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Fastest-growing jobs that pay over $100K

  • Fastest-growing jobs that pay over $100K

    Many Americans are struggling after the coronavirus pandemic devastated the economy and led to millions of furloughs and layoffs. The younger generation just entering college or preparing for graduation will enter a marketplace rife with uncertainty. Still, there are plenty of careers that have shown fast growth in recent years and pay salaries of six figures or more.

    Stacker breaks down 50 of these industries, the prerequisites for entering those fields, and how those jobs have been affected over the past year. We compiled a list of 50 fastest-growing jobs with average salaries of over $100,000 using 2019 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Projections (released Sept. 1, 2020) and Occupational Employment Statistics (released March 31, 2020). The jobs are ranked by their 10-year projected employment change, and ties are broken by the projected employment in 2029. Any broad or vague groupings of jobs, as well as jobs that have "all other" in the name, were omitted from the list, as they do not reflect an accurate portrayal of one specific occupation.

    The jobs listed in this article include transportation workers, judges and lawyers, and a bevy of STEM jobs (mathematicians, physics professors, and chemical engineers, to name a few). Different physicians and tech industry workers also make several appearances. Many of these professions necessitate postsecondary education or on-the-job training. Of course, more opportunities for lower-income citizens to gain access to these jobs are a growing concern for more Americans, as well as the need to invest in STEM education in communities that don’t have the same resources as more affluent communities.

    Click through to find out which fast-growing jobs might be of interest to you, a family member, or even a youngster you may know who’s planning for the future, and be sure to check out Stacker’s other articles about the job market.

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  • #50. Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers

    - Projected employment change 2019-2029: 2.8%
    --- Employment in 2019: 85,500
    --- Projected employment in 2029: 87,900 (0.6 per 1,000 jobs)
    - 2019 average annual salary: $174,870

    Before the coronavirus pandemic all but shut down the airline industry for weeks, pilots and flight engineers—the folks responsible for getting passengers from one destination to another through the air—were in a rapidly growing field. However, cadet pilots are facing an uncertain future, and some in the industry wonder if there will be a pilot shortage with people flying less.

  • #49. Dentists, general

    - Projected employment change 2019-2029: 2.8%
    --- Employment in 2019: 132,100
    --- Projected employment in 2029: 135,700 (0.8 per 1,000 jobs)
    - 2019 average annual salary: $178,260

    Traditionally, becoming a dentist requires four years of school. As dentists’ offices are opening up across the country and seeing patients for the first time in over six months, many mouths that missed regular checkups are showing more signs of wear than usual. In particular, cracked teeth are seemingly more common than before.

  • #48. Mathematicians

    - Projected employment change 2019-2029: 3.0%
    --- Employment in 2019: 2,900
    --- Projected employment in 2029: 3,000 (0.0 per 1,000 jobs)
    - 2019 average annual salary: $107,280

    Each year, mathematicians descend upon the January Joint Mathematics Meetings to learn about graduate programs and jobs in the industry. Mathematicians are experiencing an increase in notoriety, as their models are helping forecast the spread of COVID-19. The field will also see its regular bump in coverage as the presidential election nears.

  • #47. Petroleum engineers

    - Projected employment change 2019-2029: 3.2%
    --- Employment in 2019: 33,400
    --- Projected employment in 2029: 34,400 (0.2 per 1,000 jobs)
    - 2019 average annual salary: $156,780

    Petroleum engineers have one of the highest-paying undergraduate fields of study. Colleges in Texas and the West have some of the most recognized programs for studying petroleum engineering. Workers usually spend time in offices, as well as on oil-drilling and well sites.

  • #46. Materials scientists

    - Projected employment change 2019-2029: 3.4%
    --- Employment in 2019: 7,000
    --- Projected employment in 2029: 7,200 (0.0 per 1,000 jobs)
    - 2019 average annual salary: $100,430

    Materials scientists are engaged in studying futuristic work such as printed solar cells thin enough to rest on a soap bubble and dactyl clubs of the mantis shrimp. Top schools to study materials science include Harvard and several universities in Asia.

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  • #45. Judges, magistrate judges, and magistrates

    - Projected employment change 2019-2029: 3.4%
    --- Employment in 2019: 29,900
    --- Projected employment in 2029: 30,900 (0.2 per 1,000 jobs)
    - 2019 average annual salary: $128,550

    Judges hold a variety of positions, including in district courts and circuit courts, while the ultimate goal for a judge would be reaching the Supreme Court. With only nine Supreme Court justice spots available, the political implications of the role are huge—as seen with the current situation surrounding Ruth Bader Ginsberg's replacement so close to the election.  

  • #44. Transportation, storage, and distribution managers

    - Projected employment change 2019-2029: 3.5%
    --- Employment in 2019: 139,400
    --- Projected employment in 2029: 144,300 (0.9 per 1,000 jobs)
    - 2019 average annual salary: $103,320

    Common fields related to these jobs include truck transportation and warehousing and storage. California and Texas are the two states with the highest employment levels for these managers, where the mean hourly wage nears $50.

  • #43. Sales managers

    - Projected employment change 2019-2029: 3.5%
    --- Employment in 2019: 433,800
    --- Projected employment in 2029: 449,200 (2.7 per 1,000 jobs)
    - 2019 average annual salary: $141,690

    Sales managers typically have a bachelor’s degree, although minimal-to-zero on-the-job training is usually required. Sales managers can work in automobile dealerships, selling nondurable and durable goods, and other industries. With a lot of uncertainty surrounding the economy, the Harvard Business Review advises sales managers to gather information from B2B publications, leverage senior executives, and honestly assess customer urgency.

  • #42. Education administrators, postsecondary

    - Projected employment change 2019-2029: 3.7%
    --- Employment in 2019: 190,500
    --- Projected employment in 2029: 197,600 (1.0 per 1,000 jobs)
    - 2019 average annual salary: $112,400

    Postsecondary administrators usually hold a master’s degree, with undergraduate study in social work, marketing, accounting, and education. The coronavirus pandemic has forced these administrators to scramble to find solutions for in-person and online learning, as well as maintaining the health of students and staff.

  • #41. Education administrators, kindergarten through secondary

    - Projected employment change 2019-2029: 3.9%
    --- Employment in 2019: 283,200
    --- Projected employment in 2029: 294,400 (1.8 per 1,000 jobs)
    - 2019 average annual salary: $100,340

    Like postsecondary administrators, many kindergarten-through-secondary administrators hold post-baccalaureate degrees. Across the country, school administrators are figuring out ways to safely bring children back into schools. Many schools are setting up plastic shields around desks, while others are having students use hula hoops to make sure social distancing is enforced.

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