Best Paid Careers for the Future

This article discusses five of the highest paying careers of the future, all of which are in fields that are expected to expand rapidly in the coming decade. It provides career descriptions, median salaries, and projected job growth for these occupations.

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Best Paid Career Options for the Future

The world is changing rapidly and dramatically due to advances in science, technology, and communications. Which careers will be the most lucrative in the future? Which professions are expected to add the most jobs in the coming years? Several industries that are booming now - health care, technology, and finance - should offer many job opportunities in the future that pay very well. In this article, read about careers in these fields that pay six-figure salaries, on average.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Financial Manager $121,750 7%
Computer and Information Systems Manager $135,800 15%
Nurse Anesthetist, Nurse Midwive, and Nurse Practitioner $107,460 31%
Software Developers $102,280 17%
Actuaries $100,610 18%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Information for the Best Paid Careers for the Future

Financial Manager

Financial managers oversee the financial well-being of organizations and companies by drafting plans and strategies to reach short and long-term financial goals, analyzing financial data and writing financial reports, and managing the investments organizations make. They work in a diverse array of industries, including insurance and banking. To become a financial manager, you need both a bachelor's degree and significant experience (five years or more) working in finance or business, e.g. as an auditor, accountant, or financial analyst.

Computer and Information Systems Manager

Computer and information systems managers, also called information technology (IT) managers or IT project managers, oversee, plan, design, and implement computer systems for organizations. They manage the overall IT goals of companies and organizations, learn about new technologies, and oversee the use of existing and new hardware and software to reach those goals. To become a computer or information systems manager, you need a bachelor's degree in computer science, information science, or a related field and at least five years' experience working in IT. Candidates are increasingly desired to have an MBA as well. Experts predict this field will add many very well paid jobs in the coming years.

Nurse Anesthetist, Nurse Midwife, and Nurse Practitioner

These nursing careers should expand very rapidly in the coming decade, adding jobs at a rate of 31%, which is much greater than average. Nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners, known collectively as APRNs, or advanced practice registered nurses, coordinate and provide primary and specialized health care services to patients. While they all share many of the same duties, they each have specific responsibilities. Nurse anesthetists administer general or local anesthesia to patients, nurse midwives provide women's wellness and gynecological care, and nurse practitioners provide specialty and primary care, often for a specific demographic. They work in hospitals, clinics, schools, and doctor's offices, and they must have at least a master's degree in one of the APRN specialties. Almost every state requires these professionals to be licensed.

Software Developer

Another lucrative career field, and one that will likely add jobs at a rapid rate in the future, is software development. Software developers consist of both applications developers and systems software developers, who design and develop applications or operating systems, respectively, for computers and other devices. Typically, developers are only responsible for drafting and designing an app or system, though some do take on the actual programming aspects of the project. To enter this field, you need at least a bachelor's degree in computer science and excellent programming skills.


Actuaries use statistics and math to predict risk and analyze the monetary consequences of risk for government agencies and businesses, such as consulting firms, banks, and insurance companies. They also help these organizations enact policies to minimize the costs of taking risks. Almost 75% of all actuaries work for finance and insurance companies. This very high-paying profession is expected to add jobs much faster than average in the future. To become an actuary, you need strong business, statistics, and math skills and a bachelor's degree.

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