Highest paying jobs in Grand Rapids that require a graduate degree

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August 1, 2022
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Highest paying jobs in Grand Rapids 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 Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI 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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Florida Fish and Wildlife // flickr

#50. Criminal justice and law enforcement teachers, postsecondary

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $56,360 (#49 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 80

National
- Annual mean salary: $74,740 (14,030 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Fresno, CA ($143,000)
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($127,110)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($109,240)

Job description: Teach courses in criminal justice, corrections, and law enforcement administration. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Canva

#49. Healthcare social workers

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $57,910 (#146 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 560

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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Suzannekweiss // Wikimedia Commons

#48. Nursing instructors and teachers, postsecondary

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $60,360 (#110 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 180

National
- Annual mean salary: $84,060 (61,100 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL ($145,990)
--- Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($120,040)
--- Savannah, GA ($117,610)

Job description: Demonstrate and teach patient care in classroom and clinical units to nursing students. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Fabrice Florin // flickr

#47. Education teachers, postsecondary

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $60,610 (#87 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 160

National
- Annual mean salary: $75,010 (57,560 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Salt Lake City, UT ($104,950)
--- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA ($103,700)
--- Stockton-Lodi, CA ($100,980)

Job description: Teach courses pertaining to education, such as counseling, curriculum, guidance, instruction, teacher education, and teaching English as a second language. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Kenny Holston // flickr

#46. Recreation and fitness studies teachers, postsecondary

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $62,450 (#31 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 110

National
- Annual mean salary: $75,430 (14,730 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($135,560)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($108,140)
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($100,260)

Job description: Teach courses pertaining to recreation, leisure, and fitness studies, including exercise physiology and facilities management. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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COD Newsroom // Flickr

#45. English language and literature teachers, postsecondary

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $63,190 (#90 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 370

National
- Annual mean salary: $81,340 (64,800 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($141,420)
--- Fresno, CA ($130,580)
--- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($121,510)

Job description: Teach courses in English language and literature, including linguistics and comparative literature. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Canva

#44. Orthotists and prosthetists

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $63,950 (#43 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 80

National
- Annual mean salary: $74,120 (9,550 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Jackson, MS ($122,240)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($94,190)
--- Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI ($88,210)

Job description: Design, measure, fit, and adapt orthopedic braces, appliances or prostheses, such as limbs or facial parts for patients with disabling conditions.

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Lucky Business // Shutterstock

#43. Chemistry teachers, postsecondary

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $66,690 (#72 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 100

National
- Annual mean salary: $94,630 (21,530 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($140,380)
--- Salt Lake City, UT ($136,630)
--- College Station-Bryan, TX ($136,080)

Job description: Teach courses pertaining to the chemical and physical properties and compositional changes of substances. Work may include providing instruction in the methods of qualitative and quantitative chemical analysis. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching, and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Shane Global // flickr

#42. Foreign language and literature teachers, postsecondary

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $67,050 (#54 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $80,410 (22,790 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($129,500)
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($122,220)
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($118,390)

Job description: Teach languages and literature courses in languages other than English. Includes teachers of American Sign Language (ASL). Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Pressmaster // Shutterstock

#41. Art, drama, and music teachers, postsecondary

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $67,070 (#75 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 330

National
- Annual mean salary: $84,780 (91,170 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($122,920)
--- Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI ($115,740)
--- Rochester, NY ($115,080)

Job description: Teach courses in drama, music, and the arts including fine and applied art, such as painting and sculpture, or design and crafts. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Knight Foundation // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Urban and regional planners

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $67,680 (#106 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 50

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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Canva

#39. Statisticians

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $68,150 (#95 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 90

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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Gorodenkoff // Shutterstock

#38. Mathematical science teachers, postsecondary

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $68,550 (#86 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 210

National
- Annual mean salary: $86,760 (49,550 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($147,770)
--- Fresno, CA ($129,330)
--- Ann Arbor, MI ($126,580)

Job description: Teach courses pertaining to mathematical concepts, statistics, and actuarial science and to the application of original and standardized mathematical techniques in solving specific problems and situations. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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KSai23 // Shutterstock

#37. Chiropractors

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $69,290 (#97 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 130

National
- Annual mean salary: $83,830 (34,760 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA ($273,530)
--- Raleigh, NC ($149,430)
--- New Orleans-Metairie, LA ($139,970)

Job description: Assess, treat, and care for patients by manipulation of spine and musculoskeletal system. May provide spinal adjustment or address sacral or pelvic misalignment.

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ABO PHOTOGRAPHY // Shutterstock

#36. Occupational therapists

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $69,740 (#311 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 690

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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Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

#35. Biological science teachers, postsecondary

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $70,770 (#90 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 160

National
- Annual mean salary: $101,320 (51,500 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR ($195,730)
--- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($161,980)
--- Salt Lake City, UT ($147,290)

Job description: Teach courses in biological sciences. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Canva

#34. Health specialties teachers, postsecondary

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $70,890 (#95 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 250

National
- Annual mean salary: $124,890 (200,040 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT ($211,500)
--- Jackson, MS ($195,830)
--- Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA ($176,930)

Job description: Teach courses in health specialties, in fields such as dentistry, laboratory technology, medicine, pharmacy, public health, therapy, and veterinary medicine.

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Simon Fraser Universtiy // flickr

#33. Instructional coordinators

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $72,540 (#88 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 270

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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Sebastian Duda // Shutterstock

#32. Judges, magistrate judges, and magistrates

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $73,190 (#84 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $131,850 (28,550 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($211,940)
--- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA ($210,160)
--- Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL ($185,950)

Job description: Arbitrate, advise, adjudicate, or administer justice in a court of law. May sentence defendant in criminal cases according to government statutes or sentencing guidelines. May determine liability of defendant in civil cases. May perform wedding ceremonies.

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Tulane Public Relations // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Sociology teachers, postsecondary

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $74,340 (#43 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 30

National
- Annual mean salary: $85,180 (13,420 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($130,150)
--- Providence-Warwick, RI-MA ($123,960)
--- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($117,690)

Job description: Teach courses in sociology. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Canva

#30. Speech-language pathologists

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $74,560 (#223 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 590

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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Irina.stelea // Wikimedia Commons

#29. History teachers, postsecondary

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $74,980 (#55 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 70

National
- Annual mean salary: $85,630 (20,450 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Fresno, CA ($146,320)
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($141,390)
--- Rochester, NY ($128,550)

Job description: Teach courses in human history and historiography. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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University of the Fraser Valley // flickr

#28. Philosophy and religion teachers, postsecondary

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $76,380 (#43 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 190

National
- Annual mean salary: $90,160 (22,900 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($140,300)
--- Providence-Warwick, RI-MA ($119,520)
--- Charlottesville, VA ($112,640)

Job description: Teach courses in philosophy, religion, and theology. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Fae // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Psychology teachers, postsecondary

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $77,070 (#68 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 140

National
- Annual mean salary: $89,960 (36,520 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($199,070)
--- Bakersfield, CA ($131,290)
--- Fresno, CA ($129,550)

Job description: Teach courses in psychology, such as child, clinical, and developmental psychology, and psychological counseling. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

#26. Physics teachers, postsecondary

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $77,760 (#48 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 90

National
- Annual mean salary: $101,290 (13,670 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Rochester, NY ($160,370)
--- College Station-Bryan, TX ($148,480)
--- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($141,180)

Job description: Teach courses pertaining to the laws of matter and energy. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Gorodenkoff // Shutterstock

#25. Computer science teachers, postsecondary

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $78,010 (#66 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 110

National
- Annual mean salary: $98,680 (32,230 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($153,430)
--- College Station-Bryan, TX ($150,480)
--- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($143,650)

Job description: Teach courses in computer science. May specialize in a field of computer science, such as the design and function of computers or operations and research analysis. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Wikimedia Commons

#24. Clinical, counseling, and school psychologists

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $81,000 (#136 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 370

National
- Annual mean salary: $89,290 (111,320 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($138,550)
--- Jefferson City, MO ($133,640)
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($125,020)

Job description: Assess, diagnose, and treat mental and emotional disorders of individuals through observation, interview, and psychological tests. Help individuals with distress or maladjustment understand their problems through their knowledge of case history, interviews with patients, and theory. Provide individual or group counseling services to assist individuals in achieving more effective personal, social, educational, and vocational development and adjustment. May design behavior modification programs and consult with medical personnel regarding the best treatment for patients.

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Matej Kastelic // Shutterstock

#23. Business teachers, postsecondary

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $82,550 (#85 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 220

National
- Annual mean salary: $107,270 (79,810 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Ann Arbor, MI ($174,050)
--- College Station-Bryan, TX ($172,650)
--- Durham-Chapel Hill, NC ($149,740)

Job description: Teach courses in business administration and management, such as accounting, finance, human resources, labor and industrial relations, marketing, and operations research. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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ESB Professional // Shutterstock

#22. Atmospheric, earth, marine, and space sciences teachers, postsecondary

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $83,230 (#32 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $104,710 (11,750 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($147,900)
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($138,440)
--- College Station-Bryan, TX ($135,290)

Job description: Teach courses in the physical sciences, except chemistry and physics. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching, and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Aykut Erdogdu // Shutterstock

#21. Physical therapists

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $83,640 (#302 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,090

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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National Eye Institute // Flickr

#20. Medical scientists, except epidemiologists

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $84,560 (#90 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 230

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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David Bibo // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Education administrators, kindergarten through secondary

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $87,820 (#222 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 840

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

#18. Economics teachers, postsecondary

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $90,470 (#49 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $123,720 (13,080 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Providence-Warwick, RI-MA ($180,450)
--- Rochester, NY ($175,010)
--- Pittsburgh, PA ($171,450)

Job description: Teach courses in economics. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

#17. Education administrators, postsecondary

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $92,130 (#163 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 640

National
- Annual mean salary: $115,200 (140,880 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Ithaca, NY ($205,810)
--- Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC ($178,210)
--- Charlottesville, VA ($176,040)

Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate student instruction, administration, and services, as well as other research and educational activities, at postsecondary institutions, including universities, colleges, and junior and community colleges.

