Highest paying jobs in Charlotte that require a graduate degree

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August 1, 2022
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Highest paying jobs in Charlotte 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 Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC 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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Shane Global // flickr

#50. Foreign language and literature teachers, postsecondary

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $70,440 (#48 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 150

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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COD Newsroom // Flickr

#49. English language and literature teachers, postsecondary

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $70,560 (#60 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 280

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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Gorodenkoff // Shutterstock

#48. Mathematical science teachers, postsecondary

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $71,680 (#73 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 230

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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Pressmaster // Shutterstock

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

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $71,880 (#61 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 340

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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Canva

#46. Audiologists

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $72,900 (#63 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 80

National
- Annual mean salary: $89,230 (13,300 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Reno, NV ($151,460)
--- Tulsa, OK ($128,620)
--- Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR ($127,210)

Job description: Assess and treat persons with hearing and related disorders. May fit hearing aids and provide auditory training. May perform research related to hearing problems.

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Fabrice Florin // flickr

#45. Education teachers, postsecondary

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $72,960 (#54 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 250

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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Irina.stelea // Wikimedia Commons

#44. History teachers, postsecondary

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $73,290 (#60 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 90

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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Suzannekweiss // Wikimedia Commons

#43. Nursing instructors and teachers, postsecondary

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $73,660 (#79 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 250

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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Knight Foundation // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Urban and regional planners

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $73,690 (#84 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 320

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

#41. Health specialties teachers, postsecondary

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $74,760 (#83 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 350

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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Tulane Public Relations // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Sociology teachers, postsecondary

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $76,530 (#38 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 70

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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Fae // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Psychology teachers, postsecondary

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $76,610 (#70 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 120

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

#38. Biological science teachers, postsecondary

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $76,870 (#82 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

#37. Speech-language pathologists

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $77,110 (#195 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,100

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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Canva

#36. Genetic counselors

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $77,280 (#16 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $89,710 (2,280 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($134,590)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($133,640)
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($101,360)

Job description: Assess individual or family risk for a variety of inherited conditions, such as genetic disorders and birth defects. Provide information to other healthcare providers or to individuals and families concerned with the risk of inherited conditions. Advise individuals and families to support informed decisionmaking and coping methods for those at risk. May help conduct research related to genetic conditions or genetic counseling.

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David Bibo // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Education administrators, kindergarten through secondary

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $80,260 (#306 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,800

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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Kenny Holston // flickr

#34. Recreation and fitness studies teachers, postsecondary

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $80,280 (#10 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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Lucky Business // Shutterstock

#33. Chemistry teachers, postsecondary

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $80,480 (#54 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 80

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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ABO PHOTOGRAPHY // Shutterstock

#32. Occupational therapists

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $81,160 (#213 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 770

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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uroburos // pixabay

#31. Geography teachers, postsecondary

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $82,270 (#12 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $87,160 (3,720 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($133,830)
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($106,760)
--- Austin-Round Rock, TX ($103,790)

Job description: Teach courses in geography. 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

#30. Political science teachers, postsecondary

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $84,490 (#32 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 70

National
- Annual mean salary: $100,970 (15,130 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($163,420)
--- Providence-Warwick, RI-MA ($144,260)
--- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($129,530)

Job description: Teach courses in political science, international affairs, and international relations. 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

#29. Philosophy and religion teachers, postsecondary

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $84,550 (#35 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 80

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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luchschenF // Shutterstock

#28. Biochemists and biophysicists

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $85,400 (#34 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $104,810 (32,010 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($145,020)
--- Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN ($132,280)
--- Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI ($131,720)

Job description: Study the chemical composition or physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena. May conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, growth, and heredity. May determine the effects of foods, drugs, serums, hormones, and other substances on tissues and vital processes of living organisms.

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Aykut Erdogdu // Shutterstock

#27. Physical therapists

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $86,310 (#252 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,270

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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GaudiLab // Shutterstock

#26. Engineering teachers, postsecondary

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $89,110 (#38 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 260

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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KSai23 // Shutterstock

#25. Chiropractors

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $90,640 (#40 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 390

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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Matej Kastelic // Shutterstock

#24. Business teachers, postsecondary

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $91,840 (#69 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 390

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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Monica Volpin // pixabay

#23. Library science teachers, postsecondary

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $93,220 (#5 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 70

National
- Annual mean salary: $77,560 (4,230 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($130,720)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($108,060)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($96,230)

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

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Wikimedia Commons

#22. Clinical, counseling, and school psychologists

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $93,300 (#64 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 740

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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Mark Warner // Flickr

#21. Social work teachers, postsecondary

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $95,160 (#4 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 70

National
- Annual mean salary: $78,110 (13,580 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Ann Arbor, MI ($110,520)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($104,020)
--- Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY ($97,490)

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

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Gorodenkoff // Shutterstock

#20. Computer science teachers, postsecondary

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $96,270 (#33 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 230

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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Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

#19. Architecture teachers, postsecondary

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $97,170 (#4 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $100,820 (6,910 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($138,930)
--- Providence-Warwick, RI-MA ($117,380)
--- Springfield, MA-CT ($106,330)

Job description: Teach courses in architecture and architectural design, such as architectural environmental design, interior architecture/design, and landscape architecture. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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National Eye Institute // Flickr

#18. Medical scientists, except epidemiologists

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $98,380 (#52 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 260

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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Syda Productions // Shutterstock

#17. Economics teachers, postsecondary

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $101,210 (#44 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 60

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

#16. Education administrators, postsecondary

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $102,220 (#127 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 870

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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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#15. Nurse practitioners

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $108,280 (#220 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,760

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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Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

#14. Physics teachers, postsecondary

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $109,050 (#16 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 50

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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Ohiodominican // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Physician assistants

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $110,490 (#184 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,360

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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Gorodenkoff // Shutterstock

#12. Computer and information research scientists

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $121,250 (#26 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $130,890 (30,220 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($170,890)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($163,330)
--- Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA ($150,090)

Job description: Conduct research into fundamental computer and information science as theorists, designers, or inventors. Develop solutions to problems in the field of computer hardware and software.

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Grace Nichols // U.S. Air Force

#11. Pharmacists

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $123,320 (#227 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 2,060

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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Kzenon // Shutterstock

#10. Optometrists

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $137,750 (#43 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 230

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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LightField Studios // Shutterstock

#9. Psychiatrists

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $140,070 (#86 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

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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Rappaport Center // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Lawyers

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $144,660 (#37 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 4,990

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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Austin Community College // Flickr

#7. Veterinarians

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $148,900 (#6 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 780

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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Canva

#6. Dentists, general

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $174,570 (#154 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 770

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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Canva

#5. Podiatrists

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $221,380 (#3 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 80

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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Canva

#4. Nurse anesthetists

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $222,900 (#10 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 730

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

#3. Obstetricians and gynecologists

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $226,340 (#37 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $239,120 (18,900 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI ($294,450)
--- Tulsa, OK ($294,400)
--- Albuquerque, NM ($292,740)

Job description: Provide medical care related to pregnancy or childbirth. Diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases of women, particularly those affecting the reproductive system. May also provide general care to women. May perform both medical and gynecological surgery functions.

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Canva

#2. Family medicine physicians

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $237,710 (#92 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 180

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. General internal medicine physicians

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $314,080 (#2 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 180

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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