- 1. Data Scientist
- 2. Back-End Developer
- 3. Full-Stack Developer
- 4. iOS/Android Developer
- 5. Data Engineer
- 6. Machine Learning Engineer
- 7. DevOps Engineer
- 8. Cloud Architect
- 9. Product Manager
- 10. Cybersecurity Specialist
- 11. Technical Program Manager
- 12. Creative Director
- How to get a job that pays 100k or more
Industries like tech offer numerous jobs that pay 100k a year. Landing a high-paying position can help you achieve financial stability and minimize stress. Plus, a lucrative salary can make it easier to accomplish significant life goals, such as buying a house, traveling the world, and saving for retirement.
People often assume that most high-paying careers require a college education and extensive work experience, but that’s not always true. With the right skills and preparation, you can pursue numerous six-figure jobs without a degree. Many of these careers also offer opportunities for growth and advancement, so you can watch your income climb as you level up your skills.
This guide explores 12 in-demand jobs that make 100k a year and offers practical strategies to land a high-paying role.
1. Data Scientist
Average salary: $124,000
Top salary: $189,000
Highest-paying cities: San Francisco, Seattle, Boston
Data Scientists use powerful software and statistical analysis to transform raw data into insights. They analyze complex datasets to help organizations understand their clients, internal operations, and competitors.
To pursue a career as a Data Scientist, you’ll need these skills:
- Communication: Explain complicated statistical results to non-experts in an accessible and engaging way.
- Database management: Collect and organize large quantities of data.
- Machine learning: Use machine learning algorithms to classify and analyze data.
2. Back-End Developer
Average salary: $158,000
Top salary: $234,000
Highest-paying cities: San Francisco, Boston, Chicago
Back-End Developers use programming languages and frameworks to build software applications' server-side—or back-end. They develop behind-the-scenes functions like data storage and user authentication. To become a back-end developer, you must learn specific back-end programming languages.
3. Full-Stack Developer
Average salary: $125,000
Top salary: $196,000
Highest-paying cities: San Francisco, Charlotte, Austin
Full-Stack developers offer comprehensive web development services. These versatile professionals excel at designing both front-end interfaces and back-end functionalities. They ensure that the numerous components of applications work harmoniously and troubleshoot bugs.
- HTML and CSS: Design the structure and appearance of web pages.
- Git: Track changes to code and work collaboratively.
- User interface design: Create accessible webpages and applications that users enjoy.
4. iOS/Android Developer
Average salary: $133,000 / $126,000
Top salary: $205,000 / $204,000
Highest-paying cities: San Francisco, Columbus, New York City
Android and iOS Developers specialize in creating mobile applications for Android and Apple devices. They work within the constraints of these systems to design applications that meet users’ needs. Android and iOS systems evolve constantly, so developers must continually update their knowledge as new features and devices launch.
To become an iOS/Android developer, you may learn:
- Kotlin and Java: Developers typically use these programming languages to design Android applications.
- Swift: Apple designed this coding language specifically for iOS mobile apps.
- Cross-platform development: Write adaptable code that allows applications to be used across different platforms and devices.
5. Data Engineer
Average salary: $123,000
Top salary: $186,000
Highest-paying cities: Washington, DC, Boston
Data Engineers design the architecture for databases. They manage how a company stores and secures data. If you’re interested in a career as a Data engineer, you should learn programming languages like SQL, Python, and Scala.
Other data engineering skills include:
- Collaboration: Work closely with Data analysts, scientists, managers, and other professionals.
- Cloud computing: Use cloud platforms like AWS and Google Cloud to process and store data.
- Data cleaning: Correct errors or inconsistencies in data, such as duplicate entries and spelling mistakes.
6. Machine Learning Engineer
Average salary: $160,000
Top salary: $248,000
Highest-paying cities: New York City, San Francisco, Seattle
Machine Learning Engineers use artificial intelligence tools and algorithms to design predictive models. AI systems imitate human thought and continuously improve as they process data. Machine learning has countless practical applications, such as recommending films to streaming service users and identifying fraud in financial records. Also, Machine Learning Engineers are the fifth most in-demand career(opens new window).
Machine learning skills include:
- Data modeling: Define all the data a company uses and assign meaning to it.
