25 of the Highest-Paying Jobs in America

25 of the Highest-Paying Jobs in America

According to the data provided by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics on salaries for the year 2020, let's have a look at the top 25 highest-paying jobs in the United States (the most recent year for which data is available). You will also see the BLS's forecasts for growth between the years 2019 and 2029 associated with each position, in addition to links that will allow you to look for current job postings on The Muse.


1. Doctors of Medicine

Patients are dependent on their physicians (often referred to as doctors) to provide them with the necessary medical treatment. Physicians, depending on the field of medicine in which they specialize, may treat a diverse array of patients (for instance, pediatricians see and care for children) and perform a vast range of procedures (like anesthesiologists, who deliver anesthesia and monitor patients before, during, and after surgery, or podiatrists, who manage foot-related care).

After completing their undergraduate degrees, all future doctors are required to continue their education by enrolling in medical school (podiatrists, however, go to specific podiatry schools). After that, in order to become a fully licensed practitioner, they must first finish a residency, which is a period of postgraduate study for newly graduated medical professionals during which they work under the direction of more seasoned medical professionals in a specific field. Although the majority of doctors are paid quite well, there are certain medical specializations that bring in more money than others. Physicians are among the highest-paid professionals in the United States.


The following jobs are examples of some of the most highly paid doctors in the medical industry. (If you click on each job title, you'll be sent to a page where you may search for available positions on The Muse!)

The average compensation for anesthesiologists is $271,440, and the job prognosis is 0.5 percent increase over the next several years.

The average compensation for surgeons is $251,650, and the job forecast is -2.2 percent increase.

The median annual income for obstetricians and gynecologists is $239,120, and the job forecast is negative 1.4 percent increase.

All other types of physicians as well as opthamologists (with the exception of pediatric): The typical wage is $218,850, and job prospects are expected to improve by 4.3 percent.

Psychiatrists make an average of $217,100 per year, and their employment is expected to expand by 11.9 percent over the next several years.

Family doctors earn an average pay of $214,370 per year and may anticipate a job market increase of 6.1 percent.

Physicians who specialize in general internal medicine earn an average of $210,960 per year but face a job market with a growth rate of -0.6 percent.

The average compensation for a pediatrician is $184,570, and the job forecast is -1.6 percent increase.

The average compensation for podiatrists is $151,110, and the job forecast is 0.2 percent increase.


2. Dentists and other specialists in the dental field

The teeth, gums, and mouth are the primary areas of focus for dental experts, who may come from a variety of medical backgrounds. Dental professionals, like medical doctors, may offer a diverse array of services based on the field in which they have chosen to specialize (for example, general dentists provide routine care, including checking for and filling cavities, while orthodontists diagnose and treat irregularities in the jaw and teeth, including creating space for crowded teeth using a palette expander or fixing a crooked smile with braces).

Dental specialists often attend dental school after the completion of their undergraduate degrees; however, depending on the field of dentistry in which they want to practice, they may be required to finish further education and/or a residency (for example, following their DDS program, oral and maxillofacial surgeons need to complete a surgical residency program).

There is a significant amount of profit to be gained in the field of dentistry; however, the financial potential differs depending on the area of specialty. The following are examples of some of the highest-paying dental professions in the United States:

Orthodontists may expect an average compensation of $237,990 per year and a job market growth rate of 2.4 percent.

The average compensation for oral and maxillofacial surgeons is $234,990, and the job forecast for these surgeons is 2.4 percent increase.

The average compensation for prosthodontists is $214,870, and the job forecast is 2.2 percent increase over the next several years.

Dentists, all other specialities combined: annual income of $194,930 on average; job growth projection of 0.2 percent

The typical compensation for dentists is $180,830, and the job market is expected to rise by 2.8 percent over the next several years.


