The 33 Most Popular Six-Figure Jobs

Eric Ciechanowski
by Eric Ciechanowski   Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) 
Last Updated: March 26, 2024

Sharp increases in the cost of living make high-paying jobs more appealing in 2024. Here are 33 jobs with six-figure salaries, resume examples and details about the education you need to land each!

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), over the last 12 months, the consumer price index — a measure of the change in prices for a selection of consumer goods and services — rose 3.2%.

Despite stagnant wages at the national level, some jobs are still dishing out big salaries, almost two times or more than the national annual mean wage of $59,540. Occupations requiring an advanced degree, such as those in law and medicine, are well-known for high salaries. However, there are still six-figure jobs with no degree necessary.

Below is the list of the most popular jobs with an average annual wage of at least $100,000. We ranked these jobs by the number of professionals in each field according to BLS data. We also note the projected growth and education required for each.

If you wish to apply for one of these jobs, check out our Resume Builder. It gives step-by-step guidance in creating all resume sections, plus pre-written bullet points crafted by our professional resume writers. That way, you can complete your resume in under 15 minutes!

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33 most popular six-figure jobs

Here are the most popular jobs paying over $100k.

Picture of an Operations Manager
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1. General and operations managers

  • Total employment: 3,376,680
  • Annual mean wage: $122,860
  • Projected employment growth 2022-2032: 9.1%
  • Typical education needed: Bachelor’s degree
  • Check out: Operations manager resume examples

The most popular jobs on this list are general and operations managers, number 3,376,680 and are projected to grow 9.1% by 2032. The role of a general and operations manager is to coordinate the operations of multiple departments or locations in an organization. Operations managers often delegate tasks to subordinate supervisors and oversee the broader operation. Only a bachelor’s degree is required for this job, but some general and operations managers will also pursue an MBA or other advanced degrees.

Picture of a Software DeveloperPhoto Credit: Konstantin Pelikh / Alamy Stock Photo

2. Software developers and programmers

  • Total employment: 1,795,300
  • Annual mean wage: $124,200
  • Projected employment growth 2022-2032: 25%
  • Typical education needed: Bachelor’s degree
  • Check out: Software developer resume examples

Software developers and programmers are in high demand, with 1,617,400 in the workforce and a 25% projected growth rate. Software developers and programmers create computer programs, network systems, and applications designed for other electronic devices, such as smartphones and tablets. This career path requires significant technical knowledge, especially in specific programming languages. Software developers and programmers typically have a bachelor’s degree, and the annual mean wage is $124,200.

Picture of two surgeonsPhoto Credit: JOHN KELLERMAN / Alamy Stock Photo

3. Physicians and surgeons

  • Total employment: 816,900
  • Annual mean wage: $229,300
  • Projected employment growth 2022-2032: 3%
  • Typical education needed: Doctoral or professional degree
  • Check out: Surgeon resume examples

At $229,300, physicians and surgeons have the highest annual mean wage on this list. Physicians and surgeons usually specialize in a specific area of medicine, such as cardiology or oncology, or serve as general practitioners (GPs). Physicians and surgeons require extensive education, including medical school and a multi-year residency, before they are licensed to practice medicine. There are 666,490 physicians and surgeons, and employment is expected to grow 12.8% by 2032.

Picture of a Lawyer
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4. Lawyers

  • Total employment: 826,300
  • Annual mean wage: $135,740
  • Projected employment growth 2022-2032: 8%
  • Typical education needed: Doctoral or professional degree
  • Check out: Lawyer resume examples

There are 826,300 lawyers in the U.S., which is projected to grow by 8%. Although the annual mean wage is $135,740, pay for lawyers varies significantly, with public defenders generally making less than lawyers who work for private firms. Lawyers represent clients in criminal and civil cases, draft legal documents (such as wills or contracts), or advise clients on legal transactions. Lawyers might work in contract law, defense law, personal injury, patent law, medical malpractice, or another legal field. Lawyers require a Juris Doctor (JD) and must pass their state bar exam to be licensed to practice law.

