17 Jobs that Make a Lot of Cash (+ precise wage numbers)

1. Accountant

One of the best jobs that makes a lot of money and is stable, is an accountant. An accountant performs financial calculations for individuals, small businesses, and large corporations. 

Accountants must know how to examine and prepare a variety of financial reporting forms, helping customers or businesses remain in compliance with accounting rules and laws. 

Accountants may need to work long hours at certain times of the year, such as during tax calculation time.

  • Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, master’s degree for highest paying jobs, some licensing and certification
  • Average annual salary: $70,500
  • Top annual earners: $500,000 plus
  • The downside: Some of the work is pretty dull. It’s also rare to reach a seven-figure salary compared to other jobs on our list

2. Business Executive

A business executive could hold a multitude of jobs at a company, including CEO, CFO, or COO. A founder of a business could end up being a CEO because he or she knows the industry and the business

On the other hand, someone with a formal business degree and business training could move into an executive role to help any business run more efficiently and profitably. With bonuses included, business executives can earn huge annual salaries.

  • Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, master’s degree for highest paying jobs, on-the-job training
  • Average annual salary: $104,980
  • Top annual earners: $5 million plus
  • The downside: These are typically high-stress jobs that may require decades or more to reach a lucrative business executive position

3. Computer System and IT Manager

A computer system manager or IT manager will oversee all computer-related systems and processes in a company or organization. 

This can include things like planning out hardware purchases, installing computing software, managing a network, and performing troubleshooting. 

IT managers need quite a bit of education, including ongoing education, to stay up to date on new techniques and tech products.

  • Requirements: Bachelor’s degree or master’s degree, ongoing education
  • Average annual salary: $142,530
  • Top annual earners: $500,000 plus
  • The downside: Can require long working hours, extensive education, and rare to reach a seven-figure salary

4. Engineer

Engineers can design things like aircraft, cars, boats, spacecraft, satellites, large buildings, bridges, computers, and infrastructure. Chemical engineers will work with fuel and drugs to solve problems in the use of these substances. Other types of engineers may try to solve environmental problems or help people perform jobs more efficiently and safely. Engineers rely on math, physics, biology, and chemistry to perform their work.

  • Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, master’s degree for highest paying jobs, on-the-job training
  • Average annual salary: $80,170
  • Top annual earners: $500,000 plus
  • The downside: Requires a high level of mathematical ability, rare to reach a seven-figure salary in this profession versus others on our list

5. Chiropractor

A chiropractor cares for patients with health problems related to the neuromusculoskeletal system, including the spine. Chiropractors provide specialized therapy that does not include medication or surgery, but they still rely on medical-based tests in order to devise and administer the right set of therapies. 

  • Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, Doctor of Chiropractic degree, must pass both national board and state-level tests to obtain a license
  • Average annual salary: $154,245
  • Top annual earners: $265,000 plus
  • The downside: Unlike treatment from a medical doctor, some chiropractic treatments are not covered by traditional employer-sponsored insurance, requiring the patient to pay out of pocket. This limits the patient base, potentially making it difficult to build a practice

6. Clinical Psychologist

Clinical psychologists provide psychological evaluations and assessments, consultation, therapy, and follow-up. While they cannot prescribe medication, clinical psychologists still provide valuable guidance. 

Clinical psychologists can work independently in their own private practice or they can work for medical clinics, hospitals, non-profit organizations, or government entities (such as the VA). 

Clinical psychologists can even be employed by corporations as the in-house psychologist helping employees (perhaps with stress management) or as organizational psychologists identifying ways to increase both efficiency and satisfaction in the workplace.

  • Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and certifications based on industry or specialization
  • Average annual salary: $79,000
  • Top annual earners: $98,000
  • The downside: While you might be helping people and families through stressful times, which can be very rewarding, the job itself carries a lot of stress

7. Construction Manager

A construction manager oversees facility design, scheduling, vendor management, and building construction to ensure that the project will be completed on time and under budget and will meet the needs of the client, corporation, or investor. 

The larger and more complex the construction project, the larger the responsibility and therefore, the higher the salary.

