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17 surprising jobs where you can earn more than $100,000 a year

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10 surprising jobs where you can earn more than $100,000 a year

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:

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Actuaries

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.

Advertising and promotions managers

Annual mean wage: $123,880

Job description: Advertising and promotions managers oversee coordinated advertising campaigns for products, companies or initiatives.

Air traffic controllers

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."

Art directors

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.

Astronomers

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."

Erik Isakson | Getty Images

Construction managers

Annual mean wage: $101,000

Job description: Construction managers help conceptualize and organize construction projects.

Computer and information research scientists

Annual mean wage: $119,570

Job description: These computer scientists research computational theories, inventions and applications.

Economists

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.

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Geoscientists

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.

Human resources managers

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.

Industrial production managers

Annual mean wage: $110,580

Job description: Industrial production managers oversee manufacturing procedures and facilities.

Mathematicians

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.

Nurse anesthetists

Annual mean wage: $169,450

Job description: Nurse anesthetists administer anesthesia to patients and monitor vital signs.

Mathematician-Jobs-for-Loners-CNBC.jpg
Mathematicians can work in numerous fields, such as scientific research, technical consulting and academia. Their mean annual wage is but a mathematician working in the scientific research and development services industry can make almost $118,000 per year.That industry isn’t just the highest paying. It also has the highest levels of employment, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The state with the highest-paying jobs in this field is New Jersey, where a mathematician can earn over $12
Bill Greene | Boston Globe | Getty Images

Physicists

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."

Physician assistants

Annual mean wage: $104,760

Job description: Physician assistants perform physicals, provide treatment and can prescribe medications.

Political scientists

Annual mean wage: $112,030

Job description: Political scientists "study the origin, development, and operation of political systems," according to the BLS.

Purchasing managers

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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