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14 Jobs that Pay $200K a Year (or Close to It)

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While loving your job and doing something you enjoy is important, so is paying the bills. And while you want a job that pays you enough to cover those expenses, you may want a salary that ensures you have a little extra at the end of the month. 

Jobs that pay $200k a year fit the bill (and then some), but landing them takes a little more than a killer resume and cover letter. You’ll need top-notch skills, determination, and some patience.

Top Jobs that Pay $200K a Year

Before we share our top picks, be aware that most, if not all, of these roles are not entry-level. While it would be awesome if you could graduate with a bachelor’s degree and get a job that pays $200k a year right off the bat, it’s highly unlikely that will happen. But if it does, please let me know!

Think of this list of jobs that pay $200k a year as aspirational. To get to the $200k pay level, you have to put in a lot of work, develop a strong skill set, and build a track record of proven results in your field. So, use this list as a guide for your career planning so you know what to do now to land one of these jobs later. (Here’s a hint: a Forage virtual job simulation can get you on your way.)

>>MORE: 10 Jobs That Pay $100K a Year 

Also, this list doesn’t include many jobs that pay over $200k a year (on average). Most jobs that pay over $200k a year include doctors and lawyers, two fields that require education beyond a bachelor’s degree, additional licensing, and specialized training.

1. Actuary

Estimated total salary: $194,618

Projected job outlook: 23% (much faster than average)

Actuaries work at the intersection of finance, data science, and statistics. They spend most of their time analyzing data to predict and quantify financial risks. The company uses that analysis to chart a path that mitigates the risk. While you can work as an actuary after completing a bachelor’s degree, you’ll need to pass a series of licensing exams before becoming a full-fledged actuary.


Step into the shoes of an actuary in this free course from Standard Bank. Perform a lapse analysis, analyze your findings, and present a solution.

Avg. Time: 3-4 hours

Skills you’ll build: Actuarial techniques and analysis, Excel, analytical thinking, PowerPoint

2. CEO

Estimated total salary: $296,064

Projected job outlook: 3% (as fast as average)

CEOs are responsible for everything at a company, which is probably why it pays over $200k a year. And when we say “everything,” we mean it. While the CEO delegates a lot of the work, they design the strategic plan, choose which ideas are worth pursuing, and support those efforts. This drives the company’s growth and profitability, making CEOs responsible for maintaining the financial health and longevity of the business.

venture capitalists presenting at work

Venture Capital

Try your hand at venture capital in this free course from H2 Ventures. Learn how to scout and value startups and learn more about how VC funding helps companies grow.

Avg. Time: 5-6 hours

Skills you’ll build: Startup scouting, growth hacking, venture capital financial modeling

3. Chief Financial Officer

Estimated total salary: $326,216

Projected job outlook: 3% (as fast as average)

A chief financial officer’s (CFO) role is similar to the CEO’s in that they play a significant role maintaining the company’s health and longevity. However, the CFO is responsible for devising methods for tracking the company’s cash flow and ensuring there’s enough on hand to pay the bills. They’re also expected to identify financial issues before they become crisis-level and suggest solutions for them.

Citibank, citigroup logo

Investment Banking

Take your investment banking skills to the next level in this free course from Citi. Create a profile for a target company, project a company's financials, and more.

Avg. Time: 5-6 hours

Skills you’ll build: Enterprise value, financial modeling, forecasting, comparison analysis

4. Chief Marketing Officer

Estimated total salary: $337,768

Projected job outlook: 3% (as fast as average)

Another C-suite role, the chief marketing officer (CMO) oversees the company’s marketing efforts. The CMO is responsible for identifying the company’s audience and devising outreach efforts to attract paying customers. While the CMO is the leader of all marketing efforts, they often work cross-functionally to collaborate with multiple teams, like sales, marketing, and content, to ensure the company has a unified marketing strategy across channels.

Omnichannel Marketing

Discover what it's like to work on an ominchannel marketing initiative in this free course from Lululemon. Create an integrated marketing plan, find local ambassadors, and more.

