There are many ways to make money, but if you really want to rake in the dough, get a high-paying job.
Having more money makes life easier. You can afford to buy nice things and travel if you want. However, most jobs that make a lot of money require specialized skills, long hours, and complex responsibilities. These jobs are stressful and demanding.
The best way to find careers with high salaries is to research the job market. Once you know what kinds of jobs are out there, you can start looking for one that suits your skills and interests. Of course, it’s not all about the money. You also need to find a job that you enjoy.
Here are 35 jobs that make good money, including their average salaries, as listed on PayScale.com and Salary.com (October 2022).
Medical Jobs That Make a Lot of Money
The medical field is well-known for having various high-paying jobs. If you are interested in this field, be prepared to spend a lot of time (and money) learning about and practicing medicine. The paycheck, however, will be well worth your efforts.
For most medical roles, you will need to complete a four-year undergraduate degree, followed by four years of medical or dental school. Then, depending on your chosen path, you may need to complete a residency, pursue fellowship training, or pass a written and practical exam to become certified or licensed.
Anesthesiologists are among the highest-paid medical professionals because this is a highly skilled and important job that requires a great deal of training and experience. They can control a person’s pain and keep patients safe during surgery by monitoring vital signs and ensuring they remain stable.
Average Salary: $307,650
As a cardiologist, you diagnose and treat patients with heart conditions. You also provide ongoing care to your patients, monitoring their progress and adjusting their treatment plans.
The demand for cardiologists is expected to grow in the coming years due to an aging population and rising incidences of heart disease.
Average Salary: $302,300
There are a few reasons why surgeons make a lot of money. The most significant reason being they often have to make life-or-death decisions, sometimes on the spot, and need the skills and knowledge to keep people alive. Surgeons work long hours and many night shifts to get their patients the care they need.
There are a limited number of surgeons worldwide, so those who are good at their job and can handle the stress will get paid well. Trauma surgeons, for example, can make more than $340,000 annually.
Average Salary: $287,500
4. Obstetrician and Gynecologist
Working as an OB-GYN is a rewarding career because you help women through some of the most important and intimate moments of their lives. You provide care and support during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period, as well as throughout a woman’s reproductive years. They also offer guidance and counseling on various women’s health issues, including contraception, sexual health, and menopause.
Average Salary: $234,900
The demand for psychiatrists and therapists is growing as more people seek help for conditions including anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
Psychiatrists are uniquely qualified to treat mental illness. They prescribe medication, provide therapy, and offer support to patients. As a result, psychiatrists are in a position to earn a high salary.
Average Salary: $218,000
6. Family Physician
Family physicians are often the highest-paid physicians and have a lot of job security. Many develop long-term relationships with their patients, treating them from infancy to adulthood whenever they have a medical problem.
Unlike some other high-paying jobs, family physicians have a good work-life balance. They have regular office hours and can take time off when needed.
Average Salary: $198,100
People are always looking for ways to improve their smiles. You can make excellent money as an orthodontist by diagnosing, preventing, and treating dental and facial irregularities. If you’ve ever had to pay for braces, you know how expensive orthodontics can be.
This field has a lot of competition, but providing quality services will ensure success.
Average Salary: $196,200
Like orthodontists, dentists play an essential role in the healthcare system and are well-compensated.
Despite the high pay, becoming a dentist is not an easy task. It requires a lot of schooling, which can be costly. And let’s face it, no one likes going to the dentist, which can be hard to deal with. However, dentists can set their own schedules and hours, which is a perk.
Average Salary: $144,000
Becoming a pharmacist is a great way to enter the medical field and earn a high salary without the stress of being a doctor or nurse.
Pharmacists dispense medications prescribed by health professionals and provide information to patients about their medication. They also advise patients on proper medication use, including the correct dosage and possible side effects.
Average Salary: $114,000
Optometry is another medical field expected to grow significantly in the next decade. The aging population will need more vision care, and chronic conditions that require vision care, such as diabetes, are also rising. There will be more job opportunities for optometrists in the future.
Pay for optometrists depends on their experience, geographic location, and the type of practice they work in, but expect to make six figures.
Average Salary: $113,275
Non-Medical Jobs That Make a Lot of Money
Working in the medical field is not for everyone and isn’t the only way to earn good money. There are plenty of opportunities in the business, law, technology, education, travel, and entertainment sectors.
Many jobs require post-secondary degrees, but you can also learn these skills through practical experience.
1. Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)
Chief marketing officers (CMOs) get paid well because they are responsible for generating revenue and growth for their companies. Without a strong marketing strategy, a company will struggle to compete and may eventually fail.
In addition to their salary, CMOs receive generous bonuses and stock options. Their compensation can be even higher than their base salary if their company performs well.
Average Salary: $175,830
2. Judges and Magistrate
The high salaries paid to judges and magistrates reflect these officials’ high level of responsibility. They ensure that the law is applied fairly and impartially in all cases that come before them. They also ensure that the rights of all parties are protected.