Picture of a Financial Manager
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5. Financial managers

  • Total employment: 792,600
  • Annual mean wage: $139,790
  • Projected employment growth 2022-2032: 16%
  • Typical education needed: Bachelor’s degree
  • Check out: Finance manager resume examples

Financial managers coordinate an organization’s financial activities, such as accounting, investing, banking, and insurance. The total employment for financial managers is 792,600, with a mean wage of $139,790. This is also a fast-growing field, with a job outlook of 16%. Financial managers have at least a bachelor’s degree, though some may also pursue a master’s degree or MBA.

Picture of a Sales Manager
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6. Marketing and sales managers

  • Total employment: 554,700
  • Annual mean wage: $130,600
  • Projected employment growth 2022-2032: 4%
  • Typical education needed: Bachelor’s degree
  • Check out: Marketing manager resume examples

Marketing and sales managers are tasked with developing strategies to grow revenue by attracting or retaining new clients. Sales managers usually direct client-facing sales teams within an organization, while marketing managers direct marketing teams that create advertising collateral and other content for a broader potential audience. Marketing and sales managers set sales targets or quotas, analyze data to determine which sales tactics and marketing campaigns work, and train staff to achieve quarterly goals.

Picture of an Emergency Room building
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7. Medical and health services managers

  • Total employment: 509,500
  • Annual mean wage: $104,830
  • Projected employment growth 2022-2032: 28%
  • Typical education needed: Bachelor’s degree
  • Check out: Hospital administrator resume examples

In addition to providing patient care, the health services industry includes significant administrative work. Medical and health services managers take the burden away from physicians and other providers by coordinating medical and health services in hospitals, clinics, or similar organizations. The average wage is $104,830, and total employment is 509,500. As with the other health professions, high growth is expected over the next few years.

Picture of a construction site
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8. Construction managers

  • Total employment: 505,800
  • Annual mean wage: $101,480
  • Projected employment growth 2022-2032: 5%
  • Typical education needed: Bachelor’s degree
  • Check out: Construction manager resume examples

Job responsibilities include managing subordinate supervisors and overseeing activities related to the construction and maintenance of buildings, facilities, and systems such as plumbing or HVAC. Construction managers work closely with architects and engineers to conceptualize a new building or system and develop the project from blueprint to construction. Many construction managers will have a bachelor’s degree and must be adept at scheduling and budgeting skills, which are acquired and refined on the job.

Picture of a Information Systems Manager
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9. Computer and information systems managers

  • Total employment: 457,230
  • Annual mean wage: $164,070
  • Projected employment growth 2022-2032: 15%
  • Typical education needed: Bachelor’s degree
  • Check out: IT manager resume examples

Computer and information systems managers (often known as IT) work within a company to handle data processing, information systems, systems analysis, and computer programming activities. On a more conceptual level, they also work with an organization’s broader management team to determine technology goals and then choose and implement the appropriate computer systems and technology to achieve them. Only a bachelor’s degree is necessary for this field, projected to grow 15% by 2032.

Picture of a Pharmacist
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10. Pharmacists

  • Total employment: 334,200
  • Annual mean wage: $132,750
  • Projected employment growth 2022-2032: 3%
  • Typical education needed: Doctoral or professional degree
  • Check out: Pharmacist resume examples

Pharmacists are responsible for dispensing medications prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners and educating patients about proper dosage and side effects. There are 309,330 pharmacists in the country, and the field is expected to grow by 3%, lower than the overall growth rate for all occupations. The annual mean wage is $132,750. Pharmacists require specialized education through pharmaceutical degree programs.

Picture of an Administrative Services Manager
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11. Administrative services managers

  • Total employment: 377,800
  • Annual mean wage: $101,870
  • Projected employment growth 2022-2032: 5%
  • Typical education needed: Bachelor’s degree
  • Check out: Administrative manager resume examples

Administrative services managers handle an organization’s administrative tasks, such as managing records and information (including medical), distributing mail, and providing office support. This profession does not include “facilities managers,” coordinating services to ensure the physical building runs smoothly. Administrative services managers usually have a bachelor’s degree.

