These 10 Unexpected Jobs Pay Over $100,000

August 14, 2017, 7:00 PM UTC

This piece originally appeared on

Just because you don’t want to be a doctor, lawyer, or senior executive at a large corporation doesn’t mean a six-figure salary isn’t attainable. Plenty of other career paths produce sizable paychecks—and you might be surprised which professions rake in the most cash.

In an analysis of more than 2,000 U.S. employers, Monster PayRight data recently identified some surprising jobs—meaning, we filtered out the obvious jobs like lawyers, doctors, surgeons, and executives that are typically high paying—that pay more than $100K.

Just don’t expect to see this many zeros right off the bat. All of the jobs on our list typically require several years of experience, but if you stay the course, it will (literally) pay off in the long run.

Check out the list below to see if one of these jobs is worth your consideration.

Creative director

What you’d do: Overseeing the creative services of an organization, creative directors manage a team of artists and other creative professionals on projects from start to finish—from determining objectives, brainstorming themes, and creating designs and layouts to refining concepts and overseeing the final production. In this position, you would also ensure that projects adhere to company guidelines and budgets, manage freelancers, and act as a liaison between creative personnel and clientele.

What you’d need: A senior-level job, creative directors typically hold a bachelor’s degree and have at least 10 years of experience.

What you’d make: $134,000 per year

Six Sigma master black belt

What you’d do: Sorry, but this has nothing to do with karate. In this instance, a master black belt works with companies to incorporate Six Sigma, a statistical analysis methodology for improving the quality of a business’s processes and output. Industries use Six Sigma to help reduce manufacturing costs.

What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree in addition to four or more years of experience is typically required. Some positions may require Six Sigma Black Belt certification.

What you’d make: $130,400 per year


What you’d do: The pilot-in-command, or captain, is responsible for the safety of airline passengers and crew and the operation of the aircraft. Job responsibilities include ensuring all flight and ground operations comply with federal aviation regulations; analyzing weather conditions for delays, rerouting, or cancellations; and arranging alternate transportation for passengers if their flight is affected.

What you’d need: An airline Transport Pilot (ATP) rating and first class medical certification are standard.

What you’d make: $126,000 per year

Design engineering manager

What you’d do: In this position, you would lead a team of engineers, scientists, and technicians in designing machinery. Job duties include overseeing production, operations, quality assurance, testing, and maintenance.

What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree plus four or more years of experience is usually required.

What you’d make: $125,900 per year

Managing landscape architect

What you’d do: In overseeing a team of landscape architects, a typical day involves managing site plans, specifications, and cost estimates and coordinating the arrangement of existing and proposed land features and structures.

What you’d need: Generally, a bachelor’s degree, as well as at least six years of experience, is required.

What you’d make: $125,100 per year

Organizational change management consultant

What you’d do: In this position, you would design new processes or operating models, identify gaps in employee competency, and recommend training and development programs with the goal to improve organizational effectiveness and drive business results through thoughtful use of employee resources.

What you’d need: Typically, a master’s degree, along with six or more years of experience, is needed.

What you’d make: $120,800 per year

International supply chain manager

What you’d do: In managing the international supply chain activities of a company, you would oversee inventory levels, shipping and receiving departments, and warehousing capabilities. Other job duties include tracking and enforcing purchasing guidelines and contractual obligations and fostering relationships with vendors.

What you’d need: This position typically calls for a bachelor’s degree and at least seven years of experience.

What you’d make: $117,600 per year

Major gifts director

What you’d do: Major gifts directors oversee fundraising planning for an organization, nurture relationships with existing donors, and identify and solicit contributions from potential donors.

What you’d need: A senior-level role, major gifts directors typically have a bachelor’s degree and at least 10 years of experience.

What you’d make: $112,300 per year

Project manager

What you’d do: If you’re the kind of person who typically took charge when working on group projects in school, then this job is perfect for you. Responsible for all aspects of the project life cycle—from planning and designing to executing and delivering—project managers coordinate work activities, track progress against milestones and budgetary guidelines, and deal with external vendors.

What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree, minimum five years of experience, and sometimes Project Management certifications, can land you a job as a project manager.

What you’d make: $106,300 per year

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Product designer

What you’d do: Product designers develop new products, creating sketches, concept boards, wireframes, and prototypes. You may also collaborate with technical designers on usability testing to ensure that the final product meets its specifications and serves its stated purpose. ,.

What you’d need: Before you can become a product designer, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree and at least six years of experience under your belt.

What you’d make: $100,800 per year