As someone who double majors in English and Journalism, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I probably won’t be rolling in hundred dollar bills right after graduation. For me, that’s okay because I know I will love my job. For others, money is the main source of inspiration.
If you’re thinking maybe it wasn’t wise to take up anthropology or education (although props — no major shaming here), look no further. These are the best paying jobs of 2015, and it’s never too late to change your major.
1. Sales Engineer
Engineers, as you probably know, are incredibly smart; therefore, they are compensated accordingly. Sales engineers sell scientific or technological products and services to businesses. During your education, you will become well versed in the makings of certain products and how those pieces function scientifically. According to Forbes, this is the number one job for women right now because we make up only 5% of this workforce. The salary isn’t too shabby either – you’d rake in around $130,000 a year.
These titles are grouped together as one because of how closely related they are to one another. Astronomers study planets, suns, moons, and much more – both in our own solar system and others. They look at how the universe works as a whole. Physicists identify the principles governing the structures and behaviors of all matter, as well as how energy is made, transferred, and how it interacts with matter. Sound confusing? It is. Women make up about a quarter of those in these fields and make around $118,000.
Warning: I took an astronomy class once because I thought I’d get to stare at the stars. I was so wrong. This is hard, so those of you pursuing this, I commend you.
3. Petroleum Engineer
Another one of Forbes highest paid jobs lands in the engineering category. Since so much of our daily life is reliant on petroleum, this is a highly coveted position. Petroleum engineers work with geologists to better understand the geologic formation of the area containing the oil and gas. From there, they will then determine drilling methods and monitor the drilling from start to finish. This is a risky job, so these engineers make their own drilling equipment to ensure the job proceed as smoothly as possible. A quarter of this career field is made up of women who earn about $104,000 each year.
Pharmacists do much more than just count pills and dump them into bottles. They understand the complete biological makeup of drugs to make sure you’re not taking a combination of something that is harmful to your body. They have the authority to override doctors’ orders and even make their own suggestions on which medications you should be taking. Pharmacists will give you advice on how to take your medication and what the side effects may be. They truly know the ins and outs of the pills you know nothing of. After a lot of difficult schooling, pharmacists make around $99,000 yearly.
Hold up. Something that isn’t STEM related has made it into the Lala’s top 10 best paying jobs of 2015? Upholstery is a growing trend for women, who currently make up only 9% of those in this profession. Upholsterers repair the frames, springs, and upholstery of all different types of furniture. They measure, cut, sew, glue, tack – whatever it takes to make your furniture look like a work of art. Forbes reports that as of 2015, women make around $95,000 annually.
This field is largely dominated by men, as women make up only 6% of this field. Architecture is not easy by any means and the amount of necessary schooling, internships, co-ops, and jobs make people shy away from this competitive career choice. Architects survey the land for a proposed building, draw up plans for the entire structure, and then closely monitor the building process. They are responsible for the buildings, skyscrapers, homes, etc. that we all use on a daily basis. According to the U.S. News & World Report, the average architect brings in around $90,000 a year.
Women make up nearly half of those in this field, but there are still jobs to be had. Economists conduct extensive research, collect data, analyze that data, monitor growing and decreasing economic trends, and develop specific economic forecasts. They focus heavily on energy costs, inflation, deflation, interest rates, employment rates, etc. Their worlds revolve around money, so it’s only fair that they be compensated handsomely. The U.S. News & World Report states the average salary is around $88,000 a year.
8. Nurse Practitioner
Nurse practitioners end up on the top best-paid lists for women each year. It takes a lot of schooling, clinicals, and endless training to become a successful nurse practitioner. Essentially, those in this field never stop learning because medicine is always advancing, meaning nurses have to be on top of the developing trends. Although females make up the vast majority of nurse practitioners, it is still competitive in cities across the U.S. Forbes states the average earnings for a nurse practitioner each year shake out to about $88,000.
Another job that ends up on best-paid lists each year happens to be lawyers. Lawyers go through four years of undergraduate school and then go on to law school before they can take a state tested bar exam. The entire process can take anywhere from eight to ten years, so it is not for the faint of heart. Lawyers can hold a multitude of jobs, so it’s not all like you see in movies and TV shows. The average yearly earnings, according to the US News & World Report, for a female lawyer come in at about $82,000.
10. Aircraft Mechanic
Aircraft mechanics are not usually women, which comprise only 3% of this field. It is extremely competitive as the training and schooling can be difficult – much like all of the jobs on this list. Aircraft mechanics take care of airplanes’ electrical systems and complete daily mechanical maintenance. They abide by the Federal Aviation Administration to complete scheduled aviation inspection before planes leave the tarmac. Forbes states that women in this field make $79,000 a year — not too shabby at all.