You can’t make the big bucks without taking on some responsibility. Those with the highest responsibilities — over life and death — earn some of the highest salaries, and perhaps that’s as it should be.

By Tom Mangan
Monster Contributing Writer

We worked with the team at PayScale to pick out a half-dozen hot jobs that pay more than $80,000 per year to give a picture of what it takes to earn a superior salary. Not surprisingly, medical specialties offer excellent salaries, but that has to be balanced against the daunting educational requirements, potentially massive student loan debt and considerable workplace stress.

The more common good-paying jobs require people with proven skills in their chosen professions who also have a knack for leading people and supervising projects. While some careers require advanced science, technology and math skills, the common denominator for excellent pay is an ability to get people in a wide range of disciplines to pull together and get a job done right.

Neonatologist
Median Annual Salary: $209,600

If you can envision yourself putting the tiniest premature babies on the road to a healthy childhood, a neonatologist may be the career for you, provided you have an aptitude for advanced math and science. Also be sure to account for four years of medical school and four years of residency before coming within shooting range of a salary like this.
Find neonatologist jobs.

Senior IT Project Manager 
Median Annual Salary: $109,800

Senior IT project managers supervise all aspects of a computer system install: They must be fluent in the lingo of coders and engineers while capable of reassuring executives that the project will come in on time and within budget. Typically a bachelor’s degree is the minimum, as most IT project managers work their way up through the ranks, but certifications and master’s degrees will bolster a project manager’s prospects.
Find senior IT project manager jobs.

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