With the rising cost of housing, millennials' insurmountable student debt, and the increasingly gig economy, a full-time high-paying job is the white rabbit of our generation. Whether you’re in school now, thinking about switching careers, or are merely just curious, it is certainly not a crime to investigate jobs that are the best-paying. While it is absolutely possible to live on the country’s average salary, $53,950 (especially if you don’t live on the coasts), life can certainly be easier with a fatter paycheck. And with a potential recession coming soon, locking in job security and a steep salary (which you deserve — shhh, imposter syndrome!) may be just what you need as 2019 comes to an end.
Glassdoor has made choosing your next career move easier with a new report on the most lucrative jobs, according to data pulled from the last year. Unsurprisingly, health care and tech jobs take the cake — and that’s based on base salary alone (bonuses and additional compensation not included). Ahead, the best-paying jobs in 2019.
1. Physician — $193,415
Welp, our parents were right (or at least mine were when they told me to become a doctor to be successful, but I digress) — being a physician will land you a high base paycheck. While finance jobs may offer you big bonus options, being a physician is the number one way to ensure a big take-home, no matter what the market does. Plus, you'll get to save lives or whatever on the way, so it's not too shabby a job. The only downside? Years of school and residency, followed by massive student debt.
2. Pharmacy Manager — $144,768
It's no secret that there's money in big pharma — and managing a pharmacy certainly will pay you the big bucks. You'll have to go to four years of graduate school and then work your way up the ladder to manager, but it's definitely not a bad career trajectory if you're good at chemistry and have great interpersonal skills.
3. Dentist — $142,478
Health care continues to dominate! Now, when you go to the dentist, you usually see a dental hygienist, a job that won't earn you quite as much dough, but if you're down to get into the trenches with gum disease and oral surgery, then this high-paying field is for you. You'll have graduate school to get through (do you see a trend here?), but in the end you'll get to talk to people while you have your hands in their mouth, and that feels like a fun power dynamic to explore.
4. Pharmacist — $126,438
Coming in at number four is number two's employee, which is honestly great news. This means that as you build your way up to that manager spot, you'll still get a solid salary as a pharmacist — meaning you'll be able to build wealth over the years and have a sweet retirement account set up by the time you hit manager. You'll still need grad school, but those loans will pay themselves off with this high salary.
5. Enterprise Architect — $122,585
This job is basically the head of information technology, either in-house or at a consultancy. An enterprise architect is essentially in charge of designing IT systems across organizations. It doesn't necessarily require graduate school, which is a plus if you don't love school, and the job exists in many different fields — from health care to media.
6. Corporate Counsel — $117,588
If you're planning to go to law school but don't want to spend your life in the courtroom, then this career is for you. Corporate counsel is just a fancy way of saying a lawyer for a company. This is another job that exists in almost every field, so you may have to deal with contracts all day, but at least they can be contracts for a field that interests you!
7. Software Engineering Manager — $114,163
Ah, yes, the tech jobs have obviously made the top ten. Software engineering is a job of the 21st century — and it doesn't always require a degree. Whether you're Mark Zuckerberg, dropping out of college to create Facebook, or you go to coding bootcamp at night or even if you're just a self-taught tumblr coder, software engineering is an excellent field to get into if you'd like a solid foundation to create a lasting career.
8. Physician Assistant — $113,855
Medical school may sound cool when you're a young twenty-something, but those years of debt can become crippling — not to mention residency will take over your life for years. Being a physician assistant allows you to work in a health-care setting and work with patients, while only requiring an additional two years of school. Plus, as someone who has spent their fair share of time in hospitals, PAs get way more patient face-time, and the job can be just as rewarding (and less stressful) as being a physician.
9. Corporate Controller — $113,368
Just like every corporation needs a lawyer, every corporation needs an accountant. A corporate controller is in charge of finances at a company and requires only an undergraduate degree in finance or business (plus some years of experience). If numbers are your thing, this is a cool way to use your knowledge outside of an accounting firm.
10. Software Development Manager — $109,809
This role is similar to a software engineer manager, though at most companies it means you're less senior. This means you'll get paid well from the get-go and make more as you move up the ladder — and growth opportunity is incredibly important when you're looking into potential careers.