Photograph by Jeff Harris for MONEY; Prop styling by Renee Flugge
By Kerri Anne Renzulli
May 16, 2016

Want a fatter paycheck? For every industry, and every job title, there are specific skills that correlate with richer compensation. But for most workers, the first challenge is knowing which skills will pay off for them.

To that end, MONEY worked with compensation data and software company PayScale.com to identify exactly which three abilities deliver the greatest pay premium for 130 different professional jobs—from nuclear engineer to bank teller.

These skills correlate with as much as a 35% pay differential for some occupations — holding constant such factors as job title, experience, age, and location. That top premium goes to a credit analyst who knows SAS software; other big bumps go to market research analysts and survey researchers who know financial modeling (28.2% for both), or CEOs with a mastery of mergers and acquisitions (25.7%).

Even if most skills offer a more modest reward — 5% to 10%, on average — that’s still more than the typical 2% annual cost-of-living raise most people get. So if you’re looking for a way to ratchet up your own pay, scan the following list for your job title, and see which new abilities could propel you higher.

To see full coverage of MONEY’s Best Career Skills 2016, click here.

Occupation Top 3 Skills/Specialties Pay Boost
Accountant/Auditor Forensic Accounting 7.9%
Forecasting 7.9%
Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Audit 6.7%
Actuary Pricing 5.7%
Statistical Analysis 4.2%
Financial Modeling 3.4%
Administrative Services Manager Data Analysis 13.9%
SEC Experience 9.0%
Payroll Tax Compliance 8.7%
Advertising and Promotions Manager Contract Negotiation 6.8%
Strategic Sales 6.7%
Strategy Development 6.2%
Advertising Sales Agent Media / Public Relations 2.1%
Strategic Marketing 2.0%
Project Management 1.0%
Aerospace Engineers Aeros 7.6%
Avionics 4.8%
UNIX 1.9%
Agricultural/Food Scientist Sales 7.4%
Product Development 1.8%
Data Analysis 1.0%
Aircraft Pilot/ Flight Engineer Test Engineering 0.9%
Operations Management 0.9%
Safety Compliance 0.4%
Architect Microstation 7.0%
Software Architecture 6.5%
Green Building 6.4%
Architectural/ Engineering Manager Software Architecture 12.4%
Software Development Management 11.8%
Java 11.6%
Astronomer/ Physicist Radiation Therapy 10.8%
Research Analysis 2.8%
Medical Physics 2.6%
Biological Scientist Research Analysis 5.5%
Quality Assurance / Quality Control 4.2%
Data Analysis 3.7%
Biological Technician Protein Purification 5.3%
Biotechnology 2.8%
Quality Assurance / Quality Control 0.9%
Biomedical Engineer Clinical Research 12.2%
Clinical Education 7.9%
Radiology 6.8%
Bookkeeping, Accounting, or Auditing Clerk Reconciliation 8.3%
Month-End Close 7.9%
Financial Analysis 5.0%
Brokerage Clerk Microsoft Excel 13.0%
Client Interaction 11.6%
Microsoft Office 10.4%
Budget Analyst Data Analysis 4.4%
Budget Management 3.3%
Financial Analysis 3.3%
Buyer / Purchasing Agent Product Development 7.0%
Strategic Planning 5.7%
Contract Negotiation 5.7%
Chemical Engineer Business Development 9.0%
Simulation 8.6%
Data Analysis 5.8%
Chemical Technician Technical Analysis 1.7%
Data Analysis 1.3%
Research Analysis 1.2%
Chemist / Materials Scientist Project Management 9.0%
Process Improvement 5.9%
Product Development 5.7%
Chief Executive Mergers and Acquisitions 25.7%
Strategic Sales 22.2%
Change Management 18.7%
Civil Engineer Prolog 9.6%
ANSYS 7.6%
Business Development 6.3%
Claims Adjuster / Appraiser / Examiner / Investigator Verbal Communication 9.3%
Construction Estimating 7.7%