However, some argue that judges and magistrates are not paid enough for their work. These professionals must deal with challenging cases, work long hours, and make difficult decisions that profoundly impact people’s lives. And they must do so while operating under intense public scrutiny.
Average Salary: $174,200
3. Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
The chief executive officer (CEO) is responsible for the entire company, its operations, and its profitability. They make tough decisions impacting the company’s bottom line and motivate and inspire employees to do their best work.
A CEO must have strong communication skills to communicate effectively with shareholders, board members, and the media. Because of these factors, CEO jobs are stressful but pay a lot of money.
Average Salary: $156,200
4. Software Engineering Director
A software engineering director develops, maintains, and supports software products and services. The director also manages the department’s software engineering team, budget, and resources, which is why it pays well.
Average Salary: $155,100
5. Director of Engineering
To become a director of engineering, you must have a strong engineering background. You will also need to manage and motivate a team of engineers effectively and ensure they work towards the same goals, such as troubleshooting problems and finding solutions.
Becoming a director of engineering is a great way to make a lot of money. However, remember that you will need to put in a lot of hard work.
Average Salary: $148,175
6. Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Chief operating officers get paid well because they are responsible for the day-to-day operations of a company and play a vital role in its success. Without a competent COO, a company would likely struggle to achieve its goals.
Because of their crucial role, COOs are often one of the highest-paid members of a company’s executive team. They typically earn a base salary, bonuses, and stock options. While their compensation can vary depending on the size and profitability of the company, it is not unheard of for COOs in large corporations to earn seven-figure salaries.
Average Salary: $144,500
7. Chief Finacial Officer (CFO)
A CFO is the head of a company’s financial department, ensuring the company is financially stable and prosperous. A CFO must handle a company’s and its shareholders’ financial concerns and make decisions that will keep the company financially secure.
If you have the education and experience required to become a CFO, you will likely be able to find a job with a large corporation or a financial institution. However, it is important to note that the job market for CFOs is highly competitive. So, ensure your resume is strong and that you are prepared to interview well.
Average Salary: $140,730
8. Vice President
The salary of a vice president will vary, depending on the company they work for, their experience, their location, and the department(s) they oversee. Vice presidents in smaller companies or cities may earn less than the average salary, while those in larger towns or companies may make more. The average salary for a VP of Operations is also lower than that for a VP of Information Technology.
Either way, VPs earn an excellent salary, especially considering they are usually the second in command. They are responsible for many of the company’s decisions and often have a lot of influence over the company’s direction.
Average Salary: $133,100 to $153,500
9. Senior Tax Manager
Tax managers ensure that their clients, who typically have a lot of money, pay the correct taxes. In turn, tax managers can earn a six-figure salary and have a lot of job security, as their skills are in high demand.
To become a tax manager, you need strong math skills and an understanding of complex tax laws. You also need to work well under pressure, as you may have to negotiate with the IRS on behalf of your clients.
Average Salary: $131,725
10. Software Architect
As the demand for new and innovative software applications continues to grow, so does the need for qualified software architects. A software architect is a highly skilled and experienced engineer responsible for designing, developing, and deploying software applications. They must know how to translate business requirements into technical specifications and design documents.
A software architect’s salary is based on several factors, including experience, education, skills, and location, but the average steadily increases.
Average Salary: $129,200
11. Information Technology Directors
Information technology directors are responsible for the overall planning, implementation, and maintenance of an organization’s information technology infrastructure. The job includes computer networks and systems for data storage and security.
To be an IT Director, you must have a strong computer science and information systems background. You will also need to manage a team of IT professionals effectively. You can expect a very handsome salary if you have these skills and qualifications.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment in this field will grow by 16% in the next decade, which is much faster than average.
Average Salary: $122,675
12. Solutions Architect
A solutions architect is vital in any organization that relies on software to run its business. Without a solutions architect, no one would be responsible for ensuring that the software meets the organization’s needs.
Considering this career, you must have strong technical skills and communicate effectively with technical and non-technical staff. The job outlook for this career is excellent, and it tends to have higher job satisfaction than similar roles.
Average Salary: $121,550
13. Corporate Lawyer
There is no denying that lawyers are some of the highest-paid professionals. Corporate lawyers, in particular, tend to command higher salaries than their counterparts in other practice areas.
As anyone who has gone through the process of becoming a lawyer knows, it is not cheap. The financial investment required to become a lawyer is significant from tuition to the expense of studying for and taking the bar exam. And corporate lawyers tend to come from some of the country’s most prestigious and expensive law schools.
Corporate lawyers are vital in helping clients navigate the complex legal landscape, and their expertise is highly prized. Their salaries reflect the cost of their education and the value their skills and experience bring to their employers.
Average Salary: $116,700
14. Airline Pilot
It typically takes pilots several years and thousands of dollars to earn their licenses. Pilots also must maintain their skills by regularly logging flight hours and completing additional training.
