Top Paying Jobs of 2014

The top paying jobs for 2014 may be surprising to many people, as it is not necessarily doctors, lawyers and airline pilots, although these positions do rank as the highest paying jobs according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, there are other career choices that are also predicted to become some of the highest paying jobs of 2014.

Petroleum Engineers

As fossil fuel deposits become more scarce, new technology must be created to allow petroleum companies to extract oil and gas from the earth. A petroleum engineer focuses on finding new ways to achieve those goals. Petroleum engineers must have at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering, and many employers require experience, which means those seeking this career may need to work as an intern or through a cooperative engineering program. The average salary for these positions is $114,000 per year and jobs are expected to increase by 17 percent.

Marketing Manager

The responsibilities of a marketing manager include overseeing the advertising, promotions and marketing plans for a company, whether it be a non-profit or for-profit business. Their staff include art directors, salesmen, financial staff and public relations departments to promote the business. Most marketing managers have a bachelor’s degree or higher in advertising or marketing, although it may be possible to be promoted to a manager’s position from a lower position without a college degree. The average salary for a marketing manager is over $108,000 per year, and careers are expected to grow by 14 percent over the next decade.

Political Scientist

top paying jobs for 2014For those who enjoy studying the origin, development and operation of the political process, a political scientist position is perfect. The majority of these positions are found in the governmental sector, but many private organizations also hire individuals with an understanding of political science. The education requirements are stricter, with most employers requiring at least a master’s level degree, while some require a doctorate level. The average salary is $107,420 per year, and careers are expected to grow by 8 percent.

Software Developer

In a world where technology is becoming increasingly prevalent, it is no wonder that position in the software development field are in demand and high paying. Software runs everything from computer games to high-tech medical equipment, and technology has an ever-growing need for updated or new software to keep these machines running. The average salary for a software developer is $90,000 and jobs are expected to increase by 30 percent over the next few years. Many companies require a software developer to have at least a bachelor’s degree, while some require master’s level education. However, many software developers have no college level education, but these instances are rare. It is recommended that anyone who wants to become a software developer at least become certified as a Software Development Professional.

Physician’s Assistant

A physician’s assistant does much of the same things that a doctor does, examining patients, providing diagnosis, and prescribing medications. The only difference is that a physician’s assistant must work under the supervision of a licensed physician. Careers as a physicians assistant are expected to increase by 30 percent over the next decade, and the average salary is $90,000. Although becoming a physician’s assistant requires a bachelor’s degree and two-years in a physician’s assistant program, the education requirements are significantly less than becoming a doctor.

General and Operations Managers

General or operations managers coordinate and plan for private, as well as public, sector organizations by formulating policies, managing the daily operations and personnel. Because general and operations managers are found in a wide variety of organizations, specific job duties are difficult to pinpoint. The average salary for these positions is $95,440, although in some industries the pay is significantly higher while in others it is significantly lower. Although most companies require those in this position to have at least a bachelor’s degree, there are some who will substitute experience with education.

Registered Nurse

With the current governmental focus on healthcare, the need for registered nurses is expected to increase by 26 percent over the next few years. Nurses care for sick or injured patients, in either a hospital setting or doctor’s office. Nurses who specialize in a particular health field, such as oncology, pediatrics or critical care, may actually earn more than the average salary of $65,000. Education requirements are a diploma from an accredited nursing school or two-year college. Nurses who choose specialized care often must obtain at least a bachelor’s degree.


An accountant examines the finances of companies and individuals, tracking income and expenses, as well as reporting to company officials, local, state and federal agencies. Accountants require good organizational skills, mathematical ability and be able to communicate effectively. Most of these positions require a bachelor’s degree, although some companies do require a master’s level degree. Accounting positions are expected to increase by 30 percent over the next decade, and earn an average of $65,000 per year.

Although the majority of these positions require some post-high school education, there are instances where promotions and on-the-job experience have permitted those without college degrees to succeed in those positions.