Highest paying jobs in Charleston, South Carolina that require a graduate degree

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March 8, 2022
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Highest paying jobs in Charleston, South Carolina 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 Charleston-North Charleston, 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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Photographee.eu // Shutterstock

#31. Rehabilitation counselors

Charleston-North Charleston, SC
- Annual mean salary: $34,030 (#218 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 90

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

#30. Mental health and substance abuse social workers

Charleston-North Charleston, SC
- Annual mean salary: $34,250 (#255 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 400

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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Marcwathieu // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Curators

Charleston-North Charleston, SC
- Annual mean salary: $52,890 (#57 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 30

National
- Annual mean salary: $61,650 (11,750 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA ($83,960)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($81,000)
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($79,340)

Job description: Administer collections, such as artwork, collectibles, historic items, or scientific specimens of museums or other institutions. May conduct instructional, research, or public service activities of institution.

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#28. Health specialties teachers, postsecondary

Charleston-North Charleston, SC
- Annual mean salary: $53,730 (#110 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 110

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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VH-studio // Shutterstock

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

Charleston-North Charleston, SC
- Annual mean salary: $58,630 (#157 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 650

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. Speech-language pathologists

Charleston-North Charleston, SC
- Annual mean salary: $64,660 (#321 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 460

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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#25. Orthotists and prosthetists

Charleston-North Charleston, SC
- Annual mean salary: $66,060 (#37 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 40

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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Muhammad Zahir // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Anthropologists and archeologists

Charleston-North Charleston, SC
- Annual mean salary: $66,080 (#23 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $69,960 (7,180 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Anchorage, AK ($91,610)
--- Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX ($90,730)
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($89,560)

Job description: Study the origin, development, and behavior of human beings. May study the way of life, language, or physical characteristics of people in various parts of the world. May engage in systematic recovery and examination of material evidence, such as tools or pottery remaining from past human cultures, in order to determine the history, customs, and living habits of earlier civilizations.

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#23. Healthcare social workers

Charleston-North Charleston, SC
- Annual mean salary: $66,130 (#56 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 340

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.

10 / 31
National Eye Institute // Flickr

#22. Medical scientists, except epidemiologists

Charleston-North Charleston, SC
- Annual mean salary: $66,850 (#124 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 170

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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Simon Fraser Universtiy // flickr

#21. Instructional coordinators

Charleston-North Charleston, SC
- Annual mean salary: $67,510 (#138 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 410

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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#20. Statisticians

Charleston-North Charleston, SC
- Annual mean salary: $67,790 (#96 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 80

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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Knight Foundation // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Urban and regional planners

Charleston-North Charleston, SC
- Annual mean salary: $68,550 (#104 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 90

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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ABO PHOTOGRAPHY // Shutterstock

#18. Occupational therapists

Charleston-North Charleston, SC
- Annual mean salary: $71,150 (#305 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 310

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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#17. Audiologists

Charleston-North Charleston, SC
- Annual mean salary: $76,200 (#55 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 40

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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Aykut Erdogdu // Shutterstock

#16. Physical therapists

Charleston-North Charleston, SC
- Annual mean salary: $78,120 (#352 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 620

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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Wikimedia Commons

#15. Clinical, counseling, and school psychologists

Charleston-North Charleston, SC
- Annual mean salary: $79,710 (#150 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 140

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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Sebastian Duda // Shutterstock

#14. Judges, magistrate judges, and magistrates

Charleston-North Charleston, SC
- Annual mean salary: $82,250 (#78 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 90

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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Ohiodominican // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Physician assistants

Charleston-North Charleston, SC
- Annual mean salary: $84,470 (#301 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 400

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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Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

#12. Education administrators, postsecondary

Charleston-North Charleston, SC
- Annual mean salary: $93,360 (#161 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 280

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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David Bibo // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Education administrators, kindergarten through secondary

Charleston-North Charleston, SC
- Annual mean salary: $96,620 (#151 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 650

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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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#10. Nurse practitioners

Charleston-North Charleston, SC
- Annual mean salary: $104,480 (#258 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 440

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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Rappaport Center // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Lawyers

Charleston-North Charleston, SC
- Annual mean salary: $108,360 (#201 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,840

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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indukas // Shutterstock

#8. Physicists

Charleston-North Charleston, SC
- Annual mean salary: $115,370 (#38 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $137,700 (16,160 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT ($170,690)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($164,420)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($159,290)

Job description: Conduct research into physical phenomena, develop theories on the basis of observation and experiments, and devise methods to apply physical laws and theories.

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Grace Nichols // U.S. Air Force

#7. Pharmacists

Charleston-North Charleston, SC
- Annual mean salary: $118,910 (#298 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,180

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

#6. Veterinarians

Charleston-North Charleston, SC
- Annual mean salary: $142,920 (#12 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 200

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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#5. Dentists, general

Charleston-North Charleston, SC
- Annual mean salary: $147,170 (#222 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 320

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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Kzenon // Shutterstock

#4. Optometrists

Charleston-North Charleston, SC
- Annual mean salary: $148,120 (#24 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 120

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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#3. Nurse anesthetists

Charleston-North Charleston, SC
- Annual mean salary: $160,880 (#82 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 510

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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#2. General internal medicine physicians

Charleston-North Charleston, SC
- Annual mean salary: $262,310 (#23 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 410

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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#1. Anesthesiologists

Charleston-North Charleston, SC
- Annual mean salary: $280,540 (#10 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 60

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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