Complex Litigation Case Management 7.1%
Clergy People Management 3.3%
Bereavement Counseling 2.0%
Patient Counseling 1.3%
Occupation Top 3 Skills/Specialties Pay Boost
Clinical Laboratory Technologist / Technician Budget Management 7.1%
Medical Terminology 5.3%
GMP Compliance 4.6%
Compensation and Benefits Manager ADP Payroll System 8.2%
Payroll Tax Compliance 7.5%
Accounting 6.7%
Compensation, Benefits, or Job Analysis Specialist Payroll Tax Compliance 10.4%
ADP Human Resources System 7.5%
401k Plan Administration 6.7%
Compliance Officer Data Analysis 3.6%
Research Analysis 3.5%
Project Management 3.5%
Computer and Information Analyst Big Data Analytics 11.8%
Agile 11.3%
IBM WebSphere 10.1%
Computer and Information Research Scientist Machine Learning 6.2%
Big Data Analytics 3.5%
Python 2.8%
Computer and Information Systems Manager Big Data Analytics 18.9%
Service Oriented Architecture 15.7%
Data Modeling 15.2%
Computer Control Programmer / Operator Engineering Design 12.1%
CAD/CAM 5.6%
Computer Aided Drafting & Design 5.3%
Computer Hardware Engineer System Administration 10.3%
Engineering Design, Semiconductor 6.2%
Microsoft Active Directory 6.1%
Computer Operator UNIX 5.3%
Mainframe 0.8%
AS/400 0.4%
Construction and Building Inspector Commercial Building Inspection 5.2%
Household or Property Inspection 4.8%
Windows Operating System General Use 3.2%
Construction Manager Primavera P6 13.7%
Prolog 13.1%
Welding 7.6%
Cost Estimator Financial Analysis 5.6%
Contractor Management 4.6%
Data Analysis 4.5%
Counselor Spanish Language 8.1%
Functional Analysis 6.6%
Program Management 6.1%
Credit Analyst Statistical Analysis System 35%
Financial Modeling 11%
Banking 8.9%
Credit Counselor / Loan Officers Commercial Loans 7.4%
Financial Analysis 3.7%
Mortgage Loans 3.4%
Database and Systems Administrator / Network Architect Cisco UCCE/IPCC 20.8%
Puppet 20.7%
Software Development 17.3%
Dental Hygienist Clinical Education 6.4%
Anesthesia 6.0%
Software Knowledge 5.1%
Dentist Oral Surgery 10.8%
Medicine / Surgery 5.8%
Public Health 0.2%
Designer Autodesk AliasStudio 9.0%
NX Unigraphics 8.4%
Powerpoint 6.9%
Occupation Top 3 Skills/Specialties Pay Boost
Desktop Publisher Adobe Illustrator 3.7%
Adobe Photoshop 3.2%
Technical Writing 2.1%
Detective / Criminal Investigator Geographic Information Systems 6.4%
Forensic Interviewing 4.8%
Signals Intelligence 4.6%
Diagnostic Related Technologist or Technician Obstetrics 9.7%
Interventional Radiology 4.0%
Pediatrics 3.7%
Dietitian / Nutritionist Training 9.2%
Diabetes Educator 2.9%
Nutrition Support 1.7%
Drafter CATIA 8.7%
AutoCAD MEP 6.0%
Autodesk Revit Structure 5.9%
Economist Policy Analysis 5.5%
Data Modeling 5.0%
Statistical Analysis 2.5%
Education Administrator Strategic Marketing 7.7%
Operations Management 4.6%
Strategic Planning 3.7%
Electrical or Electronics Engineer Instrument Control 6.4%
Engineering Design, Semiconductor 6.2%
AutoCAD MEP 5.9%
Elementary or Middle School Teacher Spanish Language 3.4%
Curriculum Planning 1.9%
Childhood Education 1.3%
Engineering Technician C (programming language) 14.1%
Industrial Hydraulics 10.3%
Distributed Control Systems 9.7%
Environmental Engineer Title V Permitting 14.6%
Windows Operating System General Use 2.4%
Project Management 2.4%
Environmental Scientist / Geoscientist Data Modeling 3.7%
Regulatory Compliance 2.3%
Project Management 2.3%
Farmer / Rancher / Agricultural Manager Budget Management 13.2%
Operations Management 8.6%
Machine Operation 0.6%
Financial Analyst / Advisor Valuation 9.0%
Due Diligence 8.7%
Market Research 8.1%
Financial Examiner Financial Applications 7.8%
