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Large occupations with higher-than-median wages

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Some occupations pay well but employ relatively few workers. Others don’t pay as well, but their employment numbers are larger. And some occupations have both large employment and high wages.

High-paying, high-employment occupations are a diverse group, according to May 2008 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The chart shows the occupations with the highest employment levels in which median wages were above $32,390—the median annual wage for all occupations.

Because employment numbers in these occupations are so large, many of the job openings projected over the 2006–16 decade will result from the need to replace workers who leave the occupation because of retirement or other reasons. But opportunities are also expected to arise from employment growth. Employment of registered nurses, for example, is expected to grow by 23 percent over the projections decade.

Education, training, and work experience vary for these workers, too. Elementary school teachers, for example, usually need at least a bachelor’s degree. In contrast, the most significant source of education or training for general maintenance and repair workers is experience in a related occupation.

Employment and wage data in the chart come from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics program; to learn more, visit or call (202) 691–6569. For information about occupational projections or training, visit the BLS Employment Projections Web site,, or call (202) 691–5700. Or write to either program at 2 Massachusetts Avenue NE., Suite 2135, Washington, D.C. 20212.

Occupations with the highest employment levels in which median wages were above $32,390, May 2008

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U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Last Updated: December 10, 2009