Seven Hot Jobs that Pay Over 70k

January 16, 2013 |


[Originally published on]

When it comes to planning for your financial future, securing a job in a growing industry might be your best bet. But, which jobs have the most promise for a $70K (or higher) payday?

According to online salary database,, industries on the rise include technology, engineering, and finance. “Jobs in these industries are ‘hot’ because they are in high-demand, rapidly growing fields, and are expected to experience positive growth, both in pay and job opportunities,” says Katie Bardaro, Director of Analytics at PayScale.

Here are seven jobs that typically pay over $70,000, each with a predicted growth rate of over 14 percent, the average rate of all jobs as predicted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Petroleum Geologist
Median Pay: $100,000

The oil and gas industry frequently appears in lists of industries that are thriving. A petroleum geologist plays a key role in finding oil, using various sciences to discover potential oil traps. A bachelor’s degree is required, though some positions require candidates to have a master’s degree in geology or petroleum engineering.

Find petroleum geologist jobs

Data Scientist, IT
Median Pay: $91,500

Big Data is technology’s newest player and it’s here to stay, Bardaro says. “In today’s world, everyone wants to collect and analyze data to make their products and businesses more successful,” she explains. A data scientist is required to spot trends in data, so this career might be a good fit for you if you are inquisitive, patient, and analytic. A bachelor’s degree is required.

Find data scientist jobs

Management Consultant
Median Pay: $87,400

With the economy still in recovery from the Great Recession, businesses need to be strategic about their choices. A management consultant can help a business decide the best path of action to take when it comes to making decisions about growth, employees, and products. Ideally, a management consultant helps render businesses more successful. This job typically requires a bachelor’s degree.

Find management consultant jobs

Portfolio Manager
Median Pay: $84,500

With the uncertainty of the economy, it’s good to have a team of professionals overseeing portfolios, explains Bardaro. “Typically, portfolio managers work for a company, rather than an individual, managing financials to ensure they grow year over year, to make sure the boat doesn’t sink,” she says. This job typically requires a bachelor’s degree.

Find portfolio manager jobs

Clinical Engineer, Medical Devices
Median Pay: $72,600

The demand for healthcare services rises with our increasing population. As baby boomers age, the need ultrasound machines, dialysis machines, and other medical devices will continue to multiply. A clinical engineer is responsible for responding to this need by making these devices smarter, more technologically advanced. This job requires a bachelor’s degree.

Find clinical engineering jobs

Content Strategist
Median Pay: $72,100

If you are a creative thinker who understands how to make a brand appeal to a wide audience, you might be well-suited for a career as a content strategist. Bridget Quigg, content strategist at a Seattle, WA tech startup, enjoys a lot of variety in her career. “I love my job. It’s creative almost 100 percent of the time. Infographics, whitepapers, articles, blog posts – I get to make all kinds of topics shine,” says Quigg. Typically, a person in this career holds a bachelor’s degree.

Find content strategist jobs

Android Software Developer
Median Pay: $70,500

Next time you are waiting on line at the coffee shop, look around and notice how many patrons are using their phones. “Smartphone usage is on the rise; mobile devices have become one of the main ways people consume media,” says Bardaro. If you have ideas for great apps and an understanding of the Android operating system and software development, you might enjoy this career.

Find Android developer jobs
Source: All salary and education data provided by online salary database Salaries listed are median, annual pay for workers with five to eight years of experience and include all bonuses, commissions or profit sharing. The projected growth rate is the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ forecast of the percentage job growth between 2010 and 2020.

About Ho Lin

Ho Lin is an editor at His interests include naval history, the New York football Giants, and loud rock music.


  1. Tanker Chief says:

    And weren't they supposed to be the backbone of growth segment industries?

  2. lizard says:

    Ain't nothing changed since nam, war's over, soldiers and dogs keep off the grass. They are gonna do to these poor guys the same thing they did to us. May GOD help them and curse the system that is allowing it to happen yet again.

  3. Tanker Chief says:

    Um, where's the CINC's so-called "green jobs" that pay so well…hmmmm?

    • Thomas Doyle says:

      Another lib lie!

    • FYI for veterans looking to go into CT ,Swat , DEA, ECT it helps if you have police experience to go along military .Chicago Police are looking to hire 1000 to 2000 in the next 3 years because we have that many that can retire! You can go on to see as well as city of Chicago average patrolman within 5-6 years make 86 k including benefits

    • Ben says:

      Ask your do nothing Republican brethren in Congress that try and block every initiative. You can't support them and then complain when things don't get done.

  4. Jarhead says:

    Really??? Should have gone to school instead of sitting around complaining. Do something for yourselves, don't wait around for someone to do it for you. The article is simply giving direction to vets as to what career fields are viable and pay well. Put away the hankies and sob stories.

    • cloudbumper says:

      Amen Jarhead, Amen

    • Gchaceann says:

      I like this post it sounds like it came from an educational, motivated, driven individual. Great job jar head! Instead of blaming the system, blame yourself for not doing something about it! Sheesh. I’m a vet and I thought that nothing was out there for me. I used my educational benefits to work on my masters in accounting, and currently working on my MBA. Now what. Yes it can be stressful and discouraging but how dare you vets who are so much more capable than civilians to not do anything but just whine and complain. I’m sick and tired of this bullshit. Grow up, keep your head up. My professor is so true about his comment. Everyone is intelligent, in some way, giving the benefit of the doubt, and it’s what determines you to be smart in how to go about going, and using your intelligence.

      • Jake says:

        I’m on the same page as you. After 4 years in the marines I got out. Put my self through school. Worked and finished my masters in civil engineering and now have a great job. Stop complaining and do some work. Nothing is free in this world.

        • jhoax says:

          If unemployment was 1% it's the individual.. if it's 8% or 30% like the great depression is it still the individuals fault?.. I agree we need to adapt to the future of work, but the service industry is crap. There need to be clamps on global companies that operate in the US so they can assist poor countries and we can keep our dollar value and have jobs that matter.. my 2cent's from a GED holder

        • Naz says:

          You all are talking about Vets that came out mostly 100% functioning.
          Where are the job for the Vets that has had 14 surgeries in last nine years with no support or economic system backing them besides the little the VA does. Sure Jar Head you had the chance to do something after the service good for you. But there are many out there that have seen over 400 doctors in last 9 years and dealing with permanent and injuries, as well as still having to do with difficulties of life.
          I did you part of my GI bill in that 10 year span.. But having so many surgeries (12) during that time, I could not get my degree finished.. And when I filed for extension, denied…
          I also worked during the time for most of those surgeries, but I can tell all of you this, companies do not pay $70k a year to people with all my disabilities..
          So Jar head, don’t be so cavalier about broad based topics when, you only know things you experienced first hand.
          Think outside the box, not all of us came back ok.

      • That’s true with education I used my GI in associates and did my BA while in PD they paid for the degree while I also got the post GI bill 1,500 in benefits a month there should be no excuse with a post grad degree and military I would think that we would defiantly be a better catch than an Ivy League guy! ” He went to Harvard with MBA !, So this marine, Navy commando , Army SF went to a state university and got his degree MBA but blew out many heads of terrorists insurgents ! I know who I’ll hire!

  5. someone who is tire says:

    these articles are a feel good story but misleading. Need to be more realistic, show us what really is the requirement to be these guys and see if these type of jobs are realistically achievable by military personnel. But there is nobody really holding these type of misleading journalism for accountability.

    • john says:

      I am a 50 yr vet who was laid off over 2.5 years ago after 17yrs in mgnt w G.M. Lost the house, the car, the farm, everything. 6 weeks away from getting my degree in aeronautics. Have been working as a civil service employee w the government. I plan on taking my degree the government helped pay for and run! The nepotism in this system is rampant! Four job interviews next week, nobody is going to get these better jobs unless you get off your butt and do something about it!

    • Brent McHenry says:

      being a Marine, I know I speak for many that served with me when I say that we were always expected to adapt and overcome any and all obstacles… What is up your butt that you look down on military personnel so much? I am almost done with my Computer Science bachelors degree and will go on to work on my masters once I find a job in this ever-increasing field. There are three jobs that fit the CS category above, so I feel fine about my career choice!! And I was a "stupid" GRUNT!!!

  6. Darryle says:

    Maybe that's way my home is worth 150,000 less. Crooks. Appraisers, Banks,Realtor's, and Wall Street.

    • RIK says:

      people have gotten lazy over the past 50+ years. I want it now but cant pay for it. CREDIT CREDIT CREDIT -pay for it later. well it came time to pay . so who is the crooks/appraisers,banks/realtors/wall street or just the people who loved the system when it worked for them???? no one forced you to take out a loan, but someone was there to let you borrow the money when YOU wanted it…..if everyone paid what they owe-signed for-your house (& mine) would be still worth more money….

