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Don’t Miss Out On 25 Careers With the Fastest-Rising Wages

Alexandria Bova

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 266,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy in November 2019, with unemployment also hitting a 50-year low in the previous month. Unfortunately, many workers aren’t reaping the benefits of this economic growth, with the mounting cost of living and a lack of pay raises causing most Americans to feel financially insecure.

The current real average wage — or the wage including inflation — has about the same purchasing power it did 40 years ago, according to the Pew Research Center. While the economy is productive, wages have failed to grow to match this level of output. And though there has been some increase in wages within that 40-year time frame, this growth has mostly affected the highest-paid tier of workers. 

It’s a smart move to position yourself in a career set to experience rapid growth. For example, jobs within the healthcare, manufacturing, and leisure and hospitality fields all saw higher growth in November. However, while job growth is an important factor in choosing the right industry, rising wages within that field are just as critical.

To find out which jobs have the fastest-rising wages in the U.S., GOBankingRates analyzed Glassdoor’s November 2019 Job Market Report and found the top 25 careers according to the median base pay for that month. Only jobs with a base pay greater than the U.S. median salary of $54,386 were ranked. This list looks at a variety of factors, such as the yearly difference in median base pay, as well as the yearly and four-year wage growth for each position. Additionally, GOBankingRates evaluated the level of education and job training needed for each career.

Based on this list, many technology and financial services positions are on the rise, perhaps indicating that the priorities and needs of everyday consumers are taking center stage. A few outliers made the list as well, including careers in the truck driving and nursing fields. If you’re aiming to secure your financial future, consider moving into one of these more stable industries with thriving careers.

Last updated: Dec. 30, 2019

25. Solutions Architect

  • Median base salary in November 2015: $100,877
  • Median base salary in November 2018: $108,994
  • Median base salary in November 2019: $109,993
  • Year-over-year wage growth from 2018-2019: 0.92%
  • Four-year wage growth from 2015-2019: 9.04%
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • On-the-job training: None

24. Business Analyst

  • Median base salary in November 2015: $62,076
  • Median base salary in November 2018: $65,910
  • Median base salary in November 2019: $66,809
  • Year-over-year wage growth from 2018-2019: 1.36%
  • Four-year wage growth from 2015-2019: 7.62%
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • On-the-job training: None

23. Systems Engineer

  • Median base salary in November 2015: $75,068
  • Median base salary in November 2018: $79,645
  • Median base salary in November 2019: $80,888
  • Year-over-year wage growth from 2018-2019: 1.56%
  • Four-year wage growth from 2015-2019: 7.75%
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • On-the-job training: None

22. Civil Engineer

  • Median base salary in November 2015: $66,696
  • Median base salary in November 2018: $70,055
  • Median base salary in November 2019: $71,316
  • Year-over-year wage growth from 2018-2019: 1.8%
  • Four-year wage growth from 2015-2019: 6.93%
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • On-the-job training: None

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21. Programmer Analyst

  • Median base salary in November 2015: $66,791
  • Median base salary in November 2018: $69,515
  • Median base salary in November 2019: $70,979
  • Year-over-year wage growth from 2018-2019: 2.11%
  • Four-year wage growth from 2015-2019: 6.27%
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • On-the-job training: None

20. Operations Manager

  • Median base salary in November 2015: $65,851
  • Median base salary in November 2018: $69,394
  • Median base salary in November 2019: $70,727
  • Year-over-year wage growth from 2018-2019: 1.92%
  • Four-year wage growth from 2015-2019: 7.4%
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • On-the-job training: None

“Being (a human resources) operations manager is great because every day is something new, and you’re constantly learning,” said HR operations manager Chara Law. “As a key part of the company, an operations manager is analyzing and improving organizational processes, setting training standards and hiring processes, as well as improving productivity and efficiency. It’s a smart career move because it allows you to touch multiple facets of the organization and to be the facilitator of positive change.”

