Highest paying jobs in Athens that require a graduate degree

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August 1, 2022
National Eye Institute // Flickr

Highest paying jobs in Athens that require a graduate degree

Those with graduate degrees earn more on average than those without them—but not all jobs are equal. And while rising tuition costs are enough to turn people away from the prospect of a master’s or doctoral degree, many high-paying professions still require such degrees to get in the door. Stacker compiled a list of the highest- paying jobs that require a graduate degree in Athens-Clarke County, GA using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs are ranked by 2020 annual mean wage.

The best way to guarantee a high return on investment in a graduate degree is to be aware of professions that pay top-dollar for that added educational investment. Keep reading to see where a graduate degree is required—and can earn you the most.

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VH-studio // Shutterstock

#18. Educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors

Athens-Clarke County, GA
- Annual mean salary: $48,410 (#331 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 520

National
- Annual mean salary: $62,320 (292,230 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA ($91,420)
--- El Centro, CA ($91,110)
--- Fresno, CA ($90,860)

Job description: Advise and assist students and provide educational and vocational guidance services.

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Canva

#17. Healthcare social workers

Athens-Clarke County, GA
- Annual mean salary: $50,950 (#290 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 90

National
- Annual mean salary: $60,470 (176,110 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($100,410)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($98,980)
--- Salinas, CA ($95,690)

Job description: Provide individuals, families, and groups with the psychosocial support needed to cope with chronic, acute, or terminal illnesses. Services include advising family caregivers. Provide patients with information and counseling, and make referrals for other services. May also provide case and care management or interventions designed to promote health, prevent disease, and address barriers to access to healthcare.

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Knight Foundation // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Urban and regional planners

Athens-Clarke County, GA
- Annual mean salary: $54,810 (#163 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $79,410 (38,190 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($109,910)
--- Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA ($108,860)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($107,810)

Job description: Develop comprehensive plans and programs for use of land and physical facilities of jurisdictions, such as towns, cities, counties, and metropolitan areas.

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Simon Fraser Universtiy // flickr

#15. Instructional coordinators

Athens-Clarke County, GA
- Annual mean salary: $66,070 (#170 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 80

National
- Annual mean salary: $70,160 (174,900 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New Haven, CT ($111,440)
--- Warner Robins, GA ($110,800)
--- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA ($104,000)

Job description: Develop instructional material, coordinate educational content, and incorporate current technology into instruction in order to provide guidelines to educators and instructors for developing curricula and conducting courses. May train and coach teachers. Includes educational consultants and specialists, and instructional material directors.

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Canva

#14. Speech-language pathologists

Athens-Clarke County, GA
- Annual mean salary: $67,340 (#305 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 70

National
- Annual mean salary: $83,240 (148,450 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Modesto, CA ($128,540)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($120,920)
--- Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA ($115,480)

Job description: Assess and treat persons with speech, language, voice, and fluency disorders. May select alternative communication systems and teach their use. May perform research related to speech and language problems.

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ABO PHOTOGRAPHY // Shutterstock

#13. Occupational therapists

Athens-Clarke County, GA
- Annual mean salary: $76,960 (#260 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $87,480 (126,610 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- The Villages, FL ($115,920)
--- Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV ($115,060)
--- Modesto, CA ($112,870)

Job description: Assess, plan, and organize rehabilitative programs that help build or restore vocational, homemaking, and daily living skills, as well as general independence, to persons with disabilities or developmental delays. Use therapeutic techniques, adapt the individual's environment, teach skills, and modify specific tasks that present barriers to the individual.

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Rappaport Center // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Lawyers

Athens-Clarke County, GA
- Annual mean salary: $78,620 (#329 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 290

National
- Annual mean salary: $148,910 (658,120 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($231,610)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($201,920)
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($186,070)

Job description: Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.

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Aykut Erdogdu // Shutterstock

#11. Physical therapists

Athens-Clarke County, GA
- Annual mean salary: $80,510 (#336 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 290

National
- Annual mean salary: $91,680 (220,870 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- El Centro, CA ($143,500)
--- Modesto, CA ($123,370)
--- Visalia-Porterville, CA ($119,510)

Job description: Assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that improve mobility, relieve pain, increase strength, and improve or correct disabling conditions resulting from disease or injury.

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Austin Community College // Flickr

#10. Veterinarians

Athens-Clarke County, GA
- Annual mean salary: $80,640 (#254 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $108,350 (73,710 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX ($169,220)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($150,370)
--- Akron, OH ($150,330)

Job description: Diagnose, treat, or research diseases and injuries of animals. Includes veterinarians who conduct research and development, inspect livestock, or care for pets and companion animals.

