What are the top paying jobs in the United States?
As a foreigner, considering life in the United States always presents the question, “How much will I need to earn to afford living there?” The answer varies, based on where you will live and how many people you intend to support on a given wage. The first thing many tourists and immigrants learn, is that life in the United States is generally more expensive than in their homeland. While we have tremendous freedoms, a good quality of life and many benefits, there is a cost associated with that lifestyle.
Still, each year the United States attracts people from around the world to migrate to our country and build a life in the American town of their choosing. Aside from the obvious immigration process, at some point you will seek employment for financial support. The US economy offers a lot of entry level work, but these jobs are seen as temporary solutions, not meant to sustain a person over a lifetime. The more lucrative jobs, often viewed as those paying over $100K per year, are what we wanted to focus on for the purpose of this article.
A look at the Middle vs. Upper Classes
For purposes of clarity, the references to classes is in regard to pay, not social status. The Census Bureau says that 41.5% of American households brought in between $35,000 and $100,000 in 2015. Twenty-six percent of American households earn more than that and 32% earn less. While this gives us a good idea of the incomes of the average American middle class household, the definitions of this group vary. As you look at how much you need to earn to support yourself or family, there are some things to consider by way of comparison.
Income and Geography
At the forfront is geography. The cost of living can sway greatly between rural and urban locations. The wealth distribution table below provides an interactive view of median household incomes nationwide.
Language and Education
Regardless of stories you’ve heard about successful people who don’t speak English and have lived here for years, the truth is they are rare and they struggle. Americans are very tolerant of accents but they usually insist on English as the primary language and can even take offense when asked if information or services are available in another language. Insistance on the local or national language is common in any country around the world, but the US seems to get criticized for it more than others. That said, your ability to speak English will impact your employment opportunities. The good news is there are numerous classes, many of them are free, to help foreigners adjust to life in America.
Your education is another factor in your access to the better paying jobs. Degrees earned in another country still have merit, but they need to be converted by a reputable institution to be recognized by typical employers. Professional positions such as medicine and law often require the individual to repeat most if not all of their educational work, as the standards and practices are all presented and tested in English. Some flexibility exists for foreign schools already recognized by the United States.
The Top Paying Jobs in the US over $100K Annually
Making less than $100K is common for approximately 80% of Americans. We sorted the list of jobs to include those that earn a mean wage over $100,000 annually as a way to show potential earnings in middle and upper classes.
If you’re interested in searching for available positions in our Florida or nationwide database, visit https://floridarussian.com/employment/
|Occupation title||Employment||Mean hourly wage||Annual mean wage|
|Obstetricians and Gynecologists||19,800||$112.65||$234,310|
|Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons||5,380||$111.96||$232,870|
|Physicians and Surgeons||649,850||$101.04||$210,170|
|Physicians and Surgeons, All Other||338,620||$98.83||$205,560|
|Family and General Practitioners||122,970||$96.54||$200,810|
|Dentists, All Other Specialists||5,380||$82.64||$171,900|
|Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers||81,520||(4)||$152,770|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||352,510||$70.07||$145,740|
|Architectural and Engineering Managers||178,390||$69.17||$143,870|
|Marketing and Sales Managers||571,120||$66.52||$138,350|
|Lawyers and Judicial Law Clerks||632,940||$66.44||$138,190|
|Natural Sciences Managers||54,780||$65.46||$136,150|
|Advertising, Marketing, Promotions, PR and Sales Managers||663,960||$65.39||$136,020|
|Lawyers, Judges, and Related Workers||680,990||$65.27||$135,760|
|Law Teachers, Postsecondary||16,010||(4)||$134,530|
|Aircraft Pilots and Flight Engineers||120,500||(4)||$131,250|
|Compensation and Benefits Managers||15,230||$61.01||$126,900|
|Operations Specialties Managers||1,693,430||$60.32||$125,470|
|Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary||186,740||(4)||$125,430|
|Public Relations and Fundraising Managers||63,970||$59.31||$123,360|
|Personal Financial Advisors||201,850||$59.18||$123,100|
|General and Operations Managers||2,188,870||$58.70||$122,090|
|Astronomers and Physicists||18,510||$58.00||$120,650|
|Human Resources Managers||129,810||$57.79||$120,210|
|Computer Hardware Engineers||72,950||$57.07||$118,700|
|Air Traffic Controllers||23,240||$56.83||$118,200|
|Advertising and Promotions Managers||28,860||$56.64||$117,810|
|Computer and Information Research Scientists||26,580||$55.92||$116,320|
|Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates||27,210||$55.51||$115,460|
|Training and Development Managers||32,880||$55.37||$115,180|
|Health Teachers, Postsecondary||242,940||(4)||$113,770|
|Managers, All Other||403,670||$53.92||$112,150|
|Economics Teachers, Postsecondary||13,060||(4)||$111,520|
|Software Developers, Systems Software||409,820||$53.17||$110,590|
|Medical and Health Services Managers||332,150||$52.58||$109,370|
|Engineering Teachers, Postsecondary||38,000||(4)||$107,490|
|Industrial Production Managers||168,400||$51.47||$107,060|
|Geoscientists, Except Hydrologists and Geographers||30,420||$51.15||$106,390|
|Education Administrators, Postsecondary||138,430||$50.85||$105,770|
|Engineering and Architecture Teachers, Postsecondary||45,370||(4)||$105,120|
|Software Developers, Applications||794,000||$50.14||$104,300|
|Computer Network Architects||157,070||$50.12||$104,240|
|Electronics Engineers, Except Computer||132,100||$49.89||$103,760|
|Judges, Magistrates, and Other Judicial Workers||48,050||$49.88||$103,740|
|Financial Analysts and Advisors||575,110||$49.54||$103,050|
|Mining and Geological Engineers, Including Mining Safety Engineers||6,940||$49.52||$103,010|
|Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents||353,780||$49.17||$102,260|
|Electrical and Electronics Engineers||315,870||$48.45||$100,770|
|Air Traffic Controllers and Airfield Operations Specialists||32,000||$48.17||$100,190|
|Software Developers and Programmers||1,604,570||$48.11||$100,080|
Data Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
(1) Estimates for detailed occupations do not sum to the totals because the totals include occupations not shown separately. Estimates do not include self-employed workers.
(2) Annual wages have been calculated by multiplying the hourly mean wage by a “year-round, full-time” hours figure of 2,080 hours; for those occupations where there is not an hourly wage published, the annual wage has been directly calculated from the reported survey data.
(4) Wages for some occupations that do not generally work year-round, full time, are reported either as hourly wages or annual salaries depending on how they are typically paid.