With the end of the economic depression comes a new beginning for Detroit. A number of highly lucrative careers with potential for impressive earnings right off the bat are available throughout the Motor City. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BSL) quantified the data for a number of careers during 2011 and many came out as more fiscally responsible than others.


Average Salary in May of 2011: $112,160 — Everyone has encountered one of these friendly folks wearing a lab coat behind the counter of their local drug store. Pharmacists are required to complete a doctorate of pharmacy, a four-year program, and pass two exams that result in awarding a license to operate.

Air Traffic Controller

Average Salary in May of 2011: $114,460 — One less-thought-of career, but nonetheless crucial these days, is that of the air traffic controller. According to the BLS, this position does not require a bachelor’s degree, but rather an air traffic management degree from a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified school. In addition, a candidate must pass a FAA pre-employment test with a qualifying score and complete a training course at the FAA Academy in order to be eligible for the position’s high-starting salary.

Airline Pilots, Copilots and Flight Engineers

Average Salary in May of 2011: $118,070 — According to BLS data, all airline pilots, copilots and flight engineers have been combined into one lucrative category that compromises some of the highest earners in the aviation field. Though they are very well-paying positions, these careers also mark some of the country’s most stressful positions available. Southwest Airlines has a first-year minimum of $49,572.

Industrial-Organizational Psychologist

Average Salary in May of 2011: $124,160 — This career can be deemed somewhat of an odd job. Though the BLS reports that there are only 1,230 of these positions within the United States, the field is set to grow with the development of many companies looking for ways to restructure. Currently, only a handful of states are reporting data to the BLS on this position, but with the information that is available, it’s sure to draw some attention. Industrial-organizational psychologists need a master’s or doctoral degree in order to be qualified for this position.

Computer and Information Systems Manager

Average Salary in May of 2011: $125,660 — The ever-growing field of information technology in Detroit has many fruits to bear. With a number of technology-heavy companies centered in downtown Detroit, such as Compuware, these careers are certainly in high demand. Needing only a bachelor’s degree, the BLS reports that computer and information systems managers rise quickly to the top of their fields and start earning big right away.

Marketing Managers

Average Salary in May of 2011: $126,190 — Though this career does not technically require a college degree, a minimum of a bachelor’s degree is highly recommended. Marketing managers, simply put, market policies and programs for local firms to determine demand for products and services. This career relies more upon the ability to learn on the job and has unlimited potential for those who display hard work and talent.


Average Salary in May of 2011: $130,490 — This legal profession has long been associated with lots and lots of money. Though there is usually a minimum of seven years (four undergraduate and three law school) of some very costly education required, this career offers the immediate promise of high pay right after graduation (no less than $54,460).


Average Salary in May of 2011: $130,820 — Within the dental field are a number of sub-specialties that offer the opportunity for high-end earning sooner, rather than later. With this specialty being based on everything from the treatment of oral diseases to straightening teeth, these individuals are required to earn the standard Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree from a school accredited by the American Dental Association. Starting salaries for these positions are usually around $72,710.

General Dentist

Average Salary in May of 2011: $161,750 — Unlike many of the other professions presented in this list, you’d be hard pressed to find one as commonly used as the average dentist. Love ’em or hate ’em, these folks are crucial and regular six-month checkups are essential for maintaining a clean bill of health. Much like the prosthodontist, these individuals are also required to earn a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree from a school accredited by the American Dental Association.

Petroleum Engineer

Average Salary in May of 2011: $138,980 — Easily the most lucrative profession in terms of education requirements, demand and starting salary is none other than that of petroleum engineering. With the nation’s ever-growing need for fuel to keep the machines of industry running, this career is an easy choice for the top of the list. In many cases, no more than a bachelor’s degree is needed and the annual average starting salary is $98,000.

Michael Ferro is freelance writer and a graduate of Michigan State University where he majored in Creative Writing and received the Jim Cash Creative Writing Award. Born and bred in Detroit, he currently resides in Ypsilanti Township. Additional writing can be found at Examiner.com.


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