America's 11 highest paying careers in 2017
Even though the U.S. economy is growing, many Americans continue to struggle with stagnating wages and few opportunities for professional growth. So where are the jobs that pay well and offer strong career paths?
Most of them are clustering in a handful of fast-growing industries, such as health care and technology. That may prove to be good news for workers with training or experience in these fields, yet many of the country's workers may still feel left out since these top-paying jobs typically require specialized training or advanced degrees, according to a new study from employment site Glassdoor.
"High pay tends to be tied to in-demand skills, higher education and jobs that are protected from automation," said Glassdoor spokeswoman Allison Berry. "That's why we see so many in the tech and health care industries."
Even though money is typically a top factor when job seekers are looking for a new role, salaries shouldn't be the only consideration. Company culture and trust in senior leadership are bigger factors for whether employees remain happy with their work or start searching the job ads for new opportunities, according to Glassdoor research.
The top-paying positions in American this year are clustered in two categories, tech and health care, Glassdoor found. Read on to learn about the country's most lucrative jobs this year.
11. Software engineering manager: $109,350
This managerial role involves overseeing software engineers, and the professionals in it typically have several years of software development experience. After earning a college degree in computer science or a similar field, these professionals work in software engineering or development before stepping into the role.
Glassdoor said it has more than 1,000 openings for this job.
10. Corporate controller: $110,855
Corporate controllers help manage a business' accounting department, and they can be found across industries and types of companies. The job typically requires a college degree in accounting or related field, as well as a CPA or other certification.
Glassdoor said it has 259 job openings for corporate controllers on its site.
9. R&D manager: $111,905
Research and development managers can work in a variety of fields, ranging from technology to pharmaceuticals. Job requirements vary depending on the industry, but generally companies are hiring professionals with related college degrees and several years of experience in R&D within their field
Glassdoor has 185 R&D manager job openings.
8. Applications development manager: $112,045
Applications development managers oversee a company's software applications. They can work in many different types of industries and businesses, given the widespread use of business software.
The job generally requires a bachelor's degree in a related field and several years of experience. Glassdoor has more than 500 job openings for the role.
7. Physician assistant: $112,529
Becoming a physician assistant requires completing a medical program, which generally takes about three years and includes classroom instruction as well as 2,000 hours of clinical rotations, according to the American Academy of Physician Assistants.
The next steps are certification and receiving a state license. Glassdoor has more than 13,500 openings for the role on its site.
6. Enterprise architect: $112,560
Enterprise architects combine business and technology by working to help a company's info-tech strategy match its business goals. The position can be found across industries, ranging from hotels to health care.
Workers in this field generally have a technology-related college degree, as well as several years of experience. Glassdoor has 1,320 openings for the position.
5. Pharmacist: $125,847
Pharmacists must earn a PharmD degree, which generally takes either three or four years to complete. Then practitioners must pass a state licensing exam, which includes a national or state law exam.
Glassdoor has almost 5,500 openings for pharmacists on its site.
4. Medical science liaison: $132,842
While this career might not be as familiar as other health care jobs, it's one that has grown with the pharmaceutical and health care industry. According to the Medical Science Liaison Society, the career began in the late 1960s when a pharmaceutical company was looking for field staff with scientific training who could communicate with medical professionals.
Medical science liaisons generally have doctorate degrees, such as a medical degree or a PharmD. Glassdoor said it has 391 openings for the role on its site.
3. Patent attorney: $139,272
Patent attorneys may not appear to fit into the health care or tech industries, but they're vital to the latter sector in particular. Aside from graduating from law school and passing the state bar exam, patent attorneys need to be registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and pass the patent bar exam.
Because of the technical nature of patents, the PTO requires that patent attorneys have scientific and technical training, which is the focus of the patent bar exam.
Glassdoor has 525 job openings for patent attorneys.
2. Pharmacy manager: $149,064
Pharmacists who manage a pharmacy climbed Glassdoor's ranking to reach the No. 2 spot this year, compared with fifth place in 2016. Median salaries this year are $149,064, or almost 15 percent more than a year earlier.
Pharmacy managers first earn a PharmD degree from a pharmacy college and earn state licenses. They typically have experience working as pharmacists before stepping into a management role. Glassdoor said it has almost 2,400 openings for the role.
1. Physician: $187,876
With a median base salary of $187,876, physicians rank as the top-earning workers in America, based on Glassdoor's calculations. While doctors may earn big salaries, they've also made large sacrifices to enter the field.
After earning a bachelor's degree, they study for four years in medical school and then earn a license. They next complete a residency, which can take between three to seven years. Given the many types of specialities that physicians practice, the field features a wide range of incomes and time demands. Glassdoor has more than 7,700 job openings for physicians.