  7. Sgt Lambert says:

    I dont understand why people in general think that they can get a job making 60000 plus a year with no degree or experience. As far as veterans go I know how hard it is to get a degree on active duty especially being deployed but its possible. Granted I messed up my first enlistment this second one I got an associates degree which isnt much but its something. Think about all of the other thousands if not millions of veterans getting out and think about where they are in your city and wonder how many of them are going to go for the job you want. If you arent bringing anything thing to the table except saying you are a veteran more than likely you wont be getting a job. 36 months of gi bill will get you a bachelors and you can intern if you need experience in something but dont think for a chance you will eas and make 70k. I used to think so until I thought about who would pay a pvt 50k even in the military

    • searchin' says:

      Don't let people fool you into thinking a degree is an automatic ticket either. In this economy there are degree holders working at fast food restaurants and delivering pizzas to make ends meet. Just have to keep a good attitude and keep striving for your goals. Heck I went back to school even after I got my undergrad degree because I couldn't find a decent job. At least I'm collecting grants for food & shelter, and school is mostly paid for through G.I. bill. Good Luck!

      • Sgt. Bert says:

        True that! A degree doesn’t guarantee a job it simply broaden one’s options. I have been in the military for about seven years, and I only had 19 college credits when I came in. Of course, I couldn’t take any college course in the first due to technical school and upgrade training for my current “MOS”. Within six years I manage to complete my BA in Criminal Justice, a MS degree in Emergency Management, and earned 28 credits hours towards a PhD in Psychology. And yes, I have been deployed within those six years. It is not easy, but it is possible to obtain a degree while in the service. Believe it or not, I will not leave the military right now to go search for jobs—I am just a little Sgt with minimal experience. During this recessionary time or so-called “slow recovery” it is not easy to get a job… Good luck!

    • Rick says:

      I have a BS in Information Technology and ten years experience. lousy my job to the younger kids.I made decent money…then. I spent two Gerard looking for honest work and have had to take part time work doing bed repair and placement at a hospital making minimum wage. After 22 year Naval career my four year degree doesn't amount to much.

    • The Shadow` says:

      Way to tell it like it is! Your comments gave me a flash-back to when I was a 43 year old retired vet taking evening classes with 18-24 year old students to finish up my degree. That GI Bill check surely helped supplement my income. Six classes later, I submitted the transcrips to the university of Maryland University College, along with the transcrips from seven other colleges that I had thaken classes with over my trwnty years of active duty. I received my degree but what's funny is I have only been to Maryland once and it was not at UMUC. Several years later, with more than twentyeight years experience in my profession, that piece of paper from UMUC was the deciding factor that got me over the hump and into management. Simply put, "half stepping is okay, as long as you stay on course", to be successful, one must set realistic goals, and stay on course.

  8. Oorah says:

    I’m a recently transitioned Marine vet. 4.5 yrs, hon. Busted my ass and finished my B.A. while Active. Getting my MBA in Project Mgmt now at night. Daylight, I’m a Key Acct Coordinator onboarding a high profile company. The answer is go bust your ass. Network. You have no $ right now? Enroll in college, go to school on campus (at least one class) and there’s an opportunity to advance amd rent $. Get a side job to pay car note, etc. My training in the military (hazmat/DG compliance courses for being an ammo tech) is how I am now the explosives expert for my company. Pick a goal, go after it, sell yourself, build your empire. When I first separated, I wasn’t sure anyone needed my skills; once I put my feelers out I ended up in the right direction. I won’t do this forever…..I actually hate my job….but I can live a good life, pay bills, etc and be comfortable. And I have a good foundation for growth. Anything is possible.

  9. geoffreys says:

    I think that if you work at it you will succeed. Folks, I'm a high school drop-out and I make over 100k per year doing IT. Times have changed so, it may not be possible to do that anymore but, my point is, if you decide to do it, you can. There are still over 300k jobs per year that go unfilled in IT. Been at it for about 14 years now and that's why I'm where I'm at now however, even my very first job I grossed 60k per year. You can do it, put your heads down and make it happen. You have skills the civ's have no idea of. Make use of them, find the way! If you cant find it, make it!

  10. Tom says:

    I got out of the Corps and became a firefighter. Most urban and suburban cities pay about 60k to start with great bennies. Vets preference of ten percent on the exam too. And is there a better place for us grunts than the fire department. Ultimate civilian team game.

  11. Michael says:

    I went to a trade school for CDL training, heavy equipment, and crane operations. The GI Bill covered it, it lasted four months, and I'm on the way to earning 100k+ in my first year. The energy industry is where it's at for high paying jobs. Do your research online and you'll be pleasantly surprised at what's out there. The GI Bill covers way more than you think it does.

