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High-Paying Jobs in the U.S.

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by LaTunaNostra, Jul 30, 2005.

  1. LaTunaNostra

    LaTunaNostra He Made the Difference

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    You high school kids out there thinking about future careers might find this
    interesting. It's from MSN (one of those hotmail sidebars)

    High-Paying Jobs in the U.S.

    By Kate Lorenz, CareerBuilder.com Editor

    "Do what you love and the money will follow" is great in theory, but the truth of the matter is, certain jobs and fields simply pay more. The Bureau of Labor Statistics National Compensation Survey, published in August 2004, showed that white-collar earnings -- which averaged $21.85 per hour -- were the highest among occupational groups. Blue-collar pay averaged $15.03 per hour, while the hourly pay of service occupations averaged just $10.40.

    Though many of these occupations require an advanced degree, there are jobs at every education level that pay more than other jobs for workers with similar levels of schooling. Here, courtesy of the Employment Policy Foundation, is a look at the best-paying occupations at varying education levels:

    Top Paying Jobs Overall

    The jobs that pay the most require at least a four-year college degree. According to the Employment Policy Foundation (EPF), the nation's 12 top-paying jobs -- and the mean annual income reported in 2004 (the most recent year data was available) for each -- were:


    Physicians and surgeons: $147,000


    Aircraft pilots: $133,500


    Chief executives: $116,000


    Electrical and electronic engineers: $112,000


    Lawyers and judges: $99,800


    Dentists: $90,000


    Pharmacists: $85,500


    Management analysts: $84,700


    Computer and information system managers: $83,000


    Financial analysts, managers and advisers: $84,000


    Marketing and sales managers: $80,000


    Education administrators: $80,000


    Though many of these occupations require an advanced degree, there are jobs at every education level that pay more than other jobs for workers with similar levels of schooling. Here, courtesy of the Employment Policy Foundation, is a look at the best-paying occupations at varying education levels:

    Top Paying Jobs That Do Not Require a High School Degree

    These jobs tend to require substantial on-the-job training and work experience rather than formal education and schooling:


    Industrial production managers: $36,000


    Bailiffs, correctional officers and jailers:$36,400


    Drafters: $36,000


    Construction manager: $33,600


    Electricians: $31,900


    Top Paying Jobs for High School Graduates

    These occupations emphasize work experience and on-the-job training rather than formal education:


    Computer software engineers: $58,900


    Computer/information systems managers: $56,400


    Computer programmers: $55,000


    Network systems and data communications analysts: $49,000


    General and operations managers: $48,000


    Database, network and computer systems administrators: $48,000


    Top Paying Jobs for a Two-Year College Degree

    The following jobs tend to be technical in nature, emphasizing skills developed on the job as well as job-specific training and certifications:


    Business analysts: $58,000


    Electrical and electronic engineers: $57,000


    Mechanical engineers: $56,800


    General and operations managers: $54,000


    Computer and information systems managers: $50,400


    The EPF's Mike Chittenden points out that while these statistics show it's possible to get a coveted job, like say, an information systems manager, without a college degree, many companies require more education. He also points out that the salary paid to an I.S. manager with a bachelor?s or master?s degree will almost certainly be higher than what an I.S. manager with a high school degree would receive. (See the disparity between the average salaries for a Computer/Information Systems manager in the first "Top Paying Jobs Overall" table vs. the salary of a Computer/Information systems manager in the "Top Paying Jobs for High School Graduates" table.)

    "A look at expected earnings over a lifetime shows the economic benefit of higher education attainment," says Tony Carnevale, who chaired President Clinton's National Commission for Employment Policy and authored several books, including America and the New Economy: How New Competitive Standards are Radically Changing American Workplaces.

    A person with a doctoral or professional degree, for example, is expected to earn about $3 million over the course of his or her working life while a person without a high school diploma is expected to earn less than $1 million.

    "Despite an increasing supply of well-educated workers, the college wage premium has nearly doubled since 1980, largely because of the added value of a college education in the new knowledge economy," adds Carnevale.

    The Employment Policy Forum concurs, but stresses that these numbers are only averages. Individual earnings depend on many factors including geographic location, employer size (average hourly earnings ranged from $15.06 in organizations employing between one and 99 workers to $24.09 in those with 2,500 workers or more), industry (workers in goods-producing industries earned $18.46 an hour vs. those in service-producing industries who earned $16.44 an hour) and the worker's skills and characteristics.


    Kate Lorenz is the article and advice editor for CareerBuilder.com. She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues. Other writers contributed to this article.
  2. adbutcher

    adbutcher K9NME

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    Those who receive two year degrees in engineering are not considered engineers by most companies, they are considered engineering technicians.

    No Mechanical Engineers in the top, hmmm they could not have factored in my salary. :D j/k I am the typical broke engineer that does it because I enjoy it. :cool:

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