Now … Just imagine what you could do if you got paid $50 for each hour on the job. (Lifetime supply of mac and cheese, anyone?)
While it may seem like the kind of money only doctors and lawyers make — it is actually possible to earn $50 an hour in a variety of career paths. Here’s a sampling of jobs that pay $50 an hour* (or $100,000 a year, based on a 40-hour workweek, with two weeks’ vacation time).
1. Computer and information scientist
What they do: Computer scientists research everything from computer algorithms to programming languages and software properties. The goal of computer science varies, but objectives may include: improving the ease of computer use, expanding computer functionality and developing artificial intelligence.
Education: Most have a Ph.D.*
Average hourly earnings: $50.66*
What they do: Pharmacists work in hospitals, drug stores and outpatient facilities. They dispense patient medication, ensure proper dosage, analyze possible drug interactions and provide information to patients.
Education: Doctor of Pharmacy Degree (Pharm.D.)
Average hourly earnings: $51.27
3. Construction foreman/superintendent
What they do: These professionals oversee residential and commercial construction sites. They manage construction workers and coordinate project timelines and budgets.
Education: On the job experience, bachelor’s degree preferred, but not necessary
Average hourly earnings: $50.14
4. Funeral director and embalmer
What they do: Funeral directors make plans for church services, wakes and burials. The embalming portion of the job title involves cleaning and sanitizing the body, and preparing it for burial.
Education: Licensing, two-year education program and apprenticeship required
Average hourly earnings: $52.47
5. Marketing manager
What they do: Marketing managers help direct a company’s advertising, promotional and sales strategies, with the ultimate goal of increasing company reputation and revenue.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in business, communications, advertising or public relations.
Average hourly earnings: $50.81
6. Financial aid officer
What they do: Financial aid officers direct disbursement of student scholarships, loans and grants, with the ultimate goal of making school (colleges, universities, boarding schools, graduate programs) more affordable for students.
Education: Bachelor’s degree usually required.
Average hourly earnings: $51,203
7. Securities trader
What they do: Securities traders typically work at investment banks, managing securities like stocks, bonds, futures and options for individual and institutional investors
Education: Most securities traders hold a bachelor’s degree in finance or other business concentration. Often, securities traders must pass financial certification exams like the Series 7 and Series 63 tests.
Average hourly earnings: $50.79
8. Behavioral psychologist
What they do: Behavioral psychologists study and treat emotional and behavioral issues by helping patients change their perceptions and behaviors, often through therapy.
Education: A doctoral degree is required to practice as a psychologist
Average hourly earnings: $50.36
9. Adult day care director
What they do: Adult day care directors manage day-to-day operations of the facility. Responsibilities may include overseeing employees and budgets, developing relationships with attendees and their families and planning activities.
Education: High school diploma required, bachelor’s degree preferred.
Average hourly earnings: $50.64
What they do: Seismologists study, report on and predict earthquakes and seismic waves.
Education: An undergraduate degree in physics or geology is enough to get a foot in the door, though many seismologists have master’s degrees or Ph.D.s.
Average hourly earnings: $50.43
What they do: Judges preside over trials and hearings in local, state or federal courtrooms.
Education: Because almost all judges get their start as lawyers, law school is the most common educational path for judges.
Average hourly earnings: $49.99
What they do: Physicists study the physical world, with emphasis on the properties and laws of nature like mass, gravity, inertia and the composition of matter. Physicists may also apply their findings practically, and develop new medical instruments and engineering technologies, for example.
Education: Though entry-level positions can be found with a bachelor’s degree, most physicists have a Ph.D.
Average hourly earnings: $51.76
13. Human resources managers
What they do: HR managers interview and hire workers, mediate employee complaints and act as information sources for employees of their respective organizations.
Education: Bachelor’s degree
Average hourly earnings: $50.73
14. General and operations managers
What they do: General managers are responsible for the overall operation of venues like amusements parks, restaurants and hotels. They oversee things like employees, guest relations, budgets, marketing and purchasing.
Education: High school diploma, bachelor’s degree preferred.
Average hourly earnings: $53.15
What they do: A co-pilot serves as one part of the two-part team that makes up an airplane cockpit crew. In-flight duties are usually shared between the more experienced pilot, also called the captain, and the less experienced co-pilot, also referred to as the first officer.
Education: High school diploma, pilot’s license.
Average hourly earnings: $52.45
* Salary and education information from CBSalary.com and The Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salary info from CBSalary.com based on average earnings in Chicago, IL. All salary information reflects gross, pre-tax earnings.