What are the highest paying jobs?

graphic image of calculator, stack of money

Want to earn more in your job? Wondering which careers pay the best? You may be considering a job change at this start to a new year; exploring high-paying careers can be a great motivator.

To see the most recent reliable figures, CareerOneStop offers the Highest-Paying Careers report. Once you’re on the report page, you can select your state, and filter the list based on your current level of education to see occupations you may qualify for now.

Keep in mind that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data does not include self-employment, so you won’t find “Social Media Mogul” or “Influencer” job titles listed, although they may earn quite a bit more than the jobs listed.  

Here are the ten highest-paying careers, listed by the level of education they typically require. Salaries listed are the national median. The career title links out to a full profile about that field.

10 highest-pay occupations with no specific level of education required; may require specialized skills

Athletes and Sports Competitors$77,300
Artists and Related Workers, All Other$61,600
Underground Mining Machine Operators, All Other$61,300
Continuous Mining Machine Operators$60,300
Loading and Moving Machine Operators, Underground Mining$57,900
Rotary Drill Operators, Oil and Gas$56,400
Hoist and Winch Operators$52,300
Tank Car, Truck, and Ship Loaders$49,400
Service Unit Operators, Oil and Gas$48,400

10 highest-pay careers available with a high school diploma or equivalent

Nuclear Power Reactor Operators$104,300
First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives$99,300
Power Distributors and Dispatchers$98,500
Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers$98,200
Elevator and Escalator Installers and Repairers$97,900
Detectives and Criminal Investigators$83,600
Subway and Streetcar Operators$81,200
Power Plant Operators$80,900
Signal and Track Switch Repairers$80,600
Postmasters and Mail Superintendents$80,300

10 highest-pay careers available with a certificate

Many certificates may be earned in a year or less and are typically available through community and technical colleges.

Makeup Artists, Theatrical and Performance$134,800
Commercial Pilots$99,600
Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, Substation, and Relay$93,400
Ship Engineers$82,400
Captains, Mates, and Pilots of Water Vessels$81,600
First-Line Supervisors of Firefighting and Prevention Workers$78,200
Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers, Transportation Equipment$77,300
Aircraft Mechanics and Service Technicians$65,400
Fire Inspectors and Investigators$64,600
Insurance Appraisers, Auto Damage$62,700

10 highest-pay careers you can qualify for with a four-year bachelor’s degree

Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers$202,200
Chief Executives$179,500
Computer and Information Systems Managers$159,000
Architectural and Engineering Managers$152,400
Natural Sciences Managers$137,900
Marketing Managers$135,000
Financial Managers$131,700
Petroleum Engineers$130,900
Computer Hardware Engineers$128,200
Compensation and Benefits Managers$127,500

10 highest-pay careers that require a master’s degree, professional degree, or further education

Emergency Medicine Physicians$208,000+
Family Medicine Physicians$208,000+
General Internal Medicine Physicians$208,000+
Obstetricians and Gynecologists$208,000+
Ophthalmologists, Except Pediatric$208,000+
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons$208,000+

Want to see the full list of careers at your education level? View the report on the Highest-Paying Careers, and select the appropriate education filter. You can also select your state to see how occupations stack up in your location.

Motivated to explore training and education opportunities to qualify for a higher-pay occupation? Check out the Local Training Finder to search for programs in your area.

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