Couple celebrates money in the air

(© Knut - stock.adobe.com)

What jobs pay $150,000 or more per year? A recent Reddit thread posed this question, and thousands of comments poured in from high earners eager to share their lucrative career paths. We took a look at the top 500 comments and found the answers revealed a wide range of six-figure professions, from medicine and law to sales and software engineering.

Many commenters work in the tech industry, such as one software engineer who makes “$300k per year with half in cash and the other half in equity.” Another, a UI/UX Designer at a major car company, wrote that they earn “230k/yr with comps. Never thought I’d ever be paid this much to do this.”

Sales emerged as another top field, with jobs ranging from medical device sales to SaaS (Software as a Service). One commenter shared, “I’m a window salesman. Work roughly 30 hrs/week. Great work-life balance. 190k per year.”

The medical field was also well-represented, with several nurses, dentists, pharmacists, and doctors chiming in. A general practice veterinarian and a cardiovascular perfusionist were among the more unique healthcare roles mentioned. One nurse anesthetist claimed to make $260 per hour in the Midwest.

Many in the thread cited hard work and climbing the ranks over decades as key to their high earnings. As one industrial refrigeration technician put it, “Industrial refrigeration guys with training and 10yrs experience making that, I do ammonia refrigeration and my boss makes close to 150k depends on overtime that year.”

Others credited smart decisions early on in their career, like choosing an in-demand field.

Several lawyers, financial advisors, and consultants confirmed that their professional services command impressive rates. Business ownership, real estate investing, and working a “side hustle” alongside a day job also enable some to cross the $150K threshold.

Based on the responses, here are the top 15 jobs mentioned most often in the thread:

1. Software Engineer / Developer
2. Sales (various industries)
3. Nurse / Nurse Practitioner
4. Manager / Director (various departments)
5. Lawyer
6. Consultant
7. Doctor / Surgeon
8. IT / Cybersecurity
9. Financial Advisor / Accountant
10. Pharmacist
11. Dentist
12. Engineer (non-software)
13. Real Estate Professional
14. Business Owner
15. Pilot

And here are the top 15 jobs listed with the highest salaries:

1. Radiologist – $700K+
2. Private Equity – up to $400K
3. Surgeon / Doctor – $250K-500K
4. Data Scientist – up to $340K
5. Airline Pilot – $350K
6. Software Engineer at FAANG – up to $300K
7. Sales (enterprise software, medical devices, etc) – $300K+
8. Law Firm Partner – $300K+
9. Financial Advisor – $250K+
10. Psychiatrist – $250K-500K
11. Dentist – $250K+
12. Air Traffic Controller – $250K+
13. Anesthesiologist – $230K+
14. Director level (tech, marketing, HR, etc) – $200K+
15. Nurse Anesthetist – $200K+

While a six-figure salary can provide a comfortable lifestyle, many commenters noted that high-paying jobs often come with long hours, high stress, and extensive education or training requirements. As one puts it, “the right answer is time and flexibility… There is a temptation to go for income as the metric for success with little regard to other factors.”

Doctor looking at x-ray of lungs
Radiologists topped the Reddit list of 15 jobs with the highest salaries, according to commenters.  (© thodonal – stock.adobe.com)

Top 20 Highest-Paying Occupations in the U.S.

In addition to the insights provided by Reddit users, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) offers official data on the highest-paying occupations in the country. According to the BLS, the top 20 occupations with the highest median annual pay are:

1. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons: $239,200 or greater
2. Surgeons, all other: $239,200 or greater
3. Pediatric surgeons: $239,200 or greater
4. Orthopedic surgeons, except pediatric: $239,200 or greater
5. Ophthalmologists, except pediatric: $239,200 or greater
6. Radiologists: $239,200 or greater
7. Psychiatrists: $239,200 or greater
8. Physicians, pathologists: $239,200 or greater
9. Obstetricians and gynecologists: $239,200 or greater
10. Neurologists: $239,200 or greater
11. Emergency medicine physicians: $239,200 or greater
12. Dermatologists: $239,200 or greater
13. Cardiologists: $239,200 or greater
14. Anesthesiologists: $239,200 or greater
15. Orthodontists: $239,200 or greater
16. Physicians, all other: $236,000
17. Prosthodontists: $234,000
18. Dentists, all other specialists: $227,690
19. Family medicine physicians: $224,640
20. General internal medicine physicians: $223,310

As the BLS data shows, the medical field dominates the list of highest-paying occupations, with various specialties of physicians, surgeons, and dentists making up the entire top 20. This aligns with the experiences shared by medical professionals in the Reddit thread, many of whom reported earning salaries in the $200,000 to $500,000 range.

It’s worth noting that while these BLS figures represent average annual pay, actual salaries can vary widely depending on factors such as location, experience, and employer. Additionally, many of these high-paying medical occupations require extensive education, training, and specialized skills, as well as long and often irregular work hours.

About Steve Fink

Steve Fink is the founder and Editor-In-Chief of StudyFinds.com. He is a veteran journalist who previously served as Vice President of News Engagement for CBS Television Stations' websites. Beginning his career as a sports producer at WJZ-TV in Baltimore in 2001, he previously served as Managing Editor of CBSNewYork.com and WCBSTV.com before joining the company’s corporate digital team in 2010.

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