Ten Jobs That Pay 100’000 USD or More

You don’t have to work on Wall Street or Silicon Valley to earn a fat paycheck. There are many other jobs that also pay 100’000 USD/year or more. 

For many of these jobs, total pay is highly dependent on the base salary. But for other jobs, a big part of employees total pay is earned through other forms of compensation (i.e. commissions, tips, bonuses).

In no particular order, check out these 10 jobs that pay 100’000 USD or More:

Special Analyst/Agent – See Open Jobs

  • Total median pay: $125,000
  • Median base salary: $121,000
  • Job openings: 85

How to Get Hired: Some special agents work for law enforcement and help build cases for criminal investigations by amassing evidence. Others are employed by private companies. Their role may be to examine trends in criminal activity and propose strategies to prevent future crimes like financial fraud. Qualifying candidates usually have a law enforcement background or military experience plus a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Special agent roles can be action-packed and may require non-standard or on-call work hours.

Airline Pilot – See Open Jobs

  • Total median pay: $134,000
  • Median base salary: $120,000
  • Job openings: 116

How to Get Hired: Airline pilots have to be certified with an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL). Major airlines often prefer candidates who hold a bachelor’s degree in aviation, physics, or related fields, or those who have served in the military. In addition to the mechanics of operating the plane and evaluating obstacles that may interfere with the flight, pilots also take a leadership role in overseeing their crews. They need to be seasoned managers and savvy communicators who are comfortable with a non-standard schedule.

Regional Sales Executive – See Open Jobs

  • Total median pay: $103,500
  • Median base salary: $65,000
  • Job openings: 345

How to Get Hired: Successful regional sales executives need to be well-versed in their company’s product lines and acutely aware of their customers’ needs. Regional sales executives are stellar communicators with a knack for spotting opportunities. They are always looking to grow their business and expand their customer base. Depending on what industry they represent, a college degree may or may not be necessary.

Nurse Practitioner – See Open Jobs

  • Total median pay: $101,600
  • Median base salary: $100,000
  • Job openings: 6,784

How to Get Hired: Nurse practitioners (NPs) have at least a master’s degree in nursing. Individual states may require additional certifications. NPs are qualified to perform physical exams, treat common injuries and illness, and prescribe some medications. Some NPs have their own private practices.

Reservoir Engineer – See Open Jobs

  • Total median pay: $143,000
  • Median base salary: $125,000
  • Job openings: 23

How to Get Hired: Reservoir engineers identify and pursue oil and gas reserves underground. Their goal is to extract the maximum amount of energy without over-tapping the reservoir. In order to fill this role, professionals need a degree in chemical engineering plus experience in a field that is highly technical and nuanced.

Equity Research Associate – See Open Jobs

  • Total median pay: $100,000
  • Median base salary: $85,000
  • Job openings: 300

How to Get Hired: Equity research associates report on financial trends using financial models and other analytical techniques. Their research and reports inform other financial analysts’ efforts. So while the position incorporates much of the excitement and rewards of investment banking, it is less demanding as much of the workload involves generating information. To qualify for the position, candidates need a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, or a similar field.

Geophysicist – See Open Jobs

  • Total median pay: $119,380
  • Median base salary: $109,864
  • Job openings: 117

How to Get Hired: Geophysicists study the earth using gravity, seismic, electrical and magnetic methods. There are various kinds of geophysicists. Some study how the earth is changing, while others locate valuable minerals beneath its surface. The position requires a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in geology. Geophysicists must be skilled at evaluating sites, conducting often complex experiments and reporting their conclusions.

Physician Assistant – See Open Jobs

  • Total median pay: $100,392
  • Median base salary: $100,000
  • Job openings: 3,499

How to Get Hired: A physician’s assistant (PA) is similar to a nurse practitioner (NP). Both hold master’s degrees, but a PA attends medical school rather than nursing school. Like NPs, PAs can examine patients, order tests and prescribe some medications. It takes far less time to become a PA than to become a medical doctor (MD), and PAs always work in collaboration with doctors. Because of this, they are unable to cultivate private practices, which is another way they differ from NPs.

Drilling Engineer – See Open Jobs

  • Total median pay: $116,500
  • Median base salary: $106,680
  • Job openings: 49

How to Get Hired: Securing a job as a drilling engineer requires a bachelor’s degree in petroleum or mechanical engineering. Professionals in this role ensure that all plans and practices related to gas, oil or water drilling are strategic and safe. They have to be team players and excellent communicators both internally among their team and externally to their clients.

The U.S. oil industry will need to hire tens of thousands of workers in the next two and a half years as oil prices recover and drillers stand up rigs, Goldman Sachs projected in a note this week.

Software Architect – See Open Jobs

  • Total median pay: $139,000
  • Median base salary: $130,000
  • Job openings: 642

How to Get Hired: Software architects build software that enables businesses to operate more efficiently. Then they take the lead in communicating about system developments with the company’s leadership. Most people with this job have at least a bachelor’s degree in math, software engineering, or a similar field. Some people do acquire the right skills, however, through non-traditional education, such as through an online coding bootcamp or another online accelerated education program. They need a high degree of technical savvy and skills like coding. They also need to know how to collaborate with others. Long hours can be required.

Want to make even more? Check out Glassdoor’s 25 Highest Paying Companies in America.

I’d like to stay on the subject of paid work for a while. A nice paycheck is one thing, but is your job safe? A new study reveals which jobs will or won’t be replaced by machines. More on that in tomorrow’s post.


Reservoir engineers, Geophysicists, Equity research associates or Drilling engineers are among the jobs that offer a decent, six-figure payment.

reservoir engineer

equity research

drilling engineers

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