5 Jobs That Are Big On Pay - and Here To Stay

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High Pay Jobs On The Rise

Check out our picks for high-paying jobs that are on the rise.

By Danielle Blundell

Believe it or not, some jobs are going the way of the dinosaurs. And the worst part about it? When it comes down to brass tax, some of these endangered jobs are well-respected, desirable, and high-paying to boot. So what's a job seeker to do? Well, the best defense against extinction may be simpler than you think.

"If you can pinpoint what you like to do, show that you're good at it, and find an opportune way to monetize it - a market need - that's the ideal," says Dana Leavy-Detrick, a New York City-based career consultant at Brooklyn Resume Studio, a company offering professional career consulting services.

Point taken, but to go a step further, it also may be helpful to identify - and avoid - some of the careers that are no longer in demand in the job market. These "endangered" jobs may have impressive salaries, but don't let that fool you. They are also in decline and projected to continue on that path for the foreseeable future, at least according to the U.S. Department of Labor and our career experts.

So, read on for our list of cautionary careers and alternatively, high-paying positions that are in demand.

High-paying jobs that are disappearing…

Career #1: Air
Traffic Controllers

Median Annual Salary:*
$122,530
Projected Job Growth from 2012 to 2022:**
1 percent

You may want to proceed with extreme caution if you're thinking about pursuing this career path. While the job pays well, be warned…

Technology is taking over more of the controller's duties in directing planes in and out of airports, says Tim Dugger, owner of the counseling firm Career Café. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Labor projects very little job growth for this career.

High-paying jobs that are growing…

Career #1: Industrial-
Organizational Psychologist

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Median Annual Salary:*
$83,580
Projected Job Growth from 2012 to 2022:**
53 percent

If you're analytical and enjoy helping others, consider a career in industrial-organizational psychology. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, as an industrial-organizational psychologist, you might use psychological principles and research methods to solve problems and improve the quality of work life. Collaborating with management on employee screening or training and policy planning might also be a part of your scope of responsibilities.

Why It Could Be a Better Choice: The field is growing, because these psychologists help businesses run smoothly. "[This job] is about addressing issues like productivity, diversity, and employee retention - helping companies create more effective workplace cultures," says Leavy-Detrick. And in turn, this increases a company's potential for profit - which all businesses want, she adds.

And the career could pay well, says Dugger, because corporations recognize the real monetary advantages of effectively matching people to roles that improve their productivity.

Next Step: Click to Find the Right Psychology Program.

Education Requirements: According to the Department of Labor, you can work as an industrial-organizational psychologist with a master's in psychology. For most master's programs, you don't need an undergraduate major in psychology. But you will need coursework in introductory psychology, experimental psychology, and statistics, says the Department.

Career #2: Software
Developer (Applications)

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Median Annual Salary:
$90,060
Projected Job Growth from 2012 to 2022:
23 percent

If you're creative and tech-savvy, you may want to check out a career as a software developer. In this role, you could be the mastermind behind the newest software and apps for computers and mobile devices, says the U.S. Department of Labor. Your job could also involve creating computer programs, testing them for glitches, and debugging them.

Why It Could Be a Better Choice: STEM jobs like this pay well, largely due to the fact that there aren't enough trained people to fill the existing roles, says Dugger.

As far as growth goes, according to Leavy-Detrick, software developers fulfill the needs of the business world, which is becoming increasingly global. "Companies are becoming increasingly web-based, and they need the types of talent who can build products, services, and organizations around that trend," she says.

Next Step: Click to Find the Right Computer Science Program.

Education Requirements: According to the Department of Labor, these professionals usually have a bachelor's in computer science, software engineering, or another related field. Mathematics is also accepted by employers.

Career #3: Power Plant
Operators

Median Annual Salary:
$66,130
Projected Job Growth from 2012 to 2022:
-11 percent

Power plant operators are responsible for delivering power into people's homes and businesses. And as you can imagine, their work could potentially impact tens of thousands of people, which accounts for their high pay, says Dugger. But with technology easily supplying power remotely, fewer workers are needed in this field, he explains. The negative growth in this profession, reported by the U.S. Department of Labor, reflects that decline.