Airline pilots are responsible for the safety of their passengers and crew. They make split-second decisions in potentially dangerous situations. If an accident occurs, they may be held personally accountable.
The airline industry is highly regulated, and pilots must comply with complex rules and regulations. They also face strict limitations on their work hours to prevent fatigue.
Average Salary: $116,500
15. Senior Construction Project Manager
Senior construction project managers are among the highest-paid professionals in the construction industry because they manage the development of large projects, including office buildings and shopping malls. They coordinate with contractors to ensure projects are completed on time and within budget.
With a good salary and the opportunity to work on exciting designs, a career as a construction project manager can be very rewarding.
Average Salary: $115,540
Related: 55 Highest-Paid Jobs in Construction
16. Dean of Students
In the education sector, the dean of students is one of the highest-paid roles because of the level of authority and responsibility the person holds. The dean is responsible for the welfare and safety of the students and for ensuring their academic success. They also play a pivotal role in the educational institution’s overall performance.
Average Salary: $107,300
17. Investment Banker
There’s no doubt that investment bankers (along with hedge fund managers, venture capitalists, and private equity investors) make a lot of money. They play an essential role in helping to get the best deals and return on investment for their clients.
Without these financial professionals, many businesses would struggle to get off the ground or expand their operations. And while there are risks involved in any investment, these professionals help minimize them by doing their due diligence and carefully selecting the right opportunities.
In other words, they help to ensure that their client’s money is well-spent. So while their high salaries may seem excessive, it’s important to remember the value they bring to the table.
Average Salary: $101,850
18. Petroleum Engineer
Petroleum engineers are in high demand due to the current boom in the oil and gas industry and have a projected growth rate of 8% by 2031. They are responsible for safely and efficiently extracting petroleum products from the ground. Petroleum engineers typically have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, although some jobs may require a master’s degree.
Petroleum engineers work in office settings but may also travel to oil and gas fields to oversee operations. They typically work full-time with the occasional overtime to meet deadlines.
Average Salary: 100,900
19. Risk Management Manager
Risk management managers can command high salaries because they are highly sought after by employers. They make sure their company’s operations are safe and compliant with regulations. They also monitor and assess risks to their business.
Average Salary: $100,500
You can make a lot of money as an actuary, but like most jobs on this list, you will also have a lot of responsibility. Actuaries are an important part of the financial world, and their work is essential in helping to keep it safe.
As an actuary, you use your skills in mathematics and statistics to calculate the probability of future events and then advise businesses and individuals on how to manage these risks. Your work is vital in helping to protect people and organizations from financial ruin.
Average Salary: $99,400
21. Real Estate Development Manager
Real estate development managers plan, coordinate, and execute real estate development projects. They work with various stakeholders to ensure that projects are completed on time, within budget, and to the highest standards.
Real estate development managers earn high salaries, especially in larger metropolitan areas. In addition to their salary, they may also receive bonuses, stock options, and commissions.
The job market for real estate development managers is projected to grow as the demand for new development projects increases. If you are interested in a career in real estate development, now is a great time to get started.
Average Salary: $97,700
A professor’s salary depends on many factors, including the institution they work for, their experience, and their teaching subject. Professors at research universities tend to make more money than those who teach at community colleges.
Professors typically have a Ph.D., which requires several years of schooling beyond the bachelor’s degree. In addition to teaching, professors also engage in research and writing. The workload can be significant, as they teach multiple semester classes and provide office hours for students.
Average Salary: $96,700 (English) to $179,200 (Law)
23. Air Traffic Controller
An air traffic controller directs aircraft, both in the air and on the ground, safely and efficiently. They must communicate with the pilots, keep track of the aircraft’s position and altitude, and make quick decisions to keep the plane safe. If an air traffic controller makes a mistake, it could result in a crash.
Because of the high-stress level and the importance of the job, air traffic controllers are well paid.
Average Salary $92,400
24. Creative Director
Creative directors are responsible for developing and overseeing the creative aspects of advertising and marketing campaigns. They work with teams of copywriters, artists, and other professionals to create concepts and execute them across various media platforms.
To succeed as a creative director, one must have a strong understanding of the latest trends in advertising and marketing and a keen eye for detail. They must think outside the box to come up with fresh, innovative ideas that capture the target audience’s attention.
Average Salary: $91,400
Geophysicists are in high demand due to the increased interest in the exploration and production of natural resources, such as oil and gas. The salaries of geophysicists are high, and they also have the potential to earn a lot of money in bonuses and commissions.
However, geophysicists must be able to travel to remote locations and work long hours in often challenging conditions.
Average Salary: $91,000
To summarize, jobs that make a lot of money usually require more effort and dedication than jobs that pay less. But the extra effort is worth it when you see your bank balance growing.
This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks.
Amanda Kay, an Employment Specialist and founder of My Life, I Guess, strives to keep the "person" in personal finance by writing about money, mistakes, and making a living. She focuses on what it’s like being in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, and surviving unemployment while also offering advice and support for others in similar situations - including a FREE library of career & job search resources.