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10 Unexpected Careers With 6-Figure Salaries


In an ideal world, everyone would be able to channel their passion into a profit. But it’s hard to deny that there are some fields that are just inherently more lucrative than others. If you don’t necessarily foresee yourself earning an MD or a JD, careers site Glassdoor has assembled a list of less familiar jobs that often come with an annual salary of $100,000 or more.

Check out the full list on Glassdoor’s website.

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1. Airline Pilot

You can fly the friendly skies and make a median base salary of $120,000 a year. It’s an ideal role for people who enjoy travel, are adept at managing people and are cool under pressure.

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2. Dentist

If you have a head for science and want to take care of people, you can run a dental practice and make more than $125,000 a year. You’ll just have to complete some undergraduate and doctoral programs.

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3. Drilling Engineer

These mechanical engineers draw up and carry out plans at energy and water drilling sites and can make more than $115,000 a year.

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4. Equity Research Associate

If you have a knack for numbers and patterns, this could be a good gig for you. Equity research associates study and report on money and business trends, and jobs can be found within many financial institutions. They can earn a median salary of $100,000.

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5. Geophysicist

Some geophysicists study how the earth is evolving, while others extract valuable minerals from the ground. These experts conduct experiments using gravity, seismic, electrical and magnetic methods. They can earn more than $120,000 a year.

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6. Nurse Practitioner

The medical field is growing as the population ages, but you don’t have to be a doctor to receive six figures in this line of work. Nurse practitioners can run their own practices and need a graduate degree in nursing. The median base salary for nurse practitioners is $100,000.

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7. Reservoir Engineer

Ideal for someone with technical know-how, reservoir engineers are the ones who figure out where energy reserves are, particularly of oil and gas, and find the safest ways obtain them. They can make more than $143,000 a year.

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8. Regional Sales Executive

There are several types of companies that require sales executives to help them get their word out and teach customers about their products. The job requires excellent people skills and may involve a bit of travel, and those at the high end can earn more than $100,000 a year.

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9. Software Architect

These skilled coders create and build the software systems and infrastructures for businesses and organizations. They can make nearly $140,000 annually -- even those just starting out.

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10. Special Agent

Whether working for an agency like the CIA or FBI or a private entity, special agents’ duties can range from collecting and analyzing intelligence to protecting assets. They can make a median base salary of $121,000 a year.

Nina Zipkin

Written By

Entrepreneur Staff

Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at She frequently covers leadership, media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.