50 of the Highest Paying Jobs

Hardworking Woman


AnnaMarie Houlis
AnnaMarie Houlis

Some of the most lucrative careers could earn you well into six-figure territory, but what are those careers that make a lot of money? The best paying careers vary, from the medical field to technology and beyond. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently published its latest list of National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, based on data from May 2017, announcing the highest compensated jobs. Additional information comes from the Occupational Information Administration and new Glassdoor research.

Here are 50 of 2018's highest compensated careers.

1. Anesthesiologists

An anesthesiologist, also known as an anaesthetist, is a physician, dentist or nurse trained in anesthesia and perioperative medicine.
  • Mean Annual Wage: $265,990

2. Surgeons  

A surgeon is a medical practitioner qualified to practice surgery — whether that be cosmetic surgery, brain surgery, or something else entirely.
  • Mean Annual Wage: $251,890

3. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

Oral surgeons differ from dentists in that they perform procedures like wisdom tooth extraction and most surgeries involving the jaw and the face around the jaw.
  • Mean Annual Wage: $242,740

4. Ob/Gyn

Obstetricians and gynecologists are doctors who specialize in female reproductive health and childbirth.
  • Mean Annual Wage: $235,240

5. Orthodontists

Orthodontists specialize in braces and other corrective measures for the teeth.
  • Mean Annual Wage: $229,380

6. Psychiatrists

A psychiatrist is a physician who specializes in psychiatry, devoted to the diagnosis, prevention, study and treatment of mental disorders.
  • Mean Annual Wage: $216,090

7. Physicians

A physician (or a medical practitioner, medical doctor or simply a doctor) is a professional who practices medicine.
  • Mean Annual Wage: $214,700

8. Family Practitioners

A family practitioner practices family medicine, a medical specialty devoted to comprehensive health care for people of all ages.
  • Mean Annual Wage: $208,560

9. Internists, General

An internist practices internal medicine or general medicine is the medical specialty dealing with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of adult diseases.
  • Mean Annual Wage: $198,370

10. Prosthodontists

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, prosthodontists "construct oral prostheses to replace missing teeth and other oral structures to correct natural and acquired deformation of mouth and jaws, to restore and maintain oral function, such as chewing and speaking, and to improve appearance."
  • Mean Annual Wage: $196,960

11. Chief Executives

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, chief executives are the highest-paid professions who are not related to the medical or dental fields.
  • Mean Annual Wage: $196,960

12. Pediatricians, General

Pediatricians handle the medical care of infants, children and adolescents.
  • Mean Annual Wage: $187,540

13. Dentists

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of dentists is projected to grow 19 percent from 2016 to 2026.
  • Mean Annual Wage:  $187,540

14. Nurse Anesthetists

Nurse Anesthetists are the highest-paid category of nurses, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Mean Annual Wage: $169,450

15. Airline Pilots, Co-Pilots, and Flight Engineers

Airline pilots and co-pilots are in the cockpit, navigating the plane, while flight engineers use the plane's instruments to provide navigation guidance.
  • Mean Annual Wage: $161,280

16. Petroleum Engineers 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Petroleum engineers design and develop methods for extracting oil and gas from deposits below the Earth’s surface. Petroleum engineers also find new ways to extract oil and gas from older wells."
  • Mean Annual Wage: $154,780

17. Computer and Information Systems Managers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer and information systems managers "plan, direct, or coordinate activities in such fields as electronic data processing, information systems, systems analysis, and computer programming. Excludes 'Computer Occupations.'"
  • Mean Annual Wage: $149,730

18. Podiatrists

Podiatrists are devoted to the study, diagnosis and medical and surgical treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle and lower extremity. 
  • Mean Annual Wage: $148,470

19. Pharmacy Manager

A pharmacy manager runs a pharmacy such as  Albertsons, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Johns Hopkins Home Care Group, Soliant Health, Costco and more.
  • Mean Annual Wage: $146,412

20. Architectural and Engineering Managers

According to O*net online, architectural and engineering managers "plan, direct, or coordinate activities in such fields as architecture and engineering or research and development in these fields."
  • Mean Annual Wage: $146,290

21. Marketing Managers

The American Marketing Association defines its trade like such: "Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large."
  • Mean Annual Wage: $145,620

22. Financial Managers

Typical duties of a financial manager include reviewing reports, monitoring accounts and preparing activity reports and financial forecasts, according to New England College. "Financial managers also investigate ways to improve profitability, and analyze markets for business opportunities, such as expansion, mergers or acquisitions."
  • Mean Annual Wage: $146,290

23. Lawyers

For lawyers, the growth outlook between the years 2016-2026 is eight percent, about the average for all occupations in general, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Mean Annual Wage: $141,890

24. Sales Managers

Sales managers "plan, direct, or coordinate the actual distribution or movement of a product or service to the customer," according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 
  • Mean Annual Wage: $140,600

25. Natural Sciences Managers

Natural sciences managers "Plan, direct, or coordinate activities in such fields as life sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, statistics, and research and development in these fields," according to O*net. 
  • Mean Annual Wage: $136,150

26. Compensation and Benefits Managers

Compensation and benefits managers handle benefits packages and salary planning for employees.
  • Mean Annual Wage: $130,010

27. Pharmacist

"Most pharmacists work in a community setting, such as a retail drugstore, or in a healthcare facility, such as a hospital," according to StudentScholarships.org. "Pharmacists in community pharmacies dispense medications, counsel patients on the use of prescription and over-the-counter medications, and advise physicians about medication therapy."
  • Mean Annual Wage: $127,120

