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The Best-Paying Jobs on the Market Today

Of all the messages left behind by tech giant Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple Computers, perhaps the most poignant was his commencement speech at Stanford University. “Do what you love,” said Jobs, “and the only way to be satisfied is to do what you consider to be great work.” Perhaps your view of great work involves helping others or running a business or selling lunches from a food truck. If you’re passionate about the following jobs, the great news is they offer some of the best financial rewards for each hour of work you put in.

Corporate Psychologist

Think of the stereotypical psychologist set-up, and you think of patients lying on couches discussing dreams. That’s far from the job description of corporate psychologists, who work within companies to deliver a better and more efficient work environment from top to bottom. With a median pay of $120,000 per year, they nearly double the average pay of psychologists outside of corporate structures. The salary’s high for good reason: even a half of a percentage of improvement in a company’s work structure can translate to hundreds of millions of extra dollars saved or earned.


Those who love to work with numbers won’t find many higher paying industries than accounting, where new graduates are in peak demand for a field that just can’t get enough skilled workers. Not only do accountants earn about $10,000 per year more than the average college graduate upon their first hire, but can earn a top salary of upwards of $120,000 if they achieve a CPA license. An accountant needs to be able to look at the raw information of a company’s money coming in and coming out to determine where efficiency and waste can be improved or eliminated, respectively. They use tools like a net salary calculator to figure out how salaries should be scaled and bonuses awarded. Finally, they may act as tax advisers for a company or individual looking to minimize the amount needed to pay out of pocket to the government.

Natural Sciences Manager

Controlling the elements of the Earth demands a lot out of a manager who is supervising everything from a build site to a research institute to a space-shuttle launch. For all the work necessary to become a manager in a natural sciences field — four year undergraduate degree, several years of lab work and possibly a five-year Ph.D as well — the rewards are high. With an average salary of $115,000per year, they’re well rewarded for the decisions on projects, hiring, zoning and research. Leadership skills as well as an understanding of chemistry, biology and geology make them extremely valuable hires.

Petroleum Engineers

Think of how much money you pay to fill up the tank of your car, then multiply it by the amount of gas you think would fit in an oil tanker. The value behind petroleum turns those engineers capable of channeling, breaking down, re-formatting and condensing oil and natural gas into highly-paid workers. An average salary of $150,000 per year gives these engineers huge rewards for having completed five years of college. With new oil booms in the US, such as the Dakota Shale Formation, there’s plenty of ways to work near home.

Author: Karen Gibson

Karen is an HR specialist and avid rock climber.

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