The Highest Paying Jobs in the U.S. in 2021

the highest paying jobs in the us

Welcome to this article about the highest paying jobs in the U.S.!

Money. While money is not necessary to live a happy life, it is necessary to live a comfortable life. Because of money, you are able to place food on the dinner table. Because of money, you are able to wear comfortable clothes and footwear. And, because of money, you are able to have a roof over your head.

If you are searching for a job, you’ve come to the right place. This blog is about the highest paying jobs in the U.S.! While the salary shouldn’t determine whether you like the job or not, it is good information to have in the back of your head. I’m sure that when it is time for me to get a job, I will definitely be wondering what the highest paying jobs are and if I’m interested in any of them. Of course, getting paid a good salary is definitely something individuals look for in their new career. So, if you’re one of those individuals, read on below!

This list below comes from the U.S. News and World Report for the best paying jobs in 2020. Each job is ranked by average salary, and they all pay more than $100,000. This blog will only list the top 15 best-paying jobs, but if you want to learn more, check out the U.S. News and World Report for the top 25 jobs. Let’s start with number 1!

1. Anesthesiologist

Highest paying jobs in the U.S.

Anesthesiologists are the physicians responsible for administering general or regional anesthesia, which allows surgeons and other physicians to complete invasive procedures with little to no discomfort to the patient. Anesthesiologists also closely monitor a patient’s vital signs and critical life functions before, during and after a surgery – making rapid decisions on limited data when required. To say that the profession is stressful is an understatement.

https://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/anesthesiologist

Their median salary is $208,000, and while it is #1 in best-paying jobs, it is also #12 in the best healthcare jobs. In order to become an anesthesiologist, you must get a bachelor’s degree, take the MCAT, attend medical school, pass a licensure exam, undergo residency, and obtain state licensure.

2. Surgeon

If you ever had surgery for an injury or disease, you know what a surgeon is. They operate on people and they can train to be a general surgeon or a surgeon for a certain specialization, like orthopedic or cardiovascular surgery. With this, it’s obvious that the amount of stress for this job is high. Not only this, but flexibility with this job is low and opportunities for advancements are average. With all this said, the median salary for surgeons is $208,000. Future growth for this job is an 8/10, and work-life balance is a 2/10. However, a surgeon is #17 in the 100 best jobs!

3. Oral and maxillofacial surgeon

Highest paying jobs in the U.S.

If you aren’t aware, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon is a person who performs surgeries on the face, mouth, and jaw. “These professionals are dentists with at least four years of additional surgery training, so they can do everything from treating facial traumas to fixing cleft lips. They can diagnose and treat patients with head, neck and oral cancer. They can even administer anesthesia and perform cosmetic surgeries, such as face-lifts. But even though their specialty is specific, the technology used to treat and operate on the face, mouth and jaw is constantly evolving.” (money.usnews.com)

Their median salary is $208,000. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon is #7 in best healthcare jobs, as well as #9 in 100 best jobs!

4. Obstetrician and gynecologist

Mean salary: $238,320 per year

Industry: Health care

Education needed: Doctorate degree

www.cnbc.com

5. Orthodontist

If you are one of the many teenagers who have or have had braces, orthodontists are not something new. These people are dental specialists who fix problems with improper bites and askew teeth. They examine patients’ mouths and jaws to help them achieve a picture-perfect smile as well as proper function jaws.

Their median salary is $208,000 and it is #3 in the best healthcare jobs. Along with this, opportunities for advancements and salary is average, the stress level is below average, and flexibility is above average! The total scorecard for this job is a 7.8, with a 10 in salary, 10 in the job market, 8 in future growth, 8 in stress, and 8 in work-life balance.

6. Psychiatrist

Highest paying jobs in the U.S.

Obviously, there are many medical specialists that deal with physical issues. But, psychiatrists are also part of the list for the highest paying jobs in the U.S. Psychiatrists deal with the mind, as they evaluate any mental disorders a patient may have, understand the relationship between the mind and the body, and prescribe a range of drugs for the patient as treatment.

The median salary for a psychiatrist is $208,000. In order to become one, you must get a bachelor’s degree, pass the MCAT, complete medical school, become licensed, and undergo residency. This job ranks #18 in the best healthcare jobs, as well as #34 in the 100 best jobs. The salary is obviously a 10/10, the job market is a 6/10, the future growth is a 6/10, stress is 4/10, and work-life balance is a 6/10.

7. Physician

Physicians: They’re the people we call when the contractions come every five minutes. We rush to them for broken arms, and we make appointments when we find irregular freckles. We come to them with coughs and colds and when we suspect that mom might be losing her memory or that dad’s heart is working too hard. They’re obstetricians and gynecologists, ER doctors, dermatologists, primary care providers, neurologists and cardiologists.

https://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/physician

Their median salary is $194,500. This career ranks #5 in the best healthcare jobs, and #7 in the best jobs. In total, this career is a 7.5/10 based on many factors, including future growth, salary, job market, stress, and work-life balance.

8. Prosthodontist

A prosthodontist is a dental specialist who restores and replaces teeth to improve the function of the mouth and the look of your smile. They help people who are missing teeth, have trouble with their bite, or want to improve their smile. The median salary for a prosthodontist is $176,540. The unemployment rate is 0.9%, and it ranks #21 in the best healthcare jobs. The job market for this career is a 10/10, while the future growth is a 2/10. Along with this, both stress and work-life balance are 4/10.

9. Pediatrician

Highest paying jobs in the U.S.