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David Bibo // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Education administrators, kindergarten through secondary

Athens-Clarke County, GA
- Annual mean salary: $83,560 (#275 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 200

National
- Annual mean salary: $103,010 (262,480 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Modesto, CA ($154,970)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($146,070)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($145,590)

Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate the academic, administrative, or auxiliary activities of kindergarten, elementary, or secondary schools.

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Syda Productions // Shutterstock

#8. Farm and home management educators

Athens-Clarke County, GA
- Annual mean salary: $86,660 (#1 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 140

National
- Annual mean salary: $54,870 (8,090 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Athens-Clarke County, GA ($86,660)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($67,800)
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($67,630)

Job description: Instruct and advise individuals and families engaged in agriculture, agricultural-related processes, or home management activities. Demonstrate procedures and apply research findings to advance agricultural and home management activities. May develop educational outreach programs. May instruct on either agricultural issues such as agricultural processes and techniques, pest management, and food safety, or on home management issues such as budgeting, nutrition, and child development.

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Canva

#7. Statisticians

Athens-Clarke County, GA
- Annual mean salary: $91,310 (#33 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 30

National
- Annual mean salary: $97,170 (38,860 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($127,080)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($120,850)
--- Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($118,900)

Job description: Develop or apply mathematical or statistical theory and methods to collect, organize, interpret, and summarize numerical data to provide usable information. May specialize in fields such as biostatistics, agricultural statistics, business statistics, or economic statistics. Includes mathematical and survey statisticians.

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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#6. Nurse practitioners

Athens-Clarke County, GA
- Annual mean salary: $97,320 (#332 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 200

National
- Annual mean salary: $114,510 (211,280 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($188,070)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($177,800)
--- Salinas, CA ($155,310)

Job description: Diagnose and treat acute, episodic, or chronic illness, independently or as part of a healthcare team. May focus on health promotion and disease prevention. May order, perform, or interpret diagnostic tests such as lab work and x rays. May prescribe medication. Must be registered nurses who have specialized graduate education.

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National Eye Institute // Flickr

#5. Medical scientists, except epidemiologists

Athens-Clarke County, GA
- Annual mean salary: $99,020 (#50 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $101,800 (126,110 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($143,800)
--- New Haven, CT ($142,330)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($136,230)

Job description: Conduct research dealing with the understanding of human diseases and the improvement of human health. Engage in clinical investigation, research and development, or other related activities.

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Grace Nichols // U.S. Air Force

#4. Pharmacists

Athens-Clarke County, GA
- Annual mean salary: $112,040 (#350 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 400

National
- Annual mean salary: $125,460 (315,470 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Madera, CA ($165,350)
--- Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA ($162,540)
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($161,120)

Job description: Dispense drugs prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners and provide information to patients about medications and their use. May advise physicians and other health practitioners on the selection, dosage, interactions, and side effects of medications.

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Ohiodominican // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Physician assistants

Athens-Clarke County, GA
- Annual mean salary: $116,250 (#125 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 90

National
- Annual mean salary: $116,080 (125,280 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Salinas, CA ($168,220)
--- Waterbury, CT ($165,230)
--- Portsmouth, NH-ME ($158,020)

Job description: Provide healthcare services typically performed by a physician, under the supervision of a physician. Conduct complete physicals, provide treatment, and counsel patients. May, in some cases, prescribe medication. Must graduate from an accredited educational program for physician assistants.

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Canva

#2. General internal medicine physicians

Athens-Clarke County, GA
- Annual mean salary: $184,250 (#86 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $210,960 (50,600 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Rochester, MN ($315,830)
--- Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC ($314,080)
--- Wichita Falls, TX ($311,260)

Job description: Diagnose and provide nonsurgical treatment for a wide range of diseases and injuries of internal organ systems. Provide care mainly for adults and adolescents, and are based primarily in an outpatient care setting.

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Unsplash

#1. Surgeons, except ophthalmologists

Athens-Clarke County, GA
- Annual mean salary: $251,790 (#56 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $251,650 (37,900 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Sioux City, IA-NE-SD ($305,480)
--- Akron, OH ($297,710)
--- Lincoln, NE ($296,150)

Job description: Diagnose and perform surgery to treat and prevent rheumatic and other diseases in the musculoskeletal system.

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