Jobs that Pay $90,000
The more money you earn, the more you spend -- or so goes the old saying. The cautionary advice warns cash-strapped dreamers that earning more money won't solve all your problems and you'll actually find yourself just as broke as before you were raking in the dough.
While that may be true for many people, you probably wouldn't brush away the chance to receive a bigger paycheck. The extra income could give you more mad money, be a chance to boost your savings account, or keep you from living paycheck to paycheck. With a national median income of $42,504 a salary nearly triple that amount would be a big financial boost for many Americans.
To give you an overview of who's earning these salaries, we put together a list of 10 jobs with salaries in the $90,000* range. In addition to their salaries, you'll find the prerequisites necessary to obtain these jobs and the industries that employ the most of each occupation.
Here are 10 jobs that earn between $90,000 and $99,999:
1. Computer hardware engineers are invested in the research, conception and manufacturing of computer hardware, which includes computer monitors, keyboards, chips and other similar items.**
Requirements: Computer hardware engineers should have at least an undergraduate engineering degree with coursework pertaining to their field.***
Top industries: Computer systems design and related services; semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing; computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing.
Annual median salary: $91,860
2. Postsecondary health specialties teachers specialize in a variety of medical fields, including veterinary medicine, dentistry, therapy, pharmacy and others.
Requirements: Most universities require a Ph.D. for permanent positions, but a master's degree is often acceptable for part-time or temporary teachers.
Top industries: Colleges, universities and professional schools; junior colleges; general medical and surgical hospitals.
Annual median salary: $98,234
3. Postsecondary business teachers teach courses on business administration, finance, marketing and other related topics at colleges, universities and vocational schools.
Requirements: To obtain a full-time, permanent position, business teachers should have a master's degree with the right combination of experience or a Ph.D.
Top industries: Colleges, universities and professional schools; junior colleges; business schools and computer and management training.
Annual median salary: $98,096
4. Computer and information research scientists use their research to address new problems in computer software and hardware. Research scientists working in universities might focus on theory more than those working for other employers.
Requirements: Research scientists need a Ph.D. (most likely in computer science), though you can find some lower-level jobs with a bachelor's or master's.
Top industries: Computer systems design and related services; federal executive branch (OES designation); scientific research and development services.
Annual median salary: $97,970
5. Physicists study the principles of motion, energy, structure and matter. Whether they concentrate on applied sciences or take a more theoretical route, all physicists work toward understanding how the laws of physics impact the universe.
Requirements: A Ph.D. in physics and related work and research experience are necessary for teaching and research work.
Top industries: Scientific research and development services; federal executive branch (OES designation); colleges, universities and professional schools.
Annual median salary: $96,850
6. Marketing managers formulate a marketing firm's strategy by targeting customers, appropriate markets and responding to competition. They work with other marketing professionals to publicize via radio, TV, the Internet and other outlets.
Requirements: Many employers require a four-year or graduate degree in business administration with coursework related to your specific industry.
Top industries: Management of companies and enterprises; computer systems design and related services; management, scientific and technical consulting services.
Annual median salary: $95,320
7. Sales managers oversee a company's sales strategy, which can mean training salespeople and assigning territories to cover. They help the company reach its sales goals as well as maintain good relationships with vendors and distributors.
Requirements: A college or graduate degree and a relevant internship or experience in your industry.
Top industries: Management of companies and enterprises; automobile dealers; wholesale electronic markets and agents and brokers.
Annual median salary: $94,910
8. Petroleum engineers look for drilling locations that contain natural gas or oil. They study the geographic traits of the sites and work with other specialists to find the most efficient way to pump out the oil or gas.
Requirements: Entry-level engineering positions require at least a bachelor's degree in engineering, though academic work in other sciences can be helpful.
Top industries: Oil and gas extraction; support activities for mining; petroleum and coal products manufacturing.
Annual median salary: $94,330
9. Optometrists provide eye care to patients who need exams, glasses, contact lenses or other vision-related services. They test and treat patients for vision problems and diseases, such as color blindness and glaucoma.
Requirements: A Doctorate of Optometry is required to be a practicing optometrist, and a residency can boost your chances of landing a job.
Top industries: Offices of other health practitioners; offices of physicians; health and personal care stores.
Annual median salary: $93,800
10. Postsecondary atmospheric, earth, marine and space sciences teachers teach courses on various physical sciences, excluding chemistry and physics. They divide their time between the teaching in the classroom and researching their specialty.
Requirements: Postsecondary teachers will need at least a master's degree in order to teach, parttime or temporarily, while full-time, tenure-track positions require a Ph.D.
Top industries: Colleges, universities and professional schools; junior colleges.
Annual median salary: $93,606
* Salary data according to the most recent National Compensation Survey, December 2006 - January 2008, provided by the BLS.
**Job descriptions based on data from CBSalary.com and the BLS.
***Job requirements and top industry information based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Anthony Balderrama is a writer and blogger for CareerBuilder.com and its job seeker and workplace blog, TheWorkBuzz.com. He researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/abalderrama and view his blog posts on TheWorkBuzz.com.