Top 30 Careers that Pay $50 an Hour (…Or More)

We just might be in the wrong line of work.

Reviewed by Electra Michaelidou

Jobs that Pay $50 an Hour

Finding a career that pays well takes time and effort. Most of us start small, working adequate jobs that sufficiently pay the bills. But soon enough, we yearn for something more, like a promotion or a higher salary.

Whether you work in marketing, medicine or law, there’s always a drive to climb the corporate ladder and land yourself a well-paying position. It’s not easy, of course. High-paying careers require passion, in-depth knowledge, and years of experience and education.

So, if you’re looking to advance your career and take home a larger paycheck, check out these 30 jobs that pay $50 an hour (or more)!

PS: It won’t happen overnight!


  1. Marketing manager — $67.33/hour
  2. HR manager — $62.50/hour
  3. Software developer — $61.18/hour
  4. Physicist — $68.68/hour
  5. Nurse practitioner — $58.47/hour
  6. PR manager — $62.23/hour
  7. Financial manager — $67.21/hour
  8. Aerospace engineer — $61/hour
  9. Physician assistant — $60.58/hour
  10. Political scientist — $61.55/hour
  11. Sales manager — $62.79/hour
  12. Copilot — $62.94/hour
  13. Optometrist — $60.38/hour
  14. Pharmacist — $63.82/hour
  15. Computer systems manager — $68.53/hour
  16. Lawyer — $65.26/hour
  17. Dentist — $74.54/hour
  18. Judge — $72.61/hour
  19. Nuclear engineer — $58.89/hour
  20. Chief executive officer — $91.12/hour
  21. Actuary — $54.80/hour
  22. Art director — $50.57/hour
  23. Air traffic controller — $63.58/hour
  24. Database architect — $64.84/hour
  25. Podiatrist — $71.50/hour
  26. Astronomer — $61.70/hour
  27. Training and development manager — $57.69/hour
  28. Information security analyst — $53.85/hour
  29. Fundraising manager — $51.63/hour
  30. Mathematician — $53.90/hour

1. Marketing manager

Marketing Manager top job

Average salary: $67.33/hour

Marketing managers plan, execute and oversee promotional and sales strategies to attract and retain customers. These individuals usually manage a team of marketers, handle budgeting, and liaise with media and advertising organizations.

The pay for this position can be rewarding, but landing this role isn’t easy. Candidates not only require a formal education but also at least seven years of experience in marketing beforehand.

2. HR manager

Hr Manager job

Average salary: $62.50/hour

HR managers are responsible for hiring and training individuals within various settings such as corporations, schools, hospitals, factories and government facilities.

For the most part, they have a degree in business, education or finance, and require several years of related work experience.

3. Software developer

Software Developer job

Average salary: $61.18/hour

Whether you’re a system software, applications or mobile developer, this position offers a lucrative wage. These professionals spend their waking life designing, developing and programming successful software.

With a degree in computer science or software engineering, as well as strong computer programming skills, you can successfully work as a software developer and earn $50 an hour. You even have the option of working remotely or part time!

4. Physicist

Physicist top job

Average salary: $68.68/hour

Indeed, physicists are well paid, but their job requires much more than just learning about gravity or speed. This position generally requires candidates to have a PhD in physics or astronomy.

Throughout their working day, physicists study how various forms of matter and energy interact, and they may also develop new medical instruments and engineering technologies.

5. Nurse practitioner

Nurse Practitioner job

Average salary: $58.47/hour

Nurse practitioners usually do shift work at hospitals, physicians’ offices and clinics. While their hourly wage is attractive, their job is no walk in the park.

These professionals work long and late shifts, providing healthcare to a variety of patients. Work can be both physically and emotionally demanding, and there’s much exposure to infectious diseases. Nevertheless, saving a patient’s life and improving someone’s health can also provide great job satisfaction during a nurse’s working life.

6. PR manager

PR Manager job

Average salary: $62.23/hour

PR managers may take home a high income, but their day-to-day tasks are crucial and stressful. They’re responsible for maintaining the public image of a brand or company by writing press releases, delivering speeches or devising advertising programs.

One mishap, and a company’s corporate image could be destroyed. It’s, therefore, required that PR managers have a bachelor’s (and sometimes a master’s) degree and extensive work experience.

7. Financial manager

Finance Manager job

Average salary: $67.21/hour

Financial managers oversee investments, develop long-term strategies and prepare financial reports for the company they work for. They’re heavily relied on for preparing accurate financial statements, budgeting and devising business activity reports.

With a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, economics or business administration, as well as five years’ proven experience in a similar role, you could be well on your way to finding a career in financial management.

8. Aerospace engineer

Aerospace Engineer job

Average salary: $61/hour

This job pays well but involves a hefty workload. Aerospace engineers take home more than $50 an hour, but their day-to-day duties are complex.

