Top Ten Moneymaking Careers in 2017

Written by

Harry Bennett


October 27, 2017


Are you still a bit up in the air on exactly what career path you want to take? Although we aren’t pushing for you to make your choice based off money alone, it can still be helpful to know where the cash is at in today’s world. So what are the top 10 money-making careers in America today?

Based on data from and, we uncovered a few of the most lucrative careers  that might be able to help you out with your decision.

Choosing your major and career path are both very tough decisions that a have a variety of things to consider. And while earning power matters, there are many other factors to consider – including job location, market demand,  total costs (tuition and boarding), and training time to mention a few. Let us know in the comments below what factors other than money would matter to you when choosing a career. For additional resources, explore our careers section to learn about hundreds of other careers, or visit our career advisers section to find a career counselor near you. 


Average Annual Pay $118,000          

Training: 6-8 years

Projected Growth in 10 years: 3%

Like most positions in the healthcare industry, work is usually always available. Pharmacists specialize in filling prescriptions and educating patients on the medication they are taking. This includes informing them on potential side effects, how to handle those effects, and what patients can and can not take while using the medication.

Creative Director

Average Annual Pay $120,000          

Training:  4+ years

Projected Growth in 10 years: 7%

In order to become a creative director, one usually doesn’t require much more than a bachelor’s degree. However, in this industry, experience is everything. It may take a few years to build your resume up enough to be considered for this role. Creative directors handle a company’s marketing initiatives as well as branding and design.


Average Annual Pay $133,000          

Training: 7 years

Projected Growth in 10 years: 10%

Being a lawyer is a lot more then being good at arguing. Years of schooling and testing will lead prospective students to a lucrative career in nearly any state. Additionally, there are several areas of law that can be even higher than the average annual pay above. Lawyers will always be in demand.

Airline Pilots, Flight Engineers

Average Annual Pay $134,000          

Training: 6 years

Projected Growth in 10 years: -1%

This may be one of the least known money-making careers on our list. Pilots and flight engineers have the lives of hundreds of passengers on the line but are compensated well in return. To get to this level, there are quite a few loops to get through including certifications and plenty of testing. The only downside to this career is the projected growth. But just like many things in life, if you are efficient and reliable in your line of work, there will most likely be job opportunities waiting for you.

Marketing Managers

Average Annual Pay $137,000          

Training:  4 years

Projected Growth in 10 years: 12%

This is another career path that requires more of a track record then a specific degree. Having a strong resume and outstanding portfolio will propel you to a very comfortable living and career as a Marketing Manager if you work hard at it. Areas of expertise include advertising, promotions and commodity exchanges. This is a huge step up from being that generic salesman!

Software Development Manager

Average Annual Pay $141,000          

Training:  4+ years

Projected Growth in 10 years: 15%

One of the more “techy” jobs on our list, software managers are responsible for keeping those viruses and pesky hackers away. The great part about this field is that there are so many sectors that require this type of expertise. Getting through the schooling may be well worth it once you hit the job market.

Architecture/Engineering Managers

Average Annual Pay $142,000          

Training: 4+ years

Projected Growth in 10 years: 5%

In recent years, this line of work has seemed to shift to the oil industry. Although you can make a solid living designing and building mansions or other structures, the oil and gas industries have completely taken over in terms of payout. This career path seems to be on a bit of decline as far as growth, yet landing the right job could lead to a healthy bank account.


Average Annual Pay $177,000 – $220,000               

Training: 8 years

Projected Growth in 10 years: 16%

As expected, there is a vast amount of job opportunity in this line of work. At least for dentists. Everyone needs to keep their teeth straight and clean. Orthodontists may have a bit of a tougher time finding work but will make considerably more money. Putting in the long study hours will lead to a boat-load of money throughout your career if you choose to follow this industry.

Chief Executives

Average Annual Pay $180,000          

Training: 6+ years

Projected Growth in 10 years: 11%

Everyone has most likely dreamt of this job in one way or another. The highly coveted CEO position can range from six figures to nine very easily. Experience is huge with this job and putting in plenty of time at the office to reach the top of that ladder will not be easy. Nonetheless, with the right work ethic and a goal in mind, achieving CEO status is definitely attainable.


Average Annual Pay $180,000 – $250,000+ 

Training: 11+ years

Projected Growth in 10 years: 18%

It is hard to disagree that life-savers should be paid the most. Years of schooling and tedious amounts of studying alone will definitely pay off for those who can get through it to qualify as surgeons. Anesthesiologists are the highest paid doctors but a broad spectrum of work allows for plenty of job opportunity. 

If you are still on the line about deciding your career path, check out some of our other articles to walk you through a simple, step-by-step process. 

* Data collected from and


Written by:  Harry Bennett

Harry R. Bennett III is freelance journalist who took an interesting path during college. Bennett attended five different schools and switched his major before graduating with a B.A. in journalism from California State University, Northridge. He has dealt with the ins and outs of transferring, admissions, financial aid and counseling from Division I Universities, small private NAIA schools and junior colleges across the nation. As an ex-collegiate athlete, Bennett has truly experienced the college life in every way possible and knows what it takes choose a major and earn a degree.

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