Money, inner satisfaction, and growth are the three major factors that propel us to choose a career. The first and foremost thought that captures our imagination of an ideal career is ‘job satisfaction’. After all, we all love to work in a field that triggers our creative side, challenges our intellectual boundaries, and propels us for competition and further growth. Money, as we all know from our life experiences, is very vital for survival, and forms an integral component of a happy life. However, in long-term goals, most of us want to work in a field that not only gives us sufficient money but also a purpose and sense of achievement.
The statistics given below were published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the annual ‘Occupational Employment and Wages’, report on May 17, 2011. As it is evident, most of the high paying jobs are in the healthcare sector. This doesn’t, however, limit the earning potential of other jobs. The data given is just a reflection of the top 10 paying jobs.
These are the top 10 highest paying jobs in the United States according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook for 2012. The data is as per the median wage calculations made in 2010, for the period between 2010 – 2020.
Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs in the United States
- Employment: 42,500
- Annual Wages: $230,000
- What they do: Surgeons form the backbone of medical centers, and are vital for carrying out difficult operations. It is no surprise that they are the highest paid of all professionals in America, as they undergo extensive training and education to qualify for such a job. Specialist surgeons operating on vital organs such as the heart and brain earn even more.
2. Oral Surgeon
- Employment: 5,000
- Annual Wages: $215,000
- What they do: Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are also very highly paid, as they treat diseases, wounds, and anomalies of the face and neck areas. They are specialists, and are highly trained in their work. Maxillofacial surgery comes under the American Dental Association in the US, and is considered a part of dentistry.
- Employment: 612,000
- Annual Wages: $190,000
- What they do: Anesthesiologists are medical doctors who administer anesthesia to patients and manage them medically, besides offering pre- and post-surgery medical care. Anesthesiologists are either osteopathic physicians or allopathic physicians in the United States. They need to complete at least three years of undergraduate study from an accredited college. The university should include the premedical requirements.
- Employment: 5,500
- Annual Wages: $185,000
- What they do: Also a major discipline of dentistry, orthodontists treat irregularities related to teeth. In the United States, a dentist should have received the Advanced Education in Orthodontics, and must have a DDS, DMD or BDS degree, or its equivalent. Education takes about 3 – 4 years, and is very intensive.
- Employment: 24,200
- Annual Wages: $175,000
- What they do: Psychiatrists are highly valued for their ability to treat mental illnesses, and provide relief to emotionally traumatized individuals. In the United States, it is necessary that a psychiatrist should be an MD or DO, and have a resident experience of at least 4 years.
6. Chief Executive Officer
- Employment: 256,000
- Annual Wages: $175,000
- What they do: Chief Executives are one of the highest paid employees in a company. This post are usually also one of the most famous posts in any company, and also in general. They are paid to undertake crucial management decisions and shoulder the responsibility for the future outcome of these decisions.
- Employment: 109,600
- Annual Wages: $165,000
- What they do: The general field of oral cavity care from which some other specializations have already featured in this list, dentistry is a sought-after profession for its rates of pay. After college, one can take the Dental Admissions Test and gain admission to a dental curriculum. After successful completion, one is awarded the Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or the Doctor of Dental Medicine DMD.
8. Petroleum Engineer
- Employment: 36,400
- Annual Wages: $150,000
- What they do: This is an emerging field due to two reasons – one, part of the industry, and the other, an economic variable. The petroleum industry is seeing a lot of senior people retire and needs young replacements. The other reason is that the price of crude is remaining high, leading to bigger profits and more expansion. This is creating more jobs.
9. Engineering Manager
- Employment: 187,600
- Annual Wages: $135,000
- What they do: This is when management education meets engineering and architectural expertise. Architectural engineers are in increasing demand due to the rising trend of having architects also as the engineering managers of the project. A degree in engineering, coupled with managerial experience, is a requirement to make it big in this field.
- Employment: 581,900
- Annual Wages: $130,000
- What they do: Yes, lawyers make a lot of money. Going to law school may sound a herculean task to many, but the payoff in the long term far outweighs the temporary discomfort.
Top Non-Medical Jobs in the United States
Computer Systems Manager
- Employment: 309,700
- Annual Wages: $130,000
- What they do: Also known as Information Technology managers, these specialists undertake to coordinate all the computer- and network-based work in the organization. They procure and implement systems according to the requirements of each department, and see to it that it is used efficiently. A degree in computer engineering is a requirement for these positions.
Natural Sciences Manager
- Employment: 48,600
- Annual Wages: $130,000
- What they do: Another up and coming scientific profession, natural sciences managers are tasked with the supervision of work of other professionals such as biologists, chemists, and even physicists. Scientists with a certain amount of experience are promoted to management positions. However, one can also become a natural science manager by graduating in a natural science field, and working upwards.
Air Traffic Controller
- Employment: 23,300
- Annual Wages: $125,000
- What they do: Tasked with the crucial job of keeping the skies safe for commercial aircraft, air traffic controllers have to keep their focus for hours on end. Night shifts are a common feature, and although the pay is good, this job can be stressful.
- Employment: 171,400
- Annual Wages: $120,000
- What they do: Marketing managers undertake the handling of all the aspects of the products life-cycle. From product conception to the ultimate value delivery to the customer, marketing managers are crucial to a company’s bottom line. Management degrees are one of the cornerstones of their resumes.
As growth and development is more focused on innovation, we will see creation of new jobs. Fields like social media and teaching are making great strides, and they are certainly going to attract talents in large numbers. The needs of the highly modernized and urbanized world are going to create demand for jobs in several fields, and so we can be hopeful for better times. In the meanwhile, we can equip ourselves with the necessary education and skills to face the challenges ahead.