This full-time job involves designing and manufacturing aircraft, spacecraft, satellites and missiles, and inspecting damaged products. A bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering is generally required, as well as licensing.

9. Physician assistant

Physician Assistant job

Average salary: $60.58/hour

Careers in medicine and healthcare offer advantageous salaries.

Physician assistants examine, diagnose and treat patients on a daily basis, earning themselves more than $50 an hour. This job certainly pays well, but it requires extensive knowledge and experience in patient care.

Physician assistants can apply for a job after obtaining a master’s degree and previous work experience as a paramedic, registered nurse or nursing assistant.

10. Political scientist

Political Scientist job

Average salary: $61.55/hour

Political scientists study and research political systems, understanding their origin, development and operation. They’re responsible for developing and testing political theories as well as evaluating the impact of policies and laws on the government.

Getting a job in this sector requires years of studying, particularly a master’s degree or PhD in political science or public administration. Nevertheless, after achieving the educational requirements and getting the job, political scientists are rewarded with a lucrative salary.

11. Sales manager

Sales Manager job

Average salary: $62.79/hour

Sales managers secure a good salary throughout their careers, taking home just over $60 an hour, on average. Their working day can be stressful, however, when trying to close deals and working extra hours.

In order to become a sales manager, you’ll most likely need to work as a sales representative at first, where you’ll gain the necessary experience and critical knowledge. Typically, a minimum of five years’ sales experience is required to land the role and take home an attractive salary.

12. Copilot

Co Pilot job

Average salary: $62.94/hour

It’s hard to believe, but copilots don’t require a formal degree to land this dream job. With just a high school diploma and a pilot’s license (and a lot of training), you can fly in the skies alongside a captain pilot.

This job pays more than $50 an hour, but with that salary comes major responsibilities. Copilots assist the captain in safely navigating a plane and getting hundreds of passengers from one place to another.

13. Optometrist

Optometrist job

Average salary: $60.38/hour

Here’s yet another role in the medical field that’s remunerative. A high pay, however, comes with challenging responsibilities. Optometrists perform eye examinations, and they identify and treat various eye diseases or complications.

In order to become an optometrist, you will need to attend an optometry school for a minimum of four years to obtain a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree. These programs can be highly competitive.

14. Pharmacist

Pharmacist job

Average salary: $63.82/hour

Aspiring pharmacists may get an attractive salary, but it’s well worth it, considering their duties. These professionals have a responsibility to keep patients and consumers safe by prescribing medicines. A wrong prescription can be detrimental to a person’s health as well as a pharmacist’s career.

To embark on this fruitful career, you must complete a minimum of three years in undergraduate studies, focusing on science-based courses. You will then need to complete four years of pharmacy school, where you will earn a Doctor of Pharmacy.

15. Computer systems manager

Computer Systems Manager job

Average salary: $68.53/hour

Good with computers and able to solve complex problems? This might be the perfect career for you. With the right qualifications, experience and skills, you’ll be earning a profitable wage, too!

Computer systems managers organize, coordinate and operate the computer-based needs of a company. Many of these positions are paid top dollar because they require an MBA to qualify. They also require several years of experience in a related IT job.

16. Lawyer

Lawyer job

Average salary: $65.26/hour

Yes, it pays well, but becoming a lawyer isn’t as easy as Harvey Specter and Elle Woods make it look. This is no job for lazy people, either. To become a lawyer, you’ll need to complete an undergraduate degree, go to law school and pass your state bar exam. In fact, it could take up to seven years to officially score a job in this industry.

The hard work doesn’t stop there: lawyers have a responsibility to advise and protect their clients, represent them in court and, finally, draw up legal documents as part of their working routine.

17. Dentist

Dentist high paying job

Average salary: $74.54/hour

Dentists may take home an appealing salary but trust us when we say it’s well-earned. This position involves taking care of patients’ teeth, including treating gum diseases, cleaning teeth and performing minor surgeries.

These professionals can expect a hefty wage at the end of the month, but the job also comes with a great deal of responsibilities. Acquiring this job is just as challenging: you need to earn your bachelor’s degree and then complete four years of dental school to officially become a dentist.

18. Judge

judge job

Average salary: $72.61/hour

Think you’ve got what it takes to stand behind a bench in a courtroom? As long as you attend a recognized law school, earn a law degree, pass the bar exam and commit to work experience as a lawyer for many years, you can apply for this high-paying job.

As you can see, becoming a judge is no easy (or short) task; it’s a demanding and stressful role that requires great patience, strength and extra working hours.

19. Nuclear engineer

Nuclear Engineer job

Average salary: $58.89/hour

Once you’ve obtained your bachelor’s degree, master’s or PhD in nuclear engineering and proven your experience through cooperative-education engineering programs, you might be on your way to nabbing a career as a nuclear engineer.

This high-paying role involves complex tasks that require great knowledge, such as developing nuclear equipment and operating nuclear power plants.

