You’re not alone if you decide on a career path based on your earning potential. In fact, research from LinkedIn found that 70 percent of professionals prefer to discuss salary details during their first interaction with a recruiter. But the job search doesn’t always work that way. According to a report by Forbes, most job postings won’t list their approved salary off the bat in order to suss out candidates who will agree to do the job for less.
That’s why we’re taking to career databases to glean some insight into the highest paying jobs before you choose a field. According to research from career database Zippia, neurosurgeons make a mean salary of — surprise, surprise — $600,000 per year as the highest paid professionals in the U.S., with law firm partners raking in a mean salary of $325,000. And for insight into how to make more money than the position you currently have, LinkedIn’s nifty tool is super helpful.
While doctors often get all the glory when it comes to well-paid careers (they occupy all top 10 spots on Zippia’s highest paid jobs report, according to Chris Kolmar, co-founder and vice president of Zippia ), there’s still plenty of space for those who aren’t medically minded to find a high-paying career. LinkedIn research found that 57 percent of senior hiring managers look for soft skills like creativity and collaboration — in fact, they named creativity the most in-demand skill of 2019.
For all you creative folks looking to live comfortably and pursue a career you love, here are five lucrative options. While they all require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field and several years of experience, none of them involve med school.
1. Product Marketing Manager
In this role, you’ll spearhead campaigns and lead marketing teams through product launches in the retail and consumer technology spaces, working closely with sales and technical product teams. According to LinkedIn, the median base salary for this position is $134,000
Colleges offering top relevant programs include University of Michigan Ross School of Business, New York University Stern School of Business, and University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business.
2. Art Director
If you have a knack for visual storytelling, use your expertise as an art director to develop strategies for brand campaigns, fashion shoots, editorial packages and more. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for this position is $103,510.
3. Site Reliability Engineer
As a site reliability engineer, you’ll be developing software and automated tests to troubleshoot any website issues and enhance user experience. According to LinkedIn, the median base salary for this position is $200,000.
Colleges offering top relevant programs include Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Engineering, Caltech Computing and Mathematical Sciences, and Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute.
4. Human Resources Director
As a human resources director you will provide support, lead employee training programs, recruit new employees and maintain a respectful environment throughout the organization.
According to Glassdoor, the average base salary for this position is $106,842.
5. Game Developer
As a game developer, you’ll hone your strong programming and coding skills to optimize game performance and quality, while continuously implementing new game-changing strategies to increase player engagement.
According to Glassdoor, the average base salary for this position is $101,932.
Colleges offering top relevant programs include University of Southern California Games, University of Utah Entertainment Arts & Engineering, and Rochester Institute of Technology School of Interactive Games and Media.