Top 10 Jobs for US Graduate Students with Highest Salary
Top 10 Jobs for US Graduate Students with Highest Salary
Table of Content

It’s important that graduates understand more about the job market they are looking to enter, especially with the rising cost of college. This can help them to decide career paths and look at how competitive their interviews may be.

The highest of the highest-paying careers are in medicine, for obvious reasons; the healthcare system is in a long period of phenomenal growth, and the barriers to entry are so high that the field is self-selecting – quite simply, between the education, the stress, and the responsibility there just aren’t many people who are cut out to be surgeons, physicians, or nurse-midwives. If you can make it, you can make top salaries and gain a high-paying job.

The following careers are a few examples of where a graduate degree can lead to a job with an annual salary of more than $100,000 in the U.S.

Overview of Graduate Salary

A good graduate wage is high-paying entry-level employment that a recent graduate may be able to acquire after graduation.

Although it may be tough to come up with a standard definition of what a good graduate pay should be.

The type of pay a graduate receives is determined by a number of criteria, including the employer, geography, gender, and working hours.

According to research, Data on graduate salaries is difficult to track effectively, and it presents a number of problems, including:

  • How many hours each week do grads work?
  • In what currencies will they be compensated?
  • What other perks do they get from the company?
  • What is your preferred exchange rate?
  • Which standard deviation do you use?

Salary, on the other hand, might still be an interesting measure because it influences employers’, students’, and graduates’ decisions.

Furthermore, as previously said, the definition of a good graduate salary is universally agreed upon based on the elements listed above. A high salary does not always signal that you are getting a good deal.

You might be able to increase your buying power by taking a lower-paying job elsewhere.

Number of qualified graduates per role in highest-paid careers

Just being in the highest-paid field is not quite everything aspiring students or graduates should look into though.

We took graduate figures in each field alongside average annual jobs from the Bureau for Labor Statistics (BLS) to assess the competition of people per role at the start of the graduate career ladder to see who had the toughest start.

At the top end of the scale, those looking to become prosthodontists are facing the toughest competition at the start of their career, with 52 graduates per role, with computer support specialists having it the easiest, almost guaranteeing a role per graduate.

Alongside computer support specialists, the data shows the following roles are almost guaranteed to get a job in their field after graduating due to there being less than one person competing per role:

  • Marketing analysts (0.06 graduates per role, $50,000 avg. salary)
  • Registered nurses (0.1 graduates per role, $40,000 avg. salary)
  • First officers (0.4 graduates per role, $49,000 avg. salary)
  • Petroleum engineers (0.81 graduates per role, $63,000 avg. salary)
  • Business development consultants (0.97 graduates per role, $50,000 avg. salary)

In terms of the highest expected average salary and competition, Dental residents who are on track to be ‘General dentists’ (as dictated by the BLS) have the highest entry-level average salary ($121,000) as well as only 5 people per role to compete with.

Medical residents on track to be in the ‘Other physicians and ophthalmologists' category also have a low competition (three people per vacancy) with an average salary of $57,000.

Training costs for the highest-paying jobs in the US

As well as the competition and average starting salaries, we wanted to take a further look into the training coasts of each role. These are all averages and use out-of-state figures, as well as an average between private and public institutions to provide a median figure.

Those in medical training have the highest training cost at an average of just over $251,000, with computer support specialists having less than a quarter of this amount at $51,900.

With computer support specialists having the lowest graduate competition and the lowest in training fees, it’s the smartest financial choice, out of the highest-paid roles in the country, for those choosing a new career.

Top 10 Jobs for US Graduate Students with Highest Salary - $100,000 per Year

1. Elementary school teacher

2. Market research analyst

3. Accountant

4. Registered nurse

5. Management analyst

6. Project management specialist

7. Operations manager

8. Medical and health services manager

9. Software developer

10. Financial manager

**********

1. Elementary school teacher

Photo: Forbes
Photo: Forbes

Median annual salary: $61,350

An Elementary School Teacher’s responsibilities include managing a classroom, communicating and teaching one or more subjects clearly and within the bounds of school procedures. They must also monitor each student’s progress and provide extra mentorship as needed.

