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Top 6 Highest-Paying Job Industries

You've worked hard to earn a degree and now it’s a only a few months before graduation. Some students know the specific career path they want to pursue long before they graduate. Others have a bit of an idea, but might go through school undecided.

When the time comes to consider a career, however, you’ll want to be prepared and educated.

What industries can best help students plan for a secure and financially comfortable future?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report this month detailing the highest-paying occupational groups in the country.

If you're a current student or you're thinking about going back to school, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to give serious consideration to one of these six highest-paying occupational groups in the U.S.:

1. Management: Annual mean wage of $105,540
According to the Bureau’s latest report, the average mean for all occupations in the U.S. is $44,410. At $105,540, nearly every management occupation had an average wage above the all-occupations mean.

You may not immediately get into a management position out of college, but the wage makes your time and effort to grow into a management position worthwhile.

Students looking to eventually become a manager could look to a business management degree. Business is No. 1 on the list of most popular online degrees at the moment.

2. Legal: $96,940
We briefly visited the benefits of diving into the legal field in an earlier blog post. Examples of careers in this field include a judge, defense attorney, prosecutor, paralegal or court clerk, to name a few. Sure, this profession might require crazy hours, but the financial benefit could be substantial. Students looking to get into the legal field often start by studying criminal justice, the No. 3 most popular online degree.

3. Computer and mathematical: $77,230
Majoring in computer science, the No. 2 most popular online degree, is a smart move, particularly for former military service members. Many of our nation’s service men and women have had the opportunity to work with some of the most advanced technology in the world. They could undoubtedly thrive in the civilian workforce by bringing unique, professional experience to IT-based positions.

4. Architecture and engineering: $75,550
These are two majors that reward students with hefty salaries straight out of college. Students can combine these two fields as well and get into architectural engineering, which requires a firm knowledge of geometry, calculus and physics, along with having an artistic and innovative big-picture imagination.

5. Healthcare practitioners and technical: $71,280
There will always be a need for healthcare, and I’d recommend pursuing a career in this field if job security is of vital importance to you. Healthcare practitioners and technical positions included some of the highest-paying individual occupations.

In a related profession, healthcare support registered at No. 8 on the bureau's list with an average of $26,920. Sure, these positions aren't as financially generous, but they figure to be extremely high in demand in the future. Take nursing, for instance. Analysts from the Health Resources and Services Administration projected that all 50 states will experience a shortage of nurses to varying degrees by 2015. The country is projected to have a shortage in healthcare professionals, as people from the baby boomer generation age, while the need for healthcare grows.

6. Business and financial operations: $67,690
Two examples of majors from the business and financial operations industry would include finance (banking, financial planning, insurance, money management, real estate) and accounting.

Contributor: Eric Sorrentino, Grantham University

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