19. Production Manager

  • Median base salary in November 2015: $63,380
  • Median base salary in November 2018: $68,073
  • Median base salary in November 2019: $69,171
  • Year-over-year wage growth from 2018-2019: 1.61%
  • Four-year wage growth from 2015-2019: 9.14%
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • On-the-job training: None

18. Registered Nurse

  • Median base salary in November 2015: $62,615
  • Median base salary in November 2018: $67,412
  • Median base salary in November 2019: $68,476
  • Year-over-year wage growth from 2018-2019: 1.58%
  • Four-year wage growth from 2015-2019: 9.36%
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree; must obtain a state license
  • On-the-job training: None

17. Product Manager

  • Median base salary in November 2015: $88,516
  • Median base salary in November 2018: $95,582
  • Median base salary in November 2019: $97,190
  • Year-over-year wage growth from 2018-2019: 1.68%
  • Four-year wage growth from 2015-2019: 9.8%
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • On-the-job training: None

16. Accountant

  • Median base salary in November 2015: $53,059
  • Median base salary in November 2018: $57,073
  • Median base salary in November 2019: $58,098
  • Year-over-year wage growth from 2018-2019: 1.8%
  • Four-year wage growth from 2015-2019: 9.5%
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • On-the-job training: None

15. Medical Technologist

  • Median base salary in November 2015: $51,182
  • Median base salary in November 2018: $54,818
  • Median base salary in November 2019: $55,889
  • Year-over-year wage growth from 2018-2019: 1.95%
  • Four-year wage growth from 2015-2019: 9.2%
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • On-the-job training: None

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14. Software Engineer

  • Median base salary in November 2015: $82,278
  • Median base salary in November 2018: $88,231
  • Median base salary in November 2019: $90,151
  • Year-over-year wage growth from 2018-2019: 2.18%
  • Four-year wage growth from 2015-2019: 9.57%
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • On-the-job training: None

“Being a software engineer is great because you constantly get to learn new things in new technologies,” said senior software engineer Adam Tourkow. “You then take that knowledge of new technologies and learn how to apply it to solve puzzles, which ultimately leads to constantly improving the product you are working on.”


13. Customer Service Manager

  • Median base salary in November 2015: $48,483
  • Median base salary in November 2018: $54,849
  • Median base salary in November 2019: $55,389
  • Year-over-year wage growth from 2018-2019: 0.98%
  • Four-year wage growth from 2015-2019: 14.24%
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • On-the-job training: None

12. Web Developer

  • Median base salary in November 2015: $61,789
  • Median base salary in November 2018: $65,757
  • Median base salary in November 2019: $67,385
  • Year-over-year wage growth from 2018-2019: 2.48%
  • Four-year wage growth from 2015-2019: 9.06%
  • Typical entry-level education: Associate’s degree
  • On-the-job training: None

“I like being a front-end engineer because it provides an endless amount of challenges and always keeps me on my feet — there’s always something new to learn or a new puzzle to figure out,” said front-end engineer Brittany Ludwig. “There’s also a huge feeling of accomplishment seeing your work out there in the real world — like, ‘Yeah, I helped make that.'”

11. Manufacturing Engineer

  • Median base salary in November 2015: $69,969
  • Median base salary in November 2018: $74,258
  • Median base salary in November 2019: $76,168
  • Year-over-year wage growth from 2018-2019: 2.57%
  • Four-year wage growth from 2015-2019: 8.86%
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • On-the-job training: None

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10. User Experience Designer

  • Median base salary in November 2015: $71,307
  • Median base salary in November 2018: $75,676
  • Median base salary in November 2019: $77,757
  • Year-over-year wage growth from 2018-2019: 2.75%
  • Four-year wage growth from 2015-2019: 9.05%
  • Typical entry-level education: Associate’s degree
  • On-the-job training: None

“I love being a UX designer because it requires a mixture of scientific and artistic thought,” said senior product designer Tyler Andersen. “One half of UX design requires a lot of introverted, creative work — designing wireframes, layouts and branding elements. The other half of UX design is extroverted and allows me to connect with people, which is rewarding. At any given time I need to gather input from stakeholders, conduct usability tests with users and get internal design critique feedback from my team. Aside from the intrinsic motivation, there is a lot of room for growth and career advancement as a designer — this keeps things exciting and gives me peace of mind in terms of job security.”


9. Buyer

  • Median base salary in November 2015: $54,983
  • Median base salary in November 2018: $58,342
  • Median base salary in November 2019: $59,986
  • Year-over-year wage growth from 2018-2019: 2.82%
  • Four-year wage growth from 2015-2019: 9.1%
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • On-the-job training: Moderate-term training

8. Information Technology Manager

  • Median base salary in November 2015: $79,704
  • Median base salary in November 2018: $83,548
  • Median base salary in November 2019: $86,208
  • Year-over-year wage growth from 2018-2019: 3.18%
  • Four-year wage growth from 2015-2019: 8.16%
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • On-the-job training: None

“I love being in IT because it’s such a consistent and ever-growing field,” said senior IT systems manager Steven Hoong. “There is a lot to learn as technology evolves every day, and you aren’t tied to a specific workspace or geographical location. Windows is Windows, Mac is Mac, an IP address is an IP address. You can literally go anywhere in the world and as long as you possess the skills — you can literally get a job anywhere.”

