13 Highest-Paying Jobs For People Who Hate Sitting At a Desk
Sitting in a cubicle all day can be depressing, but the sad truth is that the vast majority of high-paying, stable jobs require people to mostly stay chained to their desk. Using average salary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, we decided to pick out the 13 highest-paying jobs where people get to stop staring at their computer screens and go somewhere else.
Take a look to see the kind of money you can make in a classroom, at a drill site, or in a cockpit 30,000 feet above the earth.
13. Mining and geological engineer
Average annual pay: $96,950
These are the folks responsible for figuring out what's going on under the surface at mining and land development sites, and making sure things are safe for the environment and for workers.
Though mining is thought to be a dangerous industry, the salary isn't bad.
> Apply for a job as a mining engineer
12. Industrial production manager
Average annual pay: $99,370
The average factory manager makes just shy of six figures, but it's unclear whether working on a factory floor is much better than in a cubicle.
> Apply for a job as an industrial production manager
11. Economics professor
Average annual pay: $100,490
There's good money in the (college) classroom, and economics professors are cited everywhere from news stories to policy papers for their decision-making knowledge.
Prior to working for the government, current Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen was an economics professor at the University of California-Berkeley.
> Apply for a job as an economics professor
10. Engineering professor
Average annual pay: $102,880
This job description includes both professors primarily concerned with teaching and those primarily working in research.
9. Chemical engineer
Average annual pay: $104,340
Chemical engineers help create everything from medicine to fuel. Many work in offices, but others have the opportunity to work in laboratories or at the facilities where their science is being used to create new foods or chemicals.
> Apply for a job as a chemical engineer
8. Aerospace engineer
Average annual pay: $105,450
What could be cooler than building airplanes and spaceships?
While many engineers spend a lot of their time in an office, others get to go onsite to oversee the actual construction of the things they're building.
> Apply for a job as an aerospace engineer
7. Medical school professor
Average annual pay: $105,880
Teaching doctors, dentists, and veterinarians can make you a nice six-figure salary.
The average salary isn't quite as much as what the average practicing physician makes, but it's certainly nothing to sneeze at.
Average annual pay: $108,420
Earth scientists study a wide range of natural landscapes and can work in jobs at engineering and environmental consulting firms, mining companies, and government agencies.
Oftentimes this means going on site, whether its helping the Army Corps of Engineers build a bridge or studying the ocean to produce research for a college.
> Apply for a job as a geoscientist
5. Law professor
Average annual pay: $122,280
Being a legal professor is a pretty good gig. You get a nice salary and the opportunity to educate the next generation of lawyers and judges.
And who knows, you might just follow in the footsteps of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, both of whom taught law school before moving on to bigger things.
> Apply for a job as a law professor
4. Airline pilot
Average annual pay: $129,600
While you're still in a confined space, at least you're flying around the world.
> Apply for a job as an airline pilot
3. Petroleum engineer
Average annual pay: $149,180
Petroleum engineers come up with the best ways to get oil out of the ground, a valuable skill these days. This profession includes developing the tools and software necessary to get the job done.
Much of the work is done on-site, where the engineers are required to inspect the drilling process and make sure everything is running smoothly.
> Apply for a job as a petroleum engineer
2. Nurse anesthetist
Average annual pay: $157,690
Knocking people out before surgery is such a lucrative skill that even the nurses who practice it are raking in an average annual salary well above $100,000 a year.
Sometimes the nurse anesthetist only assists the doctor while the doctor performs anesthesia. Either way, the job requires the people to be registered nurses with specialized graduate education.
> Apply for a job as a nurse anesthetist
Average annual pay: $191,880
Physicians and surgeons have meaningful, active work and get paid nicely to do it.
Specialists, like orthodontists and gynecologists, can make even more, with anesthesiologists topping the list with a $235,070 average annual salary.
> Apply for a job as a doctor
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