Money is a sensitive subject. Many of us are taught from an early age that it’s impolite to talk about it, while in the workplace, negotiating a salary is also a delicate matter. Ask for too much and you might lose an opportunity; ask for too little and you’ll be paying for your mistake for years to come.
Even so, job seekers need to do research to find out what they’re worth. But employers also need to keep up with salary rates to remain competitive in the hunt for talent. Of course, some jobs are more competitive than others. But which are they?
Our data science team took a deep dive into Indeed’s salary data to shine a light on some of the jobs that currently pay an average of more than $100, 000 per year. Below we highlight twenty of them — and then take a close look at what they involve, and the qualifications required. (And if your job isn’t on the list, then don’t worry: Indeed’s free salary search tool can help you find the information you need).
Healthcare and tech roles dominate the high salary list
High demand, high skill, tough-to-fill healthcare jobs feature heavily in the list, though it’s no easy matter to land one of these jobs: the average physician spending 14 years in training. Tech and business roles also pay well — though even if you don't need to spend quite so long in school you'll likely still need a higher education.
Jobs that pay more than $100,000: A deep dive
Neurologists treat nervous system disorders including stroke, spinal tumors, memory disorders, headaches and more. Those wanting to enter the field must first obtain an undergraduate degree, then a graduate degree in medicine followed by several years of neurosurgical residency training. Only then can a physician become certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. The good news is that all that education pays off — the average salary for a neurologist is $217,837.
Psychiatrists have another perspective on the workings of our brain: their job is to diagnose, treat and help prevent mental, emotional and behavioral disorders. Specializations include addiction, geriatric, child and adolescent psychiatry. Requirements include training at medical school, then four years of psychiatry residency, and certification by The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Psychiatrists earn $194,563 on average, and employment in the field is expected to grow by 15% by 2026, according to the BLS.
Were it not for anesthesiologists, then our medical procedures would be a lot more painful. For preventing our pain, anesthesiologists make an average of $173,694 per year though not before attending medical school and spending four years in an anesthesiology residency. After this, anesthesiologists have the option to become board-certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology (almost 75 percent of anesthesiologists have done so).
Radiologists use medical imaging techniques such as X-rays and CT scans to peer within our bodies and help diagnose conditions hidden from the naked eye. This field includes such disciplines as diagnostic radiology and radiation oncology and pays $168,706 a year on average. Like other specialists, radiologists must first graduate medical school and become physicians before completing a four-year radiology residency, and then adhere to the educational requirements as outlined by The American Board of Radiology.
A physician is a general term for a professional who practices medicine, and most of them can be found working in physicians’ offices and hospitals. Physicians may focus on a specialty, or they might consider becoming a general practitioner, who treats a wide array of illnesses early in their development. Physicians earn an average annual salary of $165,391 and demand for their services is only going to rise as the population ages.
Dentists can be generalists, or they can specialize and practice in any of nine areas — including orthodontists for teeth-straightening, periodontists for gum health, or prosthodontists for replacing missing teeth. Employment is expected to grow 17% by 2026 according to the BLS, much faster than average. Because many dentists own and run their own practices, business acumen and interpersonal skills are also important. The job pays well, too — on average, dentists make $157,250 a year.
Management consultancy McKinsey & Company describes product managers as “the glue that bind together the many functions that touch a product.” It's a demanding role that requires skill in design, strategy, marketing, and leadership — but it also offers a lot of variety. Directors of product management make on average $147,363 a year, and here's some extra good news: there are many pathways to this career. A bachelor’s degree in IT, marketing, finance, business or the liberal arts can provide a way in, although an MBA is strongly preferred.
Surgeons earn an average yearly salary of $140,892 and work alongside physicians to treat both minor and serious injuries and deformities. As with other medical specializations, lots of training is required before you can get your license, and once certified by the American Board of Surgery, physicians must complete additional training in their sub specialty of choice. Even then, the learning never stops — and social media now plays a huge role in the sharing culture among surgeons, allowing them to communicate with each other and exchange questions and experiences regarding specific practices and techniques.
