Best Paying Six-Figure Jobs in America

It is the time of year when most college students have made their way back to campus and high school students commence the fall semester.  It’s also the time when parents ask in mass what their children should study at college to assure a good future.

If the answer is also the best paying jobs, then a recent study by 24/7 Wall Street published in USA Today gives the 79 top solutions – 79 jobs paying an average $100,000 or more annually as of May 2018 (the latest data available).  They examined the average pay data across 809 jobs tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Self-employed workers were excluded along with agricultural workers and those employed by private households.

The following table shows the 20 jobs making the $100,000 average salary hurdle, ranked by average annual wage.  In addition included are the total number of people employed in the occupation, the decile below which 10 percent of the workers earn and the projected employment growth from 2016 through 2026.

Click here for the PDF listing of all 79 $100,000+ jobs and related metrics is attached.  The majority of these jobs require a core STEM education: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. All but two are projected to have increasing employment: Chief Executives and Industrial Production Managers.  There are only two that do not require a degree: Air Traffic Controllers and Transportation Managers.   Many others require advanced degrees, certifications or experience.

To read the entire study click

The Bureau of Labor statistics has an Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) detailing what specific occupations entail along with other related metrics.  This is recommended reading by me for all students.  To view the 800+ occupations click      For detailed insights into the OOH click

A six-figure salary does not necessarily equate to the best jobs nor to the definition of success.  Tradeoffs of education, experience, danger, stress and quality of life all come into the equation.

Unfortunately, many of these jobs and the required studies to get there are out-of-reach to some high school graduates if they lack the necessary STEM education.  My statement to high school students is that you cannot have too much math.   That pretty much sums it up.


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