A good Elementary School Teacher must have communication skills to work with students, and they need to be active listeners to understand the needs of students. They also need to have adaptability, which means they can change their style depending on the needs or preferences of each individual student.

Elementary School Teachers made a median salary of $60,940 in 2020. The best-paid 25 percent made $79,120 that year, while the lowest-paid 25 percent made $48,350.

2. Market research analyst

Photo: onlinedegrees
Photo: onlinedegrees

Median annual salary: $63,920

A marketing research analyst reviews a large amount of data, analyzing it to answer three major questions: What product does the market want? Who are the consumers that would purchase such a product? How much would consumers pay for the product? Their main goal is to help the company's profits grow over time by using available data. They analyze interviews, collect prospective consumer data via surveys, and include relevant statistics in a final report for their clients or management team. Most analysts work during regular business hours in an office setting, although overtime may be required on time-sensitive projects.

Market research analysts typically have a bachelor’s degree in marketing; however, some analysts may have a bachelor's degree in math, computer science, business, or another field. Research analysts can also receive certification from the Market Research Association in lieu of a bachelor's degree, depending on their education and work experience; this certification must be renewed every two years.

3. Accountant

Photo: freshbooks
Photo: freshbooks

Median annual salary: $77,250

‘Accountant’ doesn’t have that sexy ring to it that, say, ‘barrister’ or ‘investment banker’ can conjure up. But if you don’t want to be eating baked beans out of a can when you should be living that adult life (it’s all a myth, but go with us), you may want to consider accounting and professional services as a well-paid graduate career path.

You’ll have to train, of course; but if you’re looking for the optimal graduate training program in the arena of accounting and professional services, look no further than the globally acknowledged ‘Big Four’: PwC (Price Waterhouse Cooper), EY (Ernst & Young), Deloitte and KPMG. And if the idea of applying to one of the four top dogs is too intimidating, Grant Thornton also has the graduate seal of approval. Either way, we back you. Go forth and win that big paycheck.

4. Registered nurse

Photo: Getty Image
Photo: Getty Image

Registered Nurses are the backbone of the healthcare system, the people who do the crucial one-on-one work with patients in hospitals, emergency rooms, clinics, and every other healthcare facility. To become an RN, you need an associate’s degree in nursing (from a community college or nursing school) or a hospital diploma, and pass the NCLEX exam to be licensed as a registered nurse in your state. There is no shortage of jobs, and pay rates can be quite high, especially in specialized areas like ER, neonatal, or oncology department.

Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) may work in a broad array of different settings, including hospital surgical suites, obstetrical delivery rooms, ambulatory surgical centers, doctor’s offices, and pain management centers.

Median annual salary: $77,600

5. Management analyst

Photo: careergirls
Photo: careergirls

Median annual salary: $93,000

Management analyst positions are available in a wide variety of industries, ranging from military and government organizations to medical and investment companies. Requirements vary by field and position, but a bachelor’s degree in public administration, business administration, finance, or a related field is generally needed. Most jobs also require a year of specialized experience in a similar type of administrative work.

The estimated total pay for a Management Analyst is $92,735 per year in the United States area, with an average salary of $70,174 per year. These numbers represent the median, which is the midpoint of the ranges from our proprietary Total Pay Estimate model and based on salaries collected from our users. The estimated additional pay is $22,561 per year. Additional pay could include cash bonus, commission, tips, and profit sharing.

6. Project management specialist

Photo: isa
Photo: isa

Median annual salary: $94,500

A project manager is a motivated and effective leader who is accountable for the success or failure of a project. Project managers are multi-taskers, have great time management and organization skills, are fantastic communicators, and are trusted and reliable. They do not carry out all the work themselves but have project teams that work under them and make sure all the objectives of the project are carried out.

