25 best jobs that pay $100K

Significant salaries

Want a career that pads your wallet? Look no further than these 25 jobs from the U.S. News Best Jobs of 2019 rankings, which pay six-figure salaries on average.

That $100,000 threshold is more than twice the U.S. median personal income, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics calculated as $887 a week – or about $46,124 a year – in the third quarter of 2018. Many high-paying jobs require heavy investment, sometimes in the form of multiple educational degrees that take years to complete and cost thousands of dollars.

Data for this list comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an arm of the federal Department of Labor. The highest median salary the agency records is $208,000, so some of the following professions may offer median annual incomes above that amount. Read on to learn about jobs that pay at least $100,000 and what it takes to get them.

25 PHOTOS
The best jobs that pay $100K
See Gallery
The best jobs that pay $100K

25. Business Operations Manager

Industry: Business
Median Salary: $100,410

The name says it all: Taking care of business is the raison d'être for business operations managers. They discern how to meet company goals and organize workers to carry out those plans. Their responsibilities may include setting budgets, hiring people, organizing departments and making other strategy decisions. Business operations managers need bachelor’s degrees and sometimes master’s of business administration degrees. Annual MBA tuition ranges from about $11,000 for in-state students to more than $70,000 at private institutions.

Learn more about business operations managers
Discover 10 ways to find money to pay for an MBA.

24. Nurse Midwife

Industry: Health care
Median Salary: $100,590

As registered nurses who focus on women’s health care, nurse midwives provide reproductive services such as delivering babies and giving gynecological exams. Nurse midwives have degrees in nursing, either at the undergraduate or master’s level, plus master’s degrees in nursing midwifery from one of nearly 40 accredited programs. Among the top 50 programs ranked by U.S. News, annual tuition for a nursing master's degree program ranges from about $11,000 to about $45,000.

Learn more about nurse midwives.
Learn more about nurse midwifery programs.

23. Actuary

Industry: Business
Median Salary: $101,560

Risk-averse people may be natural-born actuaries. These professionals use math and economics to help corporations reduce the costs associated with liabilities. They design tests, analyze models and present their findings to company executives. Their work is essential to insurance corporations, which set fees based on the probabilities that particular events will occur. Actuaries need to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Learn more about actuaries.

22. Software Developer

Industry: Technology
Median Salary: $101,790

From commerce to communication, many facets of modern life depend on the work software developers do. They design websites, make smartphone applications and fix digital bugs that interfere with online activities. Software developers typically have college degrees in computer science or a related discipline. This career is one of the 10 Best Jobs for Millennials. It’s also the best job of 2019.

Learn more about software developers.

21. Mathematician

Industry: Business
Median Salary: $103,010

While some mathematicians pursue teaching and research careers at academic institutions, others find employment at businesses and government agencies, where they use data and statistics to inform key decisions. In addition to bachelor's degrees, most mathematicians have master’s or doctoral degrees. The former can cost tens of thousands of dollars, while many universities cover tuition costs for doctoral students.

Learn more about mathematicians.

20. Nurse Practitioner

Industry: Health care
Median Salary: $103,880

As nurse-physician hybrids, these health care workers perform the duties of both professions. They may specialize in specific populations, such as children, the elderly or people who have mental illness. In most states, they can prescribe medicine, diagnose illnesses and refer patients to specialists. Nurse practitioners earn master’s degrees and licenses after completing college. Among the top 50 programs ranked by U.S. News, annual tuition for a nursing master's degree program ranges from about $11,000 to about $45,000.

Learn more about nurse practitioners
Learn more about nursing programs.

19. Physician Assistant

Industry: Health care
Median Salary: $104,860

Physician assistants collaborate with doctors and nurses to deliver medical care to patients. They perform exams, make diagnoses, write prescriptions and provide treatment. Physician assistants need undergraduate degrees and master’s degrees in their field. Median tuition at public schools is $42,792 for residents and $79,552 for nonresidents, and it's $85,430 at private schools, according to the Physician Assistant Education Association 2017 survey.

Learn more about physician assistants
Learn more about physician assistant programs.

18. Optometrist

Industry: Health care
Median Salary: $110,300

These vision experts help the rest of us see the world more clearly. They test patients’ sight using charts and lenses, prescribe corrective lenses (glasses or contacts) and identify diseases like glaucoma. After graduating from college, optometrists spend four years earning doctor of optometry degrees. In 2017, these programs charged annual tuition ranging from about $18,000 to about $52,000, according to the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry.

