50 Highest Paying Jobs

What are the highest paying jobs you can get today? The answer mostly depends on your industry. The health care, business, engineering, law and science industries all offer jobs that guarantee a comfortable life. If you can land a management position, even outside of these industries, all the better.

We’ve compiled the 50 highest paying jobs in America. All annual salaries are based on mean annual salaries as recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

For an updated 2012 list, check out: 50 Best High-Paying Careers

Health care

Ten of the 20 fastest-growing occupations
are in health care. Aging Baby Boomers and increased longevity deserve a lot of credit for this boom. Predictably enough, doctors and dentists are the highest paid practitioners.

10. Dentist
Annual salary: $156,850

9. Pediatrician
Annual salary: $161,410

8. Psychiatrist
Annual salary: $163,660

7. Family and general practitioner

Annual salary: $168,550

6. Internist
Annual salary: $183,990

5. Obstetrician & gynecologist
Annual salary: $204,470

4. Oral & maxillofacial surgeon
Annual salary: $210,710

3. Anesthesiologist

Annual salary: $211,750

2. Surgeon
Annual salary: $219,770

1. Cardiologist
Annual salary: $274,000


Being a manager or executive in the business world pays handsome dividends. And unlike the medical field, it takes less than 10 years of schooling. Just nab that MBA (or a good set of connections), work your butt off, land that corner office, and collect, baby.

10. Purchasing manager
Annual salary: $96,910

9. Actuary

Annual salary: $97,450

8. Advertising and promotions manager
Annual salary: $97,670

7. Public relations manager

Annual salary: $101,850

6. Human resources manager
Annual salary: $105,510

5. Operations manager
Annual salary: $110,550

4. Sales manager
Annual salary: $111,570

3. Financial manager

Annual salary: $113,730

2. Marketing manager
Annual salary: $120,070

1. Chief executive officer (CEO)

Annual salary: $167,280

Engineering & Technology

Even in engineering, management is where you need to land in order to start raking in six figures. Specializing in fields like computers, oil, or nukes definitely doesn’t hurt.

10. Electronics engineer (except for computers)
Annual salary: $91,540

59Chemical engineer

Annual salary: $91,670

8. Aerospace engineer

Annual salary: $96,270

7. Computer Software Engineer for systems software

Annual salary: $96,620

6. Nuclear engineer
Annual salary: $100,350

5. Computer hardware engineer
Annual salary: $101,410

4. Computer or information scientist

Annual salary: $105,370

3. Petroleum engineer
Annual salary: $119,960

2. Computer or information systems manager

Annual salary: $120,640

1. Engineering manager

Annual salary: $122,810


What is it with management? Even in the sciences, being a manager is the way to go if you want enough money for that vacation home in Breckenridge. Other appealing fields include physics, astronomy, and good ol’ math.

10. Medical scientist (except epidemiologist)
Annual salary: $84,760

9. Atmospheric or space scientist

Annual salary: $85,160

8. Biochemist or biophysicist

Annual salary: $88,550

7. Chemical engineer
Annual salary: $91,670

6. Geoscientist (but not hydrologist or geographer)
Annual salary: $92,710

5. Mathematician
Annual salary: $93,920

4. Physical scientist

Annual salary: $94,880

3. Astronomer
Annual salary: $102,740

2. Physicist
Annual salary: $111,250

1. Natural sciences manager

Annual salary: $127,000


We couldn’t leave lawyers off this list–they make bank, as you probably know. Other types of jobs that rake it in represent a smorgasboard of industries, from financial services to aviation. See where else you can make the big bucks below.

10. Personal financial advisor
Annual salary: $94,180

9. College or university education administrator
Annual salary: $95,340

8. Economist
Annual salary: $96,320

7. Political scientist

Annual salary: $101,050

6. Industrial/organizational psychologist
Annual salary: $102,570

5. Judge, magistrate judge, or magistrate
Annual salary: $103,990

4. Air traffic controller
Annual salary: $106,990

3. Law professor
Annual salary: $109,150

2. Airline pilot
Annual salary: $117,060

1. Lawyer
Annual salary: $129,020

Additional sources: Payscale, CNBC, and Salary.com.

Written by Drea Knufken

Currently, I create and execute content- and PR strategies for clients, including thought leadership and messaging. I also ghostwrite and produce press releases, white papers, case studies and other collateral.