Pennsylvania Great Paying Jobs

  • Certified Financial Planner
  • Nurse Anesthetist
  • Petroleum Engineer
  • Industrial/Organizational Psychologist
  • Sales Manager

The Commonwealth's $644 billion economy is the 18th largest worldwide, so you can expect many Pennsylvania jobs providing great pay. From Scranton-Wilkes-Barre to Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has diversified industries with a current overall unemployment rate of 5.6 percent. Industrial machinery, food manufacturing, banking, and energy are among the leading sectors. Pennsylvanians find work at top employers like PNC Bank, UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside, GE Transportation Systems, PPG Industries, and Comcast. Pennsylvania employs a workforce of 5.74 million people for a mean annual wage of $47,540. Using the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we've outlined five jobs in Pennsylvania where salaries are more than double the average and hiring prospects are bright.

1. Certified Financial Planner

Certified Financial Planners are personal advisors who are hired by individuals or families to offer expertise on investing and saving decisions for wealth management. CFPs finish a bachelor's degree and three years of working before passing a 170-question exam certifying their knowledge for ethically managing clients' money. One in five Pennsylvania CFPs are self-employed, but others work for securities firms, banks, and investing agencies. Certified Financial Planners can expect 10-year job growth at 30 percent and a mean in-state salary of $119,140.

Read: 30 Best Value Colleges and Universities in Pennsylvania

2. Nurse Anesthetist

Ranked 41st on CNN Money's "Best Jobs," nurse anesthetists are advanced practice RNs who eliminate the pain of surgical procedures by delivering intravenous drugs or inhaled gasses to patients. Becoming a CRNA requires completing an MSN degree, taking a one-year residency, and passing a certification exam. CRNAs find openings at Pennsylvania hospitals, outpatient surgical centers, and health practitioners' offices. The 2,310 nurse anesthetists statewide make an annual wage of $159,700 and expect rapid job growth by 19 percent.

3. Petroleum Engineer

Petroleum engineering employs 970 Pennsylvanians to design the best techniques for extracting oil and gas for energy from underground deposits called reservoirs. Petroleum engineers generally need a bachelor's from an ABET-accredited college to learn the geological principles for successful drilling. Over half of Pennsylvania petroleum engineers work for gas and mining companies, such as EQT Corporation and CONSOL Energy. Petroleum engineers will see jobs spike by 10 percent through 2024 for an average yearly wage of $120,310.

4. Industrial/Organizational Psychologist

Named a "Hot Job" by SIOP, industrial/organizational psychology employs social scientists who research behavioral principles to improve workplace culture for better morale and productivity. In Pennsylvania, I/O psychologists mostly work in HR departments, consulting firms, and private research labs. Advising management for organizational change will require finishing a master's or Ph.D. in I/O psychology, but licensure isn't necessary. Industrial/organizational psychologists in the Commonwealth make $112,200 on average and project 19 percent job growth before 2024.

5. Sales Manager

Sales managers are business gurus in customer service who study revenue statistics and develop plans for representatives to boost their quotas for better corporate profit. The "Keystone State" has 8,930 sales managers with at least a bachelor's degree and 5+ years of experience to meet buyers' demands. Full-time Pennsylvania jobs in sales management are found in retail, wholesale trade, manufacturing, insurance, and other private companies. Sales managers are poised for 5 percent growth by 2024 for a mean in-state income of $147,110.

Picking a lifelong career based on salary alone isn't suggested since passion is everything, but being aware of where the money is in Pennsylvania's industries could guide your goals. Only 10.3 percent of Pennsylvania households report annual income above $100,000. Rising to high-paying jobs will likely require spending considerable time at one of Pennsylvania's 107 colleges or studying out-of-state. Yet the reward could be these Pennsylvania jobs with great pay, or others like orthodontist, actuary, natural sciences manager, lawyer, funeral director, IT systems manager, economics professor, and physicist.