With the right education, you could be closer to reaching your target earning potential.
Wouldn't it be nice if you could pick your salary?
Of course, in real life, it's not as simple as just choosing a number and cashing your paycheck.
The good news is that you could try to tailor your education to careers with the earning potential you seek.
Think about your average earnings goals, then check out some great career options and how to get started.
Careers with $30K earning potential
- Medical Assistant. Medical assistants are health care professionals who generally assist doctors and nurses with patient care and administrative tasks. To prepare for this rewarding profession, a two-year associate's degree in medical assisting is helpful. Average Salary: $39,570.* Search for Medical Assisting schools now.
- Chef. If you're a natural in the kitchen, preparing food at a restaurant or resort could be a great way to show off your cooking skills. You could work your way to a career in the kitchen with a culinary arts program from a top school. Average Salary: $38,770.*
- Medical Records Technician. A medical-office administrative associate's degree can help prepare you for this career of gathering and organizing patients' vital health information. Average Salary: $30,610.*
Careers with $40K earning potential
- Graphic Designer. Graphic designers often use art to convey messages for magazines, web sites, and more. An associate's degree in graphic design can get you started, but a bachelor's degree could open up opportunities for promotion and higher earning potential. Average Salary: $42,400.*
- Computer Support Specialist. Helping people solve their computer problems is important in today's technology-driven economy. Support positions often require a bachelor's degree in information systems or computer science. An associate's degree might be enough to get started. Average Salary: $43,450.*
- Paralegal. If you are passionate about justice and the legal system, consider a career as a paralegal. It's a challenging, in-demand position that lets you work with lawyers, conduct research, and interact with clients. A certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies can help push you towards this career Average Salary: $46,120.* Search for Legal and Paralegal schools now.
Careers with $50K earning potential
- Accountant. If you're good with numbers, you could make a difference helping organizations meet their financial goals as an accountant. A bachelor's degree in accounting can help prepare you for this position. Going back to school for your master's or MBA could also open up doors to other opportunities. Average Salary: $59,430.* Search for Accounting degree programs now.
- Interior Designer. Does the idea of creating dramatic looks for homes, offices, and other spaces appeal to you? You could learn the tools of the trade with an associate's or bachelor's interior design program. Average Salary: $51,020**. Find Interior Design programs near you.
- Clinical Laboratory Technologist. This career often requires one to perform laboratory tests, identify diseases, and conduct research. To get started on this path, consider earning a bachelor's degree in medical technology, biology, or chemistry. Average Salary: $53,500.*
Careers with $60K earning potential
- Detective/Criminal Investigator. Investigating and solving crimes is vital to keeping the public safe. To help you get started, consider an associate's degree in criminal justice. Police departments often prefer a bachelor's degree in criminal justice or science. Average Salary: $60,910.*
- Registered Nurse. Treating sick patients and keeping others healthy are common skills for this career. But before you can start helping patients, you should earn an associate's or bachelor's degree in nursing and get licensed in your state. Average Salary: $62,450.* Search for Nursing and Medical Assisting schools near you.
- Database Administrator. These tech geniuses maintain computerized records to help workers locate information and perform their tasks more efficiently. To prepare for this career, get a bachelor's degree in database technology, computer science, or information science. In some cases, an associate's degree could be enough to get your foot in the door. Average Salary: $69,740.*
Careers with $80K earning potential
- Marketing Manager. These senior-level employees are in charge of conceptualizing creative ways to bring in sales. You could potentially get your foot in the door with a bachelor's degree in business or marketing. Once you've got some experience under your belt, consider earning a master's degree. Average Salary: $108,580.*
- Education Administrator. While teachers are in charge of the classroom, administrators oversee individual schools and even entire school districts. Most education administrators begin as teachers, with a bachelor's degree in education. To move into administration, getting a master's degree in education is helpful. Average Salary: $80,000 and up***.
- Nurse Practitioner. Nurse practitioners treat patients, and in many states can have their own medical practices and prescribe medications. If you like responsibility and challenge, you could potentially transition to a NP career from a registered nurse career. From there, earning a master's of science in nursing degree could help push you in the right direction. Average Salary: $87,000****.
*The average annual salary for the top 10 percent of medical assistants, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Handbook.
**According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Exploring Career Information
***The average annual salary for elementary and secondary school administrators was $83,880 in May 2008. The average median annual wage for postsecondary school administrators was $80,670.
****According to Indeed.com
All remaining salary information is from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook.