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Highest paying jobs in education

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stock art studio // Shutterstock

Highest paying jobs in education

Whether you picture hard-working teachers buying school supplies for their students or genius professors shaping future leaders, it’s fair to say education encompasses a wide variety of jobs. So much so that there’s room to specialize and pursue your passion.

Historically, teachers’ pay is a rather contentious topic, especially after the appointment of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. Her first year had many controversial moments that left the future of education in America uncertain. In fact, the median annual salary across all teaching professions is $57,949—about $3,000 below the median annual salary of all working professionals with a bachelor’s degree or higher. Consequently, strikes erupted in states like Arizona and Oklahoma, which put this issue of low wages in the spotlight.

Despite this, many of these jobs are rewarding in more ways than one. In other words, education can be very lucrative—particularly within specialty fields.

Stacker looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to round up a list, ranked from lowest to highest, of the highest-paying jobs in education. Major, minor and broad occupation groups were excluded from the data, leaving only detail-level groups. Additionally, the median annual wage, number of employees at each job in 2017 and the BLS description for each job is provided.

Read on to take a look at the highest paying jobs in education.

RELATED: Highest paying jobs in healthcare

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kevinlopez // pixabay

#64. Teacher Assistants

Median annual wage: $26,260
Employment: 1,299,800

Description: Perform duties that are instructional in nature or deliver direct services to students or parents. Serve in a position for which a teacher has ultimate responsibility for the design and implementation of educational programs and services.

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Ilmicrofono Oggiono // flickr

#63. Substitute Teachers

Median annual wage: $28,270
Employment: 611,310

Description: Teach students in a public or private school when the regular teacher is unavailable.

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Christine Cabalo // Wikimedia Commons

#62. Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education

Median annual wage: $28,990
Employment: 409,740

Description: Instruct preschool-aged children in activities designed to promote social, physical and intellectual growth needed for primary school in preschool, day care center or other child development facility. May be required to hold State certification.

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Michelle Tran // flickr

#61. Graduate Teaching Assistants

Median annual wage: $32,460
Employment: 136,820

Description: Assist faculty or other instructional staff in postsecondary institutions by performing teaching or teaching-related duties, such as teaching lower level courses, developing teaching materials, preparing and giving examinations and grading examinations or papers. Graduate teaching assistants must be enrolled in a graduate school program. Graduate assistants who primarily perform non-teaching duties, such as research, should be reported in the occupational category related to the work performed.

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Bill Branson // Wikimedia Commons

#60. Library Technicians

Median annual wage: $33,690
Employment: 90,030

Description: Assist librarians by helping readers in the use of library catalogs, databases and indexes to locate books and other materials; and by answering questions that require only brief consultation of standard reference. Compile records; sort and shelve books or other media; remove or repair damaged books or other media; register patrons and check materials in and out of the circulation process. Replace materials in shelving area (stacks) or files. Includes bookmobile drivers who assist with providing services in mobile libraries.

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Brian S. Hagberg // Wikimedia Commons

#59. Self-Enrichment Education Teachers

Median annual wage: $38,440
Employment: 238,710

Description: Teach or instruct courses other than those that normally lead to an occupational objective or degree. Courses may include self-improvement, nonvocational and nonacademic subjects. Teaching may or may not take place in a traditional educational institution.

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Vaughan Dill // Wikmedia Commons

#58. Teachers and Instructors, All Other, Except Substitute Teachers

Median annual wage: $39,710
Employment: 294,240

Description: All teachers and instructors not listed separately.

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Joe Mabel // Wikimedia Commons

#57. Museum Technicians and Conservators

Median annual wage: $40,670
Employment: 12,290

Description: Restore, maintain or prepare objects in museum collections for storage, research, or exhibit. May work with specimens such as fossils, skeletal parts, botanicals or artifacts, textiles or art. May identify and record objects or install and arrange them in exhibits. Includes book or document conservators.

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Djembayx // Wikimedia Commons

#56. Education, Training, and Library Workers, All Other

Median annual wage: $43,140
Employment: 99,830

Description: All education, training and library workers not listed separately.

