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10 Boring Jobs That Pay $100,000 or More

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When it comes to choosing a career, there’s so much talk about the need to follow your passion, not the paycheck. It’s not bad advice, but it can generate negative assumptions about the less-than-dreamy gigs — the so-called boring jobs.

However, some of the most unsung professions out there come with a big paycheck, and you might even discover a rewarding career in one of those fields. Consider these 10 boring jobs that come with high paychecks that could change your life for the better.

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1. Accountant

Spending years steeped in numbers, spreadsheets and solitary calculations might sound like the definition of tediousness. But for people who enjoy the rationale of basic mathematics and who prefer to work independently rather than as part of a team, accounting can prove to be a lucrative career fit.

The top 10 percent of accountants earned more than $120,910 in 2016, according to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These top earners worked primarily in investment pools and funds located in metro areas like New York City, Jersey City, N.J., and San Rafael, Calif.

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2. Information Technology

Sitting in a cubicle, staring at a computer all day might make some people cringe. But skilled IT professionals — programmers, network administrators, database engineers and others — are delighted to take home that six-figure salary.

Computer and information research scientists invent and design new approaches to computing technology and find innovative uses for existing technology. The highest 10 percent earned more than $169,680, according to the BLS.

With demand for skilled technology workers consistently on the rise, job opportunity, security and wage growth seem unlimited in this sector. In 2016, the metro areas with the highest-paying jobs in IT include Palm Bay, Fla., and Portland, Ore., in financial investments and related activities.

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3. Gastroenterologist

Gastroenterologists might spend much of their time performing routine procedures — think colonoscopy — but the median annual payout is $302,723. The top 10 percent take home an average of $500,000 yearly, according to the BLS. In addition to astronomical income levels, salary information website PayScale reported high levels of job satisfaction among these specialists.

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4. Sales Engineer

A sales engineer sells scientific and technological products and services to businesses, which means they need to have a deep working knowledge of what they're selling. They might not regale a cocktail party with their work stories, but their expertise can earn them a six-figure paycheck.

The median annual wage for sales engineers was $100,000, but the highest 10 percent earned more than $166,500 in 2016. Sales engineers can find top-paying jobs in data processing and hosting, as well as at business schools and in computer and management training. Metro areas like Silver Spring, Md., and San Francisco are the places to be for the top salaries. Before interviewing, learn the best ways to improve your chances of getting a job.

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5. Technical Writer

As mind-numbing as equipment manuals, operational handbooks and appendices can be as reading materials, writing these informational guides can be a lucrative earning proposition. The top 10 percent of technical writers earned an average income of $111,260 in 2016, reported the BLS. Some high-paying employers include corporate giants IBM, Boeing and Google, according to PayScale.

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6. Air Traffic Controller

Air traffic controllers specialize in the safe flow of traffic. They work in control towers, approach control facilities and en route centers to keep aircraft a safe distance from one another. It might not be as exciting as the thrill of flight, but the salary is nothing to sneeze at. The BLS reported the median annual pay for air traffic controllers is $122,410, but the top 10 percent earn more than $172,680.

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7. Human Resources Manager

Dealing with other people’s problems, paperwork and the minutia of employee benefit programs provide a surprisingly solid source of income for human resources managers. With a national average salary of $106,910, and the top 10 percent earning more than $193,550, the potential for six figures is well within reach for these professionals, particularly at corporations with vast employee networks to manage. The BLS estimates that employment for human resources managers is projected to grow 9 percent from 2016 to 2026.

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8. Insurance Sales Agent

A job in insurance won't likely be as entertaining as the industry’s advertising icons — think Progressive’s quirky Flo or GEICO’s charming gecko — but the practice can still prove quite lucrative for the average Joe. The top 10 percent of insurance agents earned more than $128,070 in 2016, according to the BLS.

Some agents work for insurance companies directly, selling their company’s products exclusively, such as auto policies. Some agents work for independent brokerage firms and sell products from multiple companies, and about 1 in 7 are self-employed. For most agents, commissions are a critical source of income.

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9. Construction Manager

Overseeing the construction of roads, buildings and other structures might not seem very exciting. But construction managers can earn six-figure salaries without an expensive college degree. Often dismissed as menial manual labor, construction experience can pave the way to a more lucrative management future. Top earning construction managers can make over $158,330 per year in metropolitan areas like Winchester, Va., and Newark, N.J.

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10. Database Administrator

It's likely that no child grows up with aspirations of becoming a database administrator. The title itself sounds like jargon pulled from the script of "Office Space," but the position is real and the pay generous, with the top 10 percent of database administrators earning more than $129,930 in 2016.

Like the title suggests, database administrators administer, test and implement computer databases. They coordinate changes to those databases and implement security measures to safeguard them. The most profitable fields of employment include securities and commodities exchanges, and the beer, wine and alcoholic beverage industry.

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