Written by Annie Rose Stathes, Edited by Laura Morrison, for GradSchools.com, March 2014
Selecting a career can be a challenging task. You must identify and clarify your needs and desires and then find a career that satisfies them all or at least a majority of them. The following article provides a list of some careers that you might find interesting that also pay well. Each of the fields below offers a median salary of more than $70,000 annually according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the majority of the fields listed below offer a median salary of more than $100,000 annually. All of the fields below require professionals to have a graduate degree to enter or be competitive in the field.
Information Technology and Computer Science
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, professionals who work as researchers and developers in the fields of Information Technology and Computer Science “invent and design new approaches to computing technology and find innovative uses for existing technology. They study and solve complex problems in computing for business, medicine, science, and other fields”. In short, they serve in a variety of capacities making the field one of our economy’s more dynamic, evolutionary, and innovative ones. Professionals can work in the field of Computer and Information Research Science with a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or Ph.D. However, a graduate degree in the field may help you enhance your skills which might lead to potentially earning a higher salary.
Salary: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median pay for a graduate degree-holding professional in this field is $102,190 annually.
Physics and Astronomy
Physicists and astronomers essentially study the interaction of matter and energy. In applied settings, they use their knowledge to monitor, assess, and develop military technology, traditional and alternative sources of energy, and space environments and technologies. They commonly work as research, theory-based, or applied scientists. The majority of professionals working in the field hold PhDs.
Salary: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median pay for a graduate degree-holding physicist or astronomer is $106,360 annually.
Physician Assistant Studies
Physician assistants work under the supervision of doctors and surgeons to practice medicine. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they are trained to “examine patients, diagnose injuries and illnesses, and provide treatment” and work in doctor’s offices, clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare settings. Professionals in this field must have a master’s degree.
Salary: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median pay for a master’s degree-holding professional in this position is $90,930 annually.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupational therapists “treat injured, ill, or disabled patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. They help these patients develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living and working”. Ultimately, occupational therapists help people improve their health and well-being so they can effectively participate in everyday life. Professionals in this field must have a master’s degree.
Salary: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median pay for a master’s degree-holding professional in the field of occupational therapy is $75,400 annually.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, lawyers “advise and represent individuals, businesses, and government agencies on legal issues and disputes”. Additionally, they might specialize in different types of law such as bankruptcy law, corporate/business law, civil rights law, criminal law, environmental law, family law, or others. Lawyers must have a law degree which, depending on the program, is equivalent to a master’s degree or Ph.D. Lawyers must also typically pass a state’s written bar exam.
Salary: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median pay for lawyers is $113,530 annually.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, dentists “diagnose and treat problems with teeth and tissues in the mouth, along with giving advice and administering care to help prevent future problems”. They must have a master’s or Ph.D. equivalent from an accredited dental school; they must also be licensed to practice by passing written and practical exams.
Salary: the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median pay for dentists is $149,310 annually.
About the Author: Annie Rose Stathes holds a B.A. in International Affairs and an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Colorado, Denver. She is currently an instructor of writing at Fort Lewis College in Durango Colorado.