3. the company's top executives

Average salary: $197,840

Prospects for employment: an increase of -10%

Companies are directed by chief executives, who are often referred to as chief executive officers (CEOs). There is a large amount of responsibility that comes along with holding the position of chief executive, which is the highest-ranking post in the firm. Not only are CEOs responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the company, but they are also tasked with establishing the company's mission and vision, as well as making the company's most important strategic decisions (such as whether to enter new markets, introduce a new product, or grow the team). The chief executive officers of a business are often the ones who are tasked with the responsibility of speaking on the firm's behalf, whether it be with the general public, the press, shareholders, or the board of directors of the company.

There are no universal education requirements for chief executives; while many are seasoned business professionals with advanced degrees to match (such as MBAs), others are business-savvy individuals with an entrepreneurial spirit who decided to forego traditional education and instead concentrate on building their own companies.


4. Nurses who work as anesthetists

Average salary: $189,190

The employment picture is expected to improve by 13.7%.

It is the responsibility of the nurse anesthetist to provide surgical patients with care that is especially relevant to the administration of anesthesia. This includes evaluating patients before surgery, administering anesthesia, monitoring patients during surgery (including monitoring vital signs and other biological functions), adjusting anesthesia as necessary to keep patients unconscious and unable to feel pain, and managing post-surgery care for patients.

To become a nurse anesthetist, one must complete a significant amount of education, including the following: First, nurses are required to get a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN), then they must receive their registered nurse (RN) license, and finally, nurses must seek additional study in nurse anesthesia. To become a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), you just need a master's degree at the moment; but, by the year 2025, all new CNRAs will be required to get a PhD in order to be able to work in the field.


5. Airline Pilots

Average salary: $189,190

The employment picture is expected to improve by 2.8%.

When you book a trip to go on vacation or to see relatives, someone needs to be the pilot of the aircraft. Pilots at large airlines are responsible for flying their companies' aircraft both locally and abroad.

Pilots for commercial airlines are required to have a bachelor's degree in addition to their private pilot certificate. After that, in order to be eligible for certification to fly a commercial aircraft, they will need to have a minimum of 1,500 hours of flying time under their belts.


6. Directors of Information Technology and Computer Systems

Average salary: $161,730

The employment picture should improve by 10.4 percent.

Computer and information systems managers are responsible for the creation, management, and upkeep of the hardware and software that an organization employs to store, analyze, and convey data. The title of this position is sometimes reduced to "information systems manager" or "IS manager." This includes conducting an assessment of the organization's existing systems and technology and making suggestions for their enhancement, as well as formulating comprehensive strategies for information systems and continuously monitoring the business's information systems to ensure that everything is as safe, secure, and productive as it can possibly be.

IS managers need to be familiar with the ins and outs of information systems in order to be successful in their work. Because of this, they often possess at least a bachelor's degree in an area that is linked to technology (like computer science or information technology).


7. Managers of the Architectural and Engineering Teams

Average salary: $158,100

The employment picture is expected to improve by 2.6%.

Architectural and engineering managers are responsible for the planning, supervision, and direction of a variety of projects and operations for businesses operating in the architectural and/or engineering sectors. This may include tasks such as leading research and development, developing the plans for a new project (such as a new product or design), resolving technical issues, developing budgets, recruiting the necessary staff, and supervising operations at a construction or manufacturing site to ensure that the project is finished on time.

Architectural and engineering managers need to have a bachelor's degree in architecture, engineering, or a similar discipline at the very least. However, many businesses either prefer or need its managers to have a master's degree in their field of study.


8. Managers in the Field of Natural Sciences

Average salary: $154,930

The employment picture is expected to improve by 4.8%.

Natural sciences managers draw on their scientific expertise to establish or enhance a wide range of projects inside an organization (such as a manufacturing business or a research and development firm, for instance), such as research and development, testing, quality control, and production. Natural sciences managers collaborate with a company's leadership team to define and comprehend the organization's goals. They then recruit, hire, and manage a staff of researchers and scientists (including chemists, physicists, and biologists, among others) in order to bring those goals to fruition. Managers in the natural sciences need to have a solid foundation in the appropriate scientific field, but they also need to have a great understanding of business as well as outstanding abilities in managing projects and people.

A bachelor's degree in a scientific discipline (such as biology or chemistry) is required of managers working in the natural sciences; nevertheless, many businesses give preference to candidates who possess postgraduate degrees for management positions.


