The 7 fastest-growing STEM jobs that pay over $100,000

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Some of the highest-paying careers are also the fastest-growing. Recent data shows that jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, are expected to grow 15% between 2021 and 2031.

While tens of thousands of workers have been laid off this year, occupations in the STEM industry remain in high demand. STEM-related jobs are expected to increase by nearly 800,000 by 2031; more than half of these are projected to be mathematical and computer occupations, according to a recent SmartAsset study.

Growth in the American STEM industry is attributed mainly to the country’s growing computer industry. Computer occupations are projected to be in demand over the next decade because of growth in the American digital economy, a U.S. Department of Labor Beyond the Numbers report finds.

In a society increasingly developing and depending on digital technologies, from online shopping and social media platforms to artificial intelligence, robotics and machine learning, the risk of electronic breaches is on the rise. More of a need to protect electronic data calls for more computer and STEM-related occupations

SmartAsset analyzed historic employment growth between 2017 and 2021 and projected employment growth from 2021 to 2031 to identify and rank the country’s fastest-growing STEM occupations. The study compared data across 74 professions. 

Information security jobs top the list of fastest-growing STEM jobs for the second year in a row. STEM jobs overall account for 5.9% of the fastest-growing occupations in the United States. 

Of the fastest-growing STEM occupations, here are seven that pay over $100,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Physicists 

Median salary: $152,430

Growth rate 2017-2021: 19.8%

Projected growth rate 2021-2031: 8.2%

Change in number of jobs 2017-2021: 3,310

Projected change in number of jobs 2021-2031: 1,900

Computer and information research scientists 

Median salary: $131,490

Growth rate 2017-2021: 10.5%

Projected growth rate 2021-2031: 21.3%

Change in number of jobs 2017-2021: 2,920

Projected change in number of jobs 2021-2031: 7,100

Computer hardware engineers

Median salary: $128,170

Growth rate 2017-2021: 10.5%

Projected growth rate 2021-2031: 4.8%

Change in number of jobs 2017-2021: 6,980

Projected change in number of jobs 2021-2031: 3,700

Computer network architects 

Median salary: $120,520

Growth rate 2017-2021: 7.0%

Projected growth rate 2021-2031: 4.3%

Change in number of jobs 2017-2021: 11,000

Projected change in number of jobs 2021-2031: 7,500

Actuaries 

Median salary: $105,900

Growth rate 2017-2021: 19.9%

Projected growth rate 2021-2031: 20.8%

Change in number of jobs 2017-2021: 3,830

Projected change in number of jobs 2021-2031: 5,900

Information security analysts

Median salary: $102,600

Growth rate 2017-2021: 49.4%

Projected growth rate 2021-2031: 34.7%

Change in number of jobs 2017-2021: 51,970

Projected change in number of jobs 2021-2031: 56,500

Biochemists, biophysicists