What it takes to land 11 jobs that pay over $100,000 a year

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Jobs That Pay $100,000 or More

Surgeons and lawyers aren't the only professionals raking in six figure-paychecks. There are plenty of other high-paying jobs out there — and many don't require an advanced degree.

To give you a better idea of the variety of high-paying careers available to you, Glassdoor put together a list of 11 jobs that pay over $100,000 a year, along with advice on how to get hired for each one.

For many of these jobs, total pay is highly dependent on the base salary. But for other jobs, a big part of employees' total pay is earned through other forms of compensation (i.e. commissions, tips, and bonuses). To be considered for the list, a job must have received at least 60 salary reports shared by US-based employees over the past two years.

Here's how to land these 11 high-paying jobs:

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What it takes to land a six-figure job
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What it takes to land a six-figure job

Equity research associate

Total median pay: $100,000

Median base salary: $85,000

How to get hired, according to Glassdoor: Equity research associates report on financial trends using financial models and other analytical techniques. Their research and reports inform other financial analysts' efforts. So while the position incorporates much of the excitement and rewards of investment banking, it is different, as much of the workload involves generating information. To qualify for the position, candidates need a bachelor's degree in finance, economics, or a similar field.

Photo credit: Getty

Physician assistant

Total median pay: $100,392

Median base salary: $100,000

How to get hired, according to Glassdoor: A physician's assistant (PA) holds a master's degree and a license. PAs — who examine patients, order tests, and prescribe some medications, among other things — attend medical school rather than nursing school. 

Photo credit: Getty

Nurse practitioner

Total median pay: $101,600

Median base salary: $100,000

How to get hired, according to Glassdoor: Nurse practitioners (NP’s) have at least a master's degree in nursing. Individual states may require additional certifications. NPs are qualified to perform physical exams, treat common injuries and illness, and prescribe some medications. Some NP’s have their own private practices.

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Regional sales executive

Total median pay: $103,500

Median base salary: $65,000 

How to get hired, according to Glassdoor: Successful regional sales executives need to be well-versed in their company's product lines and acutely aware of their customers' needs. Regional sales executives are stellar communicators with a knack for spotting opportunities. They are always looking to grow their business and expand their customer base. Depending on what industry they represent, a college degree may or may not be necessary.

Photo credit: Getty

Drilling engineer

Total median pay: $116,500

Median base salary: $106,680

How to get hired, according to Glassdoor: Securing a job as a drilling engineer requires a BS in petroleum or mechanical engineering. Professionals in this role ensure that all plans and practices related to gas, oil, or water drilling are strategic and safe. They have to be team players and excellent communicators both internally among their team and externally to their clients.

Photo credit: Getty

Geophysicist

Total median pay: $119,380

Median base salary: $109,864

How to get hired, according to Glassdoor: Geophysicists study the earth using gravity, seismic, electrical, and magnetic methods. There are various kinds of geophysicists. Some study how the earth is changing, while others locate valuable minerals beneath its surface. The position requires a bachelor's or a master's degree in geology. Geophysicists must be skilled at evaluating sites, conducting often complex experiments and reporting their conclusions.

Photo credit: Getty

Special agent

Total median pay: $125,000

Median base salary: $121,000

How to get hired, according to Glassdoor: Some special agents work for law enforcement and help build cases for criminal investigations by amassing evidence. Others are employed by private companies. Their role may be to examine trends in criminal activity and propose strategies to prevent future crimes like financial fraud. Qualifying candidates usually have a law enforcement background or military experience plus a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. Special agent roles can be action-packed and may require non-standard or on-call work hours.

Photo credit: Getty

Dentist

Total median pay: $129,968

Median base salary: $125,000

How to get hired, according to Glassdoor: Prospective dentists have to complete a four-year undergraduate degree in pre-dentistry or another scientific field, score well on the Dental Acceptance Test administered by the American Dental Association, and complete a doctoral degree in dental surgery or dental medicine before they can get licensed. Many budding dentists also pursue specialties which can make their practices even more lucrative. Dentists frequently opt to run their own practices, which can require both clinical and professional skills.

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Airline pilot

Total median pay: $134,000

Median base salary: $120,00 

How to get hired, according to Glassdoor: Airline pilots have to be certified with an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL). Major airlines often prefer candidates who hold a bachelor's degree in aviation, physics, or related fields, or those who have served in the military. In addition to the mechanics of operating the plane and evaluating obstacles that may interfere with the flight, pilots also take a leadership role in overseeing their crews. They need to be seasoned managers and savvy communicators who are comfortable with a non-standard schedule.

Photo credit: Getty

Software architect

Total median pay: $139,000

Median base salary: $130,000

How to get hired, according to Glassdoor: Software architects build software that enables businesses to operate more efficiently. Then they take the lead in communicating about system developments with the company's leadership. Most people with this job have at least a BA in math, software engineering, or a similar field. Some people do acquire the right skills, however, through non-traditional education, such as through an online coding bootcamp or another online accelerated education program. They need a high degree of technical savvy and skills like coding. They also need to know how to collaborate with others. Long hours can be required.

Photo credit: Getty

Reservoir engineer

Total median pay: $143,000

Median base salary: $125,000 

How to get hired, according to Glassdoor: Reservoir engineers identify and pursue oil and gas reserves underground. Their goal is to extract the maximum amount of economical hydrocarbons. In order to fill this role, professionals need a degree in petroleum engineering plus experience in a field that is highly technical and nuanced.

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