Picture of a Personal Financial Advisor
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12. Personal financial advisors

  • Total employment: 327,600
  • Annual mean wage: $124,140
  • Projected employment growth 2016-2026: 13%
  • Typical education needed: Bachelor’s degree
  • Check out: Financial advisor resume examples

Not to be confused with accountants or securities sales agents, personal financial advisors assess clients’ assets, liabilities, cash flow, insurance coverage, and tax requirements to advise them on various financial strategies, including investment, insurance, pensions, and real estate. The average wage is $124,140, and the total employment is 327,600. Financial advisors typically have a bachelor’s degree.

Picture of a Nurse Practitioner
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13. Nurse practitioners

  • Total employment: 323,900
  • Annual mean wage: $125,900
  • Projected employment growth 2022-2032: 38%
  • Typical education needed: Master’s degree
  • Check out: Nurse practitioner resume examples

Continuing the theme of healthcare providers’ importance and high compensation, nurse practitioners have an annual mean wage of $107,480. This field is in high demand, with 36.1% projected growth by 2026. Nurse practitioners diagnose and treat illnesses like physicians and may perform or interpret diagnostic tests. They also can write prescriptions. Nurse practitioners are required to have specialized graduate education.

Picture of an Electronic Engineer
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14. Electronics engineers (except computer hardware)

  • Total employment: 299,700
  • Annual mean wage: $104,610
  • Projected employment growth 2022-2032: 5%
  • Typical education needed: Bachelor’s degree
  • Check out: Electronics engineer resume examples

Electronics engineers use their knowledge of electronic theory and materials properties to research and design electronic components such as electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems, or power generation equipment. Currently, 299,700 people are electronics engineers, and the occupation will likely experience a steady increase of 5% by 2032. The annual mean wage for electronics engineers is $106,760. A bachelor’s degree is required to work in this field.

Picture of an Industrial Production Manager
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15. Industrial production managers

Industrial production managers supervise the daily operations of manufacturing plants and coordinate the production of manufactured goods, such as cars and computers, based on cost, quality and quantity parameters. The annual mean wage is $107,560, and the role requires a bachelor’s degree.

Picture of a university
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16. Education administrators (postsecondary)

  • Total employment: 218,200
  • Annual mean wage: $107,670
  • Projected employment growth 2022-2032: 4%
  • Typical education needed: Master’s degree
  • Check out: School administrator resume examples

Education administrators in postsecondary institutions coordinate a variety of functions, such as student instruction and services, research and educational initiatives, or marketing and communications. They may work at universities, colleges, or community colleges. There are 218,200 education administrators, with a mean wage of $107,670. Most higher education administrators have a master’s degree, often in Higher Education Administration.

Picture of a Health Specialty Teacher
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17. Health specialties teachers (postsecondary)

With the need for more doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals on the rise, the need for teachers who specialize in those fields is also expected to increase. The number of health specialty teachers in postsecondary institutions is expected to grow 25.9% by 2026. These educators teach subjects such as dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, public health, therapy, or veterinary medicine. The average wage is $127,640, and this job requires a doctoral or professional degree, such as an MD.

Picture of an Architecture/Engineering Manager
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18. Engineering managers

  • Total employment: 201,500
  • Annual mean wage: $159,920
  • Projected employment growth 2022-2032: 4%
  • Typical education needed: Bachelor’s degree
  • Check out: Engineering manager resume examples

Engineering managers usually work in-house for a more prominent architecture or engineering firm, manage a team for a specific project, or coordinate research and development initiatives. There are currently 201,500 people employed in this field, and it’s expected to grow a modest 4%. A bachelor’s degree is needed, though many managers also hold an advanced degree in architecture, engineering, or urban planning.

Picture of a Chief Executive
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19. Chief executives

  • Total employment: 199,240
  • Annual mean wage: $246,440
  • Projected employment growth 2016-2026: -3.9%
  • Typical education needed: Bachelor’s degree
  • Check out: Chief executive officer resume examples

Chief executives oversee the overall direction of an organization, such as a nonprofit, a startup, or a large corporation, with the help of lower-level staff managers. A chief executive’s decisions meet guidelines established by a board of directors or other stakeholders. Chief executives usually have a bachelor’s degree or higher; the annual mean wage is $246,440. Unlike most occupations on this list, chief executives have a negative projected job outlook, meaning the number is forecast to decrease.