7. Data Analyst

  • Median base salary in November 2015: $57,523
  • Median base salary in November 2018: $61,589
  • Median base salary in November 2019: $63,286
  • Year-over-year wage growth from 2018-2019: 2.76%
  • Four-year wage growth from 2015-2019: 10.02%
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • On-the-job training: None

“I’ve always been drawn to problem-solving, so becoming a data analyst was a natural extension of that,” said data analyst Daniel Gutkin. “It’s the crossroads of hard analytical skills and soft communication skills, which is a balance that really appeals to me. It’s a great field to be in because there is now a strong emphasis on focusing on data-driven decision-making, both increasing the demand for data analysts as well as their ability to impact analytical strategies at their companies.”


6. Design Engineer

  • Median base salary in November 2015: $69,115
  • Median base salary in November 2018: $71,995
  • Median base salary in November 2019: $74,653
  • Year-over-year wage growth from 2018-2019: 3.69%
  • Four-year wage growth from 2015-2019: 8.01%
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • On-the-job training: None

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5. Sales Manager

  • Median base salary in November 2015: $58,163
  • Median base salary in November 2018: $63,310
  • Median base salary in November 2019: $65,094
  • Year-over-year wage growth from 2018-2019: 2.82%
  • Four-year wage growth from 2015-2019: 11.92%
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • On-the-job training: None

“Sales planning or any operational role is a perfect opportunity for individuals with a more service-oriented mindset,” said sales planning manager Ryan Welch. “I get to interact both internally and externally and ensure operational success and client happiness. It scratches the itch for both the need to make customers happy and the process-heavy work that I like to focus on. I’d recommend an operational role for anyone who likes to roll up their sleeves, get tons of work done on a daily basis and who likes to see the fruits of the labor in real time.”

4. Truck Driver

  • Median base salary in November 2015: $49,818
  • Median base salary in November 2018: $55,035
  • Median base salary in November 2019: $56,499
  • Year-over-year wage growth from 2018-2019: 2.66%
  • Four-year wage growth from 2015-2019: 13.41%
  • Typical entry-level education: Postsecondary nondegree award
  • On-the-job training: Short-term training

3. Property Manager

  • Median base salary in November 2015: $48,110
  • Median base salary in November 2018: $52,660
  • Median base salary in November 2019: $54,508
  • Year-over-year wage growth from 2018-2019: 3.51%
  • Four-year wage growth from 2015-2019: 13.3%
  • Typical entry-level education: High school diploma
  • On-the-job training: None

2. Claims Adjuster

  • Median base salary in November 2015: $48,782
  • Median base salary in November 2018: $53,124
  • Median base salary in November 2019: $55,082
  • Year-over-year wage growth from 2018-2019: 3.69%
  • Four-year wage growth from 2015-2019: 12.91%
  • Typical entry-level education: High school diploma
  • On-the-job training: Moderate-term training

1. Financial Advisor

  • Median base salary in November 2015: $48,381
  • Median base salary in November 2018: $54,351
  • Median base salary in November 2019: $57,002
  • Year-over-year wage growth from 2018-2019: 4.88%
  • Four-year wage growth from 2015-2019: 17.82%
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • On-the-job training: Long-term training

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All quotes were taken directly from employees at ConsumerTrack Inc. on Dec. 16, 2019. GOBankingRates is owned and operated by ConsumerTrack Inc.

Methodology: In order to determine the 25 careers with the fastest rising wages, GOBankingRates looked at Glassdoor’s November 2019 Job Market Report and first analyzed 80 careers based on their median base pay for November 2019. Only those with a base pay greater than or equal to the United States median pay of $54,386 moved on. The 50 qualifying careers were then scored across the following two factors: (1) the growth percentage change in median base pay from November 2018 to November 2019 and (2) the growth percentage change in median base pay from November 2015 to November 2019. Both factors were then scored and combined, with the lowest score being best. Factor No. 1 was weighted 1 1/2 times in the final calculations. For the final 25 careers, GOBankingRates found the typical entry-level education and any on-the-job training required for each career as supplemental data, as sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook handbook. All data used to conduct this study was compiled and verified on Dec. 10, 2019. 

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Don’t Miss Out On 25 Careers With the Fastest-Rising Wages