Want to earn a six-figure salary? Choose your next career path carefully, and get ready to make a serious investment in education. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, only 57 out of 808 listed occupations offer median salaries of $100,000 per year or more—and 27 of them require a bachelor’s degree while the other 30 occupations demand a master’s, Ph.D., or professional degree.
The exceptions—Air Traffic Controller and Commercial Pilot—are both projected to grow slower than the average for all occupations over the next decade. So, if you’re looking for a job that pays extremely well and offers some security in the years to come, you’ll need to continue your education beyond high school.
A few other things stand out: high-paying occupations tend to concentrate in industries that value technical expertise and training, such as healthcare and computer/IT. Beyond that, being a manager pays off—19 of the 126 top-paying occupations had the word “manager” or “director” in their title.
Of course, a six-figure salary is ain’t much use if you can’t get a job. To create our list of the very best six-figure jobs, we selected only occupations with a much-faster-than-average projected growth rate. These are some of the jobs that are most likely to net you a high salary and good job opportunities.
Top 10 Six-Figure Jobs
Actuaries use mathematics and statistics to assess risk and minimize cost, typically for insurance companies. While this might sound like a dry occupation, actuaries are known for being extremely satisfied with their jobs.
Median Salary: $102,880 per year
Occupational Outlook 2018-2028: 20% projected growth; 5,000 jobs added
Current No. of Jobs: 25,500
How to Get This Job: Actuaries must have a bachelor’s degree in a concentration like mathematics, actuarial science, or statistics. In addition, they may want to take coursework in programming languages, databases, and writing. Actuaries are certified by two professional societies: Casualty Actuarial Society, which certifies professionals who work in property and casualty, and The Society of Actuaries, which certifies professionals who work in life and health insurance, as well as retirement and finance.