Table of Contents
- Airline Pilot
- Nurse Practitioner
- Obstetrician-Gynaecologist (OB-GYN)
- Reservoir Engineer
- Equity Research Analyst
- Financial Manager
- Software Engineer
- Technical Writer
- Makeup Artist
- Art Directors
- Final Words
Doing a job that fetches you a six-figure salary takes hard work. But if you’re dedicated and have your heart set on achieving that goal, let nothing else stop you. The following is the ultimate list of six-figure jobs. These jobs vary in terms of conventionality, industries and qualifications. We all know doctors and lawyers earn a considerable sum. But there are other professions in the world, some of them may even come to you as surprises, that are kind to the bank balance. Take a look!
Think of the TV show Pan Am and the glamorous life of an airline pilot immediately comes to mind. But being an airline pilot is more than simply a glamorous job with flight miles.
An airline pilot is in charge of steering the aeroplane, maintaining contact with the land towers over the radio and basically ensure the plane doesn’t plummet. There are several kinds of airline pilots. You can be a commercial pilot, hired by airlines to fly through various domestic and international routes. You can be a military pilot too, which requires you to train in a military school.
Salaries of pilots differ depending on the kind of plane one is commandeering. A captain at a large commercial airline could earn anywhere between $150,000 to $200,000 per annum.
To become a pilot, one needs to train at an aviation school, complete a stipulated number of flying hours and acquire an appropriate flying license, commercial or otherwise. Other than commandeering the controls in the cockpit, the captain is expected to lead the flight crew and maintain calm in case of anything untoward mid-air – this means pilots also have to be good managers.
A nurse practitioner (NP) is more than an attendant in scrubs. They’re more qualified than Registered Nurses (RN) and are increasingly more valued in the hospital staff.
A nurse practitioner is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), who can legally prescribe medication, examine and diagnose patients and provide treatment. In some states, an APRN can even practice without the supervision of a doctor. A nurse practitioner is a general title for several specialised professions that can break out of that qualification. You can become a general nurse practitioner, a certified registered nurse anesthetist and a family nurse practitioner, among some specialisations.
The salary of an NP differs, depending on the specialisation. On an average, NPs can earn between $95,000 – $150,000 per annum.
To become an NP, you must first become an RN. NPs must at least have a Master’s degree in nursing and a license in advanced nursing practice.
Dentistry is an important profession which goes beyond certifying which toothpaste is good for you in television commercials.
The primary responsibility of a dentist is to advise about oral hygiene. This includes prescribing medication, carrying out tooth extractions, installing braces and more. You can either become a general practitioner or go into specialised niches like endodontist (specialist in root canals), periodontists (specialist in treating gums and bone supporting the teeth), etc.
Dentists who go into private practice also have to be in charge of administrative issues like employing assistants, buying equipment, etc.
While the salary of dentists may differ depending on specialisation, dentists, on an average, are compensated well. On an average, dentists earn $153,900 annually, according to 2016 numbers.
To become a dentist, you must enter a dental school after completing at least a Bachelor’s degree. You must complete a period of training for at last two years before you can acquire a license. Becoming a dentist requires you to pay attention to details, be dexterous and have physical stamina as the job often requires long hours.
An obstetrician-gynaecologist, or OB-GYN for short, is responsible for women’s reproductive health.
The OB part of the job requires one to care for the patient during pregnancy and deliver the baby, the gynaecologist part involves providing counseling and treatment for the overall reproductive health. OB-GYNs also provide routine medical services, some even offer a wider range of health services, like a primary care physician.
Most OB-GYNs study to be generalists, though there are specializations in the field too. Some go into maternal-fetal medical care, others specialize in in vitro fertilization, etc.
OB-GYNs are highly in-demand medical specialists. A coveted OB-GYN can earn $205,000 per annum, on an average.
To become an OB-GYN, you must have a Bachelor’s degree in biology or a related natural science subject, followed by a degree from medical school. One needs to do several years of internships and residency to be able to apply for an OB-GYN license and practice.
An anesthesiologist is a person in the operation theatre responsible for administering the anesthesia to the patient so he or she doesn’t wake up in the middle of a procedure. An important job for sure!
