The most accomplished lawyers can bring in seven figures or more.
21. Lawyers Made $140,000
The average salary for a lawyer in 2019 was $140,000, but don’t be deceived: many lawyers make significantly more. They may have a base salary with the firm that they work for, but they usually get paid per case. For a successful lawsuit, a lawyer will usually take home one-third of the settlement amount.
This means that successful lawyers with a solid clientele can quickly bring home half a million dollars a year or more. Lawyers do have to go through ongoing training to make sure that they are current on new laws, and they tend to work long hours. They also have to be able to argue cases in court, a skill that not many people have. However, if you have always had a knack for debate and can work long hours, you may want to consider law school.
If you have the resume for it, becoming a financial manager can pay off.
22. Financial Managers Made Nearly $140,000
Financial managers are people who, well, get paid to manage other people’s money. They may advise on investments that may be profitable and advise people on how they should save for major expenses, like a mortgage or retirement. Bad advice on an investment can cost a financial manager his or her reputation, but a solid FM can have a stable, lifelong career.
The average income for a financial manager in 2019 was $139,720. However, at the higher end of the ladder, FMs who work with the most well-paid clientele can make significantly more. If you enjoy finance and accounting, you may be able to enter the field with a degree in one of those fields.
Succeeding in sales requires a vibrant, outgoing personality.
23. Sales Managers Raked In $135,000
Do you have experience in sales? Maybe you have worked on the floor of a store, interacting directly with customers and answering their questions about products that are available for sale. If you have extensive experience in sales, you could become a sales manager with little to no formal education.
A sales manager leads a team of salespeople, so he or she is responsible for hiring, firing, ensuring best practices, and staying ahead of current trends. If you have what it takes to be a sales manager, you could make $135,000 every year, possibly more depending on the success of your team.
If you want to build a career in finance but don’t yet have a strong enough resume to become a financial manager, you might become a financial advisor. Financial advisors help people create plans for themselves, their families, and their futures based on their financial situations.
Financial advisors have to be licensed, and they are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC. If you think you have the necessary educational background to get licensed and practice as a financial advisor, you could make a sizeable income.
25. Business Operations Managers Brought Home $122,000
Do you have a degree in business and experience working in business administration? If so, you could join one of the highest-earning occupations by becoming a business operations manager. For 2019, the average salary was $122K.
A business operations manager handles the affairs of businesses and nonprofits, such as developing business plans, developing a strategy for hiring new employees, and overseeing various departments, such as human resources. While you can work as a business operations manager with just a bachelor’s degree in business or finance, some major companies may require an MBA.
Pharmacists can enjoy a stable, well-paying career.
26. Pharmacists Made Over $120K
Pharmacy is another healthcare field that is on the list of the top-paying careers in the United States for 2019. Pharmacists do more than dispense medication; they also provide advice and information to people on issues like how to quit smoking and what to do about allergies.
Requirements to become a pharmacist may vary by state, since the state conducts the licensing requirements. Generally, you need to complete a two-year pre-pharmacy program, followed by four years of pharmacy school. Upon completion of pharmacy school, you will probably need to complete a paid internship for a year or more. The effort is worth it, as you can provide a comfortable income to support yourself and your family.
Optometrists are doctors who assess the health of people’s eyes, as well as determining the prescriptions that they need for corrective lenses. Many optometrists have a private practice, but there is a sizeable market for optometrists to practice in established companies so that they can practice medicine without having to worry about the business aspect.
To become an optometrist, you will need a Doctor of Optometry after you complete a four-year degree. A Doctor of Optometry program takes about four years to complete. Afterward, you may need to complete an internship before you can become licensed. The hard work will quickly pay off when you are able to enter a lucrative yet rewarding career.
Actuaries are professionals whom asses risk, as well as try to develop plans to manage risk and uncertainty. Many actuaries work for insurance companies and help the companies determine the risk of individuals or companies so that the proper premium can be determined. Actuary is a highly desirable career field and consistently ranks high on surveys.