Picture of a Human Resource Manager
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20. Human resources managers

  • Total employment: 191,600
  • Annual mean wage: $130,000
  • Projected employment growth 2022-2032: 5%
  • Typical education needed: Bachelor’s degree
  • Check out: HR manager resume examples

Human resources managers coordinate an organization’s human resources activities, including hiring, onboarding, and ensuring compliance with all federal, state, and local employment laws. The annual mean wage is $123,510, and a growth of 9.1% is expected from 2016 to 2026. Human resources managers need a bachelor’s degree, although graduate programs are available for human resources.

Picture of a Computer Network Architect
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21. Computer network architects

  • Total employment: 180,200
  • Annual mean wage: $126,900
  • Projected employment growth 2022-2032: 4%
  • Typical education needed: Bachelor’s degree
  • Check out: Network engineer resume examples

Computer network architects design, implement and analyze data communications networks. People in this profession must understand an organization’s business goals to design the appropriate local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN), intranets, or extranets that fit their needs. The annual mean wage is $126,900, and total employment is 180,200. Computer network architects usually have a bachelor’s degree.

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22. Transportation, storage, and distribution managers

  • Total employment: 169,910
  • Annual mean wage: $108,910
  • Projected employment growth 2016-2026: 18%
  • Typical education needed: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Check out: Logistics manager resume examples

Transportation, storage, and distribution managers coordinate business logistics based on company policy and relevant legislation. Around 169,910 people hold this occupation, and it’s expected to grow 18% by 2032. This is the only occupation on this list that does not require a college degree and has an annual mean wage of $108,910.

Picture of a dentist
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23. Dentists

  • Total employment: 155,000
  • Annual mean wage: $159,530
  • Projected employment growth 2022-2032: 4%
  • Typical education needed: Doctoral or professional degree
  • Check out: Dentist resume examples

Dentists are responsible for diagnosing and treating oral hygiene problems and providing checkups on teeth and gums. There are 155,000 dentists in the U.S., which is forecast to grow at 4%. Dentists must have an advanced degree in dentistry and make an annual mean wage of $180,010.

Picture of a physician assistant
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24. Physician assistants

  • Total employment: 148,000
  • Annual mean wage: $126,010
  • Projected employment growth 2016-2026: 27%
  • Typical education needed: Master’s degree
  • Check out: Medical assistant resume examplesPhysician assistants work under a doctor to provide healthcare services such as physical exams, administration of treatment, and counseling. Unlike physicians, who require a medical degree, physician assistants only need a master’s degree from an accredited educational program designed for physician assistants.

    Image of airline pilot at work.

  1. Airline pilots

  • Total employment: 142,600
  • Annual mean wage: $148,900
  • Projected employment growth 2022-2032: 4%
  • Typical education needed: bachelor’s degree
  • Check out: Pilot resume examples

Airline pilots operate aircraft and transport passengers or cargo. These professionals typically hold a bachelor’s degree and undergo rigorous training to ensure flight safety and efficiency. All that education pays off because pilots’ average mean wage is 148,900 yearly.

Image of architect working hard.

  1. Architects

  • Total employment: 123,700
  • Annual mean wage: $102,840
  • Projected employment growth 2022-2032: 5%
  • Typical education needed: bachelor’s degree
  • Check out: Architect resume examples

Architects design and create plans for various structures, with a projected employment growth of 5% from 2022 to 2032. Architects shape the built environment through innovative and sustainable design solutions. Many AI tools may reshape the architectural landscape and training.

Image of vet working with dog.

27. Veterinarians

Veterinarians diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries in animals. This booming industry is projected to grow by 20% from 2022 to 2032. Keep in mind these roles require as much training as physicians receive. Veterinarians typically hold a doctorate in veterinary medicine but may get specialized training for specific animals.