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Vancouver Film School // flickr

#55. Audio-Visual and Multimedia Collections Specialists

Median annual wage: $48,590
Employment: 10,430

Description: Prepare, plan and operate multimedia teaching aids for use in education. May record, catalogue and file materials.

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Preston Keres // flickr

#54. Farm and Home Management Advisors

Median annual wage: $49,510
Employment: 8,450

Description: Advise, instruct and assist individuals and families engaged in agriculture, agricultural-related processes or home economics activities. Demonstrate procedures and apply research findings to solve problems and instruct and train in product development, sales and the use of machinery and equipment to promote general welfare. Includes county agricultural agents, feed and farm management advisers, home economists and extension service advisors.

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Gamerscore Blog // flickr

#53. Vocational Education Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $51,600
Employment: 114,020

Description: Teach or instruct vocational or occupational subjects at the postsecondary level (but at less than the baccalaureate) to students who have graduated or left high school. Includes correspondence school instructors; industrial, commercial and government training instructors and adult education teachers and instructors who prepare persons to operate industrial machinery and equipment and transportation and communications equipment. Teaching may take place in public or private schools whose primary business is education or in a school associated with an organization whose primary business is other than education.

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Jeff Reed // flickr

#52. Archivists

Median annual wage: $51,760
Employment: 6,080

Description: Appraise, edit and direct safekeeping of permanent records and historically valuable documents. Participate in research activities based on archival materials.

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Angela Thomas // flickr

#51. Adult Basic and Secondary Education and Literacy Teachers and Instructors

Median annual wage: $52,100
Employment: 60,670

Description: Teach or instruct out-of-school youths and adults in remedial education classes, preparatory classes for the General Educational Development test, literacy or English as a Second Language. Teaching may or may not take place in a traditional educational institution.

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Fairfax County // flickr

#50. Special Education Teachers, Preschool

Median annual wage: $53,640
Employment: 28,540

Description: Teach preschool school subjects to educationally and physically handicapped students. Includes teachers who specialize and work with audibly and visually handicapped students and those who teach basic academic and life processes skills to the mentally impaired.

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Marcwathieu // Wikimedia Commons

#49. Curators

Median annual wage: $53,770
Employment: 11,550

Description: Administer collections, such as artwork, collectibles, historic items or scientific specimens of museums or other institutions. May conduct instructional, research or public service activities of institution.

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woodleywonderworks // Wikimedia Commons

#48. Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education

Median annual wage: $54,230
Employment: 140,660

Description: Teach elemental natural and social science, personal hygiene, music, art and literature to kindergarten students. Promote physical, mental and social development. May be required to hold State certification.

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U.S. Census Bureau // Wikimedia Commons

#47. Special Education Teachers, All Other

Median annual wage: $54,800
Employment: 37,980

Description: All special education teachers not listed separately.

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U.S. Department of Education // flickr

#46. Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education

Median annual wage: $57,160
Employment: 1,409,140

Description: Teach students basic academic, social and other formative skills in public or private schools at the elementary level.

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woodleywonderworks // flickr

#45. Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education

Median annual wage: $57,720
Employment: 622,340

Description: Teach students in one or more subjects in public or private schools at the middle, intermediate or junior high level, which falls between elementary and senior high school as defined by applicable laws and regulations.

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Media Mike Hazard // flickr

#44. Librarians

Median annual wage: $58,520
Employment: 126,800

Description: Administer libraries and perform related library services. Work in a variety of settings, including public libraries, educational institutions, museums, corporations, government agencies, law firms, non-profit organizations and healthcare providers. Tasks may include selecting, acquiring, cataloguing, classifying, circulating and maintaining library materials; and furnishing reference, bibliographical and readers' advisory services. May perform in-depth, strategic research and synthesize, analyze, edit and filter information. May set up or work with databases and information systems to catalogue and access information.

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csubedu // Flickr

#43. Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School

Median annual wage: $58,600
Employment: 184,920

Description: Teach elementary school subjects to educationally and physically handicapped students. Includes teachers who specialize and work with audibly and visually handicapped students and those who teach basic academic and life processes skills to the mentally impaired.