Avg. Time: 6-7 hours

Skills you’ll build: Project management, market research, user research, design thinking

5. Cloud Architect

Estimated total salary: $186,899

Projected job outlook: 4% (as fast as average)

Cloud architects design and maintain a company’s cloud computing system. They may contribute to the front end of a system, the part users interact with, or work on the backend system, like data storage. No matter what part of the cloud system the architect works on, they are responsible for troubleshooting when things go wrong, securing the system from hacks, and ensuring the system is stable for users.

Working at Verizon

Cloud Platform

Level up your cloud computing skills in this free course from Verizon and New York Jobs CEO Council. Work with the command line, research security methods, and more.

Avg. Time: 2-3 hours

Skills you’ll build: Coding, agile, concept demonstration, Python

6. Design Director

Estimated total salary: $175,671

Projected job growth: 3% (as fast as average)

Design directors are responsible for the “big ideas” behind products. They may conceive of the product’s overall design, look, and function, but they let product designers handle the details. However, since the director is responsible for the overarching creative direction of the product, they need excellent communication skills to ensure the product is produced as intended.

bp logo

Digital Design & UX

See what it's like to work in design in this free course from BP. Wireframe designs for the mobile app, prototype your app flow, and more.

Avg. Time: 5-6 hours

Skills you’ll build: User research, persona creation, UI, UX, mobile design, app design

7. Director of Product Management

Estimated total salary: $253,447

Projected job growth: 2% (as fast as average)

A product management director’s role is similar to a design director, but it’s not quite the same. Once a product is developed, the product manager steps in and oversees the product’s life cycle. They ensure the sales team markets the product, gather user feedback to enhance it, then create a plan for sunsetting the product when it no longer makes sense for the company to produce it.

BCG logo on building

X. Ventures

Help a small business customer come up with a new strategy in this free course from BCG. You'll map the customer journey, build a personalization engine, and more.

Avg. Time: 5-6 hours

Skills you’ll build: Ethnography, systems design, journey mapping, digital roadmapping

8. Information Security Director

Estimated total salary: $219,718

Projected job growth: 15% (much faster than average)

Companies that store personal and sensitive data in their systems are responsible for keeping it secure. That duty (and more) falls to the information security director. This role is responsible for developing the strategies and policies to keep digital information safe and ensuring that the team follows those guidelines. Information security directors are also responsible for making sure the company follows local laws and regulations on information security.

jpmorgan logo


See what it's like to work in cybersecurity in this free course from JPMorgan Chase. Analyze a dataset to uncover fraud, build an email classifier, and more.

Avg. Time: 5 hours

Skills you’ll build: Open source, application security hygiene, email security fundamentals, access control

9. Investment Banker

Estimated total salary: $259,947

Projected job growth: 7% (faster than average)

Investment bankers often start their careers as financial analysts at large banks, learning how to analyze complex information that helps clients make financial decisions. While an investment banker handles similar tasks, they are ultimately responsible for making recommendations and executing the plan. For example, an investment banker may participate in a merger and acquisition (M&A), price a company’s IPO, or directly manage assets.

Investment Banking

Experience what it's like working in investment banking in this free course from Bank of America. Analyze historic performance, design financial models, and more.

Avg. Time: 4-5 hours

Skills you’ll build: SWOT analysis, M&A screening, ECM, DCM, DCF, valuation

10. Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

Estimated total salary: $135,033

Projected job growth: 4% (as fast as average)

You may be surprised to see pharmaceutical sales on our list of jobs that pay $200k a year, given the salary. However, it’s important to note the estimated total salary is just that — salary! It doesn’t include commissions, which pharma reps often get in addition to salary, which can boost their pay well beyond $200k.

Pharmaceutical sales representatives market a drug or several drugs to doctors, hospitals, and clinics. They explain the benefits of the drug, educate about the potential side effects, and come up with a price point and supply that satisfies the customer’s needs and budget.


Try your hand at sales in this free course from PepsiCo. Create a sales pitch and learn how to motivate team members.

