15 Best Jobs With the Biggest Paychecks

If you're hoping to rake in the biggest bucks, be ready to invest in yourself first.

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If you're hoping to rake in the biggest bucks, be ready to invest in yourself first. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, higher levels of educational attainment typically lead to higher levels of pay. For example, while workers with a high school diploma earn a median $712 a week, those with a bachelor's degree pull in $1,173 weekly, and those with a professional degree make a median $1,836 a week. (The median for all workers is $907 a week.)

Indeed, the top earners in our own job rankings show that more years of studying (and tuition money) can certainly pay off. Among our 30 of the Best Jobs for the Future, theseare the 15 that post the highest typical earnings. And though we favored jobs that don't necessarily call for a huge investment in education to get started, the generous paychecks and promising growth projections of these positions still pushed them toward the top of our list—despite six usually requiring advanced degrees and the rest needing at least a bachelor's.


Unless otherwise noted, all employment data was provided by Emsi, a labor-market research firm owned by Strada Education. Emsi collects data from dozens of federal, state and private sources, including reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and surveys from the U.S. Census Bureau. The total number of jobs listed for each occupation is for 2017. Projected 10-year job growth figures represent the percentage change in the total number of jobs in an occupation between 2017 and 2027. Annual earnings were calculated by multiplying median hourly earnings by 2,080, the standard number of hours worked in a year by a full-time employee. Jobs are listed by median earnings, from lowest to highest.

Stacy Rapacon
Online Editor, Kiplinger.com

Rapacon joined Kiplinger in October 2007 as a reporter with Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine and became an online editor for Kiplinger.com in June 2010. She previously served as editor of the "Starting Out" column, focusing on personal finance advice for people in their twenties and thirties.

Before joining Kiplinger, Rapacon worked as a senior research associate at b2b publishing house Judy Diamond Associates. She holds a B.A. degree in English from the George Washington University.