When choosing a career, most of us consider the paycheck. While picking a job based on your passion, interest, and background is important, potential earnings can help you shortlist your options.

And despite popular opinion, you don’t even need a degree to land a lucrative position. For in-demand roles, employers often prefer candidates with practical experience and relevant skills, who can hit the ground running.

Continue reading to learn about the top paying careers available to you. We’ll also look at how you can get started in these fields by enrolling in an intensive online bootcamp.

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Listed below are some jobs with salaries that can easily exceed $100,000.

1. Data Engineer

Professionals in this field usually have a background in math, statistics, computer science, or software engineering. Working as a data engineer, you’ll become an expert in statistical tools, data modeling, machine learning, and predictive analysis. Your job will be to gain insights from a large amount of complex data streaming through various online portals.

Data engineers are in high demand in sectors like healthcare, technology, eCommerce, manufacturing, and research.

You can expect to earn around $137,776 as a data engineer, depending on your experience, skills, industry, and location. You could also become a data scientist, data analyst, data architect, and database manager. These similar roles also attract salaries in excess of $100,000.

To become a data engineer, you'll need a working knowledge of programming languages like Python, R, and Java, as well as database languages like SQL. Tools like Apache Hadoop, Cassandra, Spark, and Airflow are also important depending on the industry. Skills in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are highly valued.  

You’ll need to have good written and verbal communication skills to present your data-driven insights to senior management and stakeholders.

To fast-track your way into a well-paid data engineering role, enroll in our online data engineering bootcamp. You'll learn all the technical skills you need to get hired. Our team of big data experts will provide mentoring and coaching throughout the program.

2. Software Engineer

Software engineers use tried and tested engineering principles to create software applications. You’ll need to understand the software development lifecycle to plan, analyze, design, implement, test, and maintain computer software. In this varied field, you could find yourself working in a range of different areas including smartphone apps, websites, video games, or business systems.

You can expect a salary of around $123,250. Tech giants like IBM, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook are always on the look-out for talented software engineers.

A degree isn’t always required and there are more affordable, intensive, and focused education options available.

Online bootcamps are a great way to get your foot in the door. Our program teaches you fundamental skills in HTML and CSS. You’ll also learn both client-side and server-side programming languages. Sign-up for our software engineering course today. It’s available online and provides you with practical experience to help you land a well-paid developer job.

3. DevOps Engineer

DevOps  (software development and IT operations) engineers serve as the bridge  between coding and engineering. They develop and improve IT systems  across the departments of an organization. Working as a DevOps engineer, you can expect a salary of at least $120,000.

Try to gain experience in programming languages like JavaScript, PHP, or Ruby. You  should also be familiar with system administration, network deployment,  and network integration. If you have strong problem-solving skills and enjoy technical roles, a future in DevOps will provide a lucrative salary.

4. Cyber Security Analyst

As the world becomes more connected, large amounts of data are being stored on the cloud. This approach can make sensitive information more vulnerable to threats and malicious attacks.

Cybersecurity analysts are responsible for protecting data and system infrastructure. Working in the role, you’ll need to identify potential threats and develop counter-measures to prevent attacks. There are various skills you’ll need to learn including vulnerability management, risk assessment, encryption, network protocols, and firewall administration.

The role is extremely fast-paced. Malicious hackers are continually coming up with new and innovative  techniques to sabotage computer systems, steal data, and commit  cybercrime. You’ll face new challenges on a daily basis and will have to act quickly to protect company networks.

Your specific role may vary depending on the hiring organization. Some security analysts work as ethical hackers. In this job, you’ll proactively attempt to breach your own security systems in order to identify weaknesses and vulnerabilities. You can use this information to help increase security. Other cybersecurity professionals work in a planning role.  You could be tasked with developing continuity plans and risk  assessments to help keep the business running and prevent major damage  during a cyberattack.

The average salary for a cybersecurity expert is around $134,000. This can vary depending on your specific role and your level of experience level.

To get started in this field, enroll in our online cybersecurity bootcamp. You’ll learn trending skills in network security, mitigation planning, and risk assessment. Our industry experts will provide full support as your progress through our professionally-designed curriculum. We’ll even help you find a job once you’ve completed the program.

6. Technical Quality Assurance Engineer

Quality Assurance (QA) is another field in the tech domain that provides a top compensation package and plenty of job opportunities in firms around the globe.

The job of a QA engineer is to ensure the quality of the end product meets the required standard. In technical fields, this usually involves assessing digital products like software  applications, mobile apps, and websites. Working as a QA engineer, you’ll need to identify bugs, test technical performance, and ensure the software conforms to standards or models like ISO/IEC 9126.

Most organizations require a QA engineer to have a bachelor’s degree,  but this isn’t always the case. Hiring managers are increasingly  favoring candidates with relevant experience and up-to-date skills over an academic background.

The average pay is around $102,000 a year. But, by gaining experience in the role you can increase this number significantly.

7. UX/UI Designer

UX/UI (user experience/user interface) designers are responsible for ensuring products are easy to use and users are left with a positive experience. In a technical role, this could involve front-end web design. You’ll need to build simple menu systems, organize and structure content, and optimize performance.

You’ll also be concerned with conducting user research to identify problems,  building prototypes and wireframes, conduct usability tests, and  maintain and continually improve your designs.

For a more detailed explanation, read our post on What Does a UX/UI Designer Do?

To make it in this field you’ll need to master tools like ReFramer, Sketch, Figma, InVision, and Adobe XD. Understanding languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript can also help you stand out.

A senior UX/UI designer can take home around $110,000 a year. The good news is, you don’t need an expensive degree to get started in this field. Enroll in our online UX/UI design course and we’ll teach you everything you need to kickstart your UX/UI career.

8. Project Manager

Project management is a field that’s in huge demand across various industries including tech, healthcare, manufacturing, construction, and pharma. It comes as no surprise that top PMs can earn in excess of $123,314 per year.

The required skills and experience differ according to the sector, but primarily project managers oversee a project from beginning to end and take care of constraints like budget, time, scope, and quality.

You’ll need to have strong leadership skills, excellent communication, and solid negotiation skills to work as a PM. You’ll also need to understand how to achieve high-level project goals and have experience leading a large team.

While most PMs hold a bachelor’s degree corresponding to the industry they work in, a degree isn’t always required. Online bootcamps offer an intensive and focused education package for professionals wanting to make the transition to project management.

Change Your Future with A Stable Career

We hope this post gave you a better awareness of the lucrative opportunities out there. No matter what your area of interest, one of the best ways to reach a higher salary is to invest in your own education. This allows you to provide more value to your employer and helps justify that well-paid position. To continue researching your options, check out our tech careers blog to help you find your dream career.

Which Tech Career is Right for You?

Ready to change your career and join the world’s next workforce? At Thinkful, we’ve got your back with various tech programs to get you equipped with in-demand skills.

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