Time is money. Money doesn’t grow on trees. Money can’t buy me love. Money can’t buy you class.
There are endless sayings about money, with origins dating back centuries. Some are wiser than others, but many elude to the idea that money isn’t everything. And yes, while it’s true that it won’t buy you love, happiness or sophistication, most people would prefer to make more money than less so they can take care of their financial obligations and live a comfortable life.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 10 well-paying occupations that can help you reach your monetary goals. Each pays about $50 an hour – or more than $100,000 a year (if you work a typical 40-hour workweek all 52 weeks of the year).
1. Aerospace engineer*
Job description: Aerospace engineers design aircraft, spacecraft, satellites and missiles. They also test prototypes to ensure that they function according to design.
Median hourly pay: $49.87
2. Computer and information research scientist
Job description: Computer and information research scientists invent and design new approaches to computing technology and find innovative uses for existing technology. They study and solve complex problems in computing for business, medicine, science and other fields.
Median hourly pay: $49.13
3. Computer hardware engineer
Job description: Computer hardware engineers research, design, develop and test computer systems and components such as processors, circuit boards, memory devices, networks and routers.
Median hourly pay: $48.52
4. Judge and hearing officer
Job description: Judges and hearing officers apply the law by overseeing the legal process in courts. They also conduct pretrial hearings, resolve administrative disputes, facilitate negotiations and issue legal decisions.
Median hourly pay: $49.51
Job description: Mathematicians use advanced mathematics to develop and understand mathematical principles, analyze data and solve real-world problems.
Median hourly pay: $48.73
6. Nuclear engineer
Job description: Nuclear engineers research and develop the processes, instruments and systems used to derive benefits from nuclear energy and radiation. Many of these engineers find industrial and medical uses for radioactive materials—for example, in equipment used in medical diagnosis and treatment.
Median hourly pay: $50.13
7. Physicist and astronomer
Job description: Physicists and astronomers study the ways in which various forms of matter and energy interact. Theoretical physicists and astronomers may study the nature of time or the origin of the universe. Physicists and astronomers in applied fields may develop new military technologies or new sources of energy, or monitor space debris that could endanger satellites.
Median hourly pay: $51.14
8. Political scientist
Job description: Political scientists study the origin, development and operation of political systems. They research political ideas and analyze governments, policies, political trends and related issues.
Median hourly pay: $49.04
9. Sales manager
Job description: Sales managers direct organizations’ sales teams. They set sales goals, analyze data and develop training programs for organizations’ sales representatives.
Median hourly pay: $50.60
10. Top executive
Job description: Top executives devise strategies and policies to ensure that an organization meets its goals. They plan, direct and coordinate operational activities of companies and organizations.
Median hourly pay: $48.87
*Job descriptions and median hourly pay from Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook.