The 12 highest-paying jobs you can get with a master’s degree

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Each of these jobs pay more than $80,000 a year.
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ChaNaWiT/Shutterstock

To become a master of something, at least in the academic world, you have to earn your master’s degree, which usually requires an additional year or two of schooling after acquiring your bachelor’s degree.

Few master’s degrees come cheaply, as Business Insider previously reported. According to a 2014 study from college planning site EAdvisors, more than half of master’s degree holders have student loans averaging $56,661.

But for some high-paying jobs, they are a must.

According to the latest data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are the 12 highest-paying jobs that require a master’s degree.

Each has a median annual salary of at least $80,000.


12. Statisticians

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Het Nieuwe Instituut/flickr

They use statistical methods to collect and analyze data and to help solve real-world problems in business, engineering, healthcare, or other fields.

Median annual wage(2016): $80,500

Projected job openings(through 2024): 15,400


11. Occupational therapists

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BSIP/Getty Images

They treat injured, ill, or disabled patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities and help these patients develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living and working.

Median annual wage(2016): $81,910

Projected job openings(through 2024): 52,600


10. Industrial-organizational psychologists

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Darren McCollester/Getty Images

Often after completing an internship, they go on to apply principles of psychology to human resources, administration, management, sales, and marketing problems.

Median annual wage(2016): $82,760

Projected job openings(through 2024): 800


9. Postsecondary education administrators

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Flickr/US Department of Education

With several years of experience working in a college administrative setting under their belt, they oversee student services, academics, and faculty research at colleges and universities.

Median annual wage(2016): $90,760

Projected job openings(through 2024): 66,100

Work experience: Less than 5 years

On-the-job training: None


8. Elementary and secondary school education administrators

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Matt Cardy/Stringer/Getty Images

After several years of working in a leadership or administrative capacity, they plan, direct, or coordinate the academic, administrative, or auxiliary activities of public or private elementary or secondary level schools.

Median annual wage(2016): $92,510

Projected job openings(through 2024): 83,800


7. Nurse midwives

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ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock.com

They diagnose and coordinate all aspects of the birthing process, either independently or as part of a healthcare team.

Median annual wage(2016): $99,770

Projected job openings(through 2024): 2,500


6. Nurse practitioners

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Mario Villafuerte / Getty Images

They diagnose and treat acute, episodic, or chronic illness, independently or as part of a healthcare team.

Median annual wage(2016): $100,910

Projected job openings(through 2024): 74,700


5. Economists

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greensefa/Flickr

They study the production and distribution of resources, goods, and services by collecting and analyzing data, researching trends, and evaluating economic issues.

Median annual wage(2016): $101,050

Projected job openings(through 2024): 7,000


4. Physician assistants

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Joe Raedle / Getty Images

They examine, diagnose, and treat patients.

Median annual wage(2016): $101,480

Projected job openings(through 2024): 50,000


3. Mathematicians

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Good Will Hunting

They create models to solve practical problems in fields like business, government, engineering, and the sciences.

Median annual wage(2016): $105,810

Projected job openings(through 2024): 1,300


2. Political scientists

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US Embassy Canada/Flickr

They study the origin, development, and operation of political systems; research political ideas; and analyze governments, policies, political trends, and related issues.

Median annual wage(2016): $114,290

Projected job openings(through 2024): 700


1. Nurse anesthetists

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Getty Images/Carsten Koall

They administer anesthesia, monitor patient’s vital signs, and oversee patient recovery from anesthesia.

Median annual wage(2016): $160,270

Projected job openings(through 2024): 16,400