Highest Paying Jobs in 2016: You Better be Good in Math or Science

Editor’s Note: It’s an annual tradition for TLNT to count down the most popular posts of the previous 12 months. We’ll be reposting each of the top 25 articles between now and January 2nd. This is No. 22 of 2016. You can find the complete list here.

Last week, Glassdoor released their most recent Top 25 paying jobs report in the U.S., and one thing was common in 24 out of the 25 jobs; STEM!

That’s right; in 24 out of the 25 top paying jobs in the U.S., you better have exceptional, high-level math skills, or be great at science, preferably both, if you don’t mind.

Here’s a taste of the top 10:

  1. Physician — Median Base Salary: $180,000;
  2. Lawyer — Median Base Salary: $144,500;
  3. Research & Development Manager — Median Base Salary: $142,120;
  4. Software Development Manager — Median Base Salary: $132,000;
  5. Pharmacy Manager — Median Base Salary: $130,000;
  6. Strategy Manager — Median Base Salary: $130,000;
  7. Software Architect — Median Base Salary: $128,250;
  8. Integrated Circuit Designer Engineer — Median Base Salary: $127,500;
  9. IT Manager — Median Base Salary: $120,000;
  10. Solutions Architect — Median Base Salary: $120,000.

What I learned from this high paying jobs list

Some things that standout from the list:

  • These salaries aren’t really the highest paying jobs in the U.S. We all know of people making way more than $180K.  So, I’m not sure how Glassdoor actually came up this list, besides maybe asking going down to a coffee shop and just asking some folks. Hell, I know at least three people at Glassdoor, myself, who are making more than $180K, and not working in any of these jobs!
  • Most people think doctors make way more than $180K. Many do – surgeons for example. Anesthesiologists make way more than $180K. Most specialized medical docs make more than $180K. So, who makes $180K? Your family doc. The one who sees your snotty-faced kid. That’s why there is a shortage of family docs!
  • Being a lawyer is the lone hold out where you don’t have to know math and science and still get a good paying job on the list! Oh, and most sales jobs. We forget to tell kids that, a decent sales person can make more than almost all of these jobs on the highest paying list.

Get kids focused on good grades

So, what does this list tell you?  First, go take the football out of little Johnny’s hands and put a calculator in it! More kids will get money to go to college for their grades, then their athletic prowess.

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The University of Alabama will pay your kid to go to school for free for having a 32 on their ACT. That is probably easier then getting Alabama head football coach Nick Saban to come visit. I know; you still have to live in Alabama, but it’s a free education.

As Fast Company points out, you don’t really need to make all that money anyway.

Yes, $70,000 is the limit you need to be happy, or at least that’s what I keep telling my wife. I don’t think she’s buying that nonsense either!

This was originally published on Tim Sackett’s blog, The Tim Sackett Project.

Tim Sackett, MS, SPHR is executive vice president of HRU Technical Resources, a contingent staffing firm in Lansing, MI. Tim has 20 years of HR and talent background split evenly between corporate HR gigs among the Fortune 500 and the HR vendor community ? so he gets it from both sides of the desk. A frequent contributor to the talent blog Fistful of Talent, Tim also speaks at many HR conferences and events. Contact him here.