    • Eddie says:

      live in California. Can you tell me where you got your CDL, heavy equipment, and crane training? If you can earn close to 100K with just four months of training, I'll do it.

    • elise says:

      Can you tell me where it is you work or what you searched for when looking for a job? My husband recently separated too and got his CDL.

      • TSCoastie says:

        search for NCCER heavy equipment operations. Being a former instructor in the USCG and then retiring and taking the HVAC curriculum at a school that used the NCCER publications was a great blessing. Meaning, they really know how to put the training material in order. Low and behold, I did some more research and found the NCCER's havey equipment school in Gainsville, FL that accepts GI-Bill! The last time I check (2009), I spoke to a really nice lady there at NCCER and the cost was about 15,000 and I think took 5 weeks of intense heavy equipment operation with hands on training and certification. If I didn't get the job that I am currenly in, I would have signed up. There was job placement too; however, you might have to go where the jobs are. It is worth checking into at the least. Best regards. TS, SCPO, USCG, Retired.

  12. Kashmp1982 says:

    If you have a clearance, go contracting route and do online college. I do not have a Degree but I make six figures and 90k is tax free. I got out three months ago and did not waste a min. looking for stateside jobs. Get your resumes up to speed, research, and apply. I am not gonna waste time saving peanuts working with lazy people. You all are better than that-

    • Gary Van Maanen says:


      How did you made 90K tax Free I am a retired officer with many degrees

      Live in the Phoenix Area Hope to hear

    • Pat says:

      Hello,, what do you work as? I believe you're working overseas in Middle East as it seems that you are making 90K tax free salary. I also had a clearance while I was on Active Duty. However, my clearance expired 2 years ago.

      Will await to hear from you.

    • Jim Pascua says:

      Can you tell me what company do you work with. Just got out of the Army (Lgistics) and looking for a job in Afghanistan. Thanks.

  13. CyberTrooper says:

    I'm sitting on 2 masters degrees, Telecom and Cybersecurity, spent 20 years working for IBM, AT&T and Verizon, Field Grade Army Officer, active TS clearance, sold to everyone from Fortune-5 CEOs to Flag Officers, and I got laid off in October. I spend 8 hours a day looking and sending apps and resumes out, and I have had one interview. The country is screwed. Most of the rest of the company was laid off the day after the election. Being a vet, having an education, working hard your entire professional life means NOTHING anymore. I'll probably finish my career where it started… McDonalds.

    • Chinook57 says:

      Ummm, I'm not far off from where you are. I have a BS and some grad work. Got out, finished a certificate program that took 18 months 6 months ago and after being out two years and a few hundred apps and calls, its like I hit a wall. Whats worse is I have applied for over 100 gov jobs and I get referals and a few interviews but its rather obvious the interviews are cursory.

    • bob says:

      I was with Verizon Wireless for almost 11 years and got laid off. Like most of you, I have my BA degree as well as experience but it took me almost 2 years to find a job. I now make about $65,000 a year working as contractor for the military and an additional 8-10k in the reserves as a MSgt/E-7.

      My advise is to network with organization that you are worked with in the past. Use your military resources to move you in the right direction. Network with people you knew on active duty and most of all, don't give up. You never know who may be able to assist you.

    • AgingDevilDog50 says:

      I have a B.S. w/ Operations Mgmt emphasis, almost 13 years w/ AT&T before they forced me into early retirement (at ripe old age of 48). They just had to reduce the number of technicians in our work group, so I got the axe being lowest on seniority list. I understand that the corporate world needs to follow their business plans & strategies, but getting back into work force is riddled with trap-doors and complexities I never anticipated. I am hopeful that hard work, fine-tuning my skills and persistence results in an improved career opportunity. Semper Fi to all veterans out there who find themselves in similar circumstances.

  14. Xintus-1765 says:

    Very interesting…

  15. TOP COP says:

    Hmmmm…… wife took the time to get a 4 year degree and makes 70k but I have no degree and make 80k as a cop. In today’s economy my job security is great!! I guess a degree sort of depends on the career. Then it’s not what you know but who you know and how well you market your self. I will complete my degree in time but its not a requirement just a check in the box.

    • mike says:

      Goes to show you cops are overpaid. You forgot to mention with the city sanctioned overtime you can make $120K being little more than bar bouncers on the weekends!

      • Freddie says:

        Mike you're a horrible person. If your drive into your driveway and notice your window is broken and some stranger is walking around in your house; or someone is assaulting you or someone you care about, make sure you don't bother an "overpaid" cop. Those guys put their lives on the line everytime they put on their uniforms and you call that overpaid?

