3 Fast-Growing Occupations That Pay Over $85,000 a Year

Source: Flickr / Tax Credits.

How would you like to have a job that paid over $40 per hour? Since positions that pay that well make up only about 10 million of the nation's 130 million jobs, snagging one would be quite a coup. Knowing that your career choice is poised to be one of the most in-demand over the next several years would be sweeter still.

According to those busy number-crunchers at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these three jobs profiled in its Occupational Outlook Handbook have a perfect blend of high pay and terrific growth potential – and currently don't require additional education beyond a bachelor's degree for entry.

1. Information Security Analysts
The need to protect computer systems and electronic records is spurring growth in this occupation, which is expected to grow at a rate of 37% through 2022. In comparison, computer occupations in general are expected to grow by a mere 18% during that time period.

In addition to a four-year degree, applicants for these jobs will likely be expected to have experience in a related field. The median salary, as of May 2012, was $86,170, and two huge employers are expected to require the services of these analysts far into the future: the federal government, and the health care industry.

2. Medical and Health Services Managers
Speaking of the flourishing health care field, this administrative position is in big demand these days, due in large part to the aging of the baby boomer generation. No doubt, health care reform has also played a part in the growth of this particular occupation, which sports a median pay level of $88,580 as of May, 2012.

Though a bachelor's degree is listed as the only educational requirement, BLS notes that more applicants these days have master's degrees, as well.

3. Software Developers
Software developers are in great demand, and received a median annual salary in 2012 of $93,350. Since creativity is a large part of the job, the best and brightest most likely command even higher wages. As you might expect, the incredible growth of the technology sector is at the heart of this occupational group's rise. Similarly, like information security analysts, software developers are needed to tend to the cybersecurity needs of the federal government, as well as the increasingly computerized nature of the health care industry.

As testament to the popularity of this job group, big tech firms such as Apple and Google were sued by a group of software engineers for holding down wages by engaging in an anti-poaching regimen. Four firms settled the case in late April, so salaries could edge upwards in the very near future.

These jobs are currently in such demand that it is possible that the growth rates projected by BLS might be a little low. A recent survey by Georgetown University found that job ads posted online were brimming with these kinds of positions. Among the most popular were computer systems analysts, applications software developers, and medical and health services managers. If you're interested in a career with a secure future, these jobs are a sure bet.

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Amanda Alix

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