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Highest-paying Jobs in America

Aparna Iyer
The desire to make it big encourages one to pursue a career that has made it to the list of highest-paying jobs in America. Here's more.
Considering that people spend a fortune on college education, and typically avail loans to put themselves through school, the desire to earn top dollar is but natural.
The capacity to earn is contingent on graduating with the right set of skills that makes one marketable. It's prudent to pursue a line of work wherein salary is commensurate with education, although it's impractical to assume that one can choose a career path irrespective of aptitude and interests, but solely on the basis of earning potential.
The following list of highest-paying jobs in America, may be helpful to students who are at crossroads, and are unsure of choosing a career path on account of having the aptitude for diverse academic pursuits.

Best-paying Jobs in America

Surgeons and Physicians

Given the increasing demand for doctors, physicians and surgeons earn a robust salary in the range of $104,281 to $400,348 per annum. The compensation package includes salary, bonus, incentive payments, research stipends, honoraria, and distribution of profits.
Amongst doctors, surgeons earn the highest salary, followed closely by anesthesiologists, orthodontists, obstetrician and gynecologists, and oral and maxillofacial surgeons. Interns, general practitioners, and prosthodontists, in general, earn between $49,011 to $230,584 annually.
Employment of physicians and surgeons is expected to grow at a faster rate than average. Self-employed physicians have higher median incomes as compared to their salaried counterparts.
Earnings are proportional to the number of years of practice, the geographic region, and professional reputation. Arkansas has been rated as the best-paying state for surgeons, obstetricians and gynecologists, interns, and general practitioners.

Chief Executives

After surgeons and physicians, chief executives have made it to the list of highest-paying jobs in the US. Entrusted with the job of providing direction to companies, formulating policies, setting goals, and overseeing operations, chief executives require extensive experience in their line of work.
Fierce competition is expected given the increase in the number of qualified applicants. According to 'Bureau of Labor Statistics', Chief executives in South Dakota earn the highest salary.

Psychiatrists, Pediatricians, Dentists, and Podiatrists

Although, these medical professionals do not earn as much as surgeons and physicians, their salary places them firmly between chief executives and lawyers. It also underlines the great demand for medical professionals in general, and reiterates that the best paying careers in America are invariably in the realm of health care.


If one has the aptitude for becoming a lawyer, has the inclination to complete a 4-year college degree followed by 3 years of law school and the grit to pass a written bar examination, a career as a civil or a criminal litigator will definitely provide a handsome remuneration.


In general, natural science managers, engineering managers, and computer and information systems managers earn more than marketing managers, financial managers, and sales managers. The demand for financial managers has taken a hit due to the recent crisis, however, job prospects are expected to improve in the days to come.

Airline Pilots, Copilots, Flight Engineers, Petroleum Engineers

As per the data gleaned from U.S. Government's Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, airline pilots, copilots, flight engineers, and petroleum engineers earn around $60,005 - $200,557 annually.
Thus, these jobs are more desirable as compared to that of a marketing, financial or sales manager. Air traffic controllers, on the other hand, earn between a range  of $39,052 - $153,898 per annum.
The aforementioned list of highest-paying careers (in America) is not exhaustive. Ultimately, the ability to earn well depends on the employee's level of skill and the ability to put his/her talents to best use.
The information here provides a broad picture of the various opportunities that are available to people who want to ensure that their education guarantees them a robust salary.