  16. johnd says:

    There are millions unemployed or underemployed. I got out because I could not believe how many stupid and/or scamming people were in the Air Force. I was in Germany and smiled when they shut down most of those bases over there. Nothing but waste anyhow. Companies only care about their bottom line and unionized government jobs are the only square deals anymore. The people at the top in corporate America own it all and take all the gravy from the table. The "Occupy.." movement showed there is a tension between the haves and the have-nots! Just wait until they start cutting the budget of this government dependent economy!! REVOLUTION!

  17. Tyrone says:

    I graduated from x-ray (radiologic technologist) school in 1999. Made $72,000 in 2004. It's really the best kept secret that's why it's not on this list. The market has changed (overcrowded) but the potential is still there to make money. I am a veteran who took the opportunity to go to a Dept. of Veteran Affairs technology program. It behooves you to look into what is still here in the USA. OPPORTUNITY.

    • sharri51 says:

      Thanks, My son was recently turned down by the AF recruiters so he is working on a AAS in Radiologic technology. That is step one of three to finish as a PA. He is not looking at he money part as much as funding his education and to give him some patient handling experience.

  18. sharri51 says:

    I'm reading a lot of whining and complaining on here. One thing the military did not teach us is to feel sorry for ourselves. There are loads of great suggestions on here from your brothers in arms. Nothing is free, so get off the couch and get busy. Recruiters are looking at three things on your ressume; Experience, Education & certifications. The GI bill will pay for your education and in many cases your certifications too. All you have to do is work hard, talk to people and when the path seems blocked, find another way.

  19. John says:

    Here's the bottom line folks,,,when I enlisted in 1981 a clooege degree was a nice to have. Most of the work force was based on WHAT you know and not some fancy piece of paper. Just like our leadership in the military. Now that all of the experience is worth nothing, companies want everything now instead of the Old school (Do it Right the First Time) mentality, they're more worried about their perceived image up front and now which leads to the younger kids with a degree getting the leadership rolls instead of a balance to include us ol' timers that walk the talk . What a shame that they're dragging down our country and couldn't care less unless it had a profit for them.

  20. I too went back to school and spent 35000. to get my bachelors degree in administration, what has it gotten me? No interviews, no job offers and a job that pays me 14.40 an hour for a parttime admini assitant position with UPS Freight. What is wrong with our companies out there? Don't they want experienced individuals especially a 23 yr veteran to be in their employ? I don't get it unless my age has something to do with it, after all I am 60 now but have oodles of experience to offer and not only that, but my family deserves better. So how about it america, hire veterans.

    MSgt(ret'd) Stephen W. Larabie
    Manassas, VA

  21. SSG Sean M. says:

    Just chimin in here. I got my AA from a trade school back in 2003, due to deployments and health could not get a 4-yr degree…used up my GI Bill and did not qualify to convert to a post 9-11 plan.

    Now I make $62k a year because of my experience.

    I suppose one has to pick your fights and go for it. I've struggled for the last decade and will not rely on others for help, including the VA.

    Not everything in life is an easy, so I don't expect a handout.

  22. todaywithray says:

    I am 70 years old. If your persistent and consistent, and never, never give up you will prevail in the job market. Fall down seven times get up eight! Stay positive and never give up on your dreams and goals. Found work at 70 with health benefits.

  23. Travis says:

    Mr. Stanfeild

    So what would be the best steps to becoming an appraiser in todays era with no real estate experience and time is running out before exit upon military?

  24. Kelly says:

    How do you become a Real Estate appraiser? Do you know of any Appraiser schools in the Tampa Bay area? Would the GI Bill pay for it? How long does the school take? I think this is something I'd be good at. I was a military cop for 20 years, investigated and estimated vehicle accident damages for years and got pretty good at it. Thanks, KF

  25. Cyndi Shue says:

    I do caution that appraisers be skilled in at least one or some of the trades. I've experienced a couple of appraisers who "wing it" and their assessments show it. My house was not even pictured in the appraisal – it was a neighbor's house and the upgrades were not noted. I trust someone with a trades background to help me buy the most costly investment of my lifetime.

  26. C says:

    70% of the military vote conservative. If we leave who will protect your lazy liberal behind and ensure your freedom to speak?

  27. V says:

    Don’t speak in such absolutest terms. “We” don’t all vote alike, and your stats are antiquated. “We” liberals are in the Armed Forces as well…

  28. Doug says:

    That explains our Country’s financial situation.

  29. David says:

    Check out your local state licensing requirements for specifics. You can also get all of the necessary training online or through local courses offered by