The Jobs That Pay Over $100K a Year

High Paying White and Blue Collar Careers

Anesthesiologist in operating room
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Which careers pay the most money? Unsurprisingly, they’re the jobs that require special skills and training to perform tasks that not everyone can do. In the 21st century, that largely means medical and healthcare-related positions, as well as engineering, management, and information technology occupations.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps a running list of the jobs that pay the most, and also publishs a list of the best paid jobs. The highest paying careers in 2018 were mostly white-collar jobs in medicine, IT, and management. To train for these careers, you’ll need to have aptitude, passion – and the willingness to spend time and money on the education required.

Top 20 Highest Paying Careers

  1. Anesthesiologists: Median pay is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year
  2. Surgeons: Median pay is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year
  3. Orthodontists: Median pay is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year
  4. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons: Median pay is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year
  5. Psychiatrists: Median pay is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year
  6. Physicians and surgeons, all other: Median pay is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year
  7. Obstetricians and gynecologists: Median pay is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year
  1. Family and general practitioners: Median pay is $198,740 per year
  2. Internists, general: Median pay is $192,930 per year
  3. Dentists, all other specialists: Median pay is $190,840 per year
  4. Prosthodontists: Median pay is $185,150 per year
  5. Chief executives: Median pay is $183,270 per year
  6. Pediatricians, general: Median pay is $172,650 per year
  7. Nurse anesthetists: Median pay is $165,120 per year
  8. Dentists, general: Median pay is $151,440 per year
  9. Computer and information systems managers: Median pay is $139,220 per year
  1. Architectural and engineering managers: Median pay is $137,720 per year
  2. Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers: Median pay is $137,330 per year
  3. Judges, magistrate judges, and magistrates: Median pay is $133,840 per year
  4. Petroleum engineers: Median pay is $132,280 per year

Blue-Collar Jobs That Pay Over $100,000

Although most of the highest paying careers require considerable education and training, not every job will necessitate spending years in graduate school (or working indoors after graduation). If you don’t care to put on a suit – or incur hundreds of thousands of dollars of student loan debt – but you want to make serious money, there are a few blue-collar jobs that might fit the bill.

To make $100,000 or more in a blue-collar job, you might need to work for yourself, have a labor union behind you – or be willing to put your safety at risk. MarketWatch produced a list of blue-collar jobs that can lead to six-figure salaries. Job titles ranged from police sergeant to oil rig worker.

  • Police officers: Salaries for police departments in major urban areas can top out over $100k. New York Police Department salaries can range from $50,000 to $116,000, while a sergeant's pay runs from $105,000 to $131,000, and that's without overtime, which can add up to another $50,000.
  • Construction managers: Although the median pay for contractor salaries in 2017 was $91,370, according to the BLS, pay for construction managers can range from $47,341 to $126,747, according to PayScale. A college degree is often required, and you'll need solid training in the field, significant experience and perhaps a license or certification. You also may be working for yourself, as 38 percent of construction managers were self-employed in 2016, according to the BLS. It's rigorous work: dealing with emergencies can require long hours and being on call around the clock.
  • Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers: Farmers who own or manage farms can take home six figures in some parts of the country, depending on market factors. According to 2017 BLS data, the top 10 percent of farmers earn $135,900 or more while the median pay is $69,620. However, it you’re considering a career in farm management, it’s worth noting that unlike some other jobs on this list, the occupational outlook for farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers is relatively poor. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects -1 percent growth for these occupations from 2016 to 2026.
  • Oil rig workers: A bachelor's degree isn't required for oil rig foremen/superintendents, directional drillers, and oil rig managers, though these jobs usually require years of experience. Some oil workers can earn over $100,000, particularly with overtime pay. Working on a rig is very taxing work—it's labor-intensive, lonely and potentially dangerous and workers are compensated for these factors.