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Advice / Career Paths / Exploring Careers

27 High-Paying Jobs With the Least Competition

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They’re some of the most nagging questions on every job seeker’s mind: How many people applied to this job? How many other eager candidates am I up against here? If the pile of applications is more like a teetering mountain, will I even be considered? Do I stand a chance?

Unfortunately, most of the time, these questions go unanswered as you sit and wait and hope to hear something—anything!—from one of those companies you applied to. And that silence sometimes raises other kinds of questions: Are hundreds or thousands of people applying for every measly opening I look at? Did I choose a particularly competitive path? Are there great, high-paying jobs out there where each opening doesn’t get so many applicants?

That’s exactly what researchers wanted to find out as they compiled a February 2021 report for on the highest-paying jobs with the most and least competition. Using data from PayScale, they identified roles with an average U.S. salary of $75,000 or higher. To gauge which of those roles tend to be more and less competitive, they used LinkedIn to calculate the average number of applicants per open role on the first page of results—ranging from 1.2 for assistant city attorney to 159 for senior vice president of operations.

To be sure, the study is imperfect: For one thing, only approximately 25 postings were used to judge competition levels for each type of role. In addition, the rankings are based only on the number of LinkedIn applicants at a given moment in time; they don’t account for any other job sites each role was listed on or final candidate tallies.

However, this report still gives you a general sense of which roles might fall in that coveted overlapping section in the Venn diagram of “high-paying” and “least competitive.”

27 of the Least Competitive High-Paying Jobs

We’ve pulled out roles in engineering, sales, accounting, marketing, human resources, healthcare, education, and other areas that each saw an average of 30 applications per opening or fewer. All of the average salaries are above $75,000, and most are near or above the six-figure mark.

Here are 27 roles to consider—along with average salaries according to PayScale and average applicants per role according to the research. (Note that PayScale’s database is updated nightly; the numbers below reflect the latest information as of March 2021.)

Interested in applying for one of these high-paying jobs with low competition? You can click on each role to search for current job openings on The Muse!

Engineering and Product Management

Data Science


Sales and Business

Accounting and Finance

Project Management


Human Resources