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High Salary Careers: 5 Companies Hiring for $50K


High Salary Careers: 5 Companies Hiring for $50K

By Tiffany Miller

It seems like everyday we hear more bad news about the economy and massive layoffs. But while job loss is widespread, it’s not happening at every corporation. In fact, many companies plan to add jobs paying $50K or more to the payroll in 2009.

“Certain industries don’t show any signs of slowing down,” said Lindsey Pollak, expert in career search info and author of “Getting from College to Career,” “The trick is to be very smart when you’re applying.”

Pollak says job seekers wanting a higher salary need to get aggressive and work ten times harder than the other guy. That means reaching out to network contacts every single day, not just once a week.

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So if certain careers are in demand, where are the jobs?

Who’s Hiring Right Now? 

1. Kaplan Higher Education

Campus Director – $75,000 per year

Many folks out of work go back to school during tough times, hoping to make themselves more marketable to employers. That means plenty of jobs at universities and higher education programs.

“When the economy takes a turn for the worst people try to gain new skills and education,” says Michele Mazur, Director of Public Relations for Kaplan Higher Education.

Mazur says Kaplan classes are designed to help people get jobs. The strategy seems to be working.

In 2008, Kaplan Higher Education opened new campuses in Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Detroit, adding 25 full-time jobs in each location.

One sure-fire way of landing a job is enrolling in Kaplan’s Director Development Program. The six to eight month “immersion program” is open to MBA graduates with three to five years work experience. Students who graduate from the program become campus directors with an average salary of $75,000 a year.

2. Monsanto

Research Assistant – $40,000 – 50,000 per year

Another growing industry is agriculture, but you won’t even have to get dirty in the field.

St. Louis-based agriculture company Monsanto is looking for experts in agronomy, biology, chemistry, organic chemistry and entomology, which is the study of insects. Company representative Darren Wallis said recruiters are always hiring research assistants in the $40-$50,000 range. They’re also looking for more advanced scientists specializing in weeds, soy and corn.

“Today’s agriculture is chocked full of hi-tech researchers. They’re in demand,” Wallis said. “Many people who are interested in science may think medicine is their only option. But there is a great deal of research that goes into plants.”

He stressed that many young people think you have to be a “farmer” to work in agriculture, but the field has plenty of marketing and research jobs.

3. The Mayo Clinic

Registered Nurse – $51,000 per year*

Healthcare is a hot job industry with no shortage of open nursing positions. In fact, the demand for RNs is only expected to grow – at least 2% to 3% each year, according to experts at the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

The Mayo Clinic has nursing openings at its Florida, Arizona and Minnesota hospitals. It’s known to be a great place to work, ranking in Fortune Magazine’s Best Companies list for the last five years. Nurses with specialty experience may have a better chance getting hired. Mayo Clinic nurses have more than 50 different specializations. The average starting position for a registered nurse with five years experience is $51,000, according to

4. H&R Block

Tax Preparer – $50,000 per year*

Accountants with international and tax specialties won’t have a problem finding a well-paid job, according to Aaron Brooks, managing director at the Chicago-based recruiting firm Mergis Group.

“Those professionals that want to ensure continued employment are smart to stay current on what is hot in today’s marketplace,” he said. And, an accounting degree is definitely hot.

Companies are beefing up staff for tax season. If you’re an excellent number cruncher, try applying for a job at H&R Block.

The nation’s largest tax preparer is hiring accountants across the country. An H&R Block tax preparer with five years experience in San Diego makes $50,000, according to

5. McDonalds

Store Manager in New York, NY- $51,000 per year*

Another area to consider is consumer necessities. Career experts say some of the most stable jobs are in companies that manufacture necessity consumer goods.

No matter what happens with the economy, you can bet that people will still buy food, medicine and cleaning products.

“Think Dannon, Procter and Gamble, Nestle,” said Pollak. “Stick to the basics, the McDonalds are doing better than the Starbucks.”

She’s right, too. New restaurant manager jobs pop up on the McDonald’s career website every week. A McDonald’s restaurant manager with 5 years experience in New York makes $51,000 a year, according to

*Salary data are from

Check out PayScale’s 10 Careers in Demand for 2009 post.
See what other high salary careers are available.

Want a fun job with high pay? A traveling nurse career might be right for you. Read more about this interesting career in our traveling nurse salary story.

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