If you're looking for a high-paying job, turn your eyes toward the healthcare field. You may be surprised to learn it's not just the doctors who are bringing in the big bucks there. Leave the hospital, and you'll find high-paying positions scattered across executive suites, behind computer screens, and even up in the air. Of course, many factors go into choosing the best job for you, and overall job satisfaction might be more important than the paycheck. These high-paying U.S. jobs top the list in 2020.
This category covers a lot of specializations. Anesthesiologists lead the list with an average salary of about $266,000, closely followed by surgeons, who take home about $252,000. Obstetricians and gynecologists follow with around $235,000, then psychiatrists at $216,000. Family practice doctors and GPs, internists, pediatricians, and other physicians all hover around $200,000 per year, or slightly higher. Remember, all these doctors had to go through four years of medical school plus another four years, typically, in their residencies — and most have medical school student loans and malpractice insurance premiums to pay out of those high salaries.
Dentists are also among the highest-paid people in the United States, with oral surgeons at the top of the list, earning an average of $243,000 per year. This is in contrast with the $230,000 earned by orthodontists, the $197,000 earned by prosthodontists, and the $188,000 raked in by regular dentists who clean teeth and fill cavities. Dentistry is also a lengthy university journey, though.
While not all CEOs make the eight-figure salaries that get touted in the news, clearly they're not doing badly as a group, since their mean take-home is $196,960. It might surprise you that CEOs in South Dakota pull in the highest salaries, with Washington, D.C., Rhode Island, Texas, and New Jersey executives running close behind.
It's back to the health care field, where these highly paid RNs with specialized post-graduate education bring in an average of $169,000 annually. Nurses looking for a high-paying career may want to check out this job category since there's an anticipated growth of 31 percent for nurse anesthetists and other specialized nurses through 2026.
This job category includes co-pilots and flight engineers who handle navigation while the plane is in the air. They pull down a salary of $161,280 per year on average; that's an amount every passenger on the plane feels just fine about as their aircraft is coming in for a landing.
Engineers tend to make a healthy salary in general. Petroleum engineers, who design ways to extract oil and gas from under the earth, lead the pack with an average salary of almost $155,000. While growth in the field is dependent on the demand for oil and gas, the number of available jobs is expected to increase by 15 percent in the coming years.
Software designers may make the news more often, but the high-paying jobs in this field tend to fall on the management side. Look for job titles like management information systems director, computing services director, information systems director or supervisor, information technology manager, or technical services manager if you're looking for a job in this field where the average salary is just shy of $150,000.
Although podiatrists are doctors, most of them don't go to medical school to earn an MD. Instead, most get a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine or DPM degree. Because people are unlikely to stop having problems with their feet, job growth in this field looks bright. Podiatrists earn an average of $148,470 per year.
When you're in charge of a project or department, you tend to make pretty good money, and that goes for managers in many fields. Architectural and engineering managers lead the way with an average yearly salary of $146,290. They're closely followed by financial managers earning $146,290 and marketing managers at $145,620. Sales managers make $140,600 and natural sciences managers earn $136,150 for jobs such as fisheries director, laboratory manager, research and development director, senior investigator, and water team leader.
The average lawyer's earnings of $141,890 sit in the middle of a very wide range of pay. In the private sector, many lawyers bring home much more than that working for large corporations. Attorneys working for the government as public defenders or district attorneys may earn considerably less. Socially conscious lawyers also often put in many hours of pro bono work for which they aren't paid. Becoming a lawyer requires three grueling years in law school and passing the bar in the state in which they want to practice.