Avg. Time: 2-3 hours

Skills you’ll build: Managing team members, collaboration, executing, leading

11. Pilot

Estimated total salary: $225,574

Projected job growth: 4% (as fast as average)

Being a pilot is a specialized role that takes years of training. And once you’re a pilot, you’ll do a lot more than fly the plane. Pilots are also responsible for inspecting the aircraft before and after every flight, ensuring the plane is well-balanced and the weight is evenly distributed, checking the fuel supply, monitoring weather conditions, and looking out for the safety of every person on board.

>>MORE: Not sure how to choose a career? Learn how with this quiz.

12. Senior Engineer

Estimated total salary: $164,066

Projected job growth: 8% (faster than average)

Though nearly every kind of engineering relies on math, science, chemistry, and physics, you’ll focus on a specific type of engineering. For example, a structural engineer makes sure buildings (like houses and parking garages) are structurally sound and won’t collapse. But an industrial hygienist checks buildings for mold, asbestos, and other dangerous chemicals.

What is GE?

Explore Engineering

Try your hand at engineering in this free course from GE Aerospace. You'll compare and select the energy source for a new engine and create a presentation on turbines.

Avg. Time: 3-4 hours

Skills you’ll build: Data analysis, judgement, decision making, communication

13. Senior Software Engineer

Estimated total salary: $179,803

Projected job growth: 25% (much faster than average)

A software engineer writes the instructions that make a computer program run. Once they’ve written the program, they may test it to see that it works and check it for bugs and errors. Software engineers also write updates and upgrades for the software and sometimes ensure the program works for different operating systems, devices, and circumstances.

We’ve got 32 software engineering virtual job simulations. Find the one that’s right for you!

14. Senior Quantitative Analyst

Estimated total salary: $203,400

Projected job growth: 8% (faster than average)

Also known as a quant, quantitative analysts use their unique analytical skills to help companies make sound business and financial decisions. Many quants work for companies that buy and sell stocks and securities, though some quants develop software or evaluate financial data and information.

jpmorgan logo

Quantitative Research

See what it's like to work as a quant in this free course from JPMorgan Chase. You'll write code to analyze data, create a prototype pricing model, and more.

Avg. Time: 6-7 hours

Skills you’ll build: Python, statistics, dynamic programming, data analysis

How to Get a Job that Pays $200k a Year

While you may find some of these jobs that pay $200k a year on job boards or company career pages, that’s not always the case. When it comes to some of the more senior roles, networking often plays a crucial role in filling the position.

Equally important is demonstrating you have extensive experience in the role and the skills to get things done. Often, this starts with an entry-level role, then moving up the ladder into roles with more responsibility. Eventually, you’ll oversee projects, which means leading a team and likely becoming a manager.

While this list of jobs that pay $200k a year covers a variety of industries, they have several skills in common, and they’re almost all soft skills:

  • Leadership skills. While not all of these roles are leadership positions, they often require leadership skills. When you’re in charge of a project, you may need to lead a team of coworkers to get the job done.
  • Due diligence. Due diligence is when you research, investigate, and analyze something before making a decision to ensure it’s the best choice.
  • Interpersonal skills. You may not be a “people person,” but getting along with others in the workplace will help you go far in your career.
  • Decision-making skills. If there’s one skill these jobs all have in common, it’s making decisions. You’ll chart the course, choose the plan, and decide which way a project goes.
  • Critical thinking skills. Along with due diligence, you’ll need top-notch critical thinking skills. You’ll often be presented with a lot of information, some of which may conflict. Your ability to analyze what’s in front of you and think critically about it is crucial in these roles.

Get Started on Tomorrow

Getting a job that pays $200k a year probably won’t happen right away. But with a solid career plan, effort, and patience, you can eventually land a job that pays $200k a year or more.

The first step of that plan is enrolling in a free Forage virtual job simulation. We’ve got hundreds of programs in a variety of fields that let you see what it’s like to work in all kinds of jobs at all kinds of companies. And when you complete one, you’ll get a free resume snippet and interview talking points you can customize to help you in your job search.

Image credit: Canva

Rachel Pelta is the Head Writer at Forage. Previously, she was a Content Specialist at FlexJobs, writing articles for job seekers and employers. Her work has been featured in Fast Company, The Ladders, MSN, and Money Talks News.

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