If high-paying jobs were fun and easy, everyone would do them. In truth, if you want to make a serious salary, you can’t expect to love what you do every minute of every day. The road to high earnings is paved with sweat, tears and a heck of a lot of boredom.
If being impassioned about your work and feeling personally connected to your daily tasks matters to you, you should look for another list. This guide will point you toward careers that aren’t particularly interesting but promise sky-high salaries right out the gate.
Actuaries employ the yawn-inducing field of statistics to study risk. Most often, actuaries work for insurance companies, assigning cost values to different kinds of tragedies, such as homes burning down, people dying from heart disease or dogs attacking neighbors. The median pay for an actuary hovers around $100,600 and working as an actuary requires little more than a bachelor’s degree and a strong grasp of math.
Thanks to the meteoric rise of Big Data, business analytics jobs are exploding around the world. In this IT career, you will use data gathered and organized by other data professionals to inform business leaders of opportune decisions. Because business analytics requires familiarity with complex math, tech and business, most high-earning analysts have a master’s degree in business analytics. Typically, business analysts focus on a specific field, such as information security, management or budget, and average salaries depend on your chosen field – but you can expect at least $73,000 even as a beginner.
Speaking of Big Data and other data professionals, data architects build, test and maintain databases to facilitate the use of data. Data architecture requires at least a bachelor’s degree in a tech field, and most professionals also seek data management certification to prove their database skills. For this, you could bring home more than $129,900.
Air Traffic Controller
Perhaps more important than a pilot, air traffic controllers are responsible for the safe takeoff and landing of dozens of flights every day. However, air traffic control isn’t heart rate–increasing or adrenaline-inducing; most of the job is a good sense of organization. Yet, for their efforts, air traffic controllers earn a sizeable $122,400 – and the top 10 percent earn upwards of $172,600.
Many industries are highly regulated by the government or non-government agencies to ensure employees and customers are safe. Compliance officers investigate businesses to ensure that important regulations are followed to the letter. You might be drawn to this career if you have a lawful mindset, if you love to tattletale or if you want to earn a salary of roughly $105,200.
Quality Control Director
Like compliance officers, quality control directors verify that everyone is doing their best. The quality control field is focused on double-checking others’ work to find mistakes that could be disastrous if left unnoticed. Because the job is high-risk, directors are rewarded handsomely with median pay of $133,100.
Engineers can apply their technical mindset and problem-solving inclinations to any field, even sales. Sales engineers have deeper knowledge and understanding of their products and services than other sales professionals, and due to their expertise, they can command salaries well over $100,000. However, the difference between being a sales engineer and a sales rep is largely your place of work, so you should search for technical and scientific businesses and educate yourself accordingly.
Human Resources Manager
Human resources is hardly an exhilarating field, but any business that wants to function effectively needs, at least, an on-site human resources manager. HR managers are tasked with the minutia of running a company and keeping everyone happy, so you need strong administrative abilities as well as interpersonal communication skills to succeed – as well as a master’s degree in HR or business administration to skyrocket into the management sphere. Fortunately, even as a beginner HR manager, you won’t earn less than about $87,700 per year.
Mortgage Loan Officer
Buying a home is a difficult enough process, but it would be downright impossible for most Americans were it not for mortgage loan officers. These professionals decide who is qualified to receive what amounts of home loans, keeping our economy balanced and helping people fulfill their home ownership dreams. Though pay varies widely be experience and employer, you could earn up to $132,200 in this career.
Any author will tell you that writing isn’t the thrilling, fulfilling work that everyone expects. Worse, most writing doesn’t pay that well – except technical writing. Writers with technical backgrounds can earn high wages creating documents like manuals and operational handbooks for corporations. The top 10 percent of technical writers earn around $111,000, which is a fortune to most creative types.