America’s Highest Paying Jobs in 2016

Glassdoor highlights the best jobs for 2016.

By Kathryn Knight Randolph

March 21, 2016

America’s Highest Paying Jobs in 2016

The primary reason most students go to college is to get a good job after college; and oftentimes, a good job is synonymous with a high-paying job. Whether you’re searching for a major or a job after college, it’s wise to know which jobs pay and the investment required on your part. Fortunately, Glassdoor has provided a comprehensive look at the highest paying jobs in 2016.

10. Solutions Architect — Median Base Salary: $120,000

A solutions architect works in information technology and builds systems or functions to meet the needs of users. They work with functional analysts to determine how best to create a product. Typically, only a bachelor’s degree is required. Students should seek a major in computer science, information technology, software engineering or related field.

9. IT Manager — Median Base Salary: $120,000

An IT Manager – you guessed it – manages Information Technology departments. In addition to overseeing projects, IT managers help ensure work is done under budget, on time and correctly. This career requires a bachelor’s degree in IT Management, business or related field.

8. Integrated Circuit Designer Engineer — Median Base Salary: $127,500

An integrated circuit designer engineer generally works to formulate and test the framework for the layout of circuitry for IT departments and platforms. While some employers accept an Associate’s degree, most require at least a Bachelor’s – especially those offering the above salary. Students should seek a degree in engineering with a specific focus on digital circuit communications systems, signal conditioning and microprocessor architecture.

7. Software Architect — Median Base Salary: $128,250

Software architects design and build software systems and platforms, but they also work with other departments, including administration. Therefore, a software architect needs to know the technical side as well as how to articulate technological plans and best practices to others. To become a software architect, at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science or mathematics is needed.

6. Strategy Manager — Median Base Salary: $130,000

A strategy manager helps to drive a company or department forward with planning and oversight on all projects. A Bachelor’s degree is required, but a Master’s degree is preferred for those seeking opportunity and growth at the company’s highest level. Students should seek a degree in business administration or in a field related to the particular company with which they hope to be employed after graduation.

5. Pharmacy Manager — Median Base Salary: $130,000

Pharmacy managers oversee employees, practices and policies within a pharmacy. They also work to comply with federal and state regulations. This position requires a pharmacy degree as well as a Bachelor’s of Science in pharmacy or equivalent. The average total student loan debt for a Pharm.D. is $123,063 as of 2012, according to Huffington Post.

4. Software Development Manager — Median Base Salary: $132,000

In addition to designing and developing new systems, software development managers also fix errors or create updates for existing programs. A software development manager leads their team and often serves as an intermediary between their team and clients. Students interested in this career path should pursue a major in computer science, computer engineering, computer programming or a similar field.

3. Research & Development Manager — Median Base Salary: $142,120

Managers on research and development teams work with their employees to conduct research for companies in a variety of areas like technology, concepts and new products. They may even take their research a step further and actually develop new programs and platforms based on their research. This position requires a bit more school. Research and development managers need at least a Master’s or PhD in engineering, biochemistry, physics or related field.

2. Lawyer — Median Base Salary: $144,500

Lawyers provide legal counsel to individuals, companies and other persons or organizations within the legal system. They can specialize in a specific area of the law by taking special courses and working with a certain firm during and after law school. After obtaining an undergraduate degree, students interested in attending law school have to take the LSAT and then spend roughly three years in school to obtain a juris doctorate degree. Once they’ve graduated from law school, students must pass the bar exam for whichever state they intend to practice law. Forbes reports that the average amount of student loan debt for law students is $84,000 at a public school and $122,158 at a private school.

1. Physician — Median Base Salary: $180,000

A physician – or doctor – works in a specific practice or under a certain specialty to provide health care for patients. However, in addition to providing health care, they also work with a variety of individuals from other departments like nurses, administrators and assistants. Students seeking a job as a physician must complete undergraduate work in biology, medicine or related field. They then need to continue their education in medical school and complete a residency program. The average amount of debt a student obtains in medical school is $176,000, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges in 2014.

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