28. Business teachers (postsecondary)

25 Business Professor KD6B26

  • Total employment: 78,410
  • Annual mean wage: $108,060
  • Projected employment growth 2022-2032: 8%
  • Typical education needed: Doctoral or professional degree
  • Check out: Business teachers resume examples

With a salary of $108,060, postsecondary business teachers (also known as business professors) teach business administration and management courses at the undergraduate or graduate level. Topics under this umbrella may include accounting, finance, human resources, labor and industrial relations, marketing, and operations research. The duties of business teachers vary, as some may focus exclusively on teaching while others do a combination of teaching and research.

image of optometrist at work

29. Optometrists

  • Total employment: 43,400
  • Annual mean wage: $125,590
  • Projected employment growth 2022-2032: 9%
  • Typical education needed: doctoral degree in optometry (O.D)
  • Check out: Optometrist resume examples

Optometrists diagnose and treat vision and eye problems, earning an annual mean wage of $125,590. They often prescribe glasses and lenses to correct vision problems but may also specialize in eye surgery. They typically hold a doctoral degree in optometry (O.D).

Image of anesthesiologist hard at work

  1. Anesthesiologists

  • Total employment: 31,010
  • Annual mean wage: $261,730
  • Projected employment growth 2022-2032: 5.4%
  • Typical education needed: medical school
  • Check out: Anesthesia technician resume examples

Anesthesiologists prepare people for surgical procedures, ensuring patient safety and comfort. Their high annual mean wage of $261,730 reflects the extensive study and training required. These medical professionals typically complete four years of medical school before moving on to several years of residency and training.

Actuary at work image.

31. Actuaries

  • Total employment: 30,000
  • Annual mean wage: $113,990
  • Projected employment growth 2022-2032: 23%
  • Typical education needed: bachelor’s degree
  • Check out: Financial analyst resume examples

Actuaries use mathematical and statistical methods to assess financial risks for businesses, typically earning an annual mean wage of $113,990. Actuaries play a crucial role in guiding organizations’ economic decisions. With a projected employment growth of 23% from 2022 to 2032, this is one of the fastest-growing fields out there.

Air traffic controllers hard at work32. Air Traffic Controllers

  • Total employment: 23,000
  • Annual mean wage: $132,250
  • Projected employment growth 2022-2032: 1%
  • Typical education needed: associate or bachelor’s
  • Check out: Air traffic controller resume examples

Air traffic controllers manage plane departures and landings and ensure the safe flow of aircraft. They play one of the most critical roles in aviation safety. It is one of the only roles on this list that may not require a bachelor’s degree. However, these roles may prove hard to land, with only 23,000 positions available across the US and a 1% expected growth rate.

Image of petroleum engineers working

33. Petroleum engineers

Petroleum engineers design and develop methods for extracting oil and gas from underground reservoirs, earning an annual mean wage of $131,800. Their role is contributing to the exploration and production of fossil fuels to meet energy demands. The growth rate for this field is lower than that of other occupations on this list.

Methodology

The data used in the analysis is from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics (February 2024) and Occupational Employment Projections (2022-2032) datasets, the most recent available.

Employment Projections (2022-2032) datasets, the most recent available.

Total employment estimates the number of workers classified as full- or part-time in a given occupation. It does not include self-employed, owners and partners in unincorporated firms, household workers, or unpaid family workers. Annual mean wage reflects gross pay, exclusive of premium pay such as overtime, severance, and tuition reimbursements. A complete description of both employment and wage estimates can be found here.

To identify the “most popular six-figure jobs,” occupations with an annual mean wage of less than $100,000 were excluded. The remaining occupations rank by their total employment. To improve the overall quality and usability of the final list, certain detailed occupations were grouped into their corresponding broad occupational category.

You can access step-by-step guidance with resume writing for any of these professions using LiveCareer’s free Resume Builder.

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Key takeaways

Here’s a recap of some of the main findings from this article:

  • As the cost of living skyrockets, six-figure jobs are even more important and desirable.
  • Most high-paying jobs require advanced education or degrees.
  • There are still some six-figure jobs that may not require a college degree.
  • The most popular six-figure jobs are in tech, health care and law.
  • Many high-paying jobs are often technology-focused and show promising future growth.

Now, scoring any six-figure job will require you to have a top-notch resume!

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About the Author

Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)

Eric Ciechanowski Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)

Eric Ciechanowski is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), certified by the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARWCC). He graduated from Tulane University in New Orleans with a B.A. double major in Creative Writing and Philosophy. His career background includes fields as diverse as education, hospitality, journalism, copywriting, tech and trivia hosting.

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