20. Chief executive officer

CEO high paid job

Average salary: $91.12/hour

If you can picture yourself rising to the top of the corporate ladder, then becoming a CEO might be right up your alley. With leadership skills and experience from lower-level management occupations or supervisory positions, you can land yourself this highly respectful job.

CEOs create strategies and develop policies that help a company meet their goals. While the role can be considerably stressful, it’s ultimately very rewarding.

21. Actuary


Average salary: $54.80/hour

As an actuary, you assess financial risks using mathematical models. Your work involves analyzing data, designing insurance policies and advising on financial strategies. Essentially, you’ll be helping businesses make informed decisions regarding uncertain future events.

Entry into this high-paying profession typically requires a strong background in mathematics, statistics or related fields. Earning professional certifications like the SOA or CAS, meanwhile, enhances your credibility.

22. Art director

Art Director

Average salary: $50.57/hour

As an art director, your creative vision shapes the visual identity of projects in publishing, marketing or advertising. Collaborating with artists and design team, art directors lead the development of visual concepts for advertisements, publications or multimedia productions.

A strong portfolio showcasing your artistic skills and a bachelor’s degree in art, design or a related field are often prerequisites.

23. Air traffic controller

Air Traffic Controller

Average salary: $63.58/hour

Air traffic controllers play a critical role in ensuring the safe and efficient movement of aircraft, hence their high pay. They monitor and manage airspace, providing instructions to pilots for takeoffs, landings and in-flight adjustments. These professionals work in communication centers or control towers, using radar and communication systems.

A bachelor’s degree in aviation or a related field is typically required to enter this line of work, as is rigorous training and certification from relevant aviation authorities.

24. Database architect

Database Architect

Average salary: $64.84/hour

Database architects are experts in designing and managing database systems. They analyze organizational needs, create data models and develop efficient structures, playing a key role in organizing and safeguarding vast amounts of information for businesses and organizations.

Typically holding a degree in computer science or a related field, they possess strong analytical and problem-solving skills. Experience with database technologies and software development, meanwhile, is crucial.

25. Podiatrist


Average salary: $71.50/hour

As a podiatrist, you specialize in diagnosing and treating foot and ankle conditions to help patients maintain mobility and overall wellbeing. A podiatrist’s expertise extends to addressing issues like fractures, deformities and infections, and they’re responsible for conducting examinations, ordering diagnostic tests, and providing medical and surgical interventions.

To become a podiatrist, you’ll need to undergo a rigorous education journey, earning a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree, followed by a residency.

26. Astronomer


Average salary: $61.70/hour

Astronomers explore and study celestial phenomena beyond Earth’s atmosphere. Essentially, their work spans theoretical and observational aspects, unraveling the mysteries of space and advancing scientific knowledge about the cosmos.

Typically holding advanced degrees in astronomy or astrophysics, astronomers engage in research, publish findings, and contribute to our understanding of the universe.

27. Training and development manager

Training and Development Manager

Average salary: $57.69/hour

These professionals oversee the creation and implementation of employee training programs within an organization, playing a pivotal role in fostering employee growth and enhancing organizational performance. They do this by assessing training needs, designing curricula, and collaborating with subject matter experts.

Holding a bachelor’s degree, often in HR or a related field, and possessing experience in training and development are common entry requirements.

28. Information security analyst

Information Security Analyst

Average salary: $53.85/hour

Information security analysts play a crucial role in safeguarding an organization’s computer systems and networks by analyzing potential security threats, implementing measures to protect against cyberattacks and monitoring for breaches.

Typically holding a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field, information security analysts stay updated on the latest cybersecurity trends so they can ensure the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive information.

29. Fundraising manager

Fundraising Manager

Average salary: $51.63/hour

Another job that pays $50 an hour is that of a fundraising manager, which involves leading efforts to secure financial support for your organization’s projects and initiatives. Fundraising managers develop fundraising strategies, cultivate relationships with donors, and oversee campaigns. Utilizing their communication skills, they create compelling appeals and coordinate events to attract contributions.

A bachelor’s degree in a related field and experience in fundraising is often essential.

30. Mathematician


Average salary: $53.90/hour

Mathematicians are experts in the field of mathematics, utilizing advanced analytical and numerical skills to solve complex problems. They explore abstract concepts, develop mathematical models and contribute to various scientific and practical applications.

Possessing a strong foundation in numeracy, mathematicians may specialize in areas like pure mathematics, applied mathematics or statistics. They typically hold at least a bachelor’s degree in mathematics or a closely related field, though a master’s or doctoral degree is necessary within academia or research.

Final thoughts

As seen by this list, earning $50 or more an hour isn’t as easy as 1-2-3. Some rewarding careers require years of education and training, as well as hard work on a daily basis. But the result is clearly worth it in the end.

What other careers pay $50 an hour? Let us know in the comments section below!

Originally published on August 28, 2015. Updated by Chris Leitch.