Top 10 Highest Paying Non-Medical Careers

By Leigh Wittman
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Chief Executives

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Chief executives have an average annual salary of $160,440. Though the educational background of chief executives widely varies from company to company, most chief executives have a long history of management experience.


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On average, lawyers make $124,750 annually. Lawyers must earn a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) and pass the bar exam to practice law. Typically, an aspiring lawyer must complete a bachelor's degree prior to entry to law school. Though not required, lawyers usually specialize in a single area of law.

Natural Sciences Managers

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The average natural sciences manager makes $123,140 each year. Natural sciences managers typically oversee laboratory workers, though some oversee workers in the field. Usually, experience in natural sciences is required to obtain this position.

Engineering Managers

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The typical engineering manager makes $120,580 annually. Engineering managers supervise the work of engineers. These workers can be employed in a variety of engineering settings, including environmental, civil and electrical engineering. Though not all engineering managers have experience in the engineering field, the vast majority of them do.

Airline Pilots

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Airline pilots make an average annual salary of $119,750. Though airline pilots make a handsome salary, jobs in this area are projected to decline 17 percent over the next decade. Therefore, while airline pilots are currently one of the top 10 highest paying non-medical careers, this career does not carry job stability.

Petroleum Engineers

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Petroleum engineers earn an average annual salary of $119,140. Most petroleum engineers have at least a Bachelor's of Science in Engineering and many have master's degrees. A strong background in management is required.

Computer and Information Systems Managers

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On average, computer and information systems managers earn $118,710 annually. Many of these managers have extensive education in computer engineering and information technology, though it is not necessarily required for this position.

Marketing Managers

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Marketing managers earn an average annual salary of $118,160. Many of these managers have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in marketing. However, given that the primary job function of this position is to manage others, many employers seek out candidates with strong management skills as opposed to those with an educational background in marketing.

Financial Managers

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The average Financial Manager makes an annual salary of $110,640. Financial managers manage banks, credit unions, stock brokerages, mutual funds and other financial institutions. Most financial managers have a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) and several years of experience in both management and finance.

Sales Managers

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Sales Managers earn an average annual salary of $110,390. Successful sales managers do not always have formal education in management. In the world of sales, experience in sales and management is often more valued than education.

About the Author

Leigh Wittman has been writing professionally since 2007. She writes primarily on health, career advice, outdoor pursuits and travel for various websites. Wittman is a licensed nurse and studied nursing at Arizona State University.