When most people think of high-paying jobs, there are several classic well-to-do professions that jump to mind. For example, everyone knows that more often than not, lawyers, doctors and CEOs are likely to see a pretty hefty paycheck each year.
But, many other careers come along with unexpectedly high salaries. From air traffic controllers to art directors, funeral managers to foresters, there is a varied range of jobs that bring in much more money than one might expect.
Read on for a review of the top ten unexpectedly high-paying jobs, according to an employment survey from the US Department of Labor.
Air Traffic Controller
Air traffic controllers are responsible for directing the flow of commercial airline flights. They authorize and regulate the pathways of flights.
Air traffic controllers must complete an FAA-recognized education program, and attend a 12-week training program at the FAA Academy in Oklahoma.
Air traffic controllers make an average annual salary of $118,420.
Astronomers are involved in the observation, analysis and research of various astronomical phenomena, such as the movements of celestial bodies like moons, planets, stars and galaxies.
Many astronomers have educational backgrounds in mathematics or physics. Professional astronomers generally possess a PhD in physics, astronomy or astrophysics, and tend to be employed by high-level research universities.
Professional astronomers make an average annual salary of $102,550.
Art directors develop and design visual communication methods and strategies for various companies. Art directors are often involved in the conception of graphic design and layouts for a company's website, advertising campaigns and overarching multimedia marketing strategies.
Art directors make an average annual salary of $94,260.
Either working on their own or as part of a medical team, midwives are involved in OB/GYN health care for women, and are specifically responsible for care before, during and after childbirth.
Midwives make an average annual salary of $91,070.
Agents are the masterminds behind actors, athletes, singers and other "stars." They often serve as the middleman between their clients and potential employers or customers, handling contract negotiations, perks and paycheck terms, and publicity matters.
Although agents don't receive the million-dollar paychecks their clients are accustomed to, they do make an average annual salary of $88,260.
Funeral Service Manager
Funeral service managers oversee the operations of a funeral home, and may also be involved in the planning and coordination of individual memorial services.
Funeral service managers are also responsible for the attainment and sale of funeral home merchandise and services, such as caskets or cremation.
Funeral service managers make an average annual salary of $79,930.
Animators formulate and design special effects, digital animation and other multimedia elements for movies, television shows, computer games, music videos, commercials and other creations.
Animators make an average annual salary of $69,560.
Postmaster and Mail Superintendent
Postmasters and mail superintendents plan and coordinate the administrative and operational services of U.S. post offices, making an average annual salary of $62,080.
Foresters are involved in all types of environmental and outdoor work, such as managing wilderness or protected lands, appraising the value of an allotted acreage, maintaining forest health or working on conservation efforts.
Foresters make an average annual salary of $57,140.
Archivists are historians who manage historically valuable documents and records. They may also participate in research based on archived essays, letters or photographs, and are involved in the maintenance and upkeep of such materials.
Archivists make an average annual salary of $50,810.