Robots, virtual personal assistants and self-driving cars are all things that machine learning engineers work on and for their efforts they make an an average annual salary of $137,332. A degree in IT, computer science, or statistics is usually recommended, as well as an aptitude for experimentation and writing code. Some other important traits for this role? You should have good data intuition and be comfortable with an iterative process of development.
Sales is a career path that’s an excellent fit for someone with the power of persuasion. And if you’re skilled enough, you may one day ascend to the level of Vice President of sales, a job that requires excellence in planning, implementing, and (of course) hitting those sales quotas. Qualifications typically include a bachelor's degree in business or a related field and relevant job experience. The pay isn’t bad, either: the annual average salary is $136,071.
Data scientist ranked second on Indeed’s “best jobs” list of 2017, and it pays pretty well too: on average these professionals can expect to bring home $135,315 per year. But as with many jobs on this list that paycheck doesn't come easily — besides a bachelor's degree and a master’s in computer science, statistics, mathematics or a related quantitative field you should also develop expertise in coding languages such as Python, R, and SQL.
Chief Financial Officers are responsible for the financial health of an organization and can earn an average annual salary of $127,887. Besides divvying up financial reports and developing strategies their organization can use to meet those all-important financial goals, CFOs today need to stay abreast of technological change as more and more data is available to inform those critical decisions.
Google recently announced that their Android operating system had crossed a milestone, reaching over 2 billion monthly active devices. That’s good news for android developers, who develop applications for the platform and who earn an average annual salary of $120,971 for doing so. Android Developers typically have a master’s degree in computer science, math, or a related field as well as expertise in programming languages, such as Java, Android SDK and C++.
A senior software engineer shouldn't just be great at coding — a knack for juggling multiple projects and working with different teams is also important. Although it pays well (on average $119,791 per year) unlike most of the other jobs on this list, you may not need formal qualifications to make that money. One study found that almost 60% of software engineers didn’t have a computer science degree.
Full-stack developers have specialized knowledge or familiarity with all stages of the software development process. They take home an average annual salary of $111,709, and not only that but this role placed first on Indeed's list of the best jobs of 2017.
Actuaries analyze financial risk and uncertainty with the aid of mathematics and statistics. The majority of actuaries work for insurance companies and earn an average annual salary of $111,474. Most actuaries earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics or statistics and become certified by the Casualty Actuarial Society or the Society of Actuaries.
Tax managers prepare and examine financial records to ensure they are accurate, as well as prepare taxes and make sure they are paid on time. A tax manager can earn an average annual salary of $108,515. Their background often includes a bachelor's degree and a master’s degree in accounting, plus CPA certification in the state of residence. The BLS also predicts solid employment growth of 10% by 2026.
Communication, strategy, and business intelligence are all skills indicative of excellent business developers. Daily responsibilities for this job include fostering and growing relationships, creating and implementing organizational strategy, and achieving sales goals. A director of business development often has an MBA and can earn an average annual salary of $107,789.
For the first four decades of the modern Olympic Games, architecture was considered an Olympic sport, as art was considered an essential part of the competition.That may not be the case today, but demand remains for people with the combination of creative and analytical skill required by this career. Architects typically have a bachelor's degree, and have passed the Architect’s Registration Examination. Those in the profession make a yearly average salary of $104,080.
Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with higher education and training in particular areas and who provide quality healthcare to their patients. A nurse practitioner makes $103,233 a year, and must obtain a Master’s Degree in one of four recognized APRN roles as well as pass a national certification exam before becoming a nurse practitioner. Currently, over 50% of practicing nurses are over 50 years old — meaning the U.S. might be facing a nursing shortage in the future. The job outlook for nurses is thus very strong, with a whopping 31% expected growth by 2026 according to the BLS.
To create this list, we calculated average salaries for job titles with at least 50 salary records over the last year.