25 Jobs That Pay over $100,000… And Not the Obvious Ones

We all know that lawyers, doctors, and professors make lots of money. But what about the less popular professions? You don’t have to work on Wall Street to earn six figures. Here’s a list of all kinds of jobs that pay over$100,000 a year.

1. Speech Writer

A speechwriter prepares and writes speeches that will be delivered by another person. Speechwriters are employed by many senior-level elected officials (politicians) and executives in the government and private sectors. But they can also be hired to write for weddings and other social occasions.

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Photo by Getty Images.

What’s the salary?

Mean Income: $106,020

Top 10%: $185,613

What do you need?

  • 3-5 years of professional writing and editing experience
  • Experience translating technical subjects into easily understood material
  • Ability to craft a well-formulated speech
  • Travel experience and ability is typically required for most speech writing jobs

2. Software Architect

A software designer is a software development expert who makes high-level design choices and dictates technical standards, including software coding standards, tools, and platforms.

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Photo by Ron Bull/Toronto Star via Getty Imagessoftware architect with Glassware Wireless and Tom Sweenet President and CEO

What’s the salary?

Mean Income: $129,148

Top 10%: $175,563

What do you need?

  • Bachelor’s degree in Systems Engineering, Computer Science, Software Engineering or a related field
  • Proficient in code writing
  • Experience with software architectural tools and technology

3. HR Managers

Human resources managers plan, direct, and coordinate the administrative functions of a company or organization. They handle the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring of new staff; consult with top executives on strategic planning; and are the link between an organization’s management and its employees.

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Photo by Business Administration Information

What’s the salary?

Mean Income: $108,600

Top 10%: $169,310

What do you need?

  • 1-5 years of related work experience
  • HR certifications, such as the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI), or the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP)
  • Experience in conflict management, payroll, and performance tracking

4. Art Directors

An art director is someone who is responsible for the visual style and images in a variety of mediums, such as magazines, newspapers, product packaging, and movie and television productions. They create the whole design and direct others who are creating artwork or other creative layouts.

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Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images

What’s the salary?

Mean Income: $95,500

Top 10%: $166,620

What do you need?

  • BA or BFA/MFA
  • 5+ years of work experience in management
  • Diverse portfolio
  • Ability to interpret art and create dynamics that please certain audiences
  • Create plans, events, and presentations for both clients and their audiences

5. Broadcast News Analysts

A news analyst examines, analyses and interprets broadcast news received from various sources. They are also referred to as newscasters or news anchors. News analysts write commentaries, columns, or scripts. They can both coordinate and also serve as an anchor on news broadcast programs.

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Photo by Top5

What’s the salary?

Mean Income: $76,370

Top 10%: $159,530

What do you need?

  • Bachelor’s degree in related fields
  • At least 2 years of broadcast producer experience
  • Multimedia experience
  • Strong public speaking ability
  • Research and find interesting stories or leads

6. Funeral Service Managers

Funeral Service Managers consult with families or friends of the deceased to arrange funeral details, such as the obituary notice, casket selection, or services plans. They direct and supervise the work of embalmers (those that preserve the deceased body), funeral attendants, death certificate clerks, cosmetologists, or other staff.

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Photo by The Spruce

What’s the salary?

Mean Income: $79,930

Top 10%: $140,740

What do you need?

  • Associate’s degree in funeral service or mortuary science
  • American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE) program completion
  • Detailed oriented

7. Library Director

Library directors who work in large establishments or in high administrative positions may have the most responsibilities. They are responsible for managing library services, staff, coordinating with patrons and working to improve the library’s facilities.

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Photo by AB/NurPhoto via Getty Images

What’s the salary?

Mean Income: $108,771

Top 10%: $139,523

What do you need?

  • 6 years experience in library management
  • Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree
  • Advanced proficiency in library information systems, databases, and library resources

8. Arbitrators, Mediators, And Conciliators

Arbitrators, Mediators, And Conciliators communicate between guide opposing parties toward mutual agreement. They clarify issues, concerns, needs, and interests of all parties involved. They also conduct initial meetings with disputants to outline the arbitration process.

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Photo by Silvestri Family Law

What’s the salary?

Mean Income: $75,550

Top 10%: $137,570

What do you need?