28. Prosthodontists

Prosthodontists "specialize in treating and handling dental and facial problems that involve restoring missing tooth and jaw structures," according to Go to a Pro. "A prosthodontist is highly trained in cosmetics, dental implants, crowns, bridges, dentures, temporomandibular disorders (TMJ/TMD) and more."
  • Mean Annual Wage: $126,050

29. Enterprise Architect

An enterprise architect conducts enterprise analysis, design, planning and implementation for the development and execution of strategy. Companies hiring for enterprise architects include NorthBay Healthcare, Fiserv, ProHealth Care and more.
  • Mean Annual Wage: $115,944

30. Corporate Counsel

"Corporate counsel refers to the lawyers employed by businesses, corporations and organizations," according to Study.com. "Corporate counsels advise employees and businesses in and out of the courtroom on a variety of legal matters."
  • Mean Annual Wage: $115,580

31. Software Development Manager

"Software development managers lead teams of software developers working in industries ranging from medical research to finance," according to Study.com. "In addition to designing software, web applications, and web services, they also hire, train, and manage staff, create and oversee budgets, and make progress reports to senior management."
  • Mean Annual Wage: $108,879

32. Physician Assistant

Physician assistants practice medicine under the direction and supervision of a licensed physician, and they may also assist doctors in surgical procedures but they are not actually licensed to perform surgery.
  • Mean Annual Wage: $108,761

33. Software Engineering Manager

In short, software developers design computer programs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Mean Annual Wage: $107,479

34. Nurse Practitioner

Unlike some nurses, a nurse practitioner is qualified to treat certain medical conditions without the direct supervision of a doctor.
  • Mean Annual Wage: $106,962

35. Software Architect

A software architect is the software expert who is in charge of making high-level design decisions and dictating technical standards such as software coding standards, tools and platforms.
  • Mean Annual Wage: $105,329

36. Applications Development Manager

An applications development manager manages a team of analysts or developers responsible for an organization's applications development and analysis function. This includes overseeing technical changes, scheduling projects and monitoring project timelines.
  • Mean Annual Wage: $104,048

37. Plant Manager

"Plant managers are the people who watch over and organize the daily operations of manufacturing plants and similar places," according to Snag a Job. "Plant managers oversee employees, production and efficiency, to make sure the plant is running smoothly, quickly, efficiently and safely."
  • Mean Annual Wage: $103,892

38. IT Program Manager

"Project managers oversee the operations of individual projects within programs," according to Wrike. "They coordinate time, budget, and resources to complete work within program guidelines, and report to the program manager on progress and any changes made to the initial project plan."
  • Mean Annual Wage: $102,969

39. Solutions Architect

"A solution architect is responsible for the design of one or more applications or services within an organization, and is typically part of a solution development team," according to Sokanu. "He or she must have a balanced mix of technical and business skills, and will often work with an enterprise architect for strategic direction."
  • Mean Annual Wage: $102,160

40. Financial Planning and Analysis Manager

"Financial planning and analysis (FP&A) is a group within a company's finance organization that provides senior management with a forecast of the company's profit and loss (income statement) and operating performance for the upcoming quarter and year," according to Wall Street Prep.
  • Mean Annual Wage: $102,155

41. Strategy Manager

A strategy manager handles projects that contribute to the company's success, such as any opportunities for new products development, troubleshooting, launching initiatives and more.
  • Mean Annual Wage: $101,754

42. Software Developer

A software developer, also known as a computer programmer, plays "a key role in the design, installation, testing and maintenance of software systems," according to CWJobs.
  • Mean Annual Wage: $100,080

43. Business Operations Manager

"Business operations managers oversee daily operations of a business to ensure goals are achieved," according to Study.com. They engage in personnel matters, general administration and business planning, among other duties specific to the company.
  • Mean Annual Wage: $99,310 

44. Consulting Manager

Consulting managers "help organizations to solve issues, create value, maximize growth and improve business performance," and "they use their business skills to provide objective advice and expertise and help an organization to develop any specialist skills that it may be lacking," according to Prospects.
  • Mean Annual Wage: $97,154

45. Attorney

An attorney (otherwise known as a lawyer) has passed the bar exam and has been approved to practice law in his or her jurisdiction, according to Lawyer EDU.
  • Mean Annual Wage: $96,678

46. Cloud Engineer

"A cloud engineer is an IT professional responsible for any technological duties associated with cloud computing, including design, planning, management, maintenance and support," according to What Is.
  • Mean Annual Wage: $96,449

47. Veterinarian

Veterinarians examine, diagnose and treat animals by performing surgery, caring for their wounds, administering any vaccinations and prescribing medications.
  • Mean Annual Wage: $88,770

48. Statisticians

A statistician works with theoretical or applied statistics in both the public and private sectors to make decisions—what data is needed, how to collect it and how to design experiments.
  • Mean Annual Wage: $80,500

49. Occupational Therapist

"Occupational therapists work with patients to build or restore their abilities to perform the daily tasks of life," according to US News' Best Jobs. "Indeed, occupational therapy can look very different depending on what sorts of issues the patient is dealing with, whether mental, physical, emotional or developmental."
  • Mean Annual Wage: $81,910 

50.  Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

"A diagnostic medical sonographer could be answering the question 'Is it a boy or a girl?' as well as a host of other life-changing medical questions with the help of ultrasound technology," according to US News' Best Jobs. "Beyond babies, sonograms are used to help diagnose other medical conditions by creating images of body organs and tissues."
  • Mean Annual Wage: $69,650
AnnaMarie Houlis is a multimedia journalist and an adventure aficionado with a keen cultural curiosity and an affinity for solo travel. She's an editor by day and a travel blogger at HerReport.org by night.