The 11 highest paying jobs in demand
With many Americans suffering from stagnant wages and some occupations still suffering from a dearth of openings, a perennial question remains: What are the high-paying occupations that are actually in demand from employers?
There are three main main industries that are offering opportunity and big paychecks: Tech, medicine and finance, according to employment site Glassdoor. While several occupations within these industries offer thousands of open positions, there’s a hitch: Many of these jobs require years of specialized education or training. Take the top in-demand high-paying job, physician. Doctors will pull down a nice paycheck, but the road to becoming a physician requires years of medical school, training and exams.
“This is a list is for anyone who is interested in earning a very big paycheck and interested in where they can get hired,” said Scott Dobroski, associate director of corporate communications at Glassdoor. Many of the occupations are currently showing thousands of job listing, with finance manager (No. 5 on the list) offering more than 9,200 openings.
While these jobs offer high salaries, they aren’t necessarily the highest-rated jobs for satisfaction. Doctors and pharmacists, for instance, often work long hours and at unpredictable times. Some occupations might not offer a wealth of career opportunities, even though they are secure and high paying.
A few jobs on Glassdoor’s list of highest-paying jobs in demand also made the company’s list for top jobs in the country, which was published last month and weighted factors including career opportunities as well as base salary. One occupation that makes both lists is finance manager, as that job offers both a relatively big paycheck and opportunities for advancement.
1. Physician: $212,270
Learning to heal other people comes with a nice paycheck, while Glassdoor lists 7,984 job openings for physicians.
Still, achieving a medical degree takes years of education and training. After earning a bachelor’s degree, students enroll at a medical school, which are competitive to gain admission. Students also have to take the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination, a three-step test that must be passed in order to practice medicine in the U.S. After those steps, medical students enter their residencies, which generally pay about $50,000 to $60,000 annually.
Doctors also have a range of job satisfaction, with about two-thirds of family physicians saying they would choose medicine again as a career if they had a second chance, according to a Medscape survey published last year. Specialists in fields including plastic surgery and orthopedics had a much lower rate of satisfaction, with only 41 percent and 44 percent, respectively, saying they’d do it all again.
“Being a physician is still a great job and a lot of them like their jobs,” Dobroski noted. “The one downside we see in physician and pharmacy roles is long hours, as well as working on holidays.”
Having someone’s life in your hands can also be stressful, he added. “You can’t just turn it off,” he said. “In other jobs, you can walk away from the job or take break.”
2. Pharmacy Manager: $131,099
Working as the manager of a pharmacy is an in-demand job, thanks to increased health needs from an aging U.S. population and the expansion of many drugstore chains that offer 24-hour pharmacies. Glassdoor notes there are 1,787 openings for pharmacy managers, who are pharmacists who have been promoted to managing the employees of the pharmacy.
The first step is to become a pharmacist, which requires a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, a four-year course of study. Students must also pass licensure and law exams. “After a few years experience, a pharmacist may then become a manager,” Dobroski said. It was one of the handful of jobs on Glassdoor’s list that represented an upward career trajectory.
3. Software Architect: $130,891
There are 3,229 job openings for software architects, computer programmers who have risen up the ranks to a role that oversees the implementation and design of applications. These are often people who have experience not only with coding and programming, but are able to design and develop programs and oversee and collaborate with other programmers and employees.
“Software engineers write the code, but the architects are the men and women who set the implementation and framework for a software engineering team to work on,” Dobroski said.
4. Software development manager: $123,747
While a software architect works more on strategy, a software development manager is typically an engineer with five or so years of experience who manages a team of engineers, Dobroski said. There are 2,249 job openings for the position.
5. Finance manager: $123,534
With 9,224 job listings for finance managers, this occupation has the most openings of the 11 on this list. Finance managers oversee the financial health of a business or organization, and create financial reports and develop strategies to keep businesses in good financial health.
The job typically requires applicants to have a bachelor’s degree and five years of experience in a related field like accountant or auditor, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
6. Solutions architect: $121,522
While a newer job title, employers have 3,530 job openings for the role, according to Glassdoor.
These employees are “someone who works very closely and usually is customer- or client-facing,” said Dobroski. “They find solutions that are customized for an organization,” such as by helping create custom software code or technology infrastructure. It’s one way organizations can show customers that they are focused on providing extra services and customization.
7. Lawyer: $120,424
After taking a wallop in the recession, the legal profession is once again hiring, with 5,520 listings for attorneys.
It’s a job that requires extra training, with lawyers going through law school and passing a state’s written bar exam. While the occupation didn’t make Glassdoor’s list of best careers to have in 2015 because of what Dobroski calls “middle-of-the-road career opportunities and satisfaction,” the job made it into this ranking because of its high salary.
“There are a lot of openings now,” he said. “What we are seeing is a slight resurgence in the legal field compared with the Great Recession.” Some companies are creating their own in-house legal teams, which is boosting demand for attorneys.
8. Analytics manager: $115,725
Also a newer job title, the analytics manager position has 1,408 job openings.
“This is a senior-level tech employee who manages a data science team,” Dobroski said. “Analytics have more value to companies in this day and age because more data is available and everything is online.”
The analytics manager is the “man or woman who manages the data set that says what’s important to the business,” he added. “They usually have a team of group of data scientists who work within the team.”
9. IT manager: $115,725
This occupation has 1,408 job openings, and may be a familiar role to anyone who works in a medium to large corporation. IT managers make sure the technology within an office is working smoothly, handling everything from helpdesk tickets for on-the-fritz keyboards to implementing new operating systems.
10. Tax manager: $114,966
There are 3,622 job openings for this role, which manages everything tax-related within a business. They are typically CPAs with experience in public accounting, and who are responsible for handling tax reporting, compliance, tax research and planning and other projects.
11. Pharmacist: $114,715
With 9,160 job openings, this is another in-demand occupation. The job requires a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, while pharmacists also have to pass a licensing and law exam.
According to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the occupation is seeing demand because of an increase in the number of prescriptions filled each year and the rise in the number of medicines available. The aging of America is also adding to demand for pharmacists.