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Best High Paying Jobs: 5 Jobs That Pay $80,000 Per Year

By Lydia Dishman,

What do Lauren Bush’s engagement ring and the Icon CJ3B army jeep have in common? They’re just two of the things you can buy with $80,000. And while most working stiffs can only dream of plunking down that kind of cash – median family income brings in only around $50,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)—there are some career tracks that can bring those luxury visions a little closer to reality.

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Here are five of the best high paying jobs that earn at least $80,000, according to online salary database, in industries that are expected to grow through 2018.

Commercial Jet Pilot – Median Income $89,600
The sky’s literally the limit if you’ve always dreamed of flying for a living. According the International Airline Pilots Association, there are many paths to the cockpit but you must have a combination of pilot certificates and ratings, flight experience, and a great attitude. Veterans of the armed services are particularly in demand due to the military’s excellent training and well-rounded education. Bonus: the military route won’t cost a thing.

Clinical Trial Manager – Median Income $88,800
From doctors and nurses to teachers and statisticians, clinical research professionals can come from a wide variety of careers. Training often happens on the job testing drugs, medical equipment, or other biological products. While breaking into the lucrative field of clinical research does require a bachelor’s degree, pursuing a clinical research curriculum can be done online or through a community college with more flexible hours, according to the Society of Clinical Research Associates (SoCra).

Senior Lobbyist – Median Income $88,700
Public relations professionals take note: if you’re passionate about a cause or special interest your skills are perfectly suited to a lobbying firm. Lobbyists can be found on the staffs of corporations, industry trade organizations, unions, or public interest groups to help influence legislators in favor of the industry they represent.

Security Architect, IT – Median Income $88,100
Keeping hackers at bay is just one of the daily challenges IT security architects face on the job. Those who set up, test, and enforce corporate security policies don’t have time to get bored. Security needs are ever-changing and an architect needs to be adaptable and keep up with the latest technology. Earning certification via a professional organization such as the SANS (SysAdmin, Audit, Network, Security) Institute will help boost job and salary prospects.

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative – Median Income $87,900
There are literally thousands of medications available to help diagnose, prevent and treat disease. And it takes a legion of talented sales people to put those drugs into the hands of health care professionals who need them to help patients. However, this high-growth field is competitive, and membership in a professional organization such as the National Association of Pharmaceutical Representatives (NAPRx) will help entry-level reps network and learn to get a leg up in the field.

Six Sigma Black Belt Project Manager – Median Income $84,000
You won’t have to master the martial arts, but you will have to pass a number of exams on your way to obtaining a Six Sigma Black Belt. This business management strategy is used in a variety of industries from education and government to healthcare and manufacturing as a standard of quality to improve processes. The American Society for Quality (ASQ) offers an internationally-recognized certification track that can help stand out from the competition, not to mention improve project management skills.

Source: All salary data is from The salaries listed are median, annual salaries for full-time workers with 5-8 years of experience and include any bonuses, commissions or profit sharing.

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