Learn more about optometrists.

17. Political Scientist

Industry: Social services
Median Salary: $115,110

Working for businesses, labor unions and other organizations, political scientists study citizens' political behavior and analyze government systems. They use polls to gauge voter opinions, make predictions ahead of elections and use data and theories to explain the outcome of those elections. Some advocate for particular policy agendas. Most political scientists earn master’s or doctoral degrees in the field after completing college. Liberal arts graduate degrees can cost tens of thousands of dollars, although many universities cover tuition costs for doctoral students.

Learn more about political scientists.

16. Lawyer

Industry: Social services
Median Salary: $119,250

Individuals, organizations and governments employ lawyers to help them navigate laws and regulations and represent their interests during legal disputes and court cases. These professionals earn law degrees after completing college. Annual tuition for these programs ranges from about $12,000 to about $68,000. For the 2017-2018 school year, the average cost of annual tuition for in-state students at public law schools was $26,864, while the average cost at private law schools was $47,112.

Learn more about lawyers
Learn more about law schools.

15. Financial Manager

Industry: Business
Median Salary: $125,080

The fiscal health of a company depends in part on the work of financial managers. These workers advise top executives about how to increase profits and cut costs, and they also prepare financial statements. Financial managers need undergraduate degrees, and some also earn master’s of business administration degrees. Annual MBA tuition ranges from about $11,000 for in-state students to more than $70,000 at private institutions.

Learn more about financial managers.

14. Podiatrist

Industry: Health care 
Median Salary: $127,740

People suffering from bone spurs, ingrown toenails, calluses, arthritis and sports injuries seek advice and treatment from podiatrists. These foot and ankle doctors perform surgeries, recommend shoe inserts and prescribe medication. These health care professionals earn doctor of podiatric medicine degrees after finishing college. There are nine accredited institutions that offer this program, and their first-year tuitions range from about $32,000 to about $43,000.

Learn more about podiatrists.

13. Marketing Manager

Industry: Sales 
Median Salary: $132,230

Marketing managers figure out where and among whom there will be demand for a company's products and services. They analyze supply and demand to help set prices, balancing profit needs with customer expectations. Most of these professionals have bachelor's degrees in fields such as communication, marketing, sales, business, economics or design.

Learn more about marketing managers

12. IT Manager

Industry: Technology 
Median Salary: $139,220

IT managers oversee information technology systems at companies, stepping in to save the day when internet connections falter. They help workers troubleshoot technology problems, install and upgrade computer, telephone and other hardware systems, and manage security systems designed to thwart hackers and protect sensitive information. These professionals typically need bachelor’s degrees in computer science or a related field. Some jobs also require master’s of business administration degrees. Annual MBA tuition ranges from about $11,000 for in-state students to more than $70,000 at private institutions.

Learn more about IT managers
Discover 10 ways to find money to pay for an MBA.

11. Dentist

Industry: Health care
Median Salary: $151,440

Dentists are masters of mouth care. These doctors examine and repair damaged teeth and gums, analyze oral X-rays and teach patients how to maintain good health. Dentists must earn bachelor's degrees, then complete dental school through one of more than 60 accredited programs in the U.S. For the graduating class of 2018, total dental school tuition costs averaged $261,458 for nonresident students at public and private schools and $189,987 for in-state students at public schools, according to the Commission on Dental Accreditation.

Learn more about dentists.

10. Nurse Anesthetist

Industry: Health care 
Median Salary: $165,120

Nurse anesthetists specialize in providing pain relief. During surgical operations, they administer anesthesia to patients and monitor vital signs – breathing, blood pressure, heart rate – to ensure patients are safe. As advanced practice nurses, nurse anesthetists need bachelor’s and graduate degrees. Among the top 50 programs ranked by U.S. News, annual tuition at a nursing master's degree program ranges from about $11,000 to about $45,000.

Learn more about nurse anesthetists
Learn more about nursing programs.

9. Pediatrician

Industry: Health care
Median Salary: $172,650

Vaccines, annual checkups and common ailments like ear infections and strep throat are the purview of pediatricians. These doctors specialize in caring for children and teens, and their work often involves advocating on behalf of their young patients. Pediatricians obtain college degrees, then attend medical school and complete residency programs. Annual medical school tuition costs between about $18,000 and $66,000, depending on institution and whether students are state residents.

