The Highest Paying Jobs in America
Based on the latest numbers available from the federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following are the top ten highest paying jobs in the United States, excluding careers related to the medical or legal professions.
1. National Sciences Manager: Average Salary: $127,000
Job Description: A natural sciences manager directs scientifically oriented research and/or development projects generally related to biology, chemistry or geology. Besides managing personnel, the natural sciences manager will be expected to develop strategies for improving the research process.
Qualifications for Employment: Candidates for this position should be professional scientists with significant experience in the relevant field. They should also have experience and some educational background in management and administration.
2. Engineering Manager: Average Salary: $122,810
Job Description: An engineering manager oversees scientists, technicians and engineers involved in projects dedicated to the design of new or improved machinery, products or systems. Alternatively, he or she may coordinate planning and production in a plant devoted to manufacturing or a related industry.
Qualifications for Employment: Previous experience as a working engineer is preferred and an advanced degree in either engineering management or perhaps business administration with an engineering emphasis will likely be required in most instances.
3. Computer and Information Services Manager: Average Salary: $120,640
Job Description: This type of manager is responsible for the implementation and day-to-day supervision of a company or organization’s information technology (IT) programs. All activities and personnel deployment decisions related to computers and information storage and processing within a particular business will fall within the bailiwick of the CIS manager.
Qualifications for Employment: Applicants for this position should have an educational background in computer or information sciences, experience in the IT field and an MBA with a strong technological component.
4. Marketing Managers: Average Salary: $120,070
Job Description: Marketing managers plan and direct research, and create programs related to sales maximization, which can involve such things as customer demographic study, advertising campaigns, and pricing strategies. Marketing managers supervise their marketing teams to make sure that approaches are unified and oriented to business expansion and improved customer relations.
Qualifications for Employment: An MBA is highly recommended but extensive experience in advertising, public relations and marketing will allow talented employees to work their way up the marketing hierarchy.
5. Petroleum Engineers: Average Salary: $119, 960
Job description: These professionals are responsible for helping oil petroleum companies find, analyze, and drill for oil and natural gas for the purposes of production and sale. The technical and scientific expertise of petroleum engineers has also opened up opportunities for some as consultants to government bodies and various business interests.
Qualifications for Employment: Masters degrees and doctorates in petroleum engineering are now offered by scores of universities. Undergraduate and graduate study in subject areas such as geology, geophysics and civil or mechanical engineering are also desirable for aspiring petroleum engineers.
6. Pilot, Co-Pilot and Flight Engineers: Average Salary: $117,060
Job description:Co-pilots and flight engineers generally work on larger airplanes such as passenger jets serving under a head pilot, or captain. Pilots fly airplanes or helicopters and may work in a variety of positions that involve the movement of people and cargo by air. Crop dusting, search and rescue and traffic monitoring are other possibilities for those who would like to become pilots and get paid for doing something they love.
Qualifications for Employment: Pilot training can be obtained through the Armed Forces, or at FAA-approved civilian flight schools. At least 250 hours of flight experience are required to gain a pilot’s license; but anyone hoping to become a captain of a commercial airliner will need 1500 hours of flight experience to qualify for a special air transport pilot’s license.
7. Financial Managers: Average Salary: $113,730
Job Description: A financial manager oversees the preparation of financial reports, directs investments and develops cash management strategies for private businesses, government entities, and non-profit organizations.
Qualifications for Employment: An MBA or a master’s degree in finance or economics provides a starting point for aspiring financial managers. Previous experience working in a finance department is also essential and anyone who plans to start their careers in an accounting department will have to become a certified public accountant (CPA).
8. Sales Managers: Average Salary: $111,570
Job Description: A sales manager coordinates all aspects involved with the promotion and sales of a company’s products and services. Working with a sales team, a sales manager develops methods to increased profits by motivating employees, anticipating customer wants and desires, and by using advertising and product placement strategies designed to facilitate more sales.
Qualifications for Employment: To become a sales manager, it may be possible to work your way up from a position as a retail sales associate. An MBA is a great asset and undergraduate training in marketing, public relations and advertising will provide valuable experience as well.
9. General and Operations Manager: Average Salary: $110,530
Job Description: This type of manager monitors daily operations of a publicly or privately owned company. His or her duties could include such things as crafting business policy, managing and assigning personnel, and making plans for the storage, deployment and use of production-related materials and resources.
Qualifications for Employment: A combination of lower management experience and an MBA are likely prerequisites for anyone hoping to someday become a general and/or operations manager.
10. Law Teacher, Postsecondary : Average Salary: $109,150
Job Description: Law teachers or professors teach classes on law and government to both undergraduate and graduate students at the university level. In addition to giving regular lectures, law teachers must also create examinations and other assignments, advise students on their career choices and class work, and meet with administration and other faculty to discuss various education-related issues.
Qualifications for Employment: While it is not unheard of for law teachers to have only a Master’s degree, most have PhDs in law. The Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree is required for anyone who hopes to actually practice law, and since most law teachers are also lawyers, most will possess this degree in addition to a doctorate. Up to six years of additional study beyond a bachelor’s degree may be necessary to obtain these credentials.
The salary information used to compile this list is based on average earnings in 2009. The Bureau of Labor Statistics should release this information for 2010 by no later than June of this year.