Of all the surprisingly high-paying jobs out there, the recent report that In-N-Out Burger pays its restaurant managers an average of $160,000 a year is probably the most surprising.
But, a lot of people probably don't aspire to be fast food restaurant managers, even at that pay. Fortunately, the folks at Glassdoor recently compiled their list of the 50 best jobs in the United States, based on salary, job satisfaction, and just how many job openings there are for each position.
Here are the best highlights. For the whole list, check out Glassdoor.
1. Data Scientist (1st out of 50)
For the third year in a row, data scientists hold the top job on the list.
While it wasn't the top choice in any single category, it was near the top in all of them, including job satisfaction, (5th out of 50), salary (tied for 9th out of 50), and sheer number of job openings: 13th out of 50.
2. Occupational Therapist (4th out of 50)
Jobs in the medical field always do well on this list, and this year was no exception.
Occupational therapists were tied at 12th in job satisfaction, and had the fourth-most openings (11,903). They were paid less than others on the list however; at $74,000 a year median, they're fourth from the end.
3. Physician Assistant (25th out of 50)
Only a few years ago, in 2015, physician assistants held the top spot on this list, but they've fallen sharply since then.
PA's ranked 45th out of 50 for job satisfaction, 14th for median pay, at $104,000, and 11th for number of job openings.
4. Executive Assistant (46th out of 50)
Of all the positions on this list, this is the one that surprised me the most. Executive assistants had the 46th best job in America according to Glassdoor.
Among the categories, they came in 19th for job satisfaction, and 14th for number of openings. The median salary killed their positioning on this list however: 50th out of 50, at a median of $55,000 a year.
5. Software Engineer (21st out of 50)
In terms of sheer number of positions out there, nothing else really came close to software engineer jobs, with 29,187 currently available via Glassdoor.
They're good-paying but not the best ($102,000 a year median, good enough for 15th), but the level of job satisfaction was low, ranking 46th.
6. Corporate Recruiter (23rd out of 50)
Corporate recruiters were in a four-way tie for the most job satisfaction (along with creative managers, compliance managers, and reliability engineers).
The number of positions was just okay among the top 50 however (2,330 according to Glassdoor, which ranked 30th). The median salary was also low among the jobs listed: $65,000 which was 47th out of 50.
7. HR Manager and HR Generalist (5th and 50th out of 50, respectively)
It's good to be the boss. Both of these HR positions made the list, but HR managers were near the top, while HR generalists clocked in at 50 out of 50.
Salaries were higher for HR managers than for HR generalists as you might expect ($85,000 and $57,120 respectively), and their reported job satisfaction was exactly the same, at 17th.
Ironically, however, there were nearly twice as many jobs for HR managers as there were for HR generalists (4,458 vs. 2,705).
There are 42 other top jobs on the Glassdoor top 50 list, which you can find here.