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30 Jobs That Pay $80,000

Rachel Zupek, writer

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Let's be honest: Sometimes you don't care about the job -- you just care about the salary.

But it's awfully hard to look for a job that fits both your salary requirements and your skill set. Not to mention that we always tell you that your work and career should be something you love. Ideally, money is just an added benefit.

That being said, we're also realists. We know that times are tough and at this point, some people just need to get paid. Fortunately, there's a new salary tool available that can help you do just that.

Jobs by Salary, a new salary tool from, allows you to search for jobs by salary based on where you live or work in the United States. Do you live in Phoenix and want to make $50,000? No problem. Plug in your data, and you'll get a list of jobs that pay that much in your area, plus the necessary requirements.

Because our readers live all over, we thought it unfair to provide a list of jobs that pay a certain dollar amount in one place or another. Plus, we all know that different markets pay different salaries based on a variety of things such as cost of living.

Instead, we went to the Bureau of Labor Statistics to look at the latest (May 2008) salary information for the United States. From there, we found out which occupations pay in the $80,000 range based on national averages.

Here are 30 jobs that pay at least $80,000:

1. Administrative law judges, adjudicators and hearing officers                       
Do this: Conduct hearings to rule on government-related claims; determine penalties and liability; and help to craft settlements.
Get paid: $80,870

2. Biomedical engineers       
Do this: Design and develop devices and procedures to help solve health-related problems. Projects might include information systems, artificial organs or artificial limbs.
Get paid: $81,120

3. Chiropractors        
Do this: Diagnose and treat musculoskeletal conditions of the spinal column to prevent disease and alleviate imbalance, pain and pressure believed to be caused by interference with nervous system.
Get paid: $81,340

4. Atmospheric, earth, marine and space sciences teachers, post-secondary 
Do this: Teach courses and research topics in the physical sciences, except chemistry and physics.
Get paid: $81,470

5. Agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes    
Do this: Represent and promote their client's business while handling business matters and contract negotiations.
Get paid: $81,550

6. Materials scientists
Do this
: Study the chemical composition of various materials and figure out ways to develop new materials and improve existing ones; also determine ways to use materials in products.
Get paid: $81,600

7. Physician assistants
Do this
: Perform health-care services and provide treatment plans under a physician's supervision.
Get paid: $81,610

8. Medical scientists, except epidemiologists        
Do this: Research and investigate human diseases and how to improve human health.
Get paid: $81,870

9. Physics teachers, post-secondary                     
Do this: Teach courses and research topics pertaining to the laws of matter and energy.
Get paid: $81,880

10. Atmospheric and space scientists
Do this
: Study the effects the atmosphere has on the environment, most commonly through weather forecasting.
Get paid: $82,080 

11. Management analysts    
Do this: Figure out best practices of management by conducting studies and procedures to help companies figure out how to operate more effectively.
Get paid: $82,920

12. Producers and directors
Do this
: Produce or direct, and make all creative decisions for stage, television, radio, video or motion picture productions.
Get paid: $83,030 

13. Biological science teachers, post-secondary
Do this
: Teach courses and research topics in biological sciences.
Get paid: $83,270 

14. Materials engineers        
Do this: Develop new uses for recognized materials, and develop new machinery and processes to make materials for use in specialized products.
Get paid: $84,200 

15. Transportation, storage and distribution managers  
Do this: Oversee transportation, storage or distribution activities in accordance with governmental policies and regulations.
Get paid: $84,520 

16. Financial analysts           
Do this: Assess the financial situations of an individual or organization.
Get paid: $84,780 

17. Electrical engineers
Do this
: Design, develop and test the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment.
Get paid: $85,350 

18. Education administrators, elementary and secondary school          
Do this: Oversee all activities of public or private elementary or secondary schools.
Get paid: $86,060

19. Industrial-organizational psychologists
Do this
: Work with companies to solve problems within the company. You may help with policy planning; employee screening, training and development; and organizational development and analysis.
Get paid: $86,460 

20. Computer software engineers, applications    
Do this: Build computer applications software and code; ensure that all software projects adhere to a company's technology and business standards.
Get paid: $87,900

21. Economics teachers, post-secondary
Do this
: Teach courses and research topics in economics.
Get paid: $88,330

22. Biochemists and biophysicists   
Do this: Study the chemical composition and physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena.
Get paid: $88,450

23. Art directors       
Do this: Create design concepts and presentation in artwork, layout design and copywriting for visual communications media.
Get paid: $88,510

24. Electronics engineers, except computer
Do this: Design, develop and test a wide range of electronic equipment, from CD players to global positioning systems.
Get paid: $88,670

25. Medical and health services managers
Do this
: Supervise medical and health services in hospitals, clinics and similar organizations.
Get paid: $88,750

26. Chemical engineers        
Do this: Design chemical plant equipment and create processes for manufacturing chemicals and products.
Get paid: $88,760

27. Geoscientists, except hydrologists and geographers  
Do this: Study the composition, structure and other physical aspects of the Earth.
Get paid: $89,300

28. Veterinarians      
Do this: Provide health care for family pets, livestock and zoo animals. Provide check-ups, treat diseases and advise caretakers on how to best raise their animals.
Get paid: $89,450 

29. Construction managers
Do this
:Oversee all activities concerned with the construction and maintenance of structures, facilities and systems.
Get paid: $89,770 

30. Sales engineers
Do this
: Sell business goods or services, the selling of which requires a technical background equivalent to a bachelor's degree in engineering.
Get paid: $89,770 

Want to know which jobs pay $80,000 or more in your city? Check out Jobs by Salary

Rachel Zupek is a writer and blogger for and its job blog, The Work Buzz. She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues. Follow her on Twitter:

Last Updated: 07/10/2009 - 9:52 PM

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