9. Marketing Managers

Average salary: $154,470

The employment picture is expected to improve by 6.7%.

Whether it be a product, service, event, brand, or organization, marketing managers are in charge of promoting those things. They may conduct market research, develop creative marketing campaigns, spearhead digital marketing initiatives, write marketing content and materials, oversee social media, email, and other marketing channels, or focus on search engine optimization and/or marketing. This will depend on what it is that they are promoting (here are some of the most common marketing paths). Marketing managers have the option of becoming generalists or becoming experts in a particular subject of marketing.

Many businesses require that the marketing managers they hire have at least a bachelor's degree, but others are more concerned with how well a candidate's background, experience, and expertise align with what they'll be promoting (for instance, a company that is promoting a new product and wants to develop ad copy might look to hire a marketing manager with advertising experience, and a business that conducts all of its business online might prefer to hire a marketing manager that specializes in digital marketing).


10. Petroleum Engineers

Average salary: $154,330

The employment picture should improve by 3.2 percent.

The search for and extraction of oil and gas from under the surface of the earth is the responsibility of a petroleum engineer. Their duties may include the following: designing the machinery that is used to extract oil and gas from the earth; developing and putting extraction plans into action in order to drill into the earth and secure the oil and gas; supervising the operation and maintenance of the machinery; analyzing oil and gas field production; and coming up with new strategies for better, more effective extraction.

Engineers working in the petroleum industry are needed to have a bachelor's degree in either their discipline or a closely related engineering specialty (like civil or mechanical engineering).


11. Financial Managers

Average salary: $151,510

The employment picture should improve by 15.5%.

Financial managers are responsible for overseeing a wide variety of tasks that are related to profits and money for an organization. These tasks include performing financial reporting and forecasting, conducting data analysis, managing investments, supervising finance teams, and advising leadership on how to achieve the company's financial goals and maintain its financial health and stability. They may also be responsible for ensuring that the company complies with all of the requirements of the applicable tax laws as well as any other applicable laws and regulations. The term "financial manager" may refer to a variety of positions, including controllers and treasurers, as well as cash, credit, risk, or insurance managers.

The minimum educational requirement for a position as a financial manager is a bachelor's degree in finance or a related discipline; however, depending on the employer, candidates may be expected to possess an advanced degree.


12. Lawyers

Average salary: $148,910

The employment picture is expected to improve by 4%.

Lawyers, who are also referred to as lawyers, educate themselves on every facet of the law, after which they interpret that legislation and use it in a variety of contexts for the benefit of their clients. A client may be a person who is being prosecuted for a crime, someone who is going through the process of getting divorced, or a firm that is fighting a rival in court over an intellectual property issue. This will depend on the attorney.

The day-to-day responsibilities of a lawyer vary depending on the area of law that the attorney practices; however, these responsibilities can include tasks such as meeting with clients and providing advice, presenting arguments in court, conducting legal research, drafting or reviewing contracts, and so on.

To become a licensed attorney, candidates must first get their law degree, known as a Juris Doctor (JD), and then pass the bar examination in the state in which they want to work as attorneys. Another high-paying career option for attorneys is teaching law at the university level, which brings in an annual income of $134,760 on average.


13. Sales Managers

Average salary: $147,580

The employment picture is expected to improve by 3.5%.

Within a business, the performance of sales is ultimately the responsibility of the sales managers. Sales managers may be responsible for supervising a team of sales professionals who are tasked with bringing in new business. Alternatively, they may take a more hands-on position, managing a percentage of the firm's customers and accounts directly. This choice is dependent on the organization. They could evaluate data, monitor customer patterns, devise plans to bring in new customers, finalize transactions, recruit people, build and execute training for the sales team, interact with coworkers on other teams, and hire new employees.

The majority of organizations do not mandate any certain levels of education or experience for sales managers. Sales managers need to have excellent communication and other interpersonal skills, a wealth of expertise, and the ability to achieve sales objectives in order to be successful in this profession (and lead their team to do the same).


