Sunday, March 13, 2016

The highest-paying jobs in America - Note for a lecture, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United"

Thomas C. Frohlich, 24/7 Wall St., USA Today

The technology and health sectors are two of the most vibrant, highly innovative, and ultra competitive industries in the U.S. economy. To maintain relevance, companies in these industries require highly skilled and often highly educated employees. Such employees do not come cheaply and to attract them, companies offer large compensation packages.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 25 highest paying jobs in America ranked by median annual base salary. Employee experience review company Glassdoor identified the jobs based on salary reports employees in these jobs shared on over the past year.
See all of the 25 highest paying jobs at 24/7 Wall St.:
These are the 10 highest paying jobs in America.
1. Physician
> Median base salary:
> Number of job openings: 2,064
Like law professions, doctors and physicians have been among the most highly-paid and respected occupations for some time. A typical U.S. worker starting out as a physician earns $180,000 annually. The growing population of elderly Americans is expected to only accelerate in coming years, a trend that will increase the demand for physicians and other medical practitioners.
2. Lawyer
> Median base salary:
> Number of job openings: 995
The value of a law degree has been recently questioned due to the high number of law school graduates relative to job openings. Perhaps as a result, law school enrollment has fallen in recent years. Still, the demand for legal services will likely remain steady in the future, as the BLS projects growth for lawyer occupations in line with the national average. Due to the high level of education required, lawyers are also very well paid, trailing only doctors in starting salary.
3. Research & development manager
> Median base salary:
> Number of job openings: 112
A wide range of organizations in many industries require some research and development, and the individuals capable of managing such projects do not necessarily have the same set of skills and educational background. The profession will likely remain relatively invulnerable to offshoring and automation, and the starting base salary of $142,120 is among the highest in the country. On the other hand, Glassdoor estimates just 112 job openings, one of the lower such figures of any U.S. occupation.
4. Software development manager
> Median base salary:
> Number of job openings: 3,495
Automation and offshoring are among the most prominent forces impacting U.S. industries and employment. Much of the automation trend is fueled by software and other technological advancements. Since humans will likely continue to design and construct this software into the foreseeable future, software development managers will likely remain in high demand. Not only are such workers highly paid, but they are also in high demand — Glassdoor estimates close to 3,500 current job openings, above average.
5. Pharmacy manager
> Median base salary:
> Number of job openings: 1,766
The pharmaceutical and health care industries in the United States are closely interlinked. Like many other health professions, pharmacy managers are largely protected from competition and automation. Pharmacy managers are often trained pharmacists, another one of the highest paying jobs.
6. Strategy manager
> Median base salary:
> Number of job openings: 701
Strategy managers frequently consult companies charged with complex problems and large management teams. Strategy managers are usually relatively well educated, but perhaps more importantly, most positions call for many years of experience.
7. Software architect
> Median base salary:
> Number of job openings: 655
The increased use of technology guarantees at least steady demand for many technology-related jobs. In particular, demand for software developers and architects will continue to rise with the increased use of computerized applications, which further drives up wages. The base salary of a software architect in the United States is $128,250 a year, one of the highest — even among technology jobs.
8. Integrated circuit designer engineer
> Median base salary:
> Number of job openings: 165
Integrated circuits, chips, microchips, or semiconductors are essential component of virtually all computing products and processes. Anything from an automobile’s electric windows to a computer’s operating system requires chips of some kind. Designers and engineers of these products spend many years learning the necessary knowledge and skills, and are therefore in high demand. While the pay is high, Glassdoor estimates a relatively low number of current job openings.
9. IT manager
> Median base salary:
> Number of job openings: 3,152
Information technology managers are needed to manage IT infrastructures, especially in expanding organizations. Not only do these workers require knowledge of computer systems, but also management skills.
10. Solutions architect
> Median base salary:
> Number of job openings: 2,838
Solutions architects deal primarily with data-related projects and often work in consulting and technology firms that offer data storage products and services. The typical pay for a starting worker in the occupation is $120,000.
More on the highest-paying jobs in America
Physicians and lawyers are the highest and second highest paying professions in the United States, with salaries of $180,000 and $144,500, respectively.
The majority of the 23 other highest paid occupations are — like physicians — in the health sector but also in the technology sectors.
The highest paying jobs are concentrated in these sectors largely because they are in high demand. These professions also frequently require skills that are exceedingly difficult to automate.
In an email with 24/7 Wall St., Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor chief economist, explained that many of these health sector and technology jobs involve a level of judgment and creativity that is impossible to automate at present. “The urgency of many healthcare scenarios requires snap-decisions or creative solutions to existing medical conditions,” Chamberlain gave as example. Similarly, in the technology sector, a degree of flexibility and creativity in these highly paid jobs is required that is very difficult to automate.
Fifteen of the 25 highest paying jobs are management positions. While Glassdoor’s data do not suggest that managerial positions are on the rise, managers in any given industry are often better paid. “The manager skill set that requires maintaining a working team in a fast-paced, highly-educated industry like tech, finance or healthcare is also something that employers find difficult to automate, and will invest in with higher employee salaries,” said Chamberlain.
By contrast, the typical receptionist, server, leasing consultant, or office assistant — to give just a few examples — earn starting salaries between $30,000 and $35,000. The relatively low salaries for these jobs can be at least partially attributed to the fact that, unlike the highest paid occupations, they do not typically require high levels of education, technical skills. In some cases, automation of these jobs is also partially to blame.
Pay is among the most important factors for individuals looking for a job. According to a recent Glassdoor survey, more than two-thirds of people consider compensation one of their primary considerations when accepting a job.
While a high salary may attract job-seekers to particular positions, once they are in the job, pay is by no means the primary driver of employee satisfaction. “When we dig deeper into what keeps employees satisfied once they’re in a job and with a company, we find that culture and values, career opportunities, and trust in senior leadership are the biggest drivers of employee satisfaction,” Chamberlain said.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed Glassdoor’s 25 Highest Paying Jobs in America report, released March 9, 2016. According to the report: “For a job title to be considered for Glassdoor’s 25 Highest Paying Jobs in America report, job titles must receive at least 75 salary reports shared by U.S.-based employees over the past year (1/24/15 – 1/23/16). The number of job openings per job title represents active job listings on Glassdoor as of 2/23/165. If job titles have the same median base salary, the job title with the higher number of job openings receives higher rank. This report takes into account job title normalization that groups similar job titles. C-suite level jobs were excluded from this report.” In addition to data from Glassdoor, we reviewed job outlook for jobs listed in the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook.

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