To become an actuary, you need to have a knack for mathematics, as actuaries frequently have to use calculus and statistics, as well as economics and finance, to help businesses asses risks. Becoming an actuary requires that you pass a series of exams, which can take several years. If you already work for an insurance company and want to become an actuary, the company may provide support and on-the-job training as you progress through the licensing and exam requirements.
Want a lucrative job that could take you to the Hill? Consider political science.
29. Political Scientists Made $112,250
With a pretty hefty take-home pay, if you are interested in politics but more inclined to the academic side of understanding social structures that underlie political systems, you may want to look at becoming a political scientist. Political scientists analyze trends and make forecasts based on their knowledge and current affairs.
Political scientists may work for universities, political campaigns, or companies that need a lobbyist. Sometimes they develop their own consulting firms to advise politicians and campaigns on different issues. They can also become professors or work for periodicals, like Newsweek or major newspapers that try to understand and analyze political trends.
Medical and health services managers oversee the business side of healthcare.
30. Medical and Health Services Managers Made Nearly $110K
If you have a knack for business but want to work in healthcare, you may want to look at becoming a medical and health services manager. People in this position direct health offices and medical systems to oversee the business affairs of medical practices. They may have offices inside nursing homes, hospitals, and group practices.
Being a medical and health services manager doesn’t require any specific degree. Instead, it requires an individual whose personality is suited to both business and healthcare. Successful medical and health services managers are adventurous, entrepreneurial individuals who look for ways to grow businesses. They are also caring, compassionate people who are concerned about providing high-quality care to patients.
Plenty of jobs require raw talent, not a formal degree.
31. Some Well-Paying Jobs Do Not Require Degrees
Yes, the vast majority of the top 25 best-paying jobs are in healthcare. As such, they require extensive academic and on-the-job training before individuals can become fully licensed. However, there are plenty of jobs on this list that do not require a particular degree.
If you are looking to enter a high-paying field, the best course of action is to first asses your own personality and what you want out of a job. If all that you want out of a job is financial security, then you are probably best suited for something business-related. However, if you want to grow personally while developing a career, you may want something either in healthcare or that combines business with another field.
If you are interested in starting your own business, there is no guarantee of success. You haven’t assured a particular salary, and you don’t even know if your business will succeed. However, many of the wealthiest people in the world began their own businesses.
Consider Bill Gates, who was the wealthiest person in the world for many years after starting Microsoft. Or Steve Jobs, who, with his partner Steve Wozniak, revolutionized computing by beginning Apple. Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos are both household names. While you may not become as fantastically wealthy as these individuals, if you become a successful entrepreneur, you can have financial security while setting your own hours. No degree required.
Do you have a book idea that you have never sat down to write out? Successful authors can become incredibly wealthy. Keep in mind, though, that becoming a successful author is actually a form of entrepreneurship. If all you do is write the book, you probably won’t make much money off of it.
However, if you are willing to treat your writing like it is a business to be promoted, then if you are a good enough writer, you stand a chance at making a decent living. Whether you self-publish or get a contract with a traditional publisher, you will have to be able to market your book to a target audience. Your efforts could pay off, as the most successful author can make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
You don’t necessarily need a degree to work in Silicon Valley.
34. Tech Jobs Can Have Stratospheric Salaries
Many companies in Silicon Valley aren’t necessarily looking for people with formal degrees. What they want are individuals who are innovative and possess the raw talent necessary to be successful in computing fields. If you are skilled at coding and have created your own software, you may be able to get a high-paying job at a tech company in Silicon Valley.
There are a lot of highly talented programmers and coders; the ones who are successful in Silicon Valley over the long run are those who remain innovative and stay on top of new trends. If you want a Silicon Valley job, make sure that you can continue learning so that you can dedicate yourself to remaining a top programmer.