highest paying jobs

I dreamed of playing professional baseball when I was a kid, because it was one of the highest paying jobs I could think of and it was something I loved. I wasn’t a good enough player to achieve my dream job, but my chosen field of analytics comes pretty close. It is possible to find your dream job.

A livable wage is necessary to fill the most basic need in Maslow’s hierarchy. Value and purpose can get clouded if you feel you are not paid enough. Salary satisfaction is a product of expectation.

Comparing Compensation and Satisfaction

We compared compensation survey values and salary satisfaction levels from Indeed® for the top 500 job titles. Watch our short video on this analysis.

High Paying Jobs – High Salary Satisfaction

John Rockefeller was once asked how much money was enough. He said “one dollar more”. Physicians and dentists expect to be highly paid for what they do. So why are they less satisfied than an engineer? Speculation on my part, but perhaps the long grind of education and the resultant debt. On the other hand these groups below are highly satisfied with their salary:

  • Software positions
  • Specialized nursing titles (e.g. travel nurses, labor and delivery nurses)

Low Paying Jobs – Low Salary Satisfaction

Customer-facing positions are on the front-lines. They take a lot of crap and feel they are underpaid. It’s no surprise that these jobs are not getting filled post-pandemic. Recently a Starbucks barista posted on social media under the caption “Why I hate my job” a drink order with 13 modifications.

Another group may feel their salary is not commensurate with their value to society.

  • School teachers
  • Paraprofessionals

High Paying Jobs – Low Salary Satisfaction

Behavioral, mental health workers, and direct support professionals deal with amazing challenges every day. Further they have an incredible sense of purpose. Yet as a group they feel they are significantly underpaid. They may feel their type of professional challenges command higher salary levels.

Dispatchers and route drivers are also relatively unhappy with their wages. These positions are fueled by output and schedule. These workers may experience negative lifestyle and health issues, which just aren’t worth their pay.

Low Paying Jobs – High Salary Satisfaction

Would you accept a lower paying job with high purpose and/or low stress? That is the nature of this group. They find fulfillment in other aspects of the job and life. Military jobs as a group stand out here.

  • Explosive ordinance detection
  • Unmanned aerial specialists

Production workers also are satisfied with their salary. These jobs tend to be lower stress and probably don’t have the kinds of debt level that other jobs carry.

About Insight for Work

Insight for Work is a jobs and labor market application for rapidly analyzing market trends without any database knowledge. Insight for Work integrates and optimizes data from job postings, hiring company profiles and ratings, compensation and benefit surveys, resumé profiles, skills and assessments, and government agency publications with the power of the Microsoft® Power BI business intelligence platform.

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