These are the highest-paying Lafayette jobs that require a graduate degree

Lafayette Parish

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LAFAYETTE, La. (Stacker) — Those with graduate degrees earn more on average than those without them—but not all jobs are equal. And while rising tuition costs are enough to turn people away from the prospect of a master’s or doctoral degree, many high-paying professions still require such degrees to get in the door. Stacker compiled a list of the highest-paying jobs that require a graduate degree in Lafayette, LA using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs are ranked by 2020 annual mean wage.

The best way to guarantee a high return on investment in a graduate degree is to be aware of professions that pay top-dollar for that added educational investment. Keep reading to see where a graduate degree is required—and can earn you the most.

16. Mental health and substance abuse social workers

Lafayette, LA

  • Annual mean salary: $38,540 (#231 highest pay among all metros)
  • Employment: 200

National

  • Annual mean salary: $54,540 (116,780 employed)
  • Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
  • Metros with highest average pay:
    • Madera, CA ($92,870)
    • Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($91,480)
    • Santa Rosa, CA ($89,730)

Job description: Assess and treat individuals with mental, emotional, or substance abuse problems, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs. Activities may include individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, case management, client advocacy, prevention, and education.

15. Instructional coordinators

Lafayette, LA

  • Annual mean salary: $53,560 (#288 highest pay among all metros)
  • Employment: 190

National

  • Annual mean salary: $70,160 (174,900 employed)
  • Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
  • Metros with highest average pay:
    • New Haven, CT ($111,440)
    • Warner Robins, GA ($110,800)
    • Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA ($104,000)

Job description: Develop instructional material, coordinate educational content, and incorporate current technology into instruction in order to provide guidelines to educators and instructors for developing curricula and conducting courses. May train and coach teachers. Includes educational consultants and specialists, and instructional material directors.

14. Educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors

Lafayette, LA

  • Annual mean salary: $55,710 (#210 highest pay among all metros)
  • Employment: 590

National

  • Annual mean salary: $62,320 (292,230 employed)
  • Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
  • Metros with highest average pay:
    • Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA ($91,420)
    • El Centro, CA ($91,110)
    • Fresno, CA ($90,860)

Job description: Advise and assist students and provide educational and vocational guidance services.

13. Healthcare social workers

Lafayette, LA

  • Annual mean salary: $55,880 (#186 highest pay among all metros)
  • Employment: 80

National

  • Annual mean salary: $60,470 (176,110 employed)
  • Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
  • Metros with highest average pay:
    • San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($100,410)
    • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($98,980)
    • Salinas, CA ($95,690)

Job description: Provide individuals, families, and groups with the psychosocial support needed to cope with chronic, acute, or terminal illnesses. Services include advising family caregivers. Provide patients with information and counseling, and make referrals for other services. May also provide case and care management or interventions designed to promote health, prevent disease, and address barriers to access to healthcare.

12. Education administrators, kindergarten through secondary

Lafayette, LA

  • Annual mean salary: $66,140 (#361 highest pay among all metros)
  • Employment: 370

National

  • Annual mean salary: $103,010 (262,480 employed)
  • Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
  • Metros with highest average pay:
    • Modesto, CA ($154,970)
    • New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($146,070)
    • Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($145,590)

Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate the academic, administrative, or auxiliary activities of kindergarten, elementary, or secondary schools.

11. Chiropractors

Lafayette, LA

  • Annual mean salary: $66,230 (#106 highest pay among all metros)
  • Employment: 60

National

  • Annual mean salary: $83,830 (34,760 employed)
  • Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
  • Metros with highest average pay:
    • Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA ($273,530)
    • Raleigh, NC ($149,430)
    • New Orleans-Metairie, LA ($139,970)

Job description: Assess, treat, and care for patients by manipulation of spine and musculoskeletal system. May provide spinal adjustment or address sacral or pelvic misalignment.

10. Education administrators, postsecondary

Lafayette, LA

  • Annual mean salary: $76,990 (#195 highest pay among all metros)
  • Employment: 120

National

  • Annual mean salary: $115,200 (140,880 employed)
  • Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
  • Metros with highest average pay:
    • Ithaca, NY ($205,810)
    • Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC ($178,210)
    • Charlottesville, VA ($176,040)

Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate student instruction, administration, and services, as well as other research and educational activities, at postsecondary institutions, including universities, colleges, and junior and community colleges.

