In high school, my best friend and I looked through a giant book of jobs and their salaries. We wanted to know which jobs or careers make a lot of money. We immediately flipped to the end to find out.
Turns out, there’s a lot of jobs that pay a lot of money. Whether you’re still in high school or making a career change, you have a lot of options.
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One of the best jobs that makes a lot of money and is stable, is an accountant. An accountant performs financial calculations for individuals, small businesses, and large corporations. Accountants must know how to examine and prepare a variety of financial reporting forms, helping customers or businesses remain in compliance with accounting rules and laws. Accountants may need to work long hours at certain times of the year, such as during tax calculation time.
A business executive could hold a multitude of jobs at a company, including CEO, CFO, or COO. A founder of a business could end up being a CEO, because he or she knows the industry and the business. On the other hand, someone with a formal business degree and business training could move into an executive role to help any business run more efficiently and profitably. With bonuses included, business executives can earn huge annual salaries.
A computer system manager or IT manager will oversee all computer related systems and processes in a company or organization. This can include things like planning out hardware purchases, installing computing software, managing a network, and performing troubleshooting. IT managers need quite a bit of education, including ongoing education, to stay up to date on new techniques and tech products.
Engineers can design things like aircraft, cars, boats, spacecraft, satellites, large buildings, bridges, computers, and infrastructure. Chemical engineers will work with fuel and drugs to solve problems in the use of these substances. Other types of engineers may try to solve environmental problems or help people perform jobs more efficiently and safely. Engineers rely on math, physics, biology, and chemistry to perform their work.
A chiropractor cares for patients with health problems related to the neuromusculoskeletal system, including the spine. Chiropractors provide specialized therapy that does not include medication or surgery, but still rely on medical-based tests in order to devise and administer the right set of therapies. 
Clinical psychologists provide psychological evaluations and assessments, consultation, therapy, and follow-up. While they cannot prescribe medication, clinical psychologists still provide valuable guidance. Clinical psychologists can work independently in their own private practice or they can work for medical clinics, hospitals, non-profit organizations, or government entities (such as the VA). 
Clinical psychologists can even be employed by corporations as the in-house psychologist helping employees (perhaps with stress management) or as an organizational psychologist identifying ways to increase both efficiency and satisfaction in the workplace.
A construction manager oversees facility design, scheduling, vendor management, and building construction to ensure that the project will be completed on time and under budget and will meet the needs of the client, corporation, or investor. The larger and more complex the construction project, the larger the responsibility and therefore, the higher the salary.
Construction has become more complex over the years. Buildings need to incorporate the latest technologies in order to become more intelligent and efficient, oftentimes by industry regulation or municipal ordinance. This has only added to the knowledge base required of construction managers as they often need to select and juggle hundreds of vendors at once while retaining the highest standards of compliance. 
President Biden recently signed an executive order aimed at making half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 electric. That’s a lot of electric batteries needed — probably around 7 million if current trends continue. Electric batteries need cobalt, lithium, nickel, and other rare-earth metals, and who are the professionals who source them so that all of us can enjoy a clean energy future?
Geophysicists, of course. These scientists design, plan and execute the extraction of these minerals from the earth. Without geophysicists, we wouldn’t have electric batteries. (We wouldn’t have oil either, as geophysicists have been employed by the oil and gas industry for decades in the exploration and extraction of petroleum and natural gas as well.)
An instructional designer develops course content and training curriculum for learners within corporations, governments, and universities (and not just brick and mortar universities — think of all of those online programs, too). An instructional designer often consults with subject matter experts to interpret complex material and create compelling (i.e., not boring) learning experiences from which individuals can acquire knowledge and skills, meeting the budgets, timeframes, and requirements of the organization. 
Instructional designers also develop and conduct assessments to analyze and identify new development needs and recommend training methods accordingly. There is also often an HR component, in which the instructional designer must track employee performance and measure training outcomes.
Instructional designers are an in-demand job because employees need training  —and lots of it. According to LinkedIn Learning’s 2021 Workplace Learning report, the top area of focus for learning and development cited was upskilling and reskilling. This means that someone — in this case, the instructional designer — is going to have to develop those courses and get them out the door to learners.
Jobs like actor, musician, TV or radio show host, producer, and writer can all fit in the entertainment industry. For the most successful professionals in these areas, this job can be extremely lucrative. However, a job in the entertainment industry rarely has a lot of stability. You’re often on your own, working from contract to contract. You’ll also have to hire an agent to negotiate contracts and help you find work. It can also be extremely difficult to break into the industry.
It may not be the most exciting job, and it may not be all that well understood, but an investment banker can make a lot of money each year. In general terms, an investment banker is someone who brokers deals, such as company mergers and acquisitions. Those who broker the largest financial deals receive the largest compensation amounts.
If your idea of a lawyer is someone who is dramatically arguing cases in a courtroom, as happens on TV, this is only a small part of the work. Most of it is spent in research, document review, filing motions,  and editing contracts. Lawyers can work in criminal, tax, patent, corporate, or other types of law, so a lot of specialties exist. Lawyers do have an easier time becoming politicians than other professions, if that appeals to you.
A pharmacist works in a hospital, a medical facility, or a retail store, dispensing prescription medication for customers. A pharmacist needs quite a bit of training in how different medications work, including understanding side effects and interactions with other medications. Pharmacists require formal education and licensing to be able to legally dispense prescription medication.
Doctors in the American medical system have the ability to make huge salaries, but it can take a while to hit that level. A physician or a surgeon needs tons of education and on-the-job training. The learning never ends for doctors. When starting out, doctors can work some long, strange hours. But once they reach a certain level of expertise, this job is rewarding financially. Physicians and Surgeon’s have the highest average annual salary of all the jobs that make a lot of money featured.
This is one job that kids dream about having that actually also makes a lot of money. Unfortunately, it’s probably the job they have the least chance of achieving. People need some natural talent to succeed in almost any job, but pro athletes may rely the most on natural talent. Beyond receiving millions to play the game, the most well-known pro athletes may receive just as much money for endorsements.
A real estate developer will purchase property and develop it with lucrative commercial and residential projects. These purchases are a bit of a gamble, as a mistake can lead to huge financial losses. You may start as a real estate agent, learning how the markets work, before making your own investments or investing on behalf of others.
A software developer will write software, or code, that controls computers and other personal electronics devices. App developers also can be software developers. In fact, someone who develops a highly popular app could make millions off one app. This is another fast growing profession that will need employees in the future. High demand makes this a great option if you’re looking for jobs that make a lot of money.
Having a list is one thing, picking the right job is a lot harder.
If I was giving “highschool me” some advice, I’d tell him to find a high paying job that’s the best fit. Some jobs are extremely stressful like an investment banker. Others are more routine like an accountant. There’s dozens of different criteria that make up a true dream job.
The best way to figure out which job is the best fit is to develop friendships with people in that field. If you genuinely enjoy spending time with them, that’s a promising sign.
Also look for entry-level roles in those fields to try them yourself. Most of these jobs can be started later on if you discover that a particular path won’t work out.
Here are some more jobs that pay a lot still but are less work generally.
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