Good jobs offer more than a great salary. But no matter how many days off you get, it’s still amazing when you can stop living paycheck-to-paycheck. Life is expensive!
Some companies make up for mediocre pay with better benefits–paid time off, healthcare, paying for continued education or egg freezing, to name just a few. When you start your job search, make sure you’re considering the whole package. You can use our guides on companies with excellent fertility coverage, how to get good fringe benefits, and our list of the best companies as rated by women who work there.
Ideally, you get the good benefits and the great pay. The 83 careers listed here are among the highest-paying of 2022, so you can find one you like, and get yourself on the path to a better salary.
Exactly what are “good-paying” jobs?
Everyone’s salary needs and goals are unique to them. A “good-paying” job to one person might not be enough for another. For this list, we considered what individuals earn per year and what households are spending.
Let’s start with the median annual earnings of women working full-time in the United States aged 15 years and older in 2020–$50,982. For men, it was $61,417 (thank you, gender wage gap). And for anyone who needs a reminder from math class, the “median” is the middle entry in a set of numbers. It’s like taking all of the salary results, listing them from lowest to highest, and then picking the number in the middle–or the average of the middle two if there’s an even number of salaries listed.
A good-news sidenote? Women’s earnings are up 6.5 percent from 2019, while men’s rose 5.6 percent.
Every May, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics releases wage data for hundreds of occupations. The most recent data is from May 2020, and the data for May 2021 will be out in the spring of 2022. They reported in the most recent data that the average wage of 2020 was $56,310 for both men and women.
So, average salaries are ranking in the low- to mid-$50,000s. But how much does life cost?
Average yearly household expenses in 2020 were $61,334. Of course, this could be much higher or lower than your yearly expenses since household costs will vary drastically depending on how many mouths there are to feed. Plus, spending goes up as people make more–your car purchase will feel very different after you get that sweet promotion.
Putting all of this together, and taking into account that everyone has different money needs, we defined “good-paying” at anything above $80,000.
Just remember that not every individual job with the same title will pay what’s shown here. That depends on the specifics of the role, the company that’s paying the salary, and the city where the job is–$80,000 in Mississippi goes a lot further than $80,000 in New York City. But this is a great resource to show you what’s possible on your hunt for good pay.
Good-paying jobs in medicine and health industries
The majority of the top 25 highest-paying jobs based on this data are health-related. This makes sense–the stakes are high, and the training takes a lot of years and tuition. If you love healing people and want a job that involves being “on call” outside of your office hours, there are plenty of options that pay extremely well.
Medicine and health jobs paying $200,000+
Anesthesiologists - $271,440
Surgeons - $251,650
Obstetricians and Gynecologists - $239,120
Orthodontists - $237,990
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons - $234,990
Physicians - $218,850
Psychiatrists - $217,100
Medicine and health jobs paying $100,000 - $200,000
Nurse Anesthetists - $189,190
Dentists - $180,830
Pediatricians - $184,570
Podiatrists - $151,110
Pharmacists - $125,460
Optometrists - $125,440
Nurse Midwives- $115,540
Physician Assistants - $116,080
Nurse Practitioners - $114,540
Veterinarians - $108,350
Medicine and health jobs paying $80,000 - $100,000
Radiation Therapists - $94,300
Physical Therapists - $91,680
Genetic Counselors - $89,710
Audiologists - $89,230
Occupational Therapists - $87,480
Chiropractors - $83,830
Speech-Language Pathologists - $83,240
Read more: How to Decline a Job Offer Due to Salary
Good-paying jobs in computers and technology industries
The tech sector rakes in money, so jobs here get rewarded. They’re exciting and sometimes even life-changing, depending on what part of tech you work in. Here’s what’s paying the best right now.
Computer and tech jobs paying $100,000+
IT Managers - $151,150
Computer and Information Research Scientists - $130,890
Computer Network Architects - $119,230
Software Developers - $114,270
Computer and Information Analysts - $100,680
Computer and tech jobs paying $80,000 - $100,000
Computer Systems Analysts - $99,020
Computer Programmers - $95,640
Web Developers - $85,490
Good-paying jobs in business industries
These corporate, business jobs are the classic good-payers. Usually, the more successful and well-known the company, the bigger the salary. Like any industry, these jobs can come with long hours and meeting-packed schedules, but that’s not so bad if you love what you do (and we’d love to see more women CEOs). Here are the top good-paying jobs in finance, sales, marketing, and human resources.
Business jobs paying $100,000+
CEOs - $197,840
Marketing Managers - $154,470
Financial Managers - $151,510
Sales Managers - $147,580
Human Resources Managers - $134,580
Training and Development Managers - $125,920
Business Operations Manager - $103,650
Business jobs paying $80,000 - $100,000
Management Analysts - $97,580
Financial Advisor - $89,330
Project Managers - $84,290
Budget Analysts - $82,690
Accountants/Auditors - $81,660
Good-paying jobs in art and creative industries
Get paid well to be creative and let your inner art geek flourish. While some of these fun jobs that pay well are specific to the TV and film industry, there are plenty of companies all over the country that need art directors and video editors.
Art and creative jobs paying $100,000+
Art Directors - $114,490
Art and creative jobs paying $80,000 - $100,000
Makeup Artists - $99,990
Agents and Artist Managers - $98,070
Actors, Producers, Directors - $88,190
Special Effects Artists and Animators - $88,080
Fashion Designers - $87,210
Film and Video Editors - $83,880
Read more: Tips on How to Negotiate Your Salary
Good-paying jobs in math, science, and engineering industries
Love numbers? Data? Facts? You can dive into theorems and experiments and get paid well to do it.
Math, science, and engineering jobs paying $100,000+
Astronomers - $126,250
Nuclear Engineers - $125,130
Actuaries - $123,180
Aerospace Engineers - $121,110
Mathematicians - $112,530
Geoscientists - $112,110
Electrical Engineers - $105,990
Biochemists/Biophysicists - $104,810
Math, science, and engineering jobs paying $80,000 - $100,000
Statisticians - $97,170
Civil Engineers - $95,440
Microbiologists - $91,840
Biological Scientists - $91,550
Hydrologists - $90,150
Architects - $89,470
Chemists - $86,410
Epidemiologists - $83,620
More good-paying jobs!
If you aren’t into the industries we already mentioned, don’t worry, there are more good jobs to choose from…
Lawyers - $148,910
Air Traffic Controllers - $127,440
Political Scientists - $123,350
Economists - $120,880
Judges - $116,390
Commercial Pilots - $110,830
Education Administrators (K-12) - $103,010
Supervisors of Police and Detectives - $97,180
Sociologists - $93,420
Postsecondary Teachers - $93,330
Life Scientists - $91,710
Detectives and Criminal Investigators - $89,300
School Psychologists - $89,290
Elevator and Escalator Installers and Repairers - $86,200
Real Estate Brokers - $81,630
Read more: For jobs that are mission-driven, rewarding, and impact your community, check out these exciting and good-paying careers that help people.