Career #3: Medical and
Health Services Manager

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Median Annual Salary:
$88,580
Projected Job Growth from 2012 to 2022:
23 percent

If you're after a job with both high growth and high pay potential, then this is another profession to consider. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, these professionals are often in charge of planning and coordinating care at a hospital or doctor's office. In this role, you could be responsible for managing an area or department, creating staff schedules, and staying abreast of your facility's finances.

Why It Could Be a Better Choice: "This one is all about demographics," says Dugger of the high salaries and high growth in this field. "The aging baby boomer population will necessitate the growth of health care services offerings. And someone has to manage and lead all those medical practitioners."

Next Step: Click to Find the Right Health Care Administration Program.

Education Requirements: According to the Department of Labor, "prospective medical and health services mangers should have a bachelor's degree in health care administration." Master's degrees are also common in fields such as health services, business administration, public health, public administration, and long-term care administration.

Career #4:
Fashion Designer

Median Annual Salary:
$62,860
Projected Job Growth from 2012 to 2022:
-3 percent

Glamorous, check. High-paying, check - well, at least for the top fashion designers who clothe celebrities. But with more entrepreneurs starting independent labels, competition is fierce, says Leavy-Detrick. And the fight for success may not be worth it, considering that the U.S. Department of Labor notes that the growth in this field is on the decline.

Career #4:
Financial Analyst

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Median Annual Salary:
$76,950
Projected Job Growth from 2012 to 2022:
16 percent

If you love watching money grow, then you might want to pursue a career as a financial analyst. In this profession, you may often provide clients and businesses with recommendations on investment opportunities, says the U.S. Department of Labor. Your role might involve studying economic trends and evaluating historical data to make monetary suggestions.

Why It Could Be a Better Choice: According to Dugger, financial analysts are well-paid and on the rise, because "early career investors as well as corporations will all depend on the services of financial analysts services for maximizing returns and navigating government regulations."

Another reason for the uptick here: "In addition to medical services, boomers will need someone they trust to watch over their accumulated investments while they get to go enjoy their retirement years."

Next Step: Click to Find the Right Finance Program.

Education Requirements: Typically, the Department of Labor says, financial analysts must have a bachelor's degree. Some areas of study to consider include accounting, business administration, engineering, economics, finance, math, and statistics. Advanced positions, notes the Department, may often require a master's degree in business administration or finance.

Career #5:
Farmers and Ranchers

Median Annual Salary:
$69,300
Projected Job Growth from 2012 to 2022:
-19 percent

Back in the day, farmers and ranchers were the backbone of this country and commanded top-tier salaries, particularly after a good harvest. Nowadays, it's a different story. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor projects that nearly 180,000 jobs will be lost from 2012 to 2022. The problem? New farming technologies have led to higher yields - and a need for fewer workers on the farm, says Dugger. So unless you're inheriting a well-established family farming business, best to stick to something that's on the rise.

Career #5:
Dental Hygienist

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Median Annual Salary:
$70,210
Projected Job Growth from 2012 to 2022:
33 percent

Interested in helping people preserve their smiles? Then this career might be the in-demand option for you. As a dental hygienist, you might clean and examine teeth, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. You may also be tasked to educate patients on how to improve their oral health.

Why It Could Be a Better Choice: According to Dugger, this field has seen significant recent growth, because dental health has been increasingly tied to overall physical health. Again, the aging population comes into play - resulting in high demand and high compensation for people entering this field.

Next Step: Click to Find the Right Dental Hygiene Program.

Education Requirements: These professionals usually need an associate's degree in dental hygiene, according to the Department of Labor. Additionally, all states require them to have a license.

* All salary information from the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Employment and Wages data, May 2012.

** Projected job growth rates from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 edition.

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