Here Are the 21 Highest-Paying Jobs in the U.S.

A patient sitting on the table in an exam room and speaking with the doctor.

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If you want a high-paying career, try these jobs.

Key points

  • 20 of the 21 top-paying jobs are all in the healthcare industry.
  • The healthcare industry is projected to grow 13{1b90e59fe8a6c14b55fbbae1d9373c165823754d058ebf80beecafc6dee5063a} in the next 10 years, adding 2 million new jobs.

Wondering what career you should pursue? Or, if you’re already in the workforce, maybe you’re considering a change. Regardless of your circumstances, it’s always helpful to know which jobs are the most lucrative. Here are the highest-paying jobs in America, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With the exception of just one job, all of them are in one industry.

Highest-paying jobs

Out of the top 21 highest-paying jobs, 20 of them are in the healthcare industry. The one exception are airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers.

Rank Job Salary
1 Cardiologists $353,970
2 Anesthesiologists $331,190
3 Emergency medicine physicians $310,640
4 Orthopedic surgeons, except pediatric $306,220
5 Dermatologists $302,740
6 Radiologists $301,720
7 Surgeons, all other $297,800
8 Obstetricians and gynecologists $296,210

Pediatric surgeons

10 Ophthalmologists, except pediatric $270,090
11 Neurologists $267,660
12 Physicians, pathologists $267,180
13 Psychiatrists $249,760
14 General internal medicine physicians $242,190
15 Family medicine physicians $235,930
16 Physicians, all other $231,500
17 Orthodontists $208,000 or more
18 Oral and maxillofacial surgeons $208,000 or more

19 Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers $202,180
20 Pediatricians, general $198,420
21 Nurse anesthetists $195,610


Employment for those in the healthcare industry is projected to grow 13{1b90e59fe8a6c14b55fbbae1d9373c165823754d058ebf80beecafc6dee5063a} in the next 10 years. This increase is much faster than the average for all occupations, adding 2 million new jobs. In addition to new jobs from growth, there will also be job openings from those retiring or leaving the industry. This equates to about 1.9 million openings each year, leaving plenty of opportunities for those looking to go into the healthcare industry.

Overall employment of airline and commercial pilots is projected to grow 6{1b90e59fe8a6c14b55fbbae1d9373c165823754d058ebf80beecafc6dee5063a} in the next 10 years, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. It is projected that there will be 18,100 openings for airline and commercial pilots each year, which includes opportunities for replacement and growth.

How to get these high-paying jobs

Getting a job as a doctor or airline pilot requires a great deal of education and training. Physicians and surgeons typically need a bachelor’s degree as well as a degree from a medical school, which takes an additional four years to complete. Doctors can also choose to specialize, resulting in three to nine years in internship and residency programs. Subspecialization requires additional fellowship training that can last one to three years.

Airline pilots typically need a bachelor’s degree and experience as a commercial or military pilot. Commercial pilots typically need flight training, and some employers may require or prefer them to have a degree. To get a job with an airline, pilots need extensive flight experience. Many work as flight instructors or on-demand charter pilots to help build enough flying hours so they can apply to the airlines.

While these high-paying jobs require advanced education, there are plenty of six-figure jobs you can get with just a bachelor’s degree. Jobs in engineering, information technology, and management offer salaries well over $100,000 that can boost your savings and investments. The world’s wealthiest people earned their wealth by creating something new of immense value and starting their own business. Best of all, anyone can start their own business!

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Christopher Lewis

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