The 16 highest-paying jobs for people who don’t mind sitting at a desk all day

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These jobs pay more than $100,000 a year.
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K2 Space/flickr

Some people can’t stand the thought of spending their work days in a cubicle, behind a computer screen, chained to their swivel chair – but others really don’t mind working a desk job.

If you identify with the latter group, you’ve probably been warned of all the dangers of sitting for eight hours a day. But here’s some good news: There are lots of high-paying jobs for people who prefer not to be on their feet.

We combed through the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), a US Department of Labor database that compiles detailed information on hundreds of jobs, and looked through salary data on the US Bureau of Labor Statistics website to find the highest-paying professions where workers typically spend the majority of their day at a desk.

O*NET rates how much time each job requires sitting on a scale from zero to 100, where a higher rating signals you’d be sitting almost continually throughout the workday.

Here are 16 jobs that pay more than $100,000 a year and earned a sitting score of 75 or higher:


Actuary

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Getty Images / Carl Court

Median annual pay: $100,610

Sitting score: 95

Actuaries analyze the financial costs of risk and uncertainty. They use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to assess the risk that an event will occur, and they help businesses and clients develop policies that minimize the cost of that risk. Their work is essential to the insurance industry.


Environmental economist

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greensefa/Flickr

Median annual pay: $101,050

Sitting score: 93

Environmental economists conduct economic analysis related to environmental protection and use of the natural environment, such as water, air, land, and renewable energy resources.


Regulatory affairs manager

Median annual pay: $104,970

Sitting score: 92

Regulatory affairs managers plan, direct, or coordinate production activities of an organization to ensure compliance with regulations and standard operating procedures.


Investment fund manager

Median annual pay: $104,970

Sitting score: 94

Investment fund managers plan, direct, or coordinate investment strategy or operations for a large pool of liquid assets supplied by institutional investors or individual investors.


Mathematician

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stock_photo_world / Shutterstock.com

Median annual pay: $105,810

Sitting score: 85

Mathematicians conduct research in fundamental mathematics or in the application of mathematical techniques to science, management, and other fields.


Systems software developer

Median annual pay: $106,860

Sitting score: 96

Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device, while others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks.


Public-relations and fundraising manager

Median annual pay: $107,320

Sitting score: 86

Public-relations managers plan and direct the creation of material that will maintain or enhance the public image of their employer or client. Fundraising managers coordinate campaigns that bring in donations for their organization.


Computer- and information-research scientist

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Shutterstock

Median annual pay: $111,840

Sitting score: 91

Computer- and information-research scientists invent and design new approaches to computing technology and find innovative uses for existing technology. They study and solve complex problems in computing for business, medicine, science, and other fields.


Computer-hardware engineer

Median annual pay: $115,080

Sitting score: 91

Computer-hardware engineers research, design, develop, and test computer systems and components such as processors, circuit boards, memory devices, networks, and routers. These engineers discover new directions in computer hardware, which generate rapid advances in computer technology.


Compensation and benefits manager

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WOCinTech Chat/flickr

Median annual pay: $116,240

Sitting score: 89

Compensation managers plan, develop, and oversee programs to determine how much an organization pays its employees and how employees are paid. Benefits managers plan, direct, and coordinate retirement plans, health insurance, and other benefits that an organization offers its employees.


Lawyer

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Thomson Reuters

Median annual pay: $118,160

Sitting score: 89

Lawyers advise and represent individuals, businesses, and government agencies on legal issues and disputes.


Air traffic controller

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ResoluteSupportMedia/Flickr

Median annual pay: $122,410

Sitting score: 86

Air traffic controllers authorize, regulate, and control commercial airline flights according to government or company regulations to expedite and ensure flight safety.


Judge, magistrate judge, or magistrate

Median annual pay: $125,880

Sitting score: 94

Judges, magistrate judges, and magistrates arbitrate, advise, adjudicate, or administer justice in a court of law. They may sentence defendants in criminal cases according to government statutes or sentencing guidelines; may determine liability of defendant in civil cases; and may also perform wedding ceremonies.


Airline pilot, copilot, or flight engineer

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Sergio Perez/Reuters

Median annual pay: $127,820

Sitting score: 93

Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers pilot and navigate the flight of fixed-wing, multi-engine aircraft, usually on scheduled air carrier routes, for the transport of passengers and cargo.


Petroleum engineer

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Bureau of Land Management/flickr

Median annual pay: $128,230

Sitting score: 87

Petroleum engineers devise methods to improve oil and gas extraction and production and determine the need for new or modified tool designs. Oversee drilling and offer technical advice.


Computer- and information-systems manager

Median annual pay: $135,800

Sitting score: 90

Computer- and information-systems managers plan, coordinate, and direct computer-related activities in an organization. They help determine the information-technology goals of an organization and are responsible for implementing computer systems to meet those goals.

Jacquelyn Smith contributed to an earlier version of this article.