Construction has become more complex over the years. Buildings need to incorporate the latest technologies in order to become more intelligent and efficient, oftentimes by industry regulation or municipal ordinance. 

This has only added to the knowledge base required of construction managers as they often need to select and juggle hundreds of vendors at once while retaining the highest standards of compliance. 

  • Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, plus at least 3 years of experience in the construction industry
  • Average annual salary: $120,900
  • Top annual earners: $154,00 plus
  • The downside: Employment can be iffy at the moment. Large-scale construction projects have stalled under the pandemic, with uncertainty as to when tenants and budgets will return

8. Geophysicist

President Biden recently signed an executive order aimed at making half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 electric. That’s a lot of electric batteries needed, probably around 7 million if current trends continue. 

Electric batteries need cobalt, lithium, nickel, and other rare-earth metals, and who are the professionals who source them so that all of us can enjoy a clean energy future?

Geophysicists, of course. These scientists design, plan, and execute the extraction of these minerals from the earth. 

Without geophysicists, we wouldn’t have electric batteries. (We wouldn’t have oil either, as geophysicists have been employed by the oil and gas industry for decades in the exploration and extraction of petroleum and natural gas as well.)

  • Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, usually a master’s degree, in addition to specialized training in the particular natural resource on which the geophysicist is working
  • Average annual salary: $77,132
  • Top annual earners: $106,000
  • The downside: As the work is often project-based, there might be long periods of furlough and uncertainty. Continuing education is required of geophysicists as new processes, systems, and treatments appear, promising even more efficient extraction of natural resources. Further, they may need to move frequently depending on where the exploration projects are located

9. Instructional Designer

An instructional designer develops course content and training curriculum for learners within corporations, governments, and universities (and not just brick-and-mortar universities but online programs, too). 

An instructional designer often consults with subject matter experts to interpret complex material and create compelling (i.e., not boring) learning experiences from which individuals can acquire knowledge and skills, meeting the budgets, timeframes, and requirements of the organization. 

Instructional designers also develop and conduct assessments to analyze and identify new development needs and recommend training methods accordingly. 

There is also often an HR component, in which the instructional designer must track employee performance and measure training outcomes.

Instructional designers are an in-demand job because employees need training and lots of it. 

According to LinkedIn Learning’s 2021 Workplace Learning report, the top area of focus for learning and development cited was upskilling and reskilling. 

This means that someone, in this case, the instructional designer is going to have to develop those courses and get them out the door to learners.

  • Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, additional training depending on specialty, industry, or region
  • Average annual salary: $77,000
  • Top annual earners: $93,000
  • The downside: Instructional designers can be victims of downsizing, and as such, often have to reinvent themselves as consultants. This usually means feast or famine, depending on the size and complexity of the assignments

10. Entertainment Professional

Jobs like an actor, musician, TV or radio show host, producer, and writer can all fit in the entertainment industry. 

For the most successful professionals in these areas, this job can be extremely lucrative. However, a job in the entertainment industry rarely has a lot of stability. 

You’re often on your own, working from contract to contract. You’ll also have to hire an agent to negotiate contracts and help you find work. It can also be extremely difficult to break into the industry.

  • Requirements: Mix of schooling and on-the-job training
  • Average annual salary: $40,000
  • Top annual earners: $10 million plus
  • The downside: Highly competitive industries, jobs don’t have much stability, and agent fees will eat a percentage of your earnings

11. Investment Banker

It may not be the most exciting job, and it may not be all that well understood, but an investment banker can make a lot of money each year. 

In general terms, an investment banker is someone who brokers deals, such as company mergers and acquisitions. 

Those who broker the largest financial deals receive the largest compensation amounts.

  • Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, master’s degree for highest paying jobs, FINRA licenses
  • Average annual salary: $64,120, plus performance bonuses
  • Top annual earners: $5 million plus
  • The downside: Regular 80+ hour weeks, a lot of stress because of the heavy reliance on performance bonuses

Making a lot of money is just one part of the equation as you work to build wealth and live the lifestyle you want. In episode 106 of my podcast, I spoke with a couple that’s making big money- but with big problems that are impacting their relationship:

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