  • Bachelor’s degree in law, communications, business administration, hospitality, or psychology
  • Some require law degrees or a Master’s in business administration
  • High emotional intelligence and an ability to pass emotional intelligence tests

9. Education Administrators, Elementary And Secondary

Education administrators direct programming, hire and supervise staff, manage budgets, and make decisions that affect the academic community. This job is usually in the role of a principal or assistant principal.

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Photo by Preventing Future High School Dropouts

What’s the salary?

Mean Income: $90,200

Top 10%: $128,660

What do you need?

  • Master’s degree in education leadership or education administration
  • 5-10 years of work as a teacher
  • Strong disciplinary and leadership skills for both children and staff/faculty

10. Film And Video Editors

A film and video editor is a highly skilled film industry employee who edits movies or videos. The success or failure of the production lies in their hands. The final production must be a coherent project that incorporates the storyline and personality of the starring actors.

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Photo by Youtube

What’s the salary?

Mean Income: $66,690

Top 10%: $126,250

What do you need?

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Experience in film and editing
  • Certifications in specific software like PhotoShop, Adobe Create Cloud, Illustrator, etc.
  • Time management skills and ability to meet deadlines is a must

11. Environment, Health, and Safety Engineering Manager

This profession involve training employees or teams on a regular basis on all areas of health and safety. They ensure the proper maintenance of equipment, machinery and the overall facility, such as fire alarms and sprinklers, HVAC systems, and parking areas.

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Photo by Isotracker.com

What’s the salary?

Mean Income: $109,946

Top 10%: $136,324

What do you need?

  • 3+ years of managerial experience
  • Bachelor’s degree in related field
  • Knowledge or expertise in a relevant sector
  • Knowledge of health and safety regulations and procedures
  • Proper certifications and licenses

12. Public Relations Manager

The job is a mid-level management role for someone who has already been in the PR field. PR managers create and maintain a favorable public image for their employer or client by communicating programs, accomplishments and/or points of view.

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Photo by Gladfish

What’s the salary?

Mean Income: $90,410

Top 10%: $128,101

What do you need?

  • Bachelor’s degree in Communications or related field
  • 3-5 years of public relations or press experience
  • Strong networking, public speaking, and writing skills
  • Ability to multitask while organizing and coordinating events

13. Makeup Artists: Theatrical And Performance

These makeup artists duplicate work accurately in order to replicate characters’ appearances on a daily basis. They apply makeup to enhance, and/or alter the appearance of people appearing in productions such as movies and plays.

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Photo by Fashion History

What’s the salary?

Mean Income: $63,710

Top 10%: $120,050

What do you need?

  • GED or equivalent
  • Cosmetology license from an accredited college
  • Physical stamina to stand for long periods of time
  • Diverse portfolio with creative and innovate makeup designs
  • Ability to stay on top of trends, finding new products, and improving existing techniques

14. Detectives And Criminal Investigators

A detective is an investigator and is usually a member of a law enforcement agency. They often collect information to solve crime by talking to witnesses and informants, collecting physical evidence, or searching records in databases. The information found can lead to arresting criminals.

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Photo by mtmtv.info

What’s the salary?

Mean Income: $73,010

Top 10%: $119,320

What do you need?

  • GED and a degree in Criminal Justice
  • Previous work experience in law enforcement or military
  • Licensing to be a private investigator
  • Ability to work under pressure and identify crime in real time

15. Captains, Mates, Pilots Of Water Vessels

They command or supervise operations of ships and water vessels, like tugboats and ferryboats, that travel in and out of harbors, rivers, lakes, bays, and oceans.

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Photo by GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images

What’s the salary?

Mean Income: $71,760

Top 10%: $119,280

What do you need?

  • US Coast Guard approved training programs
  • Certifications such as Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) and Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC)
  • 6 months to 1 year of training, and/or 2 years of boat management experience
  • Ability to navigate open waters

16. Research Veterinarian

Veterinarian researchers seek better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat animal and human health problems. They study many diseases such as cancer and heart disease using laboratory animals that are carefully bred, raised, and maintained under the supervision of veterinarians.

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Photo by labradorretrieverguide.com

What’s the salary?

Mean Income: $68,170

Top 10%: $117,150

What do you need?