An anesthesiologist can be a physician, dentist or nurse who has knowledge of anesthesiology and understands the genetic makeup of drugs. The anesthesiologist or anesthetist is required to monitor the patient’s heart rate before, during and after the procedure and counter any unfavorable reactions. It is the job of the anesthetist to coordinate with other medical professionals in the OT to arrive at the choice of anesthesia to administer. The anesthetist also decides when a patient has stabilized enough to be discharged or sent to another room or ward.
The median base salary of an anesthesiologist is $350,000 per annum, as of 2017. They sure do get paid well for what they bring to the operation table.
Becoming an anesthesiologist requires work starting from an early age. It is recommended to take up advanced biology and chemistry at the high school level. Anesthesiologists should have a four-year Bachelor’s degree, four years in medical school, followed by at least five years of internship and medical residency. You can take a fellowship for another year to specialize in niches like pain management, cardiac anesthesiology, etc.
Reservoir engineers work in harsh environments and with specialized, often very expensive equipment. So it’s not a job just anyone can do. Given the rate at which the world is consuming natural resources, reservoir engineers have the most important job.
Reservoir engineers are experts in determining how much fluid is in an underground reservoir and what its exact location is. Using their knowledge of geology and with advanced equipment, technical skill and imaging, they locate underground reserves of oil and natural gas.
Reservoir engineers are highly qualified professionals who are compensated accordingly. At an entry level, reservoir engineers can earn $101,000 per annum, on an average.
To become a reservoir engineer, one must have a degree in chemical engineering. A Bachelor’s degree is usually sufficient for an entry-level job. But since the nature of the industry has high monetary risks, employers want to place their bets on highly qualified professionals. If you want to work on a public sector project, you may have to acquire a license.
Geophysicists are our answer to learning more about how to preserve the earth, the intricacies of the planet we live on and its mysteries.
Geophysicists employ a host of subjects like physics, chemistry and geology to study the atomic makeup of the earth, including theories like its magnetic pull, its atmosphere, its seismic field etc. Geophysicists also branch out into specialisations, like monitoring earth’s seismic activity to develop methods to predict earthquakes, locating underground natural resources or building plans that aid in environmental preservation.
Geophysics is a widely regarded field. While starting years may be shaky, a mid-career package averages at $122,200 per annum.
Typically, geophysicists must have a Master’s degree in geophysics and a Bachelor’s in a natural science subject. Employers, typically, also look for experience in field work and skills with computer programs and data analysis.
An equity research analyst must be invested in industries and stock to excel at their job.
An equity research analyst can be hired by both, firms that sell and firms that buy, in the securities industry. Their job is to pour themselves into research and come up with meaningful data analysis about projections and recommendations regarding the company and its stocks. The analyst is expected to keep track of market data, follow news reports and talk to the company experts to stay up to date on research.
The salary of an equity research analyst is anywhere between $65,000 and $158,000. The total median pay is $100,000 per annum.
To be an equity research analyst, one must have a Bachelor’s degree in a business discipline, such as finance, accounting or economics. Though a Master’s is not required, it’s helpful to acquire a Master’s in business administration or finance for better job prospects. The job would require you to have strong communication skills and have a good read on income statements, balance sheets, etc.
A financial manager is, to put it quite simply, someone who manages finance. But the actual job is a little more complex than that.
A financial manager is not confined to any industry. They may be hired by a bank, an organisation or even an individual. Their key responsibility is to develop strategies that will ensure the financial well-being of the company and the employer. The manager is expected to review reports, manage accounts and prepare reports of financial forecasts. The manager also acts in an advisory position to assess possible business opportunities such as mergers and expansions.
The median pay for financial managers is $121,750 per annum, as of May 2016. The salary may fluctuate based on market conditions and the candidate’s qualifications.
To become a financial manager, you will need to get at least a Bachelor’s degree in finance, business, economics, accounting or a related field. Finance managers should be adept in mathematics and accounting. You must also have good organisational skills and a knack for data analysis. Typically, employers prefer to hire someone with a Master’s in finance or business administration.
Actuaries require similar skills as financial managers, but they typically work with insurance companies.
An actuary is attached to an insurance company to assess risk and minimize losses in issuing new policies. Using statistical analysis and market research, actuaries assess whether a company should take out a new policy and what the premium on that policy should be. This is of utmost importance as an insurance company needs to maintain its financial health at all costs.
According to May 2017 data, actuaries make a median salary of $101,560 annually.
