5 Surprisingly High Paying Careers You Should Consider

By Sarah Klein — Published June 11, 2018

5 Surprisingly High Paying Careers You Should Consider

While we're often told that you should follow your dreams and do something you love, that doesn't mean you should completely ignore your future financial security when choosing a career path. More than half of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings, and while college may be fun, the right major can save you a lot of financial stress in the long-run. Luckily, if you can't stand the sight of blood or hate the idea of arguing for a living, you don't have to be a doctor or a lawyer to make good money. If you aren't interested in pursuing a university degree, rest assured that we've chosen a variety of professions, not all of which require a Bachelor's.

When choosing a career, it's important to think not just about salary but about your skills and interests as well. It may be helpful to make a list of your strongest skills (such as math or communication) as well as any interests that hold a special place in your heart before reading this article. You can then refer to your list when reviewing each of these career choices to see if any are a potential match for you.  Read on to discover a career path that can both be fulfilling as well as provide a salary that makes you smile!


Air Traffic Controller

If you like airplanes and feel up for the responsibility, consider being an air traffic controllers! You need to have superior attention to detail and great communication skills to ensure the safety of passengers and crew planes landing and taking off. The average annual salary is $124,540. No Bachelor's Degree required!

Nuclear Medicine Technologist

As a Nuclear Medicine Technologist, you only need an Associate's degree, but the median pay is still $75,660 per year! It has a "faster than average" job growth outlook according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This profession involves preparing and administering radioactive drugs to patients for imaging and therapeutic purposes, such as in cancer treatment.  

Purchasing Manager

Like to shop? Like to get good deals even more? A purchasing manager's job is to buy products and services for organizations and to manage purchasing contracts, ensuring the best deal for your company.  The mean annual salary is $139, 150. You need a Bachelor's Degree for this position.


If you like risk and gambles, consider being an actuary. This position typically involves analyzing risks for insurance companies by looking at statistical data regarding sickness, accidents, retirement rates, and more. You need a good head for numbers for this career. It takes a Bachelor's Degree, but median annual pay is $101,560 per year. It has a "much faster than average" job outlook according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Funeral Service Mangaer

If you are up for helping to coordinate a peaceful good-bye experience, a Funeral Service Manager has a median annual wage of $78,040 and mean annual wage of $93,090. This profession involves managing and coordinating a funeral home's resources. You can pursue this career with an Associate's Degree.

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