6 careers that pay more than $60K

Careers That Pay $60K+

You may think that a high-paying career is out of reach, but with the right preparation, you could follow one of these lucrative career paths.

By Margaret Rock
In these tough economic times, you may think a well-paying job is out of reach, but there are many career paths with the potential to pay more than $60,000 a year.
Some of these high-paying careers are well-suited to those with a special talent, according to Laura Labovich, CEO of the Career Strategy Group. For example, she points out that someone may be able to look at a sheet of numbers and almost immediately notice that something is off. That knack for numbers could really pay off if that person pursued a career as an accountant.
Natural talent aside, many high-paying positions require the right combination of work experience and education. So, if you are interested in pursuing a well-compensated career path, you might want to take a look at preparing for the following six careers, where the median annual salary exceeds $60,000.

Career #1 - Information Security Analyst

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If you think you'd enjoy a career that involves managing systems and keeping information confidential, a career as an information security analyst might be a good option to pursue, especially since the field has the potential for high pay.
Information security analysts may plan and implement security measures to protect computer networks and systems from cyber attacks, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. This career often involves researching the latest security trends, monitoring an organization's networks for security breaches, and installing software like firewalls and encryption programs to protect sensitive data.
Why It Pays Well: "Since they often have access to the highest level of security, these jobs are important and require a high trust factor within an organization," Labovich says.
There is a wide salary range for information security analysts, and Labovich points out that those candidates "who come to the table with a proven track record," demonstrating their ability to secure data, are better able to gain an edge.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Computer Science Program.
How to Prepare: Information security analysts usually need at least a bachelor's degree in computer science, programming, or a related field. Employers sometimes prefer applicants who have a master of business administration in information systems.

Career #2 - Accountant

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If you think in terms of numbers, enjoy accuracy, and get satisfaction from making figures balance, you might want to check out a well-paying accounting career.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, accountants analyze, interpret, and prepare financial records. They also give advice on best-practices recommendations to management, suggest ways to reduce costs and improve profits, and inspect account books and systems for efficiency.
Why It Pays Well: "The difference that one wrong number can make on a company report can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars," Labovich said. "So a person who has a good sense of obligation and dedication and is accurate and detail-oriented can be rewarded with a good-paying accounting position."
The dedication often comes in the form of putting in long hours, which can be common in this career. For example, in 2010, one in five accountants worked more than 40 hours a week, according to the Department of Labor.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Accounting Program.
How to Prepare: Most accountant positions require at least a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field, and some employers may prefer a master's degree, either in accounting or in business administration with a concentration in accounting, according to the Department. Accountants who earn a Certified Public Accountant license may also have better job prospects.

Career #3 - Human Resources Manager

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For those who enjoy working with other people, solving problems, and playing a role in a cohesive workplace, pursuing a career as a human resources manager could be very rewarding.
"Human resources managers often require ‘soft career skills,' like having high emotional intelligence," Labovich points out. That could be because according to the U.S. Department of Labor, those in this profession serve as a link between an organization's management and its employees by answering questions, administering services for employees, and resolving work-related disputes. Managers also advise managers on policies like equal employment opportunity and sexual harassment and oversee recruitment, interviewing, and hiring processes.

Why It Pays Well: "You need to know how to navigate challenging cultures, difficult personalities, and things that might not be clearly defined," Labovich says about the career's high-paying potential. "If you aren't aware of individual differences and how to mediate them, you might not do as well in this career."
In addition, some human resources managers who work for companies with nationwide offices may need to travel in order to visit other branches, attend professional meetings, and recruit employees, according to the Department of Labor.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Business Administration Program.
How to Prepare: Human resources manager positions usually require a bachelor's degree in human resources or business administration, according to the Department. Since not all undergraduate programs offer a specific human resources degree, candidates could get a bachelor's degree in another field and take courses in human resources subjects, such as organizational development, labor or industrial relations, or industrial psychology. Some higher-level jobs may require a master's degree in human resources, labor relations, or a master of business administration degree.

Career #4 - Personal Financial Advisor

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Navigating personal financial decisions like buying a house, evaluating your retirement, and planning to meet both short- and long-term financial goals is overwhelming to many people, but not personal financial advisors.
Personal financial advisors provide financial advice to their clients on investments, taxes, and insurance decisions, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. So if you are knowledgeable about money and want to help people with their financial needs, a high-pay career as a personal financial advisor could be worth exploring.
Why It Pays Well: "In the field of investments," according to Labovich, "there is a lot at stake, especially for those personal financial advisors who work with high net-worth investors, so this job pays well." She also notes that being a personal financial advisor can be challenging because they need to stay on top of current trends and be plugged into what is happening at all times, which often includes traveling to visit with existing clients as well as meeting new ones.
As a result, most personal financial advisors work at least 40 hours a week, and 24 percent of them work more than 50 hours a week, says the Department of Labor.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Finance Program.
How to Prepare: A bachelor's degree is typically needed to pursue a career as a personal financial advisor, and although there isn't a specific field of study for this career, a degree in finance, economics, accounting, business, mathematics, or law can help prepare candidates, notes the Department. Those who directly buy or sell stocks, bonds, and insurance policies would also need licenses, depending on the products they sell.

Career #5 - Industrial Organizational Psychologist

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Ever heard of a doctor who treats an organization? Well, that is how Labovich describes the role of an industrial-organizational psychologist - another career that pays well.
"The IO psychologist diagnoses and fixes the health of an organization - complete with the board of directors, annual revenue, marketing, and other factors." The U.S. Department of Labor reports that industrial-organizational psychologists' responsibilities include policy planning, employee screening and training, and organizational development.
Why It Pays Well: "I think this role is highly paid because IO psychologists have to be able to take a seat at the table with high-level executives and get the buy-in of stakeholders." As a result, these psychologists are trusted, senior-level members of staff who work with management to organize the work setting and improve worker productivity.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Psychology Program.
How to Prepare: According to the Department of Labor, those who've earned a master's degree in psychology can work as industrial organizational psychologists. Entry into psychology graduate programs is competitive and may require undergraduate coursework in introductory psychology, experimental psychology, and statistics.

Career #6 - Elementary, Middle and High School Principal

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Working in a school setting as an elementary, middle, or high school principal offers a challenging yet lucrative career path. School principals lead and direct members of school staff and manage daily school operations, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
"They need to have good negotiating skills, because they often have to walk a narrow line between teachers, administrators, the community-at-large, and their students," Labovich observes. These skills are particularly helpful, because principals often need to implement policies and strategies that aren't well-liked at the time, she points out.
Why It Pays Well: One factor that might account for the high pay, according to Labovich, is that this career requires candidates who are "good mediators who cheer for their schools while sometimes defending policies they may or may not agree with."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Education Leadership Program.
How to Prepare: These professionals are usually required to have a master's degree in education leadership or administration by most schools, according to the Department of Labor. These graduate programs may require candidates to have a bachelor's degree in education, school counseling, or a related field.

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