Actuaries should have a Bachelor’s degree with a focus on mathematics, statistics or actuarial sciences. Additional skills in computer programming, database analysis, etc is a bonus. Actuaries also need to get certified by an appropriate authority before practicing.
Software engineers are in high demand today given the boost in social media and the increasing use of gadgets that require efficient user-interface.
A software engineer speaks the language of the computer. From codes, design to programming, a software engineer works on building apps, improving the interface and ensuring backend proficiency. You would not be able to use Netflix and Amazon prime with as much gusto if not for a solid team of software engineers and programmers.
The average base pay for software engineers is $104,463 per annum, according to December 2017 numbers. Among tech jobs, software engineers rank toward the higher side in terms of remuneration.
Software engineers need to have at least a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics or Software Engineering, though there are workshops and boot camps for people without the technical degrees to acquire the skills. A software engineer needs to be proficient in programming language and coding. Other than that, you must have good communication skills to be a suitable candidate for a job, as a lot of projects may be collaborative. The job also demands long hours.
A technical writer not only has to have creative writing skills but also needs to have the technical knowledge to write about a subject at length.
Technical writers are involved in working and creating instruction manuals, journal articles and other documents that require technical information to be made simple and accessible. They typically work with the client, designer and manufacturer. As a writer, it is their job to understand the psyche of the end user and write accordingly. They also need to constantly update their knowledge bank by talking to industry and technical experts.
The highest 10 percent of technical writers earn more than $102, 250 per annum. Salaries differ depending on the clients, amount of technical knowledge and research requirement. The prospects in the field are also projected to be good as more and more people are relying on technologically advanced products at home and in the office.
Technical writing as a profession requires at least a Bachelor’s degree in journalism, English or any other field that requires a proficiency in writing. Several technical writing jobs require knowledge in specialized fields like engineering, medicine or computer science, other than a degree. Knowledge of web design could also be helpful in the current job market.
Makeup artists are in demand across various industries. If you have the skill to transform faces with a twirl of your makeup brush, you could consider this as a full-time profession.
A makeup artist is responsible for enhancing a person’s facial features in different kinds of lighting. They may be employed in television, film and other showbiz platforms. You can either train as a general makeup artist, for interviews, television and red carpets or specialise in stylised makeups for characters in films. The makeup artist may often be expected to work with prosthetics to change an actor’s look for a character. From Harry Potter to The Avengers, most fantasy and superhero films need specialised makeup for the characters. The looks would never be this convincing if not for a little prosthetic support and the skilled hand of someone who knows their job well.
The top 10 percent get paid $120,050 per annum. The salary varies on seniority, expertise and skill.
Makeup artists can enrol in programs that require at least a high school diploma. One can enrol in a cosmetology program, which teaches a wide range of beauty practices, from makeup to hair styling and cutting. To become a makeup artist for films or television, one can even acquire a degree in theatre which has modules dealing with makeup skills specific to the screen, big or small.
An art director must come to work with a vision and all their creative juices flowing.
An art director is hired to visualise how the set of a television show, film, advertisement or even a corporate film should look like. Based on the script provided by the production or director, the art director must buy props, make or arrange sets and create a world befitting that of the film.
The top 10 percent of art directors in the business make $166,620 per annum, on an average. The salary, again, depends on the level of skill, experience and excellence at the job.
An art designer typically must have a Bachelor’s degree in fine art, design or a related field. An art director should have great aesthetic sense, the ability to transform a room with very little at hand, creativity, ability to manage time and lead a team of artists and craftsmen.
While this is an ‘ultimate’ list in many ways, since it covers a variety of industries and skill sets, it is in no way an exhaustive list. There are several jobs, outside of this list, that are lucrative and rewarding. But it’s important to remember that any job that brings home a six-figure salary comes with its own compromises and complications. On the path to a six-figure salary profile, one may have to let go of many things in life. Months without vacations, weeks without weekends and days without sleep are all collateral damages for bringing that big paycheque home at the end of the month.
But while there are downsides to earning well and living a certain lifestyle accruing from a six-figure salary, the perks are undeniable too. When the going gets tough, it’s important to not lose sight of why you’re working this hard. What is the end goal? You may exhaust yourself so hard trying to reach your goal that you forget to enjoy the journey. So work hard, make compromises where you must, but let yourself go every now and then to enjoy the fruits of your labour. Six-figure salaries will come and go, but there is only one life to live!