Billionaire Ken Langone recently offered some unexpected advice to grads: If you want to make it big in business, don't go work on Wall Street.
While finance jobs still offer some of the highest wages around, he may be right about one thing — you don't have to work on Wall Street to earn six figures.
CNBC Make It took a look at figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and found that workers with these jobs — ranging from art director to geoscientist — can make some surprisingly serious cash.
Here are 25 jobs you might be shocked to learn pay more than $100,000 a year:
Annual mean wage: $114,850
Job description: Actuaries typically work with insurance companies to help analyze statistical data such as mortality, accident, sickness, disability and retirement rates.
Annual mean wage: $123,880
Job description: Advertising and promotions managers oversee coordinated advertising campaigns for products, companies or initiatives.
Annual mean wage: $120,260
Job description: According to the BLS, air traffic controllers, "authorize, regulate and control commercial airline flights according to government or company regulations to expedite and ensure flight safety."
Annual mean wage: $103,510
Job description: This creative job typically involves designing and organizing "visual communications media" such as advertisements, merchandising and website designs.
Annual mean wage: $109,560
Job description: The BLS describes astronomers as people who "observe, research and interpret astronomical phenomena to increase basic knowledge or apply such information to practical problems."
Annual mean wage: $101,000
Job description: Construction managers help conceptualize and organize construction projects.
Annual mean wage: $119,570
Job description: These computer scientists research computational theories, inventions and applications.
Annual mean wage: $112,650
Job description: Economists research economic trends and attempt to address issues such as the distribution of goods and services, wealth inequality and monetary policy.
Annual mean wage: $105,830
Job description: These scientists must have extensive knowledge of geography, physics and mathematics in order to study the structure of the earth.
Annual mean wage: $123,510
Job description: Human resource managers often oversee the recruiting, interviewing and training of workers. They also often help workers with benefits.
Annual mean wage: $110,580
Job description: Industrial production managers oversee manufacturing procedures and facilities.
Annual mean wage: $104,700
Job description: Mathematicians use computational and statistical modeling in order to address practical problems or to better understand theoretical concepts.
Annual mean wage: $169,450
Job description: Nurse anesthetists administer anesthesia to patients and monitor vital signs.
Annual mean wage: $123,080
Job description: According to the BLS, physicists "conduct research into physical phenomena, develop theories on the basis of observation and experiments, and devise methods to apply physical laws and theories."
Annual mean wage: $104,760
Job description: Physician assistants perform physicals, provide treatment and can prescribe medications.
Annual mean wage: $112,030
Job description: Political scientists "study the origin, development, and operation of political systems," according to the BLS.
Annual mean wage: $121,810
Job description: Purchasing managers oversee the contracts for materials, goods and services that an organization needs.
Studying science or engineering is a smart way to increase your future earning potential. But jobs on this list, like art director and human resource manager, prove that the lack of a technical background doesn't have to hold you back from earning six figures.
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