The 30 best high-paying jobs of the future

  • Using employment projection and salary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we found 30 high-paying jobs that are poised to enjoy healthy employment growth over the next decade.
  • Several tech and medical occupations show up on the list.

The future of work is looking pretty bright, at least for nurses and software developers.

Plenty of medical and tech jobs are likely to keep growing in the next several years, and pay handsomely as well.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics' Employment Projections program publishes estimates for job growth across hundreds of occupations. The most recent release compares how many people worked in each occupation in 2016 with the Bureau's projections for 2026.

We combined those job growth projections with 2017 median annual earnings for each occupation from the Bureau's Occupational Employment Statistics program, using the geometric mean of the two numbers, to find roles that are both growing and high-paying.

Read more: 33 high-paying jobs for people who don't like stress

Since we are focused on high-paying jobs, we restricted our ranking to occupations with 2017 median earnings above the median among all occupations of $37,690.

Here are the 30 best jobs of the next decade or so:

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Highest-paying jobs of the future
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Highest-paying jobs of the future

30. Family and general practitioners 

Projected new positions between 2016 and 2026: 19,200

Median annual earnings in 2017: $198,740

Typical educational requirements: Doctoral or professional degree

29. Dentists 

Projected new positions between 2016 and 2026: 25,700

Median annual earnings in 2017: $151,440

Typical educational requirements: Doctoral or professional degree

28. Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters 

Projected new positions between 2016 and 2026: 75,200

Median annual earnings in 2017: $52,590

Typical educational requirements: High school diploma or equivalent

27. Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses 

Projected new positions between 2016 and 2026: 88,900

Median annual earnings in 2017: $45,030

Typical educational requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award

26. Construction managers 

Projected new positions between 2016 and 2026: 44,800

Median annual earnings in 2017: $91,370

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor's degree

25. Physician assistants 

Projected new positions between 2016 and 2026: 39,600

Median annual earnings in 2017: $104,860

Typical educational requirements: Master's degree

24. Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives 

Projected new positions between 2016 and 2026: 76,400

Median annual earnings in 2017: $56,970

Typical educational requirements: High school diploma or equivalent

23. Secondary school teachers 

Projected new positions between 2016 and 2026: 76,800

Median annual earnings in 2017: $59,170

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor's degree

22. Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers 

Projected new positions between 2016 and 2026: 108,400

Median annual earnings in 2017: $42,480

Typical educational requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award

21. Computer systems analysts 

Projected new positions between 2016 and 2026: 54,400

Median annual earnings in 2017: $88,270

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor's degree

20. First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers 

Projected new positions between 2016 and 2026: 75,800

Median annual earnings in 2017: $64,070

Typical educational requirements: High school diploma or equivalent

19. Services sales representatives, all other 

Projected new positions between 2016 and 2026: 94,900

Median annual earnings in 2017: $52,510

Typical educational requirements: High school diploma or equivalent

18. Systems software developers 

Projected new positions between 2016 and 2026: 47,100

Median annual earnings in 2017: $107,600

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor's degree

17. Physical therapists 

Projected new positions between 2016 and 2026: 67,100

Median annual earnings in 2017: $86,850

Typical educational requirements: Doctoral or professional degree

16. Nurse practitioners 

Projected new positions between 2016 and 2026: 56,100

Median annual earnings in 2017: $103,880

Typical educational requirements: Master's degree

15. Postsecondary health specialties teachers 

Projected new positions between 2016 and 2026: 60,600

Median annual earnings in 2017: $97,870

Typical educational requirements: Doctoral or professional degree

14. Elementary school teachers 

Projected new positions between 2016 and 2026: 104,100

Median annual earnings in 2017: $57,160

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor's degree

13. Computer and information systems managers 

Projected new positions between 2016 and 2026: 44,200

Median annual earnings in 2017: $139,220

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor's degree

12. Business operations specialists, all other 

Projected new positions between 2016 and 2026: 90,300

Median annual earnings in 2017: $70,010

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor's degree

11. Medical and health services managers 

Projected new positions between 2016 and 2026: 72,100

Median annual earnings in 2017: $98,350

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor's degree

10. Lawyers 

Projected new positions between 2016 and 2026: 65,000

Median annual earnings in 2017: $119,250

Typical educational requirements: Doctoral or professional degree

9. Managers, all other 

Projected new positions between 2016 and 2026: 79,500

Median annual earnings in 2017: $105,610

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor's degree

8. Market research analysts and marketing specialists 

Projected new positions between 2016 and 2026: 138,300

Median annual earnings in 2017: $63,230

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor's degree

7. Physicians and surgeons, all other 

Projected new positions between 2016 and 2026: 42,300

Median annual earnings in 2017: At least $208,000*

Typical educational requirements: Doctoral or professional degree

*The Bureau of Labor Statistics top-codes median earnings data and does not give specific figures for estimates above $208,000.

6. Management analysts 

Projected new positions between 2016 and 2026: 115,200

Median annual earnings in 2017: $82,450

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor's degree

5. Accountants and auditors 

Projected new positions between 2016 and 2026: 139,900

Median annual earnings in 2017: $69,350

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor's degree

4. Financial managers 

Projected new positions between 2016 and 2026: 108,600

Median annual earnings in 2017: $125,080

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor's degree

3. General and operations managers 

Projected new positions between 2016 and 2026: 205,200

Median annual earnings in 2017: $100,410

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor's degree

2. Applications software developers 

Projected new positions between 2016 and 2026: 255,400

Median annual earnings in 2017: $101,790

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor's degree

1. Registered nurses 

Projected new positions between 2016 and 2026: 438,100

Median annual earnings in 2017: $70,000

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor's degree

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