employment grow by 197,800 jobs — or 15% — between 2016-26.
18. Personal Financial Advisor
Are you passionate about money and making an impact? Personal financial advisors help people manage their finances by providing advice on matters such as college savings, estate planning, investments, mortgages, retirement, and taxes. Typically, personal finance advisors need a bachelor’s degree; however, a master’s degree and certification can improve your chances.
These savvy individuals can earn an average salary of $215,840 per year if they choose to work in the Gainsville, Georgia, metropolitan area. Overall, employment for personal financial advisors is expected to grow by 15%, or 40,400 jobs, between 2016-26.
19 Training and Development Manager
Training and development managers coordinate programs that are designed to boost employee knowledge and skills at an organization. To land the job, you typically need a combination of education and related work experience.
Employment is projected to grow by 10%, or 3,600 jobs, between 2016-26. The top-paying metropolitan area for this field is located around San Jose, Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara in California — aka Silicon Valley. Training and development managers earn $165,370 per year, on average, in that region.
20. Judge, Magistrate Judge or Magistrate
Judges, magistrate judges, and magistrates are taxed with many different duties in a court of law, such as sentencing a defendant in criminal cases or determining the liability of a defendant in civil cases. To become one, you’ll typically need to earn a law degree and gain work experience as a lawyer first.
The Sacramento, Roseville and Arden-Arcade metropolitan area in California pays the highest average salary for these positions, at $198,490 per year. Overall, opportunities are projected to grow by 5% between 2016-26 — an increase of 2,200 jobs in this field.
21. Air Traffic Controller
Air traffic controllers perform a critical role in coordinating aircraft to maintain safe distances between them in the air and on the ground. These workers can rake in an annual mean wage of $151,960 if they find jobs around the Sacramento, Roseville, and Arden-Arcade metropolitan areas in California. Overall, this field will likely see employment growth of 3% between 2016-26, totaling 900 jobs.
That said, this job is not easy to obtain. Typically, you need an associate’s or bachelor’s degree from the Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative. Other applicants may have three years of work experience, college experience, or a combination of both.
In addition to these prerequisites, an Air Traffic Controller must be a U.S. Citizen, submit to medical and background checks, as well as take exams and courses at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) academy.
Beyond prescribing glasses or contact lenses, these professionals diagnose and treat different eye conditions and diseases. Optometrists must complete a Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degree program, as well as obtaining a license to practice within the state.
The optometry field is projected to see impressive employment growth of 18% — or 7,200 jobs — between 2016-26. In particular, optometrists working in the Hartford, East Hartford, and West Hartford metropolitan area in Connecticut earn $203,390 per year, on average, which is significantly more than the mean optometrist salary in the U.S.
23. Computer Hardware Engineer
As a computer hardware engineer, you’ll work on developing computer systems and components such as circuit boards, memory devices, networks, processors, and routers. And to get this job, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited program.
It may come as no surprise, but high-paying jobs in this field can be found in California, around San Jose, Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara the home of Silicon Valley.
There, the annual mean wage is bumped up to $144,230. Overall, computer hardware engineers can expect to see employment growth of 5% between 2016-26, which equals an increase of 4,000 jobs.
24. Postsecondary Economics Teacher
Postsecondary Economics teachers — aka professors or faculty members — teach economics courses at colleges and professional schools, in addition to researching many cases. Educational requirements vary based on subject. Typically, postsecondary teachers need a Ph.D., but a master’s degree may suffice for community college-level courses.
For the most lucrative positions, head to the metropolitan area centering on the cities of Bryan and College Station in Texas, where you can earn a mean wage of $176,330 per year. Overall employment for postsecondary teachers is expected to grow by a whopping 197,800 jobs between 2016-26, which is an increase of 15%.
25. Aerospace Engineer
Aerospace engineers earn a pretty penny by keeping their heads in the clouds. These engineers design aircraft, missiles, satellites, and spacecraft, and they often specialize in products such as commercial airplanes or remotely piloted rotorcraft.
To get this job, you must hold a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering or another field of engineering or science related to aerospace.
This occupation is expected to see a 6% growth in employment between 2016-26, which equates to a gain of 4,200 jobs. You can earn a mean salary of $136,720 per year if you manage to find work as an aerospace engineer in the metropolitan area encompassing Arlington, Virginia; Alexandria, Virginia; and Washington, D.C.
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