Top Jobs to Earn $100k+ per year before you’re 30

I decided to look into which careers are the most rewarding early in your career. Most of the jobs aren’t a surprise with Software Engineers topping the list with almost 60k young adults under the age of 30 earning over $100k. This means about 21% of Software Engineers between the ages of 20-29 are making six figures annually. Here’s a treemap of the top jobs of 20-29 year old Americans who earn more than $100,000 per year.

Top 10 Occupations By Percentage Earning Over $100k

Looking at the raw numbers by job, you might notice a few stereotypically low paying jobs on the list such as Retail Salespersons. The reason for this is because only 0.5% of all Retail Salespersons make over $100k, but because there are 1.8 million 20-29 year olds who work as Retail Salespersons there are quite a few pulling a good amount of money.

If you look at % of Workers between 20-29 making that much the list changes quite a bit. Healthcare related occupations dominate the list, and it's important to note that Doctors a missing from the top 10 and this is most likely due to the fact that many are in residency until their early 30s.

Occupation% of Workers
Petroleum, mining and geological engineers, including mining safety engineers42.05%
Dentists37.50%
Pharmacists34.86%
Optometrists31.91%
Architectural and Engineering Managers25.58%
Physician Assistants21.32%
Software Developers, Applications and Systems Software20.93%
Chief executives and legislators/public administration20.46%
Lawyers, and judges, magistrates, and other judicial workers19.94%
Actuaries19.45%

Full List

This data was sourced from the American Communities Survey 2014-2018 data.

# Earning >$100k : Number of 20-29 year olds who earned over $100k per year for this specific occupation. These numbers are estimates by the ACS.

% of Workers : Of all 20-29 year old who worked in this occupation this is the percentage who earned over $100k. Small percentages mean it is less common for people in this occupation to earn that much. Large percentages mean it is common.

Occupation# Earning > $100k% of Workers
Software Developers, Applications and Systems Software5982020.9%
Managers, nec (including Postmasters)311196.3%
Pharmacists2280534.9%
Lawyers, and judges, magistrates, and other judicial workers1922719.9%
Computer Scientists and Systems Analysts/Network systems Analysts/Web Developers182695.0%
First-Line Supervisors of Sales Workers164011.8%
Registered Nurses157202.9%
Managers in Marketing, Advertising, and Public Relations129216.4%
Accountants and Auditors125703.5%
Management Analysts123119.6%
Financial Managers111137.2%
Financial Analysts1061517.0%
Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing104784.8%
Sales Representatives, Services, All Other92035.4%
Retail Salespersons91800.5%
Engineers, nec90308.2%
Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents812218.1%
Chief executives and legislators/public administration761120.5%
Personal Financial Advisors739412.2%
Computer Programmers73768.5%
Driver/Sales Workers and Truck Drivers66351.0%
General and Operations Managers60925.1%
Other Business Operations and Management Specialists60293.8%
Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents58456.4%
Human Resources, Training, and Labor Relations Specialists57792.6%
Customer Service Representatives54060.4%
Designers53592.3%
Constructions Managers52987.4%
Unemployed, with No Work Experience in the Last 5 Years or Earlier or Never Worked52200.2%
Police Officers and Detectives51232.7%
Physician Assistants498521.3%
Computer and Information Systems Managers476710.4%
First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers46355.4%
Petroleum, mining and geological engineers, including mining safety engineers455542.1%
Construction Laborers41170.7%
Dentists402837.5%
Civil Engineers34854.3%
Welding, Soldering, and Brazing Workers34501.9%
Electrical and Electronics Engineers34409.5%
Computer Support Specialists33952.0%
Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers33724.4%
Electricians33521.8%
Physicians and Surgeons33394.9%
Cashiers33250.1%
Food Service and Lodging Managers33091.0%
Mechanical Engineers31324.8%
Insurance Sales Agents31093.3%
Athletes, Coaches, Umpires, and Related Workers28871.2%
Pipelayers, Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters27712.0%
Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers27069.6%
Carpenters26871.0%
Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand25320.2%
Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers24733.5%
Other production workers including semiconductor processors and cooling and freezing equipment operators24720.7%
Actors, Producers, and Directors24493.8%
Sales and Related Workers, All Other24253.1%
Credit Counselors and Loan Officers24194.4%
First-Line Supervisors of Production and Operating Workers23372.2%
First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers23211.2%
Medical and Health Services Managers23154.1%
Human Resources Managers22943.5%
Chemical Engineers225212.6%
Industrial Engineers, including Health and Safety21454.6%
Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioner Support Technicians20380.8%
Waiters and Waitresses20150.1%
Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers20071.0%
Physical Scientists, nec20043.5%
Aerospace Engineers19978.1%
Postsecondary Teachers19820.6%
Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers18790.5%
Financial Clerks, nec18565.4%
Network and Computer Systems Administrators18375.1%
Architectural and Engineering Managers180325.6%
Extraction workers, nec17875.9%
Engineering Technicians, Except Drafters17611.8%
Military, Rank Not Specified17321.2%
Elementary and Middle School Teachers17310.3%
Actuaries172219.5%
Firefighters16932.4%
Grounds Maintenance Workers16840.3%
Advertising Sales Agents16523.5%
Chefs and Cooks16380.1%
Secretaries and Administrative Assistants16210.3%
Paralegals and Legal Assistants15821.6%
Editors, News Analysts, Reporters, and Correspondents15342.1%
Education Administrators15191.5%
Construction equipment operators except paving, surfacing, and tamping equipment operators15102.1%
Physical Therapists14973.3%
Other Teachers and Instructors14940.4%
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics14600.6%
Computer Hardware Engineers145116.6%
Writers and Authors13622.6%
Artists and Related Workers13222.8%
Diagnostic Related Technologists and Technicians13101.8%
Musicians, Singers, and Related Workers12972.3%
Janitors and Building Cleaners12920.2%
Mathematical science occupations, nec12815.6%
Aircraft Pilots and Flight Engineers12785.6%
Maintenance and Repair Workers, General12471.2%
Office Clerks, General12420.3%
Database Administrators12406.4%
Air Traffic Controllers and Airfield Operations Specialists121910.9%
Power Plant Operators, Distributors, and Dispatchers121118.8%
Chemists and Materials Scientists11975.7%
Industrial Production Managers11955.6%
Purchasing Managers11756.4%
Compliance Officers, Except Agriculture11473.7%
Financial Specialists, nec110911.3%
Derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators, and roustabouts, oil, gas, and mining10888.1%
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses10780.6%
Optometrists107231.9%
Heavy Vehicle and Mobile Equipment Service Technicians and Mechanics10712.1%
Nursing, Psychiatric, and Home Health Aides10570.2%
Medical Assistants and Other Healthcare Support Occupations, nec10480.3%
Photographers10471.6%
Public Relations Specialists10342.7%
Medical Scientists, and Life Scientists, All Other10294.2%
Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics10271.2%

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