The Path To A Career with High Earning Potential


If your goal is to have high earning potential, consider one of these 5 career paths.

By Tony Moton

Think making your way to a high earning potential is impossible?

With the right education, and the right career roadmap, you could make it happen.

Take Debbie Tay, a nurse practitioner who started her path to career success by earning a bachelor's degree in nursing; worked for a year as a registered nurse (RN); then returned to the classroom to earn her master's degree in nursing. She's now earning $100,000 per year as a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner.

We're not saying that everyone will find the same success as Tay, but if you'd like to learn more about some career roadmaps with high earning potential, keep reading.

Top Average Salary Destination: $101,098*

These nursing professionals often serve as key liaisons between doctors and patients, but they can also help develop treatment plans, prescribe medications, and diagnose or treat acute illnesses.

Potential Career Path:

  • Experience as a registered nurse (RN) is an excellent starting point. To enter the RN career field, earning your nursing diploma or degree, then getting licensed, could help get you there. RNs have an average salary of $65,130.*
  • To potentially get to the next level in your career, you'll likely need to obtain a master's degree (it's often considered a must by employers) and relevant industry certifications.
  • Enter the profession, seek out areas of interest and gain experience in specified fields.

Find schools with Nursing programs.

Top Average Salary Destination: $105,960**

The responsibility of coordinating a company's market research, marketing strategy, sales, and advertising often belongs to specialists who promote products and services. It's a high-visibility field in which top candidates demonstrate creativity and strong communications skills.

Potential Career Path:

Search for Marketing and Business schools now.

Top Average Salary Destination: $137,800***

Management positions in this field often require applicants to have the ability to plan, direct, coordinate, and supervise the administration of health care. They might run a specific clinical department or a hospital. A number of facilities might be under the supervision of a manager in charge of an entire system.

Potential Career Path:

  • Earning a bachelor's degree in health care administration or business administration is a step in the right direction.
  • Obtaining a master's degree generally is the most common route for advancement to management positions, according to the Department of Labor. Some MBA programs now specifically focus on health management.
  • Graduate students entering the field in health services administration might begin as department managers or members of the supervisory staff (a family practice office manager makes $47,152 - on average - annually).* Students with bachelor's degrees could have opportunities to work as assistants or assistant department heads in bigger hospitals, according to the Department of Labor.

Search for top Health Care schools now.

Top Average Salary Destination: $102,380***

Accountants often work for companies, government agencies, and individuals who need someone to track and analyze their finances. Responsibilities vary greatly, but preparing and verifying financial documents could take up the bulk of the work for most in the field.

Potential Career Path:

  • A bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field could open the door to entry-level opportunities, allowing beginning accountants (with an average annual salary of $48,993*) to work under experienced accountants.
  • Accounting duties are often broken down into four major fields: public accounting, government accounting, internal auditing, and management accounting. Consider a career as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), an accountant who has obtained licensure to file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
  • Earning a master's degree in accounting or a master's degree in business administration (MBA) with a concentration in accounting could help one feel prepared to pursue a management position.

Search for online and local Accounting degree programs.

Top Average Salary Destination: $124,250***

Top-level education administrators often provide instructional leadership and manage services (academic and otherwise) at elementary schools, secondary schools, and colleges. Among their duties would be developing academic programs; preparing and managing teachers and staff members; and overseeing budgets and the financial aspects of an educational institution.

The Path to $100K:

  • A bachelor's degree in education or a relevant subject field (such as science, liberal arts, or social sciences), along with teaching experience, might open the door to careers as principals or assistant principals in private schools.
  • Most public school administrators start their careers as teachers, who have an annual average salary of $47,100 to $51,180.*
  • To potentially continue on the path to administration, a candidate should complete a master's degree in education and look for opportunities to move into more general administrative positions.

Search for online Education and Teaching programs now.

Unless otherwise noted, all salary data is from the U.S. Department of Labor.
*The average annual salary represents the highest ten percent of workers in this field. Salary data from
**The average annual salary represents the median average of workers in this field. Salary data from U.S. Department of Labor.
***The average annual salary represents the highest ten percent of workers in this field. Salary data from U.S. Department of Labor.

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