Learn more about pediatricians.

8. Prosthodontist

Industry: Health care
Median Salary: $185,150

Using tools such as dentures, bridges and crowns, prosthodontists replace missing teeth. Their work helps restore patients' smiles and ability to chew food. Prosthodontists earn bachelor's degrees, then attend dental school through one of more than 60 accredited programs in the U.S. Then they complete residencies. For the graduating class of 2018, total dental school tuition costs averaged $261,458 for nonresident students at public and private schools and $189,987 for in-state students at public schools, according to the Commission on Dental Accreditation.

Learn more about prosthodontists.

7. Physician

Industry: Health care 
Median Salary: $192,930

With a range of specialties, physicians provide care related to internal organs, skin, reproduction, aging, digestion, the brain and the heart. They may work in teams at hospitals or independently in their own practices. Physicians need college and medical school degrees, plus several years of residency experience. Annual medical school tuition costs between about $18,000 and $66,000, depending on the institution and whether students are state residents.

Learn more about physicians
Learn more about medical school programs in internal medicine
Learn more about medical school programs in primary care.

6. Psychiatrist

Industry: Health care 
Median Salary: >$208,000

Psychiatrists are mental health doctors who diagnose and treat illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. They also provide counseling and care to patients with anxiety and depression. Psychiatry techniques and tools include behavioral therapy, group counseling and medication. Psychiatrists must earn college and medical school degrees, then complete a residency. Annual medical school tuition costs between about $18,000 and $66,000, depending on the institution and whether students are state residents.

Learn more about psychiatrists
Learn more about medical schools.

4. Surgeon (tie)

Industry: Health care
Median Salary: >$208,000

Surgeons are doctors who operate on patients in need of acute care to treat serious injuries or diseases. No medical procedure is without risk, which means surgeons must be able to tolerate a high level of stress while performing their duties. After earning bachelor's degrees, these doctors attend medical school, then complete residencies and sometimes fellowship programs. Annual medical school tuition costs between about $18,000 and $66,000, depending on the institution and whether students are state residents.

Learn more about surgeons.

4. Anesthesiologist (tie)

Industry: Health care 
Median Salary: >$208,000

These doctors are trained in the science of pain relief. They deliver anesthesia to patients undergoing surgery, using either gas or intravenous methods. To keep people safe, anesthesiologists monitor vital signs such as blood pressure and breathing throughout operations. Anesthesiologists have undergraduate and medical school degrees, plus years of residency experience and licenses to operate. Annual medical school tuition costs between about $18,000 and $66,000, depending on the institution and whether students are state residents.

Learn more about anesthesiologists
Learn more about medical schools.

2. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon (tie)

Industry: Health care
Median Salary: >$208,000

When patients need wisdom teeth removed, they make appointments with oral and maxillofacial surgeons. These dental doctors focus on oral operations, such as those required to remove impacted teeth and fix cleft lips. In addition to graduating from college and dental school, oral and maxillofacial surgeons complete several years of surgical residency training. For the graduating class of 2018, total dental school tuition costs averaged $261,458 for nonresident students at public and private schools and $189,987 for in-state students at public schools, according to the Commission on Dental Accreditation.

Learn more about oral and maxillofacial surgeons.

2. Obstetrician and Gynecologist (tie)

Industry: Health care
Median Salary: >$208,000

Caring for women is the calling of obstetricians and gynecologists. These doctors provide health care related to the reproductive system, such as performing annual checkup exams, prescribing birth control and delivering babies. After completing college, obstetricians and gynecologists attend medical school and complete residencies. Annual medical school tuition costs between about $18,000 and $66,000, depending on institution and whether students are state residents.

Learn more about obstetricians and gynecologists.

1. Orthodontist

Industry: Health care
Median Salary: >$208,000

Crooked smiles are no match for orthodontists, dental doctors who specialize in straightening teeth and aligning bites. They use tools like braces, spacers and retainers to accomplish their goals. Orthodontists must earn bachelor's degrees, then complete dental school through one of more than 60 accredited programs in the U.S., followed by a residency program. For the graduating class of 2018, total dental school tuition costs averaged $261,458 for nonresident students at public and private schools and $189,987 for in-state students at public schools, according to the Commission on Dental Accreditation.

Learn more about orthodontists.

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
 

The best jobs that pay $100K include:

Read Full Story