Highest paying jobs in Columbia that require a graduate degree

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August 1, 2022
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Highest paying jobs in Columbia 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 Columbia, 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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#41. Judicial law clerks

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $37,620 (#40 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 70

National
- Annual mean salary: $63,860 (14,690 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN ($76,050)
--- Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV ($74,100)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($73,130)

Job description: Assist judges in court or by conducting research or preparing legal documents.

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Photographee.eu // Shutterstock

#40. Rehabilitation counselors

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $43,200 (#108 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

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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#39. Orthotists and prosthetists

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $44,040 (#55 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 60

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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DGLimages // Shutterstock

#38. Mental health and substance abuse social workers

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $44,280 (#180 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 150

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

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

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $55,130 (#223 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,490

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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Marcwathieu // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Curators

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $55,790 (#46 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 40

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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Petekub // Shutterstock

#35. Economists

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $59,700 (#51 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 190

National
- Annual mean salary: $120,880 (17,520 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($153,610)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($148,980)
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($142,580)

Job description: Conduct research, prepare reports, or formulate plans to address economic problems related to the production and distribution of goods and services or monetary and fiscal policy. May collect and process economic and statistical data using sampling techniques and econometric methods.

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KSai23 // Shutterstock

#34. Chiropractors

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $59,980 (#123 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

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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Knight Foundation // Wikimedia Commons

#33. Urban and regional planners

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $60,080 (#148 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 60

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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#32. Healthcare social workers

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $63,270 (#75 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 390

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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Simon Fraser Universtiy // flickr

#31. Instructional coordinators

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $63,910 (#197 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 420

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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#30. Statisticians

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $70,010 (#91 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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Fabrice Florin // flickr

#29. Education teachers, postsecondary

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $77,750 (#38 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 70

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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Wikimedia Commons

#28. Clinical, counseling, and school psychologists

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $79,070 (#156 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 280

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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#27. Speech-language pathologists

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $81,600 (#139 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 240

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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COD Newsroom // Flickr

#26. English language and literature teachers, postsecondary

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $82,350 (#29 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 140

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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Simon Fraser Universtiy // flickr

#25. Communications teachers, postsecondary

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $83,690 (#20 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 60

National
- Annual mean salary: $80,940 (28,430 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($143,510)
--- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($127,650)
--- Fresno, CA ($122,590)

Job description: Teach courses in communications, such as organizational communications, public relations, radio/television broadcasting, and journalism. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Florida Fish and Wildlife // flickr

#24. Criminal justice and law enforcement teachers, postsecondary

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $83,770 (#11 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 40

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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ABO PHOTOGRAPHY // Shutterstock

#23. Occupational therapists

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $83,900 (#177 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 340

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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University of the Fraser Valley // flickr

#22. Philosophy and religion teachers, postsecondary

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $85,740 (#33 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 60

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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Worawee Meepian // Shutterstock

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

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $87,100 (#48 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 80

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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Pressmaster // Shutterstock

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

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $87,180 (#28 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 170

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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Aykut Erdogdu // Shutterstock

#19. Physical therapists

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $88,690 (#187 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 460

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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Irina.stelea // Wikimedia Commons

#18. History teachers, postsecondary

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $91,540 (#20 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 50

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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Fae // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Psychology teachers, postsecondary

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $96,260 (#20 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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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#16. Nurse practitioners

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $96,290 (#341 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 560

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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David Bibo // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Education administrators, kindergarten through secondary

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $96,550 (#152 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 780

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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Gorodenkoff // Shutterstock

#14. Mathematical science teachers, postsecondary

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $98,090 (#20 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 90

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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Ohiodominican // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Physician assistants

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $105,780 (#231 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 320

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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Austin Community College // Flickr

#12. Veterinarians

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $105,910 (#112 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 130

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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#11. Health specialties teachers, postsecondary

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $106,560 (#38 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 290

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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Sebastian Duda // Shutterstock

#10. Judges, magistrate judges, and magistrates

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $107,370 (#57 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 160

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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Grace Nichols // U.S. Air Force

#9. Pharmacists

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $110,300 (#358 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,020

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

#8. Lawyers

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $120,310 (#126 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 2,030

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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Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

#7. Education administrators, postsecondary

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $122,840 (#54 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

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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Canva

#6. Podiatrists

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $128,970 (#38 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 40

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

#5. Dentists, general

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $131,060 (#239 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 170

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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Matej Kastelic // Shutterstock

#4. Business teachers, postsecondary

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $138,350 (#7 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 310

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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LightField Studios // Shutterstock

#3. Psychiatrists

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $192,730 (#71 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 90

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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Kzenon // Shutterstock

#2. Optometrists

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $228,340 (#1 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 40

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

#1. Family medicine physicians

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $229,990 (#106 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 590

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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