Highest paying jobs in Memphis that require a graduate degree

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October 7, 2021
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Highest paying jobs in Memphis 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 Memphis, TN-MS-AR 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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Daxiao Productions // Shutterstock

#47. Marriage and family therapists

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $40,450 (#104 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 120

National
- Annual mean salary: $56,890 (60,850 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Provo-Orem, UT ($89,560)
--- St. George, UT ($85,290)
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($81,890)

Job description: Diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders, whether cognitive, affective, or behavioral, within the context of marriage and family systems. Apply psychotherapeutic and family systems theories and techniques in the delivery of services to individuals, couples, and families for the purpose of treating such diagnosed nervous and mental disorders.

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Photographee.eu // Shutterstock

#46. Rehabilitation counselors

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $46,030 (#73 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

#45. Mental health and substance abuse social workers

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $50,780 (#110 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 230

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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#43 (tie). Healthcare social workers

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $60,130 (#110 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,190

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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VH-studio // Shutterstock

#43 (tie). Educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $60,130 (#136 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,290

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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Knight Foundation // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Urban and regional planners

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $60,890 (#145 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 80

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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#41. Orthotists and prosthetists

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $62,410 (#47 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

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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Shane Global // flickr

#40. Foreign language and literature teachers, postsecondary

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $63,270 (#59 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 40

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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Pressmaster // Shutterstock

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

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $63,910 (#85 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 210

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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KSai23 // Shutterstock

#38. Chiropractors

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $64,490 (#110 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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COD Newsroom // Flickr

#37. English language and literature teachers, postsecondary

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $65,100 (#83 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 110

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

#36. Instructional coordinators

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $66,080 (#169 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 820

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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#35. Pediatricians, general

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $68,270 (#77 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $184,570 (27,550 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA ($280,860)
--- State College, PA ($275,730)
--- Salt Lake City, UT ($275,610)

Job description: Diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases and injuries in children. May refer patients to specialists for further diagnosis or treatment, as needed.

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Marcwathieu // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Curators

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $70,030 (#12 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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Simon Fraser Universtiy // flickr

#33. Communications teachers, postsecondary

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $71,120 (#53 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 40

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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Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

#32. Biological science teachers, postsecondary

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $73,730 (#87 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 60

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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Irina.stelea // Wikimedia Commons

#31. History teachers, postsecondary

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $74,270 (#58 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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University of the Fraser Valley // flickr

#30. Philosophy and religion teachers, postsecondary

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $75,130 (#47 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 130

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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Suzannekweiss // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Nursing instructors and teachers, postsecondary

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $76,050 (#62 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 120

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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Lucky Business // Shutterstock

#28. Chemistry teachers, postsecondary

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $76,100 (#63 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 40

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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Fabrice Florin // flickr

#27. Education teachers, postsecondary

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $76,440 (#40 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 60

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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Gorodenkoff // Shutterstock

#26. Computer science teachers, postsecondary

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $76,900 (#68 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 60

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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#25. Speech-language pathologists

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $79,760 (#156 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 620

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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Fae // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Psychology teachers, postsecondary

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $80,160 (#59 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 80

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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Wikimedia Commons

#23. Clinical, counseling, and school psychologists

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $81,660 (#128 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 240

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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#22. Statisticians

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $84,360 (#49 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 110

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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ABO PHOTOGRAPHY // Shutterstock

#21. Occupational therapists

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $85,410 (#157 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 470

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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David Bibo // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Education administrators, kindergarten through secondary

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $88,230 (#216 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,300

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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Aykut Erdogdu // Shutterstock

#19. Physical therapists

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $91,790 (#136 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 740

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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luchschenF // Shutterstock

#18. Biochemists and biophysicists

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $92,950 (#23 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 310

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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Matej Kastelic // Shutterstock

#17. Business teachers, postsecondary

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $94,610 (#64 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 140

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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Austin Community College // Flickr

#16. Veterinarians

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $95,280 (#180 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 300

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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Worawee Meepian // Shutterstock

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

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $96,820 (#41 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 60

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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#14. Health specialties teachers, postsecondary

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $101,290 (#48 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,970

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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Gorodenkoff // Shutterstock

#13. Computer and information research scientists

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $101,410 (#53 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 90

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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Rappaport Center // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Lawyers

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $106,530 (#218 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,500

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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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#11. Nurse practitioners

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $109,440 (#199 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,480

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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Ohiodominican // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Physician assistants

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $109,680 (#197 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 180

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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Kzenon // Shutterstock

#9. Optometrists

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $113,270 (#101 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 180

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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Sebastian Duda // Shutterstock

#8. Judges, magistrate judges, and magistrates

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $114,540 (#52 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 70

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

#7. Pharmacists

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $115,770 (#328 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,840

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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Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

#6. Education administrators, postsecondary

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $119,730 (#61 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 610

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

#5. Dentists, general

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $147,750 (#220 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 200

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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indukas // Shutterstock

#4. Physicists

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $157,100 (#5 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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Canva

#3. Family medicine physicians

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $166,700 (#240 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 220

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

#2. Nurse anesthetists

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $168,850 (#71 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 610

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

#1. General internal medicine physicians

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
- Annual mean salary: $209,150 (#68 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 120

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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