Hourly pay: $50.29 - $102.00
If you find human behavior fascinating, and you'd like to earn a hefty income, consider a career as a clinical psychologist. You can work in a variety of settings, from a private practice in your home to a being part of a medical team at a hospital. Clinical psychologists help their patients deal with both mental disorders, like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, as well as shorter-term needs like processing the death of a loved one or a divorce. This job requires earning a Ph.D. and the competition to get into a doctoral program in psychology is fierce. The market is expected to grow for this job in the coming years, especially for psychologists with subspecialties in certain disorders or age groups.
Hourly pay: $51.33 - $102.00
Love 'em or hate 'em, they'll always have a job. From building a new office building to sorting out a will, lawyers are essential to all kinds of negotiations and business processes. As a lawyer, you can specialize in the area that most suits your strengths and interests, like justice for children or patent law for new technologies. To get working as a lawyer, you need to complete an undergraduate degree, three years of law school and pass a state bar exam.
Hourly pay: $42.01 - $69.53
Who makes a DVD player show movies, a robot talk or your computer save those family photos? Electrical engineers do. They design, test and improve electronics of all kinds. Electrical engineers need to be good with the numbers, as well as creative, curious, and detail-oriented. As a senior engineer, years of experience and managerial skill are essential since you will be leading a team. To get into this line of work, you need to complete an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering, and can expect to take continuing education courses throughout your career. Demand for these engineers is expected to grow as our dependence on electronic devices does.
Hourly pay: $50.12 - $62.83
If you have your eyes on a healthy salary in a growing field, consider optometry. As the baby boomers age, this is yet another area of health care that is expected to grow. Optometrist test for eye sight problems and eye diseases and can prescribe certain medicines or refer patients to other doctors. This work requires completion of a four year degree at an accredited school of optometry. And, even if you're up for four years of school, acceptance into optometry school is highly competitive and may be a barrier. Earning and keeping up a license is also required.
Hourly pay: $43.99 - $73.20
Here's a "behind the scenes" gig that makes a big difference in how decisions are made at a company, government department, university, hospital or any other organization. You provide a knowledge base that an organization doesn't already have and use it to help them solve a problem, like reworking their marketing strategy or streamlining their manufacturing process. And, you get paid well for your help. This work can often be project-oriented, short-term and highly demanding. The use of consultants is up in recent years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as businesses hustle to compete with as small of a payroll as possible.
Hourly pay: $44.85 - $73.77
In a world where technology can put a company on the fast track to success, workers who understand both technology and how to lead a team have a lot of work opportunities. Most IT project managers have an undergraduate degree in some area of computer science or math and employers often prefer that they have an MBA, as well. Project managers are often in line to become chief technology officers.
Hourly pay: $44.1 - $57.02
Do you tend to find and notice everything wrong with how your computer, a website or some other electronic device works? You might be able to put that knack to work. In fact, you might not even need an undergraduate degree to get hired if you're a natural. You need a logical mind and great attention to detail to get started in quality assurance. You can then lead a team of people whose job is to find errors in software or other systems before they are made available to the public. This line of work is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years as the demand for electronics grows.
Hourly pay: $39.15 - $78.63
Education and training consultant was named one of CNNMoney's "Best Jobs in America." Imagine flying to some major city, meeting with a company's top employees to train them on the latest technology or team building technique. For the right person, this could be a really fun job. Education consultants typically work for themselves so it's important to market yourself in order to find work. Job opportunities are expected to grow in the coming years.
Hourly pay: $42.02 - $61.33
Nurses are in-demand and well-paid these days. But, which ones earn the most? Registered nurse practitioners with a specialty in psychiatric care can earn more per hour than most. They treat people with personality and mood disorders. These nurses have not only completed a bachelor's degree and nursing school, they have gone on to complete either a master's or Ph.D. and can work independently of a physician, prescribing therapies, certain medications and creating treatment plans.
Hourly pay: $35.00 - $51.52
Mechanical engineering is a field with very broad work opportunities. You could lead a team of engineers who design refrigerators, gas turbines, elevators, escalators, robots and much, much more. This job requires at least an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering or a related field, with continued professional exams to keep up with changing technology. And, to become a senior engineer requires having many years of experience in a particular field and being able to effectively lead a team so that they are on task and productive.
Next: Top 10 Companies Hiring This Week
Source: All salary data provided by online salary database PayScale.com. Salaries listed are a range from the 50th to 90th percentile of hourly salaries for workers with 5-8 years of experience and include any bonuses, commissions or profit sharing.