Job Search Tips

5 high-paying jobs for 2020

Written by Kate Lopaze

If you’re thinking about a career change or are just starting out on your educational or career path, the salaries of potential jobs are probably weighing heavily on your decision. Here are some of the highest-paid jobs, in some of the most in-demand fields, to work toward for 2020.

Software developer

The apps you use on your phone? Software. The programs you use for productivity every day? Software. The services you depend on (online banking, shopping, Fitbit tracking, etc.) in your daily life? Software. There’s a massive amount of software in every industry, and it all requires development and maintenance. Software developers are responsible for designing and creating these software programs and making sure that they continue to run smoothly.

What you’ll need: Software developers have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, technology, or a related field. Strong tech and problem-solving skills are a must.

What it pays: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, software developers make a median annual salary of $105,590.


With so much data out there driving every business decision, people who can take that data and turn them into meaningful strategy or predictions are becoming more and more valuable. Statisticians crunch the numbers and apply mathematical and statistical techniques to help guide companies in researching, solving problems, and making decisions.

What you’ll need: Statisticians typically have a master’s degree in mathematics or statistics, though some positions may only require a bachelor’s degree.

What it pays: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, statisticians make a median annual salary of $88,190.

Physician assistant

If you’re interested in healthcare but not medical school, then there are a lot of great high-paying alternatives. Physician assistants are medical professionals who work with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to provide care and treatment for patients. Physician assistants examine patients, diagnose illnesses and injuries, provide treatments, give immunizations, educate patients and families about care, and prescribe medicine, among other high-level medical responsibilities.

What you’ll need: Physician assistants are required to have a master’s degree, as well as a licensing. Each state may have different requirements, so it’s important to verify what’s necessary for licensing in your own state.

What it pays: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, physician assistants make a median annual salary of $108,610.


Although maybe not a career path for the squeamish, becoming a dentist is a lucrative healthcare career for the right candidate. Dentists diagnose and treat issues related to patients’ teeth, gums, and other parts of the mouth.

What you’ll need: Dentists are required to hold a doctoral or professional degree from an accredited dentistry program, plus pass written and clinical exams. They also need to be licensed by the state—but requirements can vary, so be sure to check your own state’s requirements.

What it pays: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, dentists make a median annual salary of $156,240.

Nurse anesthetist

Nursing roles of all types are in incredibly high demand right now, and this is especially true for specialized nursing roles. Nurse anesthetists are a type of advanced practice nurse (APN) who provide anesthetic treatment to patients before, during, and after surgery or other medical procedures. They work with physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals as part of an overall patient care team to ensure that patients are getting the pain management they need.

What you’ll need: Nurse anesthetists typically have a specialized master’s degree in nursing, plus must pass a national certification exam. Different states may have different requirements for licensing, so be sure to check your own state’s regulations.

What it pays: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse anesthetists make a median annual salary of $113,930.

Tech and healthcare are two of the industries growing the fastest right now, and salaries are increasing to keep up with the need for qualified professionals. You can’t really go wrong with considering a career in computers or health right now, so if you’re thinking of joining the fray, you’re definitely on a path to success. Good luck!

About the author

Kate Lopaze

Kate Lopaze is a writer, editor, and digital publishing professional based in New York City. A graduate of the University of Connecticut and Emerson College with degrees in English and publishing, she is passionate about books, baseball, and pop culture (though not necessarily in that order), and lives in Brooklyn with her dog.