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Top 10 Highest Paid Science Jobs

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A lot of science-related jobs are more about the passion for discovering new things and applying them to the betterment of mankind than they are about getting a high salary. But in some jobs, if you have the intellectual capacity and curiosity about the world of science, it can prove to be mentally satisfying and financially rewarding.

Petroleum Engineer

These engineers devise ways to improve oil and gas production, and determine the need for new or modified tool designs. Petroleum engineers are involved in making drilling more economical. There are several industry specialties, but the highest mean pay goes to those involved in oil and gas extraction--$127,520 annually.


Physicists who aren’t involved exclusively in teaching can be paid a much higher salary by conducting research in physics. They develop theories and laws in regards to physical phenomena. Then they come up with methods to apply their theories to industry and other fields. The mean pay is $106,440 a year.

Computer and Information Scientist, Research

In this career, you conduct computer research as a theorist, designer or inventor. You will develop solutions to problems with hardware and software. You will also plan activities in electronic data processing, information systems, systems analysis or computer programming. Computer and information scientists make an average of $100,900 annually.

Computer Hardware Engineer

Computer hardware engineers research, design, develop and test computers or computer-related equipment for commercial, military or scientific use. They may also supervise the manufacturing and installation of computer equipment. Their average salary is $100,180 annually.

Nuclear Engineer

Nuclear engineers research and apply nuclear science principles to problems associated with nuclear energy and nuclear waste disposal. They make a mean salary of $99,750 annually.


Kids who like to stargaze can grow up to be an astronomer. Astronomers study celestial phenomena to increase mankind’s knowledge of the universe. They use their findings to improve things here on Earth. Astronomers make, on average, $99,730 annually.

Computer Software Engineer, Systems Software

Systems software engineers research, design, develop and test operating systems software, compilers and network distribution software for private industry, government agencies, or the military. The mean salary is $94,520 annually.


While math teachers may not make a lot of money, those involved in research do. Mathematicians involved in the application of mathematical techniques to science or other industries make a mean salary of $94,960 annually.

Aerospace Engineer

Aerospace engineers design, construct and test aircraft, missiles and spacecraft. This profession has a mean salary of $93,980 annually.

Physical Scientists, Other

According to the employment statistics provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, all other physical science professions not listed on their website individually have a mean salary of $91,850 annually.


Jason Knapfel started his editorial career as a graphic designer and production editor for American Media. In 2000, he began a six-year stint as senior editor at, a leading online diet and fitness plan provider. Since 2007, Knapfel has worked as a content consultant.

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