Change Your Life: Highest Paying Jobs You Can Train For

man sitting at a table in front of a computer calculating the highest-paying jobs

I often get asked what are some of the highest-paying jobs. As you can imagine this is a very subjective question and it depends on many different factors. However, some jobs consistently pay a good salary. When choosing a career, many factors are important, such as your interests, skills, and values. However, one factor is essential and that is earning potential. College costs a lot of money and you want to get a good return on your investment.

If you are interested in a career in healthcare then you are in luck as nearly all of the most lucrative occupations in the United States are medical professions. All the annual salaries listed below are from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Let’s jump right in…

Anesthesiologists: Anesthesiologists are responsible for administering anesthesia to patients undergoing surgery or other medical procedures. They have a median annual salary of $271,000.

Psychiatrists: Psychiatrists diagnose, treat, and help prevent mental disorders. They have a median annual salary of $247,000.

Pediatric Surgeons: Pediatric surgeons are responsible for performing surgery on children. They have a median annual salary of $223,000.

Orthodontists: Orthodontists are responsible for straightening teeth and correcting bite problems. They have a median annual salary of $216,000.

Cardiologists: Cardiologists are doctors who specialize in the heart. They have a median annual salary of $208,000.

Dentists: Dentists diagnose and treat problems with patients’ teeth, gums, and related parts of the mouth. They have a median annual salary of $163,000.

If you have an interest in nursing,  understanding the different types of nurses will help you decide what career and academic path you want to take.

Highest Paying Jobs That Are Non-Medical

I also often get asked what is the highest-paying job that isn’t in the medical industry. Many students avoid medical careers because of the amount of time it takes to become a doctor. Depending on the specialty it generally takes between 10 and 14 years to become fully licensed.

  • 4 years of undergraduate school: This is where you will complete your general education requirements and take prerequisite courses for medical school.
  • 4 years of medical school: This is where you will learn the foundations of medicine, including anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and pharmacology. You will also participate in clinical rotations, where you will gain hands-on experience working with patients.
  • 3-7 years of residency: This is where you will specialize in a particular area of medicine, such as family medicine, internal medicine, or surgery. You will work under the supervision of experienced physicians and gain additional clinical experience.
  • Optional fellowship: Some doctors may choose to complete a fellowship after residency. This is a one- to three-year program that allows you to further specialize in a particular area of medicine.
  • Once you have completed all of your training, you will be eligible to take the licensing exam for your state. If you pass the exam, you will be a licensed doctor.

In addition, many people are squeamish and don’t like the sight of blood, infections, or wounds so they avoid medical careers. Medical professionals often deal with stressful situations, such as dealing with sick or injured patients, working under pressure, dealing with difficult colleagues or patients, and even death. This high-stress environment can be a lot to handle for some people.

a man in a white lab coat is sitting at a table looking through a microscope. He has one of the highest-paying jobs in the medical field.

If the medical field just isn’t for you, here are some of the highest-paying non-medical jobs.

Chief Executives: Chief Executives determine and formulate policies and provide overall direction of companies or private and public sector organizations within guidelines set up by a board of directors or similar governing body. They have a median annual salary of $246,000.

Computer and Information Systems Managers: Computer and information systems managers plan, coordinate, and direct computer-related activities in an organization. They have a median annual salary of $159,000.

Architectural And Engineering Managers: Architectural and engineering managers use their knowledge of architecture or engineering to oversee a variety of activities. They may direct and coordinate construction or manufacturing related to production, operations, quality assurance, testing, or maintenance. They have a median annual salary of $152,000.

Petroleum Engineer: Petroleum engineers design and develop methods for extracting oil and gas from the earth. They have a median annual salary of $137,000.

Aerospace Engineer: Aerospace engineers design, develop, and test aircraft, spacecraft, and missiles. They have a median annual salary of $118,000.

Software Engineer: Software engineers are responsible for designing, developing, and testing software applications. They have a median annual salary of $110,000.

*Historically an engineering degree is the most common among millionaires and billionaires. Not only is it one of the highest-paying jobs but some of the world’s richest people have engineering degrees, Jeff Bezos, Carlos Slims, and Larry Page just to name a few. If you’ve been looking for a college major that has the potential to make you millions or even billions check out this major.

Physicists: Physicists study the interactions of matter and energy. Theoretical physicists and astronomers may study the nature of time or the origin of the universe. They have a median annual salary of $150,000.

Sales Manager: Sales managers are responsible for leading and motivating sales teams. They have a median annual salary of $132,000.

Marketing Manager: Marketing managers are responsible for developing and executing marketing plans. They have a median annual salary of $127,000.

Data Scientist: Data scientists are responsible for collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data. They have a median annual salary of $122,000.

Management Analyst: Management analysts/consultants help businesses solve problems and improve their performance. They have a median annual salary of $93,000.

Financial Analyst: Financial analysts are responsible for analyzing financial data and making recommendations to businesses. They have a median annual salary of $81,000.

These are just a few of the highest-paying jobs in the United States. It’s important to note that these salaries are just averages, and the actual salary you earn will depend on your experience, education, location, and how many hours you want to work.