However, if there are things that are off track or mismanaged, the project manager is always ultimately accountable.

A good project manager is essential in every company that is anticipating to grow within a short period of time. From identifying and clearing bottlenecks to ensuring the flow of communication in cross-functional teams, a position in project management is a crash course in risk management, stress resistance, and diplomacy.

Project management work is the type of work that has so many positions such as the one which can be done at home, for those who wish to work remotely

You may need to start as an assistant and then take a couple of years to earn your Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.

In any profession, there is always an initial challenge, and when this challenge is overcome you will begin to enjoy the profession

In addition to this is that you will get to meet and work with lots of different people, gain exposure, and build a world-class professional network in the process.

7. Operations manager

Photo: phoenix
Photo: phoenix

Median annual salary: $97,970

An operations manager career path is a great choice for people who like to work behind the scenes in an organization. This position is a vital role in the success of any business, no matter how big or small, and you would have the flexibility of working in almost any industry.

In general, the role of an operations manager is to manage all activities involved in producing the goods and/or services of a business. In the retail industry, for example, an operations manager would manage all activities related to daily retail floor functions as well as planning and strategizing. There are a lot of opportunities in business operations and it’s a great industry to work in.

In most businesses, operations managers oversee the big picture of their organization. They are responsible for managing processes, purchasing, accounting, human resources, inventory, and IT. There are different levels to an operations manager’s career path. Operations managers are sometimes also known as chief operating officers, or COOs. Their role is critical in ensuring businesses run smoothly and have everything they need to be effective.

8. Medical and health services manager

Photo: myperfectresume
Photo: myperfectresume

Without a doubt, healthcare is the field to be in if you want job security, high salaries, and the ability to help people as well, but not everyone is cut out for nursing or medicine. Fortunately, Medical and Health Services Managers can capitalize on the explosive growth in the healthcare industry, without having to encounter explosive growths in the emergency room (sorry). A bachelor’s or master’s degree in management is a good start, and specialized healthcare management degrees have become quite common – and are often available online.

Median annual salary: $101,340

9. Software developer

Photo: savvycomsoftware
Photo: savvycomsoftware

Median annual salary: $110,140

A Software Developer oversees the whole development process of a computer program, from determining problems to be solved or customer desires to be met, to leading a team of programmers, to getting a product on the market. Some developers work primarily as managers, while others work directly in programming, depending on the complexity of the project. A bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering, or a similar speciality may be useful, though for management many companies will want a master’s; however, in many companies, experience is more important than any education.

With a Master of Science in software engineering, you can pursue highly skilled roles in a variety of industries. You will learn to design, build, test and maintain software, computer applications and operating systems, in addition to coding. software engineers often find work in the programming, computer service or system design fields within corporate or government organizations.

10. Financial manager

Photo: hrchannels
Photo: hrchannels

Median annual salary: $131,710

The finance department plays a pivotal role, especially in medium- and large-sized organizations.56 Among their responsibilities are planning investment activities and assessing market trends to maximize profits while controlling risk. They also create financial reports that help the senior management team make decisions and inform shareholders.

Jobs that fall within the fast-growing financial manager category include controllers, who prepare financial reports such as income statements and balance sheets; treasurers, who devise investment strategies for the organization; and risk managers, who use various measures to limit the company’s exposure to financial or currency risk.

What to consider before applying for a job in the USA

There are certain questions you need to ask yourself before applying for a job to avoid unprofessional behaviors:

  • How do you position yourself as a solid candidate when you are competing against professionals with several years of work experience?
  • Are you open to relocating for your job?
  • How much travel is optimal?
  • And, lastly how much money do you need to make to support your lifestyle needs, start a savings plan, and pay back those student loans?

When pondering those questions, many new graduates find it helpful to look at what others in their position are doing.

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