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Want a Bigger Paycheck? Here Are Some of The Best Paying Jobs

Updated August 11, 2015
by Lisa Rowan
Writer and Producer

So you want a job that’s popular and has a ton of opportunities, but that still pays a lot of money. Can it be found? Glassdoor says yes — if you want to work in one of the careers listed in its new Highest Paying Jobs in Demand report.

Over the past year, Glassdoor examined the jobs with the highest salaries and the most open positions. They just released the top 25, and a few of the careers might surprise you.

Sure, doctors and lawyers are always going to be highly paid professions. But would you have guessed that your local pharmacist is probably making more than $100,000? Or that a physician’s assistant can earn more than $110,000 annually — and that there have been more than 43,000 open jobs posted in the last three months?

If you’re looking for a high-paying, in-demand career, here are three fields you might want to investigate. But get ready to study up: There are no easy A’s here.

Big Data

Analytics Manager (No. 8; average salary: $115,725)
Data Scientist (No. 15; average salary: $105,395)

Working with data is more than looking up how many pageviews your company website got last month. With so much information coming in through ecommerce and social media channels, there’s a lot for an analytics or data science professional to digest.

Analytics managers must keep a close eye on the ways customers interact with a business, and refine those customer “touch points” to build business.

“Your director of analytics should be able to rattle off your key customer touch points, tell you the current strategies for measuring those touch points and let you know which touch points would most benefit from improvements in measurement,” David McBride explains for Forbes. An analytics manager is always double-checking data on current initiatives to develop new ways to drive sales and increase retention.

Can data be sexy? Brace yourself: Data scientist was named the Sexiest Job of the 21st Century by the Harvard Business Review. Thomas H. Davenport and D.J. Patel of HBR explain, “More than anything, what data scientists do is make discoveries while swimming in data.”

These professionals do more than just “wrangle” data. It’s their job to figure out what to do with that data in order to improve the company. Usually, this requires a lot of interaction with business development and technology departments.

“In truth, data science begins by translating a business case into an analytics agenda. Much more time is spent developing hypotheses, understanding data, exploring patterns and measuring impact than selecting algorithms,” data scientist Andy Orin shares on Lifehacker.

Want one of these jobs?

It’s about numbers, yes, but it’s also about working with different groups to meet unified goals. Orin studied mathematics and organizational psychology. You’ll want tech skills, too: HBR says that “Data scientists’ most basic, universal skill is the ability to write code.”

Big Pharma

Pharmacy Manager (No. 2; average salary: $131,099)

Pharmacist (No. 11; average salary: $114,715)

It’s no myth that humans are living longer, but with increased longevity often comes a reliance on prescription drugs to keep you in working order. Who’s going to take care of everyone? Pharmacists.

These professionals have an important role in managing medication histories and communicating with doctors and patients about the best course of action during an illness. Beyond pharmacy storefronts, pharmacists are also in demand at mail-order pharmacy facilities and in hospitals.

The shortage of pharmacists in the 1990s and early 2000s coincided with many large retailers, like grocery stores, opening pharmacies inside their facilities. That growth has slowed, but the pharmacy bubble has yet to burst. For now, pharmacists are still in high demand.

Want one of these jobs?

“The unique mix of medicinal knowledge and interpersonal skills required to run a pharmacy counter remain in high demand,” writes Emily Bratcher at U.S. News and World Report.

But be ready to invest in a lot of schooling. You’ll need to take college level chemistry and biology before starting a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program, which usually takes four years. If you’d like to take the management tract, you’ll want some business classes, or even an MBA.

Big Business

Product Manager (No. 12; average salary: $113,959)
Supply Chain Manager (No. 14; average salary: $106,632)

In an increasingly connected world, supply chain managers are essential for business success. Every product has multiple components, whether they’re parts from another company, manufacturing by the factory down the block, or distribution through third party partners.

“Most organizations have only paid attention to what was happening within their ‘four walls,’” comments Robert Handfield, Ph.D., a professor of supply chain management at North Carolina State University. “Few businesses understood, much less managed, the entire chain of activities that ultimately delivered products to the final customer.”

It’s up to the supply chain manager to establish efficient production practices so that customers aren’t faced with empty shelves.

Meanwhile, a product manager is usually in charge of digital products. Think about the last time you purchased something online. Do you remember all of the steps involved? Probably not. It’s likely that a product manager worked to make sure your experience was seamless and satisfactory.

Growing businesses rely on product managers to help build tech services and systems efficiently. The product manager can also view the company’s growth objectively, and offer the voice of the customer when it comes to making big decisions.

Want one of these jobs?

If you’re not itching to get an MBA, you’ll at least need to take a healthy assortment of business classes as an undergrad. Computer science skills are also helpful for those going into product development.

If you’re thinking about supply chain, think about business on the global scale: Are you fluent in a foreign language? That second language could make you a top candidate.

Your Turn: What do you think of Glassdoor’s list? Are these jobs worth chasing?

by Lisa Rowan
Contributor for The Penny Hoarder

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