NJ’s top jobs pay more than the national average
The top jobs in New Jersey all have a few things in common - they pay above the national average and they're in the fastest growing fields.
Careers in health care, finance and professional services are outpacing their contemporaries in other states, both in salaries and job prospects, according to James Hughes, dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.
"That's all part of the transformation (New Jersey) went through at the end of the twentieth century - going from a manufacturing based economy to an information age, knowledge based economy - part of that was held up by the high quality labor force, and the high education of New Jersey citizens," Hughes said.
A list published by NJ.com showed the median annual salaries of actuaries, administrative service managers, industrial production managers, medical and health service managers and school administrators to be all over $100,000 a year.
Meanwhile, loan officers, network administrators, personal financial advisers and physical therapists all have average salaries between $80,000 to $90,000 a year.
Medical and health services continues to be a strong sector in New Jersey, with employment rates. Hughes said the health services industry is strong nationwide, and is one of the few fields to survive the great recession. In New Jersey, it's particularly robust thanks to the state's top-notch medical facilities.
"Ten, 20, 30 years ago New York City and Philadelphia dominated the medical scene, but New Jersey's medical centers, hospitals and health service centers have been major competitors now. They really upped their ante," Hughes said.
The outlook is high for the information technology field, according to Hughes, especially as advances in technology replace physical workers.
"The real advances in information technology have really eliminated a number of white- collar processing jobs or routine jobs that really dominated the 80s and 90s. They're going away, but in their place are new jobs that require increased knowledge, creativity and interaction," Hughes said.
Even with its high cost of living, the top careers in New Jersey still beat out similarly expensive areas like New York City, Los Angeles and Washington D.C.
However, New Jersey also has some of the most expensive real estate markets in the country, which force many of the salaries in the state to remain high. "Our housing costs are about 60 percent higher than those of the nation," Hughes said.