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Annual wage in government: $85,690
Mean annual wage in private sector: $78,530

The decision to become an architect is one not to be taken lightly. Anyone who chooses this field has to pursue a professional degree from a school recognized by the National Architectural Accrediting Board and pass the Architect Registration Examination. Most prospective employers also require candidates to have a few years of experience on the job.

Those who acquire the necessary credentials will find their skills in demand by the U.S. government, particularly by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Army, and the Navy. Job candidates who choose to work for the government, as opposed to the private sector, will increase their potential salary by more than $6,000 a year.

Steven Errico | Digital Vision | Getty Images