- Python: Many professionals use Python to build machine-learning models.
7. DevOps Engineer
Average salary: $126,000
Top salary: $192,000
Highest-paying cities: San Jose, Denver, Dallas
DevOps Engineers collaborate with software developers, project managers, and other professionals to optimize the software development project lifestyle. They increase efficiency and reduce mistakes between design, development, testing, and deployment.
DevOps engineer skills include:
- Communication: Understand and convey client, stakeholder, team, and end-user needs.
- Full-stack development: Learn all aspects of development so you can assist your teams throughout the project lifecycle.
- Project management: Organize teams and resources to stay on track with project timelines and budget.
8. Cloud Architect
Average salary: $137,000
Top salary: $198,000
Highest-paying cities: Washington, DC, Austin, Houston
Cloud Architects develop, deploy, and maintain cloud-based applications and solutions for organizations. They may also build custom architectures to help organizations optimize cloud storage and resources. Additionally, they implement advanced security measures to prevent unauthorized users from accessing confidential company data.
Cloud Architect skills include:
- Cloud architecture design - use tools like AWS CloudFormation and Google Cloud Deployment Manager to design and automatically deploy cloud infrastructures.
- Incidence response - learn how to respond promptly to cyberattacks on cloud architecture using methods like threat isolation and forensic analysis.
- Leadership - coordinate teams of Developers, Operations Specialists, and other tech professionals as they build cloud-based solutions.
9. Product Manager
Average salary: $114,000
Top salary: $176,000
Highest-paying cities: San Jose, Seattle, Austin
Product Managers oversee the ideation and development of products. They interview customers and research competitors to identify gaps in the market. Additionally, they collaborate with development teams and stakeholders to create or iterate on features.
Product Manager skills include:
- Market research: Gather market and user data through focus groups, surveys, and other research methods.
- Problem-solving: Brainstorm innovative products that solve pain points.
- Software engineering: Product Managers aren’t always familiar with software engineering, but a base knowledge can help with collaboration and understanding product limitations.
10. Cybersecurity Specialist
Average salary: $147,000
Top salary: $231,000
Highest-paying cities: Denver, Arlington, Austin
Skills for Cybersecurity Specialists include:
- Adaptability: Cybercriminals constantly develop new attacks, so you must continuously learn and update security defenses.
- Penetration testing: Identify weaknesses in systems before cybercriminals do.
- Risk identification: Detect vulnerabilities in computer networks and assess the level of danger.
11. Technical Program Manager
Average salary: $149,000
Top salary: $220,000
Highest-paying cities: Santa Clara, Mountain View, Redmond
Technical Program Managers are usually mid to senior-level employees who lead cross-functional teams. They usually focus on managing and delivering on tech-heavy projects. Most Technical Program Managers have previous hands-on experience building products and creating software.
Technical Program Manager skills include:
- Conflict resolution: Manage relationships between clients, teams, and stakeholders.
- Project management: Use Agile methodologies and other approaches to manage project teams, timelines, and scope effectively.
- Technical acumen: Understand the architecture of projects and explain complex technical solutions to different audiences.
12. Creative Director
Average salary: $110,000
Top salary: $197,000
Highest-paying cities: Los Angeles, New York City, Seattle
Creative Directors shape branding and product development in creative industries like advertising and film. The day-to-day of a Creative Director varies greatly by industry. In general, they focus on big-picture strategizing, such as defining the aesthetic of a fashion line and implementing branding strategies. Creative Directors may also manage creative teams and pitch ideas to clients.
Creative Director skills include:
- Communication: Develop persuasive presentations and reports and pitch your creative ideas.
- Initiative: Stay up-to-date with the latest trends in your industry.
- Strategic thinking: Make creative decisions that support long-term company goals.
How to get a job that pays 100k or more
Jobs that pay 100k a year typically offer high salaries because they require specific, in-demand skills.
Get on-the-job experience with a Multiverse apprenticeship
During your apprenticeship, you’ll learn in-demand skills from leading experts in your field. For instance, in our Software Engineer apprenticeship, you’ll learn computer science fundamentals and programming languages. You’ll also gain practical experience by training on-the-job with a top company while earning a salary.