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Greg Vojtko // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Career/Technical Education Teachers, Middle School

Median annual wage: $58,630
Employment: 12,040

Description: Teach occupational, career and technical or vocational subjects in public or private schools at the middle, intermediate or junior high level, which falls between elementary and senior high school as defined by applicable laws and regulations.

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Official U.S. Navy Page // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Career/Technical Education Teachers, Secondary School

Median annual wage: $58,660
Employment: 78,840

Description: Teach occupational, career and technical, or vocational subjects at the secondary school level in public or private schools.

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Ness Kerton // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education

Median annual wage: $59,170
Employment: 1,027,230

Description: Teach students in one or more subjects, such as English, mathematics or social studies at the secondary level in public or private schools. May be designated according to subject matter specialty.

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Corey Hensley // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Special Education Teachers, Middle School

Median annual wage: $59,510
Employment: 87,550

Description: Teach middle school subjects to educationally and physically handicapped students. Includes teachers who specialize and work with audibly and visually handicapped students and those who teach basic academic and life processes skills to the mentally impaired.

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Kenny Holston // flickr

#38. Recreation and Fitness Studies Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $60,150
Employment: 16,630

Description: Teach courses pertaining to recreation, leisure and fitness studies, including exercise physiology and facilities management. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Jorg Weingrill // flickr

#37. Special Education Teachers, Secondary School

Median annual wage: $60,180
Employment: 135,910

Description: Teach secondary school subjects to educationally and physically handicapped students. Includes teachers who specialize and work with audibly and visually handicapped students and those who teach basic academic and life processes skills to the mentally impaired.

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Florida Fish and Wildlife // flickr

#36. Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $60,400
Employment: 14,210

Description: Teach courses in criminal justice, corrections and law enforcement administration. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Simon Fraser Universtiy // flickr

#35. Instructional Coordinators

Median annual wage: $63,750
Employment: 157,490

Description: Develop instructional material, coordinate educational content and incorporate current technology in specialized fields that provide guidelines to educators and instructors for developing curricula and conducting courses. Includes educational consultants and specialists and instructional material directors.

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Fabrice Florin // flickr

#34. Education Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $64,020
Employment: 60,500

Description: Teach courses pertaining to education, such as counseling, curriculum, guidance, instruction, teacher education and teaching English as a second language. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy // flickr

#33. Social Work Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $64,370
Employment: 12,430

Description: Teach courses in social work. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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adoranicholson // pixabay

#32. Postsecondary Teachers, All Other

Median annual wage: $64,480
Employment: 189,270

Description: All postsecondary teachers not listed separately.

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Yokki // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Social Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary, All Other

Median annual wage: $64,480
Employment: 16,580

Description: All postsecondary social sciences teachers not listed separately.

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MikeDKnight // Wikimedia Commons

#30. English Language and Literature Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $64,910
Employment: 69,140

Description: Teach courses in English language and literature, including linguistics and comparative literature. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Shane Global // flickr

#29. Foreign Language and Literature Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $65,010
Employment: 27,240

Description: Teach languages and literature courses in languages other than English. Includes teachers of American Sign Language (ASL). Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Simon Fraser Universtiy // flickr

#28. Communications Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $66,510
Employment: 28,770

Description: Teach courses in communications, such as organizational communications, public relations, radio/television broadcasting and journalism. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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George // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Art, Drama and Music Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $66,930
Employment: 95,110

Description: Teach courses in drama, music and the arts including fine and applied art, such as painting and sculpture or design and crafts. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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University of the Fraser Valley // flickr

#26. Philosophy and Religion Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $69,590
Employment: 22,920

Description: Teach courses in philosophy, religion and theology. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Magister Mathmaticae // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Mathematical Science Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $70,910
Employment: 50,870

Description: Teach courses pertaining to mathematical concepts, statistics and actuarial science and to the application of original and standardized mathematical techniques in solving specific problems and situations. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Monica Volpin // pixabay

#24. Library Science Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $70,940
Employment: 5,010

