Everyone wants a job that can care for their needs, make them feel comfortable, and have a little extra money just for fun. But when deciding which high-paying career to pursue, don’t simply look at the maximum salary this year. Why not?
In a word: inflation. Prices will continue to rise, and you want to make sure your paycheck will rise with it. For that reason, you should look at the salary growth of the positions you are interested in.
What jobs have displayed the best salary growth in recent years? And what do you need to do to get one? First, we’ll look at the top five fastest-growing salaries of the past decade. Then we’ll examine the steps needed to obtain each job, from polishing your resume education section to getting on-the-job experience under your belt.
5 Jobs With the Best Salary Growth
According to a report by the technology company SmartAsset, personal finance advisors, genetic counselors, orthodontists, and compensation and benefits managers experienced the largest income growth between 2012 and 2016.
1. Personal Finance Advisors
Between 2012 and 2016, personal finance advisor salaries rose by more than $32,000 a year to reach an annual average of $123,100. That’s an increase of 35.5 percent.
Not only do advisors have the highest growth percentage, but the role is also the most readily attainable in terms of education and experience. In most states, you will need a bachelor’s degree with at least 24 semester hours in accounting, 75 hours in personal financial planning education, and 150 total credit hours. Then, you will sit for an exam to become licensed as a certified public accountant (CPA).
Following this, you can become certified as a Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) after you have two years of experience, and a Certified Financial Planner at three years of experience.
As you might expect, the hot spots for finding these positions are the business capitals of the United States—California and New York City. Of course, many financial advisor services are moving to a hybrid format where clients can meet with their advisors via video conference. This can help you to tap into the industry without necessitating a move.
2. Genetic Counselors
Wages for genetic counselors increased by 34.4 percent, maxing out at $74,960. These counselors access risks, such as genetic testing before marriage to screen for hereditary conditions that might be passed on to children. It is one of the more accessible medical positions, requiring a master’s degree in genetics.
3. Postsecondary Health Specialties Teachers
In this intersection of medicine and education, salaries rose by 25 percent during the study period—from just over $100,000 per year to more than $125,000 per year. Whether teaching dentistry, public health, or other medical disciplines, professors must have a master’s degree or Ph.D. in the field. Hands-on work experience is recommended.
Orthodontists salaries rose by 22.8 percent, reaching an average of $228,780—a gain of $42,460.
Orthodontic positions are relatively easy to find. They are in high demand, as both children and adults require this specialized branch of dental care. Large cities have the most demand, and, often, the highest salaries.
However, you will need to demonstrate years of schooling before landing one of these positions. First, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in a scientific field such as biology, anatomy, or chemistry.
Then you’ll spend four years in dental school, followed by a two to three-year orthodontics residency. During this time, you will gain experience in patient treatment, moving teeth, and guiding jaw development. The residency, upon completion, will provide a certificate in orthodontics. You will also need to maintain a dental license in the state(s) in which you practice.
5. Compensation and Benefits Managers
Compensation and benefits managers, also called remuneration professionals, enjoyed a 19.8 percent increase in wages, from $105,920 to $126,900 yearly.
Why do compensation managers get such high compensation? The work can be difficult. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, many work more than 40 hours per week. Typically, a bachelor’s degree in human resources, business, psychology, or the social sciences is required, followed by several years of experience in the field.
Other Jobs With Promising Salary Growth
There are a number of positions with promising salary growth, though not quite so high as those listed above—11 to 19 percent during the study period. These include anesthesiologists, psychiatrists, surgeons, family practitioners, and general practitioners. Really, the medical field as a whole continues to experience favorable growth conditions. The only medical roles with falling salaries were prosthetists and orthotists, who work with artificial limbs.
Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers enjoyed an 18.6 percent wage growth.
A few key points stand out from the data above. First, it pays to get an education. All of the top five jobs for salary growth require at least a bachelor’s degree. Second, the highest-paying careers require a long-term commitment, combining years of education and experience. If you get started now, you will reap the benefits in the years to come.