Anti-Money Laundering 6.4%
Microsoft Word 3.7%
Financial Manager Business Strategy 14.0%
Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Audit 13.1%
Sarbanes-Oxley Knowledge 10.4%
First-Line Supervisor of Office and Administrative Support Workers Facility Maintenance & Coordination 15.8%
Process Improvement 15.7%
Contract Management 12.1%
First-Line Supervisor of Sales Workers Profit & Loss Statements 12.3%
Budget Management 6.8%
Human Resources 6.6%
General or Operations Manager Field Sales 18.2%
Mergers and Acquisitions 16.0%
Tax Consulting 14.0%
Health Practitioner Support Technologist or Technician Oncology 8.1%
Open Heart 5.7%
Long-Term Care 4.3%
Occupation Top 3 Skills/Specialties Pay Boost
Health Teacher (Postsecondary) Critical Care 5.2%
Emergency Room 3.2%
Clinical Education 2.6%
Human Resources Manager Strategy 11.0%
Change Management 10.8%
Applicant Tracking System 9.0%
Human Resources Worker Legal Compliance 14.7%
Payroll Tax Compliance 10.5%
Strategic Planning 9.7%
Industrial Engineer Chemical Process Engineering 17.0%
Linux 8.3%
Operations Management 6.6%
Industrial Production Manager Six Sigma Black Belt 11.3%
Six Sigma Green Belt 8.7%
Engineering Design 7.9%
Instructional Coordinator Design 3.6%
Training Program Development 2.5%
Articulate – E-Learning Software 2.4%
Insurance Sales Agent Field Sales 14.3%
Leadership 6.1%
Account Sales 2.6%
Lawyer or Judicial Law Clerk Mergers and Acquisitions 23.8%
Corporate 15.7%
Tax Compliance 9.8%
Librarian Legal Research 10.5%
Budget Management 3.9%
Operations Management 1.6%
Licensed Practical or Licensed Vocational Nurse Nursery 6.8%
Triage 5.3%
Intensive Care Unit 4.1%
Logistician Project Management 6.5%
Logistics Support Analysis 6.0%
SAP Enterprise Resource Planning 5.7%
Management Analyst Big Data Analytics 17.7%
Mergers and Acquisitions 16.7%
Strategy 15.6%
Market Research Analyst or Marketing Specialist Financial Modeling 28.2%
R (programming language) 16.5%
Tableau Software 13.6
Marketing or Sales Manager Software as a Service 11.8%
Marketo 11.7%
Vendor Management 10.3%
Materials Engineer Robotic Welding 4.2%
Manufacturing Process Engineering 3.7%
Material Science 3.4%
Mechanical Engineer SCADA 6.1%
SQL 5.5%
Simulation 5.4%
Medical or Health Services Manager Business Development 12.2%
Six Sigma Black Belt 9.3%
Surgery 9.2%
Medical Records and Health Information Technician Microsoft Excel 7.3%
Data Analysis 5.2%
Microsoft Office 4.9%
Medical Scientist Oncology 9.1%
Molecular Biology 6.1%
Generalist Duties 5.8%
Medical, Dental, or Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician Wound Care 2.8%
CAD/CAM 1.8%
Casting 0.6%
Occupation Top 3 Skills/Specialties Pay Boost
Meeting, Convention, or Event Planner Strategic Marketing 9.4%
Project Management 6.1%
Budget Management 6.0%
Natural Sciences Manager Engineering Design 8.0%
Technical Writing 5.9%
Problem Solving 4.0%
News Analyst, Reporter or Correspondent Financial Reporting 10.6%
Video Editing 1.8%
Social Media Optimization 0.7%
Nuclear Engineer Project Management 5.6%
Engineering Design 3.6%
Technical Analysis 2.5%
Nurse Anesthetist Obstetrics 9.1%
Pediatrics 6.8%
Obstetrical Anesthesia 6.2%
Nurse Practitioner Emergency Room 6.9%
Dermatology 5.3%
Pain Management 4.1%
Occupational Health and Safety Specialist or Technician Risk Management / Risk Control 5.2%
Regulatory Compliance 4.7%
Microsoft Word 3.8%
Operations Research Analyst R (programming language) 11.9%
Automation Scripting 10.0%
Statistical Analysis System 9.1%
Paralegal or Legal Assistant Prosecution 10.8%
Data Analysis 10.7%