Description: Teach courses in library science. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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COD Newsroom // flickr

#23. Nursing Instructors and Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $71,260
Employment: 55,580

Description: Demonstrate and teach patient care in classroom and clinical units to nursing students. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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COD Newsroom // flickr

#22. Home Economics Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $71,630
Employment: 2,580

Description: Teach courses in childcare, family relations, finance, nutrition and related subjects pertaining to home management. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Eric E Castro // flickr

#21. Area, Ethnic and Cultural Studies Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $72,230
Employment: 9,850

Description: Teach courses pertaining to the culture and development of an area, an ethnic group or any other group, such as Latin American studies, women's studies or urban affairs. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Irina.stelea // Wikimedia Commons

#20. History Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $72,690
Employment: 21,120

Description: Teach courses in human history and historiography. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Tulane Public Relations // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Sociology Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $73,080
Employment: 13,630

Description: Teach courses in sociology. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Fae // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $73,770
Employment: 37,090

Description: Teach courses in psychology, such as child, clinical and developmental psychology and psychological counseling. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Robyn Gerstenslager/USFWS // flickr

#17. Environmental Science Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $76,360
Employment: 5,990

Description: Teach courses in environmental science. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Henning/NTNU // flickr

#16. Chemistry Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $77,190
Employment: 21,090

Description: Teach courses pertaining to the chemical and physical properties and compositional changes of substances. Work may include instruction in the methods of qualitative and quantitative chemical analysis. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching, and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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uroburos // pixabay

#15. Geography Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $78,040
Employment: 3,980

Description: Teach courses in geography. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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NazWeb // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Biological Science Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $78,240
Employment: 49,910

Description: Teach courses in biological sciences. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Snehalkanodia // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Computer Science Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $78,630
Employment: 32,230

Description: Teach courses in computer science. May specialize in a field of computer science, such as the design and function of computers or operations and research analysis. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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COD Newsroom // flickr

#12. Architecture Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $80,050
Employment: 7,280

Description: Teach courses in architecture and architectural design, such as architectural environmental design, interior architecture/design and landscape architecture. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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University of Esses // flickr

#11. Business Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $80,300
Employment: 84,340

Description: Teach courses in business administration and management, such as accounting, finance, human resources, labor and industrial relations, marketing and operations research. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Kennisland // flickr

#10. Political Science Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $81,430
Employment: 16,200

Description: Teach courses in political science, international affairs and international relations. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Arpingstone // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Anthropology and Archeology Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $81,580

Employment: 5,770

Description: Teach courses in anthropology or archeology. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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United States Department of Agriculture // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Agricultural Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $86,140
Employment: 10,800

Description: Teach courses in the agricultural sciences. Includes teachers of agronomy, dairy sciences, fisheries management, horticultural sciences, poultry sciences, range management and agricultural soil conservation. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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IMB Research // flickr

#7. Physics Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $87,340
Employment: 13,710

Description: Teach courses pertaining to the laws of matter and energy. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Pacific Southwest Region USFWS // flickr

#6. Atmospheric, Earth, Marine and Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $87,380
Employment: 10,730

Description: Teach courses in the physical sciences, except chemistry and physics. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching, and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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US Forest Service // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Forestry and Conservation Science Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $87,420
Employment: 2,000

Description: Teach courses in forestry and conservation science. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Douglas H. Stutz // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $97,870
Employment: 194,610

Description: Teach courses in health specialties, in fields such as dentistry, laboratory technology, medicine, pharmacy, public health, therapy and veterinary medicine.

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StFX // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Economics Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $98,350
Employment: 12,770

Description: Teach courses in economics. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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NASA // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Engineering Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $98,360
Employment: 37,500

Description: Teach courses pertaining to the application of physical laws and principles of engineering for the development of machines, materials, instruments, processes and services. Includes teachers of subjects such as chemical, civil, electrical, industrial, mechanical, mineral and petroleum engineering. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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US Department of Education // flickr

#1. Law Teachers, Postsecondary

Median annual wage: $104,910
Employment: 16,900

Description: Teach courses in law. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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