Highest paying jobs in Salem that require a graduate degree

Written by:
March 8, 2022
Grace Nichols // U.S. Air Force

Highest paying jobs in Salem 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 Salem, OR 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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Photographee.eu // Shutterstock

#29. Rehabilitation counselors

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $47,420 (#57 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 280

National
- Annual mean salary: $42,080 (100,260 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- California-Lexington Park, MD ($74,170)
--- Trenton, NJ ($66,330)
--- Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA ($64,940)

Job description: Counsel individuals to maximize the independence and employability of persons coping with personal, social, and vocational difficulties that result from birth defects, illness, disease, accidents, aging, or the stress of daily life. Coordinate activities for residents of care and treatment facilities. Assess client needs and design and implement rehabilitation programs that may include personal and vocational counseling, training, and job placement.

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DGLimages // Shutterstock

#28. Mental health and substance abuse social workers

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $57,190 (#59 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 390

National
- Annual mean salary: $54,540 (116,780 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Madera, CA ($92,870)
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($91,480)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($89,730)

Job description: Assess and treat individuals with mental, emotional, or substance abuse problems, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs. Activities may include individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, case management, client advocacy, prevention, and education.

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VH-studio // Shutterstock

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

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $71,340 (#48 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 260

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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#26. Statisticians

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $77,430 (#68 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 160

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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Sebastian Duda // Shutterstock

#25. Judges, magistrate judges, and magistrates

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $79,560 (#80 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 100

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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#24. Healthcare social workers

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $81,480 (#8 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 180

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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Worawee Meepian // Shutterstock

#23. Administrative law judges, adjudicators, and hearing officers

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $82,310 (#51 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 190

National
- Annual mean salary: $102,050 (14,570 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($145,340)
--- Kansas City, MO-KS ($139,930)
--- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA ($139,150)

Job description: Conduct hearings to recommend or make decisions on claims concerning government programs or other government-related matters. Determine liability, sanctions, or penalties, or recommend the acceptance or rejection of claims or settlements.

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#22. Speech-language pathologists

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $82,510 (#126 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 300

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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Aykut Erdogdu // Shutterstock

#21. Physical therapists

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $83,300 (#307 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 300

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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Fabrice Florin // flickr

#20. Education teachers, postsecondary

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $83,450 (#24 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

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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Knight Foundation // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Urban and regional planners

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $85,390 (#27 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 110

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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Wikimedia Commons

#18. Clinical, counseling, and school psychologists

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $88,070 (#80 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 210

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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Austin Community College // Flickr

#17. Veterinarians

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $89,040 (#215 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 110

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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ABO PHOTOGRAPHY // Shutterstock

#16. Occupational therapists

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $89,390 (#103 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 200

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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COD Newsroom // Flickr

#15. English language and literature teachers, postsecondary

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $90,360 (#13 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 60

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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Pressmaster // Shutterstock

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

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $93,200 (#18 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 60

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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Simon Fraser Universtiy // flickr

#13. Instructional coordinators

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $93,810 (#6 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 260

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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Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

#12. Education administrators, postsecondary

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $97,960 (#144 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 130

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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Ohiodominican // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Physician assistants

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $106,140 (#228 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 140

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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David Bibo // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Education administrators, kindergarten through secondary

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $106,160 (#95 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 370

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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Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

#9. Biological science teachers, postsecondary

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $116,640 (#13 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 30

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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Gorodenkoff // Shutterstock

#8. Mathematical science teachers, postsecondary

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $122,960 (#5 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 40

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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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#7. Nurse practitioners

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $123,530 (#54 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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Matej Kastelic // Shutterstock

#6. Business teachers, postsecondary

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $129,110 (#15 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 60

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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Grace Nichols // U.S. Air Force

#5. Pharmacists

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $137,980 (#47 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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Rappaport Center // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Lawyers

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $138,690 (#58 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 730

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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Canva

#3. Dentists, general

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $174,260 (#155 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 90

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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#2. Family medicine physicians

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $257,540 (#29 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 50

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. Anesthesiologists

Salem, OR
- Annual mean salary: $274,910 (#12 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $271,440 (28,590 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Pittsburgh, PA ($307,390)
--- Duluth, MN-WI ($306,350)
--- Tallahassee, FL ($303,600)

Job description: Administer anesthetics and analgesics for pain management prior to, during, or after surgery.

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