14. Managers of Operations Specializing in Different Areas

Average salary: $138,590

The employment picture should improve by 9.4 percent.

Managers of operations are accountable for the enhancement of productivity inside an organization by supervising and enhancing the day-to-day operations and procedures of the business. This can translate into a variety of tasks, depending on the organization, including working with leadership to determine operational inefficiencies, overhauling processes (such as reporting or training processes), and creating and implementing new policies and procedures to increase efficiency and productivity within the organization. Depending on the organization, this can translate into a variety of tasks.

Managers of operations specialty need to have excellent organizational skills, a strong attention to detail, and the ability to oversee numerous projects at once. In most cases, they have earned a bachelor's degree in business management or a discipline that is closely linked to it.


15. Physical Scientists

Average salary: $137,700

The employment picture should improve by 7.3%.

Physicists investigate all aspects of energy and matter, including their interactions with one another. Physicists typically specialize in either theoretical physics, which is more theoretical and involves mathematical models and theories, or applied physics, which is about testing aspects of those mathematical models and theories in a concrete way, such as by performing experiments or developing a new medical technology.

If you want to work as a physicist, you'll need a doctorate in physics; however, if you want to pursue a career as a physicist, you can begin your career as a research assistant with a bachelor's or master's degree while you work toward getting your PhD. If you want to work as a physicist, you'll need a doctorate in physics.


16. Managers of the Compensation and Benefits Programs

Average salary: $137,160

The employment picture is expected to improve by 2.5%.

Managers of both compensation and benefits are employed in the area of human resources. However, in contrast to HR managers, who are often responsible for a wide range of responsibilities linked to people, pay and benefits managers concentrate on—you guessed it—the compensation and benefits offered to employees. They may be responsible for a variety of tasks, such as researching and evaluating a variety of benefit options, managing relationships with third parties (such as payroll companies or insurance agents), and supervising employee benefit plans. They may also be responsible for analyzing data regarding industry salaries and developing compensation strategies.

A bachelor's degree in human resources or a discipline closely linked to it is often required for employment as a pay and benefits manager at most firms.


17. Those in Charge of Public Relations

Average salary: $135,580

The employment picture is expected to improve by 9%.

Public relations managers, who are also known as PR managers, are tasked with the responsibility of increasing a target audience's knowledge of a product, person, or organization while also fostering favorable connections and attitude. PR managers tackle this task in a variety of ways, including drafting press releases, developing publicity strategies and campaigns, and devising strategies to minimize the impact of negative press. Other methods include cultivating strong relationships with the press (and leveraging those relationships to get coverage for their clients or company), building strong relationships with the press, and leveraging those relationships to get coverage for their clients or company.

Skills are more important than formal education when it comes to being a successful public relations manager. Therefore, even though some companies or clients may want their public relations manager to have a bachelor's degree, if you have the talent, you can often land a job without the formal education.


18. Managers of the Human Resources Department

Average salary: $134,580

The employment picture is expected to improve by 6.3%.

Managers of human resources, sometimes known simply as HR managers, are in charge of all aspects of a firm that are associated with its employees or other members of the workforce (thus the term). Depending on the requirements of the business, human resource managers may be responsible for onboarding new workers, developing employee wellness programs, handling employee complaints, and drafting policies and procedures related to people management.

Although the majority of businesses demand human resources managers to have a bachelor's degree, some of those businesses are open to hiring applicants who do not possess a formal degree.


19. Purchasing Managers

Average salary: $132,660

The employment picture is expected to improve by 2.6%.

Buying managers are in charge of supervising teams of purchasing agents, who are in charge of acquiring things for businesses, whether it be to resale to their clients or to utilize internally. Purchasing managers are responsible for ensuring that all company needs are met. Additionally, buying managers are generally engaged in higher-level purchasing responsibilities, such as the development of purchasing strategies, the management of critical vendor relationships, and the creation and oversight of budgets.

As a result of the high level of analytical and people management abilities required of purchasing managers, a bachelor's degree is often a minimum educational requirement for employment in most firms.


20. Judges

The average annual wage is $131,850.