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GaudiLab // Shutterstock

#16. Engineering teachers, postsecondary

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $94,190 (#35 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 80

National
- Annual mean salary: $114,130 (38,520 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- College Station-Bryan, TX ($162,430)
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($142,380)
--- Austin-Round Rock, TX ($141,860)

Job description: Teach courses pertaining to the application of physical laws and principles of engineering for the development of machines, materials, instruments, processes, and services. Includes teachers of subjects such as chemical, civil, electrical, industrial, mechanical, mineral, and petroleum engineering. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#15. Nurse practitioners

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $107,140 (#233 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 570

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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Ohiodominican // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Physician assistants

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $107,150 (#217 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 720

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

#13. General internal medicine physicians

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $109,350 (#101 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 200

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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Suzanne M. Day // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Nurse midwives

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $112,530 (#18 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $115,540 (7,120 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($191,440)
--- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA ($171,000)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($167,870)

Job description: Diagnose and coordinate all aspects of the birthing process, either independently or as part of a healthcare team. May provide well-woman gynecological care. Must have specialized, graduate nursing education.

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Rappaport Center // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Lawyers

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $118,660 (#137 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,260

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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NNSA // Flickr

#10. Law teachers, postsecondary

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $119,600 (#17 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $134,760 (14,930 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN ($190,320)
--- Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA ($180,020)
--- Tallahassee, FL ($164,590)

Job description: Teach courses in law. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Canva

#9. Podiatrists

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $126,930 (#42 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 30

National
- Annual mean salary: $151,110 (9,710 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA ($229,330)
--- Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC ($226,260)
--- Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC ($221,380)

Job description: Diagnose and treat diseases and deformities of the human foot.

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Grace Nichols // U.S. Air Force

#8. Pharmacists

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $127,000 (#159 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 920

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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Austin Community College // Flickr

#7. Veterinarians

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $130,750 (#22 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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Kzenon // Shutterstock

#6. Optometrists

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $142,920 (#29 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 100

National
- Annual mean salary: $125,440 (36,690 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Columbia, SC ($228,340)
--- New Haven, CT ($186,950)
--- Evansville, IN-KY ($182,980)

Job description: Diagnose, manage, and treat conditions and diseases of the human eye and visual system. Examine eyes and visual system, diagnose problems or impairments, prescribe corrective lenses, and provide treatment. May prescribe therapeutic drugs to treat specific eye conditions.

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Canva

#5. Nurse anesthetists

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $163,970 (#77 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 190

National
- Annual mean salary: $189,190 (41,960 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Duluth, MN-WI ($271,940)
--- Ann Arbor, MI ($262,890)
--- Green Bay, WI ($239,140)

Job description: Administer anesthesia, monitor patient's vital signs, and oversee patient recovery from anesthesia. May assist anesthesiologists, surgeons, other physicians, or dentists. Must be registered nurses who have specialized graduate education.

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Canva

#4. Dentists, general

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $240,110 (#18 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 210

National
- Annual mean salary: $180,830 (95,920 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Dover-Durham, NH-ME ($286,540)
--- North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL ($278,790)
--- Portland-South Portland, ME ($278,390)

Job description: Examine, diagnose, and treat diseases, injuries, and malformations of teeth and gums. May treat diseases of nerve, pulp, and other dental tissues affecting oral hygiene and retention of teeth. May fit dental appliances or provide preventive care.

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LightField Studios // Shutterstock

#3. Psychiatrists

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $241,980 (#33 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 100

National
- Annual mean salary: $217,100 (25,540 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA ($297,710)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($289,580)
--- Kansas City, MO-KS ($287,220)

Job description: Diagnose, treat, and help prevent mental disorders.

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Canva

#2. Family medicine physicians

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $242,810 (#77 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 120

National
- Annual mean salary: $214,370 (98,590 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bloomsburg-Berwick, PA ($309,800)
--- Napa, CA ($302,040)
--- Gadsden, AL ($292,110)

Job description: Diagnose, treat, and provide preventive care to individuals and families across the lifespan. May refer patients to specialists when needed for further diagnosis or treatment.

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Canva

#1. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Annual mean salary: $264,030 (#2 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 130

National
- Annual mean salary: $234,990 (4,120 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($272,110)
--- Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI ($264,030)
--- Reading, PA ($254,370)

Job description: Perform surgery and related procedures on the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial regions to treat diseases, injuries, or defects. May diagnose problems of the oral and maxillofacial regions. May perform surgery to improve function or appearance.

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