Americans entering the workforce can have a number of different reasons for pursuing one career over another. Some look for an occupation that allows them to utilize their natural gifts, while others follow their passions and do work they find meaningful. Yet for many, the main impetus for deciding on a particular career is often simply compensation.
The median pay across all jobs in America is $46,072 a year. There are many professions that tend to pay much higher than that – some of which pay more than double the U.S. median wage.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed median weekly earnings by detailed occupation from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine America’s 25 highest paying jobs.
These careers often require high levels of specialization, whether it is technical expertise to work with complicated machines, years of studying in medical or law school, or significant experience in managing employees and keeping a company’s investors happy.
These skills are often acquired through higher education. Of the 25 highest paying jobs, 24 have a bachelor’s degree attainment rate above 50 percent among job holders. Nationwide, just 32.0 percent of adults hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.
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To identify the highest paying jobs in America, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed 2018 annual averages of median weekly earnings for full-time wage and salary workers by detailed occupation from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of workers employed in each occupation was also obtained from the BLS. The estimated yearly earnings for each occupation was calculated from the median weekly earnings figures.
25. Industrial engineers, including health and safety
• 2018 median annual earnings: $77,948
• Total number of workers: 245,000
• Projected employment change 2016-2026: N/A
• Managers, all other with a bachelor’s degree: N/A
24. Computer systems analysts
• 2018 median annual earnings: $79,092
• Total number of workers: 580,000
• Projected employment change 2016-2026: +9.1 percent
• Industrial engineers with a bachelor’s degree: 73.8 percent