Considering a career move in 2022? You’re not alone. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused many workers to reevaluate their priorities and their career goals, and to think about the kind of work they’d really like to do.
To help you decide where to put your skills to use, VisualCV has put together a guide to the jobs with the highest earning potential for 2022 and beyond. That doesn’t just mean high pay! It means that the work is in high demand, so you can feel confident that you’re moving into a role that will still be around in three years’ time.
In this article, we’ll cover the following points:
Average salary: $208,000
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that front-line medical staff do vital work.
This is reflected in both the salary and the job prospects of doctors across the USA. Doctors boast the highest median average salary on our list, though the exact rate of pay is dependent on individual specialization and field of work. Even better, though, the number of positions available to doctors is expected to grow by roughly 3% over the course of the decade.
The trade-off is that becoming a doctor is a serious, long-term investment. You need to put in the time and money for medical school, as well as a long period of on-the-job training. And the more highly you want to specialize, the more time you’ll need to spend learning.
It’s also worth noting that early-career medical professionals may also be subject to long, changeable hours, depending on their workplace. If you’re looking for flexibility, or for an easy career switch, this may not be the right move for you.
But if you’re passionate about helping others and you want to work in a field where there will always be a need for your work, consider training as a doctor. It’s a big commitment, but the rewards can be life-changing – both emotionally and financially.
Average salary: $117,000
While a nurse’s median salary remains lower than a doctor’s, the real value of nursing work in 2022 is in the growth of nursing as a profession. Whereas the number of roles for doctors is projected to increase by 3% this decade, nursing roles are projected to grow by a monumental 45%.
Nurses can find work in a variety of settings, from care homes and clinics to doctors’ offices and hospitals. There are also a range of specialization options open to nurses – you could become a nurse anesthetist, for example, or even a nurse midwife. Regardless of your specialization, you would work to coordinate patients’ medical care, liaising with doctors and assisting in the delivery of some primary and specialty care.
As with any role in the medical profession, nurses need to be highly trained. At minimum, nursing roles require a master’s degree in their specialization. They also need to pass a national nursing certification exam, and to obtain a license in the state where they work.
But for the right person, nursing can be incredibly rewarding work. Every day, you’ll get to see the difference you make to your patients’ lives, whether you’re supporting major surgeries or assisting with new births. Plus, the high demand for nurses means you have a high level of choice in your work environment, and can plan confidently for a future wherever you’d like to go.
Average salary: $161,000
Demand for air travel is booming once again, and demand for airline pilots is growing alongside it. With job opportunities projected to increase by 13% this decade, there’s never been a better time to take flight as an airline pilot.
If you’ve ever dreamed of seeing the world, this could be the job for you. While airline pilots have highly variable schedules, they also have incredible opportunities for travel, both on the job and as a workplace benefit. Plus the views from 50,000 feet above the ground are simply impossible to beat – we can guarantee you won’t find a better office view in any other career.
Obviously it’s not all cruise control – taking responsibility for an aircraft can be incredibly stressful. Airline pilot roles also demand both a bachelor’s degree and past work experience as a military or commercial pilot, plus adherence to the FAA’s requirements for flight.
But if you’re prepared to put in the hours, you could discover an exciting, rewarding career that can literally take you anywhere you want to go.
Average salary: $159,000-$208,000 depending on specialization
"Dentist" is an umbrella title encompassing a wealth of sub-specializations – all of which are extremely well-paid. Whether you’re an orthodontist, a prosthodontist, or a maxillofacial surgeon, you’ll enjoy a steady and respected career with a great salary.
As a rule, dentists diagnose and treat any issues with patients’ teeth and mouths. While the work itself may not be particularly glamorous, most dentists have a high level of flexibility and independence, particularly relative to doctors and nurses. While many dentists work as associates at existing practices, it’s very common for dentists to own their own business and enjoy all the freedom that entails.
Roles in dentistry do require specialist training, though, and most candidates will need to graduate from an accredited dental program. Requirements for a dental license can vary from state to state, but the process usually involves a clinical and a written exam.
Again, this may not be a straightforward career move. But if you’re prepared to commit, the benefits of a career in dentistry could pay dividends in the long term.
Average salary: $151,000
This option could entail a much simpler career move for the right candidate. While you’re likely to need a bachelor’s degree of some kind, it’s very possible to acquire the skills you need for IT systems management without a specialist degree in computer science. And with roles in IT services expanding all the time, getting the work experience you need will be a walk in the park.
As an IT systems manager, you’d take responsibility for any IT-related activity within an organization. In larger organizations, that could mean managing a team of IT staff and taking responsibility for the direction of IT policy. In smaller organizations, you may still participate in day-to-day IT support work, too.
As tech becomes a more crucial part of almost every other industry, there’s a high demand for workers who know their way around information technology. Roles in IT services are projected to grow by 11% this decade, reflecting that increase in demand.
So if you have a knack for computers, a manager’s skill with people, and a willingness to put some time in at the entry levels, a career in IT services could offer you long-term stability and great pay. You wouldn’t even need to go back to school and retrain from scratch.