  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree
  • A passing grade in the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE)
  • A passing grade in the state examination
  • Ability to handle aggressive or nervous animals, and overprotective or inept owners

17. Gaming Manager

Gaming Managers plan, direct, or coordinate gaming operations in a casino. They may also formulate house rules.

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Photo by Huddle Today

What’s the salary?

Mean Income: $74,480

Top 10%: $116,840

What do you need?

  • GED or equivalent
  • Some casinos require a degree in management or hospitality
  • Gaming school certification
  • Ability to multitask, work late nights, and handle credit

18. Writers And Authors

An author is someone who loves to think creatively, loves language, and loves the art of writing. His or her focus is to produce well-crafted pieces of work for people like us to read and enjoy. Different types of authors include novelists, poets, journalists, screenwriters, playwrights, copywriters, and so on.

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Photo by Product Hunt

What’s the salary?

Mean Income: $68,060

Top 10%: $115,740

What do you need?

  • Bachelor’s degree in writing, journalism, English, or communications
  • Internship or freelance experience
  • Published works in a portfolio
  • Strong experience with research, collecting data, accurately presenting information, and connecting with the intended audience

19. Loan Officers

Loan officers specialize in consumer, mortgage or commercial loans and often work for banks, mortgage companies or credit unions. They act as the contact between the institution and the applicant and will aim to find a loan arrangement that’s in the best interest of both parties.

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Photo by Hondros College

What’s the salary?

Mean Income: $67,960

Top 10%: $115,450

What do you need?

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, finance, or economics
  • Related Certifications
  • Strong decision-making skills
  • 2-5 years of loan experience
  • Familiar with FHA, HUD, and government guidelines/procedures

20. Insurance Sales Agents

They commonly sell different types of insurance, such as property, casualty, life, health and long-term care.

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Photo by Kaplan Financial Education

What’s the salary?

Mean Income: $62,970

Top 10%: $115,300

What do you need?

  • GED or a Bachelor’s degree in communications
  • Business/Economics knowledge
  • Proper licensing by the state
  • At least 2 years of sales experience with data to prove abilities

21. Farmers, Ranchers, Agricultural Managers

They supervise all steps of the crop production and ranging process, including planting, fertilizing, harvesting, and herding. They also handle sales for livestock, crops, and dairy products.

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Photo by Gardenista

What’s the salary?

Mean Income: $70,010

Top 10%: $112,150

What do you need?

  • GED or equivalent
  • 5 years work experience in harvesting, farm equipment operation, and supervision of planting/sowing
  • Ability to do manual labor
  • Experience with irrigation equipment

22. Transportation Inspectors

Transportation inspectors make sure certain modes of transportation, such as airplanes, subways, trains, and buses, are running properly. They ensure that all equipment follows federal safety regulations and requirements and is safe for passengers to ride.

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Photo by Career Test

What’s the salary?

Mean Income: $65,770

Top 10%: $110,210

What do you need?

  • Mechanical background or construction inspecting background
  • Proper certifications according to the state
  • Ability to do manual labor
  • Certifications such as IET, PE, NICET, and ICC

23. Multimedia Artists and Animators

They create special effects, animation, and other visual images using film, video, and computers for use in products or creations, such as computer games, movies, music videos, and commercials.

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Photo by lowonganjepara.com

What’s the salary?

Mean Income: $68,060

Top 10%: $109,370

What do you need?

  • Bachelor’s in graphic design, or equivalent
  • Innovative creativity
  • Expansive portfolio
  • Ability to meet deadlines with fully completed documents and designs

24. Database Administrators

DBAs use specialized software to store and organize data, such as financial information and customer shipping records. They are responsible for making sure that data is available to users and secure from unauthorized access.

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Photo by Fundacja VCC Lublin

What’s the salary?

Mean Income: $77,350

Top 10%: $108,500

What do you need?

  • 1-3 years of work experience
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology or Computer Sciences
  • Experience in website design platforms

25. Technical Writers

A technical writer is responsible for creating content for journal articles, technical and instructional manuals, training guides, and assessments.

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Photo by Word Clerks

What’s the salary?

Mean Income: $67,280

Top 10%: $102,250

What do you need?

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Communications, Writing, English, Journalism, or other related fields
  • 3+ years of Technical Writing experience
  • User Interface/User experience (UI/UX) background