7 Top Paying Professions Over $70,000 Per Year

Even if you graduate with the average level of education debt earning a four-year degree — about $21,000, according to The Project on Student Debt — there are a range of cool jobs that pay well to help put a dent in that debt before the term of the loan is up, if you’re diligent.

Here are seven top paying professions that can earn you at least $70,000, according to online salary database PayScale.com, in industries that are expected to grow through 2018.

Nursing Home Manager

If you are service-oriented, enjoy solving problems, and want your work to have meaning, consider a career in long term care management. According to the National Association of Boards of Examiners of Long Term Care Administrators (NABWEB), the increasing number of aging Americans and their improved longevity mean that demand for long term health care is on the rise.

Video Game Producers

If you don’t mind working so others can play, developing gaming software may be one of the best high paying jobs out there for all you gaming enthusiasts. According a statement from the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), “Games are expected to surpass film box-office revenues in the next couple of years, making it the fastest growing segment of the entertainment market, and an excellent field for career advancement.”

Market Research Manager

Want to know what makes people tick? Try a career where you analyze market research data for a business or an advertising agency. It’s a rapidly growing field, too, thanks to the competition between companies to grab market share in a tough economy. Earning a business degree with a concentration in marketing will help get you in, as will a Professional Researcher Certification (PRC) from the Marketing Research Association.

Department Store Buyer

Ever-changing fashion trends keep smart department store buyers in demand. Plus, the retail industry is showing more signs of life as the recession loosens its grip. Becoming a buyer for a major retail outlet usually requires a bachelor’s degree in business or other relevant area. Remember to list any years of toil in retail on your resume, too.

Regional Sales Manager

If you enjoy working with people and have a persuasive personality, you’re probably a natural salesperson. Add in organizational and managerial expertise and you can snag the big bucks. Years of sales experience in any industry often count as much as an undergraduate degree in this expansive field. Though competition is keen, certification from the National Association of Sales Professionals can put you ahead of the pack.

Financial Controller

If you’ve got a head for numbers, you’ll be indispensible to a variety of businesses. Almost every company and government agency employs one or more financial managers to oversee preparation of financial reports, direct investment activities, and implement cash management strategies. A four-year degree is required to land an entry-level position but professional certifications from the likes of the CFA Institute can also broaden skills and boost earning power.

FBI Agent

There’s no such thing as a typical day when you work for the FBI, according to the agency. FBI special agents are responsible for conducting sensitive national security investigations and for enforcing over 300 federal statutes including public corruption, civil rights, bribery, fugitive and drug-trafficking matters. With a college degree, three year’s work experience, and qualifying under one of the special agent entry programs, including accounting, information technology, language, and law, you could be on your way to an exciting and high-paying career.

Source: All salary data is from PayScale.com. The salaries listed are median, annual salaries for full-time workers with 5-8 years of experience and include any bonuses, commissions or profit sharing.