Average salary: $150,000
Architectural managers take responsibility for every aspect of a building project, from planning through to the end of construction. It’s a role full of variety, as likely to find you on a construction site as in an office, with scope for dealing with people from all walks of life. It’s also incredibly rewarding to watch a building you’ve overseen take shape – you’ll really feel as though you’ve put something substantial into the world.
Urban development isn’t going away any time soon, and roles in architecture are projected to grow accordingly. The number of jobs available for architectural managers, in particular, is expected to increase by 4% over the decade.
Working in architecture does require a bachelor’s degree, usually in the field of architecture. From there, progressing to the role of architectural manager requires a long period of work experience in the industry. Getting to this point in your career could be a long-term project, particularly if you’re joining the field from another career path.
But if you’re a mathematically-minded type with management skills and an enthusiasm for deadlines, this might just be the career for you. Put in the hours, and you’ll reap the rewards over time.
Average salary: $142,000
If you’re a management professional looking for a role where you have some scope for creativity, you could fit right in as a marketing manager.
We’ve written elsewhere about the marketing industry, so it should come as no surprise that work in the field is projected to grow! In fact, marketing management roles are expected to grow by 10% by 2030 – that’s a great long-term proposition for anyone interested in marketing or sales.
While you will probably need a bachelor’s degree to be considered for most roles in marketing, you don’t need to graduate from a specialized marketing program. You’ll usually need some work experience in the field, but that shouldn’t deter you. With the right existing skills and a strong network of contacts, finding your way into the marketing industry doesn’t have to be a headache.
To thrive as a marketing manager, you’ll need an element of creative flair to accompany your management skills and your data-driven mindset. You’ll be responsible for managing teams of marketing staff, but also for helping to steer your organization’s marketing policy in the right direction – it’s a multifaceted role, with a lot of scope for you to make it your own.
Average salary: $128,000
Don’t be fooled by the high drama of Law and Order – a career as a lawyer, while certainly full of variety, is actually fairly stable overall. Jobs in law are expected to increase by 9% by 2030, so you can commit to a career in law knowing that it will see you through into the future.
The trade-off, as usual, is the high barrier to entry. To qualify as a lawyer, you will need to go through law school – a process which can take up to four years, even after your initial bachelor’s degree. As if that wasn’t enough, you’ll also need to pass a written bar exam in the state where you’re hoping to work.
But if you can find your way in, the law can offer an extremely rewarding career. No two days at work will ever be exactly the same, and you’ll have the scope to work in a field that really interests you. You could find yourself working for governments, corporations, or individuals in need of support, applying your hard-earned expertise to complex legal situations.
Who knows? You may even have the opportunity to set legal precedents that will remain on the books for decades to come!
Average salary: $137,000
Petroleum engineering is one of the most exciting career paths in the field of engineering. With the price of fuel on the rise, the petroleum industry is on the lookout for engineers who can develop and refine new systems to increase the efficiency of oil extraction. Petroleum engineers gather and analyze data in order to make oil extraction safer, cleaner and more cost-effective.
You’ll need a qualification in engineering to work as a petroleum engineer, but the salary you’ll earn in the role makes up for the initial outlay of time and expense. If you can find a qualification that will offer you an industry placement or internship, you’ll find yourself with a head start when the time comes to job search for real. Licenses and certifications from petroleum industry organizations can also help you advance within the field.
Work as a petroleum engineer isn’t always the most flexible. You will probably need to be based where the oil is, which leaves you with limited options in terms of location. But if you’re scientifically-minded, with an analytical bent and an interest in solving complex practical problems, this might just be the role for you.
Average salary: $132,000
A sales manager is responsible for overseeing a sales team. That doesn’t just mean managing and mentoring individuals; it means developing an overarching sales plan for your organization, and then implementing it in partnership with marketing and branding teams. It’s a wide-ranging role, and for the right person, it can be incredibly rewarding.
Many sales manager roles require a bachelor’s degree, sometimes in business or a related field. However, a more important qualification by far is past sales experience. If you’ve worked as a sales representative in the past, it could stand you in great stead if you decide to progress to sales management.
Understanding what makes people tick is a crucial part of sales management work. Not only do you need to develop sales plans that engage your customer base; you need to be attentive to the needs and efficiency of your employees. If you’re a people person with a sense for how to support the individuals on your team, a role in sales management could be a great fit.
Sometimes, finding a new job that can make you significantly more money can feel impossible. Whether you're facing going back to school or a major career change, it can take a big commitment to get to where you'd like to be. If you're up for the challenge, you might be excited at the prospect, and ready to start building your new resume. If you're thinking you might like to start by making more money at your current job, consider starting a career journal to document all the great things you do right now -- it'll prove very useful when it comes time to ask for that raise.
Content Writer + Resume Expert
Waverly is a freelance writer, former HR officer and current international traveller. They believe in doing your research, showing up prepared, and bringing your passions with you to work. They've helped countless job seekers create better resumes and cover letters to improve and grow their careers.
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