Employment Trends

11 Six Figure Jobs Beyond Doctor or Lawyer

Written by Peter Jones

You don’t have to become a doctor or a lawyer to make $100k a year or more. Take a look at these 11 six figure jobs you may not have thought of as quite so high-paying. Keep in mind that compensation can come in many more forms than just your annual salary. And remember to keep your options open!

1. Special Agent

Let alone the fact that the job title is super cool, you can make over $120k per year as an FBI agent. Or an agent for similar companies or law enforcement. To get hired, you’ll probably want a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, plus some military or law enforcement experience. These jobs can be action packed or desk-oriented, but most will likely require some extra non-standard or on-call work hours.

2. Airline Pilot

Again, you’ll want either military flight experience or a degree in aviation, physics, or some other related field. In addition to your flying skill, good quick-thinking and savvy leadership is required. Nonstandard schedule again, but also routinely $120k and above.

3. Regional Sales Executive

A college degree may or may not be necessary here. You’ll have to work your way up and through the company a bit, getting to know the product backwards and forwards, but if you have what it takes and you have excellent communication skills, you could easily hit the executive level, and your total compensation could easily breach $100k per year.

4. Nurse Practitioner

NPs are required to have a Master’s degree in nursing, plus whatever state level qualifications and certifications apply. But they can also build their own private practices, have some control over their schedules, and make $100k or more per year.

5. Reservoir Engineer

Identify and go after gas reserves underground. All you’ll need is a degree in chemical engineering, and the determination to get the necessary experience in a very technical and nuanced field. But the compensation is usually over $125k, sometimes as high as $143k.

6. Dentist

Okay so this is kind of like being a doctor or lawyer, and you’ll need all the schooling that entails. Four year degree, doctorate in dentistry, qualifying and licensing exams…but most dentists run their own practices and make between $125k and $130k per year.

7. Equity Research Associate

If you’re good with numbers and can acquire a bachelor’s degree in finance or economics, this might be the right field for you. You’ll analyze financial trends and do all the fun stuff of investment banking without the ulcers. Typical total median pay, with commissions and other compensation: $100k per year.

8. Geophysicist

If you love rocks, and the Earth in general, then get yourself a degree in Geology, then another one. There is a surprising range of positions out there for geophysicists. And you could make nearly $120k per year.

9. Physician Assistant

PAs are like NPs. They also require a master’s degree, but you go through different programs. The only difference is PAs have to work more closely with MDs and so have less flexibility and autonomy, but they still break $100k per year.

10. Drilling Engineer

Drill baby, drill. If you have a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, or another relevant field, and you are confident and comfortable managing a team where safety is of the utmost importance, than this field could be for you. Expect to make around or over $110k.

11. Software Architect

If you’re more the indoor type, and love technology, then get yourself a degree in math, computer science, software engineering… or just show your coding mettle in other ways. You might need to put in some long hours, and you’ll have to have Batman-esque skills in order to provide company’s with the tools they need to operate at their best, but you can make over $130k per year.


About the author

Peter Jones