9. Physical therapists

Lafayette, LA

  • Annual mean salary: $85,400 (#275 highest pay among all metros)
  • Employment: 340

National

  • Annual mean salary: $91,680 (220,870 employed)
  • Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
  • Metros with highest average pay:
    • El Centro, CA ($143,500)
    • Modesto, CA ($123,370)
    • Visalia-Porterville, CA ($119,510)

Job description: Assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that improve mobility, relieve pain, increase strength, and improve or correct disabling conditions resulting from disease or injury.

8. Speech-language pathologists

Lafayette, LA

  • Annual mean salary: $86,160 (#86 highest pay among all metros)
  • Employment: 120

National

  • Annual mean salary: $83,240 (148,450 employed)
  • Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
  • Metros with highest average pay:
    • Modesto, CA ($128,540)
    • Santa Rosa, CA ($120,920)
    • Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA ($115,480)

Job description: Assess and treat persons with speech, language, voice, and fluency disorders. May select alternative communication systems and teach their use. May perform research related to speech and language problems.

7. Occupational therapists

Lafayette, LA

  • Annual mean salary: $87,770 (#130 highest pay among all metros)
  • Employment: 140

National

  • Annual mean salary: $87,480 (126,610 employed)
  • Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
  • Metros with highest average pay:
    • The Villages, FL ($115,920)
    • Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV ($115,060)
    • Modesto, CA ($112,870)

Job description: Assess, plan, and organize rehabilitative programs that help build or restore vocational, homemaking, and daily living skills, as well as general independence, to persons with disabilities or developmental delays. Use therapeutic techniques, adapt the individual’s environment, teach skills, and modify specific tasks that present barriers to the individual.

6. Lawyers

Lafayette, LA

  • Annual mean salary: $94,430 (#276 highest pay among all metros)
  • Employment: 680

National

  • Annual mean salary: $148,910 (658,120 employed)
  • Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
  • Metros with highest average pay:
    • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($231,610)
    • San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($201,920)
    • Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($186,070)

Job description: Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.

5. Physician assistants

Lafayette, LA

  • Annual mean salary: $99,500 (#268 highest pay among all metros)
  • Employment: 120

National

  • Annual mean salary: $116,080 (125,280 employed)
  • Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
  • Metros with highest average pay:
    • Salinas, CA ($168,220)
    • Waterbury, CT ($165,230)
    • Portsmouth, NH-ME ($158,020)

Job description: Provide healthcare services typically performed by a physician, under the supervision of a physician. Conduct complete physicals, provide treatment, and counsel patients. May, in some cases, prescribe medication. Must graduate from an accredited educational program for physician assistants.

4. Veterinarians

Lafayette, LA

  • Annual mean salary: $109,920 (#91 highest pay among all metros)
  • Employment: 130

National

  • Annual mean salary: $108,350 (73,710 employed)
  • Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
  • Metros with highest average pay:
    • Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX ($169,220)
    • Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($150,370)
    • Akron, OH ($150,330)

Job description: Diagnose, treat, or research diseases and injuries of animals. Includes veterinarians who conduct research and development, inspect livestock, or care for pets and companion animals.

3. Pharmacists

Lafayette, LA

  • Annual mean salary: $120,340 (#271 highest pay among all metros)
  • Employment: 540

National

  • Annual mean salary: $125,460 (315,470 employed)
  • Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
  • Metros with highest average pay:
    • Madera, CA ($165,350)
    • Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA ($162,540)
    • Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($161,120)

Job description: Dispense drugs prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners and provide information to patients about medications and their use. May advise physicians and other health practitioners on the selection, dosage, interactions, and side effects of medications.

2. Nurse practitioners

Lafayette, LA

  • Annual mean salary: $120,560 (#73 highest pay among all metros)
  • Employment: 300

National

  • Annual mean salary: $114,510 (211,280 employed)
  • Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
  • Metros with highest average pay:
    • Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($188,070)
    • San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($177,800)
    • Salinas, CA ($155,310)

Job description: Diagnose and treat acute, episodic, or chronic illness, independently or as part of a healthcare team. May focus on health promotion and disease prevention. May order, perform, or interpret diagnostic tests such as lab work and x rays. May prescribe medication. Must be registered nurses who have specialized graduate education.

1. Nurse anesthetists

Lafayette, LA

  • Annual mean salary: $139,220 (#96 highest pay among all metros)
  • Employment: data not available

National

  • Annual mean salary: $189,190 (41,960 employed)
  • Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
  • Metros with highest average pay:
    • Duluth, MN-WI ($271,940)
    • Ann Arbor, MI ($262,890)
    • Green Bay, WI ($239,140)

Job description: Administer anesthesia, monitor patient’s vital signs, and oversee patient recovery from anesthesia. May assist anesthesiologists, surgeons, other physicians, or dentists. Must be registered nurses who have specialized graduate education.

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