Concordance Discovery Management Software 10.6%
Petroleum Engineer Microsoft Excel 7.8%
Well Production Engineering 6.3%
Simulation 4.1%
Pharmacist Operations Management 6.4%
Oncology 4.0%
Critical Care 3.8%
Physician Assistant Emergency Medicine 9.4%
Psychiatry 6.5%
General Surgery 5.6%
Physician or Surgeon Obstetrics 17.8%
Critical Care 15.8%
Emergency Medicine 12.9%
Podiatrist Surgery 7.2%
Medicine / Surgery 1.7%
Wound Care 1.6%
Property, Real Estate, or Community Association Manager Financial Analysis 8.6%
Negotiation 7.7%
Budget Management 6.4%
Psychologist Health and Wellness 6.3%
Pain Management 5.0%
Clinical Supervision 3.3%
Public Relations or Fundraising Manager Strategic Planning 6.7%
Branding 5.0%
Corporate Communications 4.5%
Purchasing Manager Business Analysis 10.7%
Product Development 10.2%
Strategic Planning 8.7%
Real Estate Broker or Sales Agent Property Management 4.3%
Customer Relations 1.5%
Leasing Software 1.3%
Registered Nurse Trauma Intensive Care Unit 4.7%
Open Heart 4.4%
Pediatric Intensive Care Unit 3.9%
Sales Engineer IT Security & Infrastructure 22.2%
Cisco Networking 15.5%
Field Sales 9.1%
Sales Representative (Wholesale and Manufacturing) Strategic Planning 10.1%
Financial Analysis 10.0%
Business Analysis 8.0%
Secondary School Teacher Leadership 3.2%
Information Technology Support 2.7%
Mathematica 1.3%
Secretary or Administrative Assistant Event Management 12.3%
Information Technology Support 11.9%
Benefits Administration 8.7%
Securities, Commodities, or Financial Services Sales Agent Investment Management 11.2%
Financial Analysis 5.4%
Business Development 2.8%
Social or Community Service Manager Clinical Supervision 8.4%
Budget Management 7.5%
Counseling 7.0%
Occupation Top 3 Skills/Specialties Pay Boost
Social Worker Utilization Review 18.1%
Hospice Care 14.4%
Oncology 9.8%
Sociologist Research Analysis 5.5%
Legislative Policy 4.4%
Policy Analysis 3.5%
Software Developer or Programmer Machine Learning 25.2%
Scala 21.5%
Algorithm Development 18.9%
Statistical Assistant PL/SQL 13.7%
Financial Modeling 12.3%
R (programming language) 11.8%
Statistician Data Modeling 7.9%
Data Mining / Data Warehouse 5.0%
SQL 4.3%
Survey Researcher Financial Modeling 28.2%
R (programming language) 16.5%
Tableau Software 13.6%
Surveying or Mapping Technician Computer Aided Drafting & Design 5.1%
Global Positioning Systems 4.7%
AutoCAD 2.9%
Surveyor, Cartographer, or Photogrammetrists AutoCAD Civil 3D 4.8%
Global Positioning Systems 2.6%
Land Surveying 2.5%
Tax Examiner, Collector or Preparer, or Revenue Agent Legal Research 9.1%
Tax Consulting 3.2%
Auditing 3.1%
Teacher Assistant Spanish Language 3.2%
Curriculum Planning 1.3%
Activities for Children 0.1%
Television, Video, or Motion Picture Camera Operator or Editor Adobe InDesign 8.5%
Project Management 5.0%
Microsoft Office 2.0%
Teller Account Sales 11.0%
Sales Management 8.6%
Operations Management 5.8%
Therapist Geriatrics 3.4%
Home Care 3.2%
Home Health / Home Care 2.7%
Training and Development Manager Strategic Planning 13.1%
Change Management 8.9%
Leadership 6.2%
Training and Development Specialist Clinical Education 14.4%
Project Coordinating 6.8%
Leave of Absence Administration 6.6%
Transportation, Storage, or Distribution Manager SAP Materials Management 10.1%
Risk Management / Risk Control 6.3%
Budget Management 5.8%
Urban or Regional Planner Project Management 6.5%
Adobe InDesign 4.7%
Graphic Design 3.7%
Veterinarian Anesthesia 5.0%
Emergency Medicine 4.3%
Phlebotomy 3.7%
Writer or Editor Advertising 6.5%
Strategic Marketing 5.5%
Dreamweaver 5.0%

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