Here Are the Top 24 Paying Careers in the US!

Blog | September 16th, 2021

Most of us have to work in order to earn a living. But how do you really decide what you want to do? Do you base your decision on the jobs that are available? Your qualifications? Or maybe your interests? However you decide what you want to do for work, fear not, the average person changes careers several times in their lifetime. If your job search is powered by financial freedom, you’re in luck. Here are the top 25 earning careers in the United States.

Medical Careers

Sure, we all know that doctors earn nice livings. But which medical careers rank amongst the top earners? Let’s find out!

1. Anesthesiologists

In most surveys anesthesiologists come in at the top of the pay scale. Although their job can put you to sleep, they take home an annual paycheck of approximately $271,000!

2. Surgeons, Physicians, Medical Specialists

As expected, being a doctor when you grow up is a high-paying choice. There is never a threat of lack of work. Most any field of physician averages an annual income of over $200,000.

3. Dentist

Something as small as teeth can bring in big bucks. Specialists such as oral surgeons have earnings of $218,000, orthodontists reach $237,000 and even prosthodontics at $214,000 have a bright future! General dentists come in close with $158,000 annually.

4. Optometrist

An optometrist is there to help make our vision clearer. Also to identify vision defects, diseases, eye defects, and injuries. They must have a license from the state in which they practice. The pay scale is definitely something worth looking at as it comes in at an average of $285,000!

Office Jobs

If you can’t handle blood, a medical position probably isn’t for you. Instead, consider an office job where you have the ability to pull a big paycheck and work from home!

5. CEO

A CEO is the highest paying job that isn’t medical related. The base pay can be $500,000 and can soar up to $1,000,000 or more! CEO stands for Chief Executive Officer and they are not limited to a certain area as most businesses have this role filled.

6. Computer Managers

If you have a knack for programming computers, managing electronic data and information systems this is the gig for you. You can enjoy your passion while bringing home approximately $161,000 annually.

7. Architecture

Those that plan and direct architectural engineering build a bank account quickly with an income of $161,000 per year! If “building” on paper is your passion, you will be paid handsomely!

8. Marketing Manager

This path allows you to oversee all aspects of marketing programs for various companies while managing your own hefty finances of $154,000 yearly.

9. Lawyer

Understanding legal terminology takes a great mind along with representing legal proceedings, handling legal documents, and being an adviser of legal transactions. Knowledge pays off with an average yearly salary of $148,000!

10. Astronomer

For a job that is out of this world and not always in an office, astronomers study the universe and how it works while bringing home approximately $105,000 a year!

11. Pilot

A pilot’s job is much more than just flying a plane. They also create a flight plan, perform preflight maintenance checks from the engine to the navigation systems, ensure cargo weights are within the aircraft limits and are in constant touch with aircraft control as well as communicating with flight attendants and passengers. Pilots have a lot on their minds and hands for this $115,000 yearly paycheck!

12. Air Traffic Controller

Possibly earning more than a pilot, an air traffic controller‘s job is a high-stress one. They control the movement of the aircraft on the ground and in the air while giving landing and takeoff instructions to pilots. Their well-earned yearly salary is approximately $124,000.

Blue-Collar Jobs

Some people may think that “blue-collar” jobs don’t have as high of earning potentials. Those people would be wrong! Blue-collar isn’t meant as an insult or jab, rather you simply have to be willing to do more manual labor.

13. Auto Technician

This job has come a long way since the days of Mayberry! With all of the different makes and models of cars out there, an auto technician’s job of inspecting, diagnosing, and repairing vehicles from the engine to other mechanical aspects requires a great deal of knowