As financial exchanges around the globe have gained ground, so too have Chicago's. Home to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Board Options Exchange, much of the city's economy revolves around the financial markets.
And when those markets are doing well, there is money to be had.
Pay in the financial services industry rose by 3.5% over the past 12 months nationwide, helping to lift the city's overall wages.
The area has also become an important center for higher education, with dozens of colleges and universities in the Chicago metro area awarding more than 145,000 degrees a year and contributing to the highly-educated workforce, according to Jeff Malehorn, CEO of World Business Chicago, the city's economic development arm.
A CNNMoney analysis of Census data shows these jobs -- which have roughly the same amount of men and women workers -- have little disparity in salaries.