Even though the current unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in over a decade, American wages remain stubbornly low. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment is close to 4.4 percent and yet real average hourly earnings and wage growth have barely inched forward.
"Wage growth continued its slightly upward trend in September — rising 1.8 percent — similar to August's revised growth of 1.6 percent," said Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist of Glassdoor. "However, at this snail's pace of wage growth, it will take roughly 40 years for U.S. median annual pay to double."
Job site Glassdoor analyzed millions of individual salary reports across nearly 85 job titles to calculate the 10 highest-paying jobs in September. Job descriptions are based on information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Median base pay: $77,994
Year-over-year pay growth: 1.2%
Job description: User experience designers, otherwise known as UX designers, often work with software, product development and merchandising teams to improve consumer satisfaction.
Median base pay: $78,514
Year-over-year pay growth: 1.8%
Job description: Systems engineers consider the business and technical aspects of a given project to optimize efficiency.
Median base pay: $85,806
Year-over-year pay growth: 2.7%
Job description: Software engineers develop applications for devices like computers and smartphones.
Median base pay: $87,244
Year-over-year pay growth: 2.6%
Job description: Professors teach students in a wide variety of fields, often in a postsecondary education setting.
Median base pay: $91,035
Year-over-year pay growth: 1.2%
Industry: Professional services
Job description: Product managers often oversee the construction, maintenance and strategy of a given product.
Median base pay: $93,920
Year-over-year pay growth: -1.9%
Job description: Attorneys advise and represent individuals, businesses and government agencies on legal issues.
Median base pay: $94,180
Year-over-year pay growth: 1.7%
Job description: Tax managers provide a range of tax preparation services for individuals and businesses.
Median base pay: $95,624
Year-over-year pay growth: 0.6%
Job description: Data scientists use statistical analysis to help solve complex issues.
Median base pay: $102,184
Year-over-year pay growth: 3.7%
Job description: Solution architects often work with information technology teams to make sure that groups are able to work and communicate efficiently.
Median base pay: $127,506
Year-over-year pay growth: 0.4%
Job description: Pharmacists give patients prescription medications, advise on a range of healthcare topics and provide some medical screenings.
Pharmacist topped the list as the highest-paying job for September 2017. Glassdoor calculated that the median base pay for pharmacists is $127,506 and that they experienced a 0.4 percent year-over-year wage growth.
Even though Glassdoor found that attorneys experienced the biggest decline in pay growth — down 1.9 percent to $93,920 — the profession still managed to come in as the fifth highest-paid job for September.
Specialized technology jobs also ranked highly on the list, with half of the top jobs coming from the tech sector.
"The reports show that more sophisticated technology jobs like solutions architects and web designers are increasingly in demand because their mix of hard and soft skills allow them to navigate today's fast-changing tech landscape," said Chamberlain. "As the need for single-skilled developers like Java developers and web developers has waned, so has wage growth for those positions."
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