Money—it makes the world go ’round. And unless you plan to be a hermit, you have to earn it somehow. Whether you’re about to graduate college or just looking for a career change, CNBC has gone to the trouble of rounding up some of the most in-demand jobs that all pay $90,000 a year or more. This list can help you decide how to pick a major or just redirect your life toward a more lucrative career.
CNBC used data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET)—an online job database created by the U.S. Department of Labor—to put together their list of jobs. Not only did they use this data to pinpoint the highest-paying jobs, but they also zeroed in on the jobs that are most in demand, or that have a “bright outlook,” which means employment in these fields is expected to increase 14 percent or more between 2014 and 2024. After all, there’s no point in trying to switch to a high-paying career field if no one is hiring.
Here are a few of the jobs CNBC recommends:
1. Personal Financial Advisor
Median annual salary: $90,530
Projected job openings, 2014 to 2024: 136,400
If you’re interested in the world of finance, becoming a financial advisor can be an incredibly lucrative field. Personal financial advisors help their clients plan for their fiscal future using tax and investment strategies, and should have extensive knowledge of securities, insurance, pension plans and real estate. As a financial advisor, you can expect to assess your clients’ assets liabilities, cash flow, insurance coverage, tax status and financial objectives.
This industry is projected to grow 14 percent over the next decade, which is much faster than average. This could be due to the sustained economic recovery the U.S. has experienced over the past nine years, but, either way, if financial advising sounds right to you, expect to earn big bucks (through a lot of hard work).
2. Nurse Practitioner
Median annual salary: $100,910
Projected job openings, 2014 to 2024: 74,700
With the U.S. on the precipice of a serious nursing shortage, it’s no wonder that being a nurse practitioner is a highly paid field. While being a licensed nurse practitioner requires a master’s degree, it is possible to find a hospital that will sponsor you to get your license.
Again, this is a field of extreme growth, but your salary will be seriously affected by where you work. For example, the median salary for a nurse practitioner in California is $100,910. But in a state like Alabama, median salaries can be as low as $60,000 a year. If you’re looking to go back to school to become a nurse, excellent grades and recommendations will be crucial in making sure you get a job where the pay reflects the national median salary.
3. Computer And Information Systems Manager
Median annual salary: $135,800
Projected job openings, 2014 to 2024: 94,800
Is it any surprise that IT jobs are highly paid in our increasingly digital world? A job in computer and information systems can be anything from traditional information technology to data processing and computer programming. While a majority of these jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree, there are plenty of employers out there who recognize self-taught talent when they see it. (Remember, Bill Gates never finished college.)
If you think IT is all about sitting behind a computer all day, think again. To get a job at a high salary like this, it’s likely you’ll need to be in a management position. So if this is a career you’re interested in, make sure you feel comfortable coordinating, supervising, managing and training others. You’ll probably want several years of previous managerial experience under your belt in addition to significant technological experience.
Median annual salary: $106,140
Projected job openings, 2014 to 2024: 25,500
The world of health care positions related to your eyes can be confusing—what’s the difference between an optometrist, an ophthalmologist and an optician, anyway? Well, an optometrist, which is a high-demand position, is a healthcare professional who provides “primary vision care ranging from sight testing and correction to the diagnosis, treatment, and management of vision changes,” according to the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.
Median annual salary: $100,610
Projected job openings, 2014 to 2024: 11,700
If you love numbers, then this may just be the job for you. According to the Occupational Information Network, actuaries “analyze statistical data, such as mortality, accident, sickness, disability, and retirement rates and construct probability tables to forecast risk and liability for payment of future benefits. (They) may ascertain insurance rates required and cash reserves necessary to ensure payment of future benefits.”
Here’s the full list of in-demand jobs that pay over $90,000 a year.