The employment picture should improve by 3.1 percent.

In the courtroom, judges preside over all matters, including both civil and criminal proceedings (like a trial for murder, for instance) (like a lawsuit or divorce proceeding). It is possible that the ultimate judgment on the case will be made by the judges; however, if the matter was tried before a jury, the duty for making the decision would lie on the jury. They may preside over hearings, interpret the law, examine motions and other papers, make opinions, decide punishments, and educate juries.

Although the great majority of judges were once practicing attorneys and possess juris doctor degrees (JD), certain positions and courts do allow for judges who do not have a formal legal education to be elected (for example, in a rural jurisdiction).


21. Researchers in Computer Science and Information Technology

Average salary: $130,890

The employment picture should improve by 15.4 percent.

Computer and information research scientists are tasked with finding solutions to vexing computer issues as well as investigating new and innovative applications for software and other forms of technology. This may be done in a number of ways, such as establishing new programming languages, devising and carrying out tests to compare the efficacy of various software programs, or constructing models to evaluate alternative potential solutions to a problem. Computer and information research scientists, similar to other kinds of scientists, may also create papers to disseminate their results. These papers may be published in academic journals or in trade journals.

In order to have an in-depth understanding of computers and the technology that is associated to them, computer and information research scientists normally need to have a graduate degree in computer science or a discipline that is closely related to it.


22. Those Who Direct Traffic in the Sky

Average salary: $127,440

The employment picture should improve by 0.5 percent.

When there is a significant number of distinct aircraft entering or exiting an area, someone has to keep an eye out for the possibility that they could collide with one another. Using a variety of computer and radar technology, air traffic controllers monitor the airspace and direct the movement of various aircraft to prevent collisions and ensure that each has a safe landing. Air traffic controllers are responsible for managing the flow of traffic at an airport or other airspace.

Candidates are required to either possess a bachelor's degree or three years of relevant work experience in order to enter the business. After that, they are able to submit an application to get training at the Federal Aviation Administration's FAA Academy in Oklahoma City, which will allow them to continue their education and move into a profession as an air traffic controller.


23. Astronomers

Average salary: $126,250

The employment picture should improve by 2.4 percent.

Planets, stars, and galaxies are just some of the topics that fall under the purview of astronomers, who investigate the cosmos in its entirety. Either by direct observation of events in space (for instance, tracking the path of comets using a telescope) or through the development of computer models, scientists may put their hypotheses on the cosmos to the test.

The scientific subfield known as astronomy is quite in-depth. Because of the in-depth knowledge and lengthy schooling requirements, if you are interested in becoming an astronomer, you will need to get a doctoral degree.


24. Engineers Specializing in Computer Hardware

Average salary: $126,140

The employment picture is expected to improve by 1.6%.

The term "hardware" refers to the various physical components that go into the construction of computers and computer systems. These components include things like circuit boards, processors, and routers, and it is the job of computer hardware engineers to investigate, develop, and maintain these components. This may entail designing new hardware for the firm, testing and optimizing the existing gear, and supervising the production and manufacture of the hardware. However, this may vary depending on the company and the engineer's area of expertise.

Computer hardware engineers need to have a comprehensive grasp of how computer hardware works; nevertheless, although the majority of these engineers have a bachelor's degree or higher in computer science or a discipline closely linked to it, others are just computer hobbyists who educated themselves.


25. Managers in Charge of Training and Development

Average salary: $125,920

The employment picture should improve by 7.3%.

On-the-job training for specific roles or company-wide training on important initiatives such as diversity and inclusion or effective communication are examples of the types of training that fall under the purview of managers of training and development. It is the responsibility of these managers to ensure that their staff has access to the information, skills, and knowledge that is necessary for them to successfully perform their jobs and function within the organization. The function may require the development of curricula, the planning and leadership of training sessions, as well as the evaluation and management of educational and training possibilities provided by third parties.

The majority of training and development managers have earned at least a bachelor's degree. These managers are expected to be well-organized and knowledgeable in their respective disciplines (although many also hold advanced degrees, particularly in more traditional fields like finance or consulting).

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