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America's Most Surprising Six-Figure Jobs

Top-dollar salaries are often associated with corner offices, operating rooms, and trading floors. As it turns out, those aren’t the only arenas in which professionals can bring in six figure salaries–some of those whose offices are elevator shafts, roulette tables, and the open seas rake in serious earnings that many might find surprising.

To collect some of the most surprising six-figure jobs, Forbes examined data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which releases Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates each year for more than 820 occupations, refined by geography and industry.

The top 10% of earners in the occupations that appear here make $100,000 a year or more.

Though journalism is often cited as a field with anemic compensation at the entry- and mid-career levels, broadcast news analysts, those who analyze and interpret news for a television audience, earn a mean annual salary of $84,710 with the top earners pulling in as much as $186,260. The best-paying state for broadcast news analysts is Florida.

Some writers and authors–even those without a bestseller to their name, as yet–also bring in annual earnings that might raise a few eyebrows. The mean annual salary for preparing “scripts, stories, advertisements, and other material” is $69,250, with the top 10% earning an average $117,050, annually.

Running a tight ship–literally–can also translate to a nice paycheck. Captains, mates, and pilots of water vessels who “command or supervise operations of ships and water vessels, such as tugboats and ferry boats” earn a healthy mean salary of $75,580, with the top earners bringing in as much as $122,590. The top-earning state for these seafarers is Georgia.

Whether or not you think of them on your trips up and down, elevator installers are crucial to safe and efficient building operations. Those who “assemble, install, repair, or maintain electric or hydraulic freight or passenger elevators, escalators, or dumbwaiters” earn a mean annual salary of $76,220. Top-earners can take home as much as $108,130; Hawaii is the top-earning state for these professionals.

Also making this eclectic list of surprising six-figure jobs are funeral service managers; farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers; and home economics teachers, postsecondary.

It may surprise you to learn that these 15 occupations pay six-figure salaries. The top earning 10% of professionals in each field earn $100,000 or more, according to data from the BLS. 

Broadcast News Analysts
Art Directors
Funeral Service Managers
Makeup Artists, Theatrical and Performance
Multimedia Artists and Animators
Gaming Managers
Writers and Authors
Transportation Inspectors
Home Economics Teachers, Postsecondary
Elevator Installers and Repairers
Power Distributors and Dispatchers
Technical Writers
Captains, Mates, and Pilots of Water Vessels
Art, Drama, and Music Teachers, Postsecondary
Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers

Source: http://www.forbes.com/