Careers That Pay Over $100,000 a Year

High Paying White and Blue Collar Careers

Anesthesiologist in operating room

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports annually on the highest paying careers. Leading the list of jobs that pay the most are medical and health-related positions. Other careers which pay well include engineering, management and information technology occupations. Here are the top 20 highest paying careers, according to a 2015 report from the BLS:

Top 20 Highest Paying Careers

  1. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons: Median pay is equal to or greater than $187,200
  1. Physicians, All Others: Median pay is equal to or greater than $187,200
  2. Surgeons, All Others: Median pay is equal to or greater than $187,200
  3. Orthodontists: Median pay is equal to or greater than $187,200
  4. Obstetricians and Gynecologists: Median pay is equal to or greater than $187,200
  5. Anesthesiologist: Median pay is equal to or greater than $187,200
  6. Internist, General: Median pay is equal to or greater than $187,200
  7. Psychiatrist: Median Pay is $173,330
  8. Family and General Practitioners: Median Pay is $184,390
  9. Prosthodontists: Median Pay is $169,130
  10. Chief Executives: Median Pay is $175,110
  11. Dentists, All Other Specialists: Median Pay is $154,990
  12. Pediatricians, General: Median Pay is $154,650
  13. Nurse Anesthetists: Median Pay is $148,160
  14. Dentists, General: Median Pay is $171,000
  15. Petroleum Engineer: Median Pay is $129,990
  16. Architectural and Engineering Managers: Median Pay is $132,800
  17. Air Traffic Controllers: Median Pay is $122,950
  1. Computer and Information Systems Managers: Median Pay is $131,600
  2. Marketing Managers: Median Pay is $128,750

Blue Collar Jobs That Pay Over $100,000

You don’t have to put on a suit to make serious money. It's feasible to make $100,00 in a blue collar job though you make work for yourself, need a labor union behind you and, in some cases, you might have to put your safety at stake.

According to, here are four high paying blue collar jobs:

1. Police officers: Salaries for police departments in major urban areas can top out over 100k. New York Police Department salaries can range from $50,000 to $116,000, while a sergeant's pay runs from $105,000 to $131,000, and that's without overtime which can add up to another $50,000. According to a 2015 article, the average LAPD pay in 2012 was $110,285 for full-time officers.

2. Contractors and construction managers: Although the median pay for contractor salaries in 2015 was $87,400, according to the BLS, pay for construction managers can range from $82,790 to $144,520. While a college degree may not be required, you'll need solid training in the field, significant experience and perhaps a license or certification. You also may be working for yourself, as 57%  of construction managers were self-employed in 2012, according to the BLS. It's also rigorous work: dealing with emergencies can require long hours and being on call around the clock.

3. Farmers and ranchers: Farmers in certain parts of the country can take home six figures including Santa Rosa, CA ($114,070), Boise City, ID ($106,600), and the South Florida metropolitan area ($100,830), according to 2015 BLS data.

4. Oil rig workers: A Bachelor's degree isn't required for oil rig foremen/superintendents, directional drillers and oil rig managers, though they usually require years of experience. Working on a rig is also very taxing work—it's labor intensive, lonely and potentially dangerous.

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More Information: Occupational Outlook Handbook > Highest Paying Occupations