Pediatricians are doctors concerned with the physical, emotional and social well-being of children from infancy to young adulthood. Although it is a specialty in itself, pediatrics also has multitudinous subspecialties ranging from neonatology, oncology and hematology to developmental-behavioral pediatrics and psychiatry. Those who choose to be pediatricians have to love being around children and advocating for children’s issues.

https://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/pediatrician

Their median salary is $170,560. It ranks #16 in best healthcare jobs and #22 in the 100 best jobs. The salary and job market for this career is a 10/10, while future growth and stress are a 4/10. Also, work-life balance is a 6/10. With all this combined, the scorecard for a pediatrician is a 7/10!

10. Dentist

Whenever you go for your 6-month dental check-up, you are visiting the dentist. They are responsible for identifying and treating problems concerning the mouth, gums, and teeth. Their median salary is $151,850, and dentists rank #1 in the best healthcare jobs. The salary is a 9/7/10, the job market is a 10/10, future growth is an 8/10, stress is a 6/10, and work-life balance is also an 8/10. With the average score coming out to be a 7.9, this job also ranks #2 in 100 best jobs. In order to become a dentist, you must get an undergraduate degree, take the dental admission test, attend dental school, and pass the national board dental examinations.

11. Nurse anesthetist

Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA): The Complete Career Guide - NurseRegistry

“Nurse anesthetists can use a number of intravenous drugs and inhaled gasses to administer general or regional anesthesia, so surgeons and other physicians can complete procedures with little to no discomfort to the patient.” (money.usnews.com)

Their median salary is $169,950. A nurse anesthetist ranks #15 in best healthcare jobs and #21 in 100 best jobs. With a 10/10 in salary, it also is an 8/10 in future growth, 4/10 in both stress and work-life balance.

To become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, professionals must have a bachelor’s degree and their registered nurse licensure, which involves taking and passing the National Council Licensure Examination. Additionally, these professionals must have a minimum of one year of experience in a critical care setting. They will then have to complete both a COA-accredited nurse anesthesia program and the national certification exam. And the trend is moving toward more education. According to Gerbasi, in 2025, graduates from nurse anesthesia programs will need to have doctoral degrees.

https://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/nurse-anesthetist

12. Petroleum engineer

Petroleum engineers design equipment to extract oil from reservoirs. They gather data to analyze ways to extract the oil as safely and cost-efficient as possible. Also, they do a lot of evaluating and refining the systems to make them even better. This job ranks #7 in the best engineering jobs. The job market scores a 6/10, future growth is a 2/10, stress and work-life balance is a 4/10.

To obtain an entry-level job, prospective petroleum engineers will need to get a bachelor’s degree in engineering or petroleum engineering, preferably from an ABET-accredited program. Any programs that offer practical experience, or the opportunity to intern, are particularly valuable because employers highly value practical experience.

Although a Professional Engineering license or a Society of Petroleum Engineers certification aren’t necessities, they can be helpful when it comes to advancing in the field.

https://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/petroleum-engineer

13. IT manager

What does an IT Manager Do How to Become an Information Technology Manager

Computer and information systems managers, or information technology managers, are the guides who help organizations navigate the always-changing labyrinth that is modern technology. These all-important employees deliver short- and long-term visions for the company’s technology needs and goals. Even though most IT managers have the technical chops to execute the various jobs of the workers they supervise, they are more likely to be caught in a meeting room than a server room.

https://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/it-manager

Their median salary is $142,530, and IT managers rank #2 in best technology jobs. Both job market and future growth are an 8/10, while work-life balance is a 4/10, and stress is a 2/10.

14. Podiatrist

Podiatrists are physicians who diagnose and treat issues regarding the foot and the ankle. “Sometimes the treatment is as simple as prescribing orthotic shoes or as complicated as performing total ankle implant surgery.” (money.usnews.com)

Their median salary is $129,550, ranking #20 in the best healthcare jobs and #47 in the 100 best jobs. In order to become a podiatrist, one needs at least three years of an undergraduate degree, while most podiatrists have a bachelor’s degree. Along with that, one must pass the MCAT, which usually leads to a four-year podiatric medical school. One also undergoes three years of residency and licensure from passing the American Podiatric Medical Licensing Exam.

15. Marketing manager

What does a marketing manager do? ‐ CareerExplorer

The American Marketing Association defines its trade like this: “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.” In addition to the actual marketing work, marketing managers have the added responsibilities of hiring staff and team building; vision casting and strategic planning; and managing budgets and tracking their results. 

https://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/marketing-manager

Their median salary is $134,290, ranking #1 in the best sales and marketing jobs. Future growth is an 8/10, while stress and work-life balance are a 4/10.

The Takeaway:

There are tons and tons of job options out there, like the thousands that are not included in this blog. Researcher, lawyer, data analyst. Don’t get discouraged if your future career is not on these lists, as this list is merely a representation of which career is the best-paying job. While salary does matter and is important for personal comfort and use, whether or not you enjoy your job is what really matters in the long run.

While I said that money shouldn’t determine your career path, it is interesting to be aware of what the highest paying jobs are. So, as a recap, here are the top 15:

  1. Anesthesiologist
  2. Surgeon
  3. Oral and maxillofacial surgeon
  4. Obstetrician and gynecologist
  5. Orthodontist
  6. Psychiatrist
  7. Physician
  8. Prosthodontist
  9.  Pediatrician
  10. Dentist
  11. Nurse anesthetist
  12. Petroleum engineer
  13. IT manager
  14. Podiatrist
  15. Marketing manager

For more information, check out this book on The Complete List of American Jobs: A Total of 820 Occupations Ranked by Salary, With Projected Growth Till 2026 and Education Requirement for Entry Level Positions. For an extra visual, watch this video on 10 Highest Paying Jobs In America.

I hope this blog gave you the chance to learn something new, and remember, money is not the only factor in deciding your career. If you are searching for a job, decide based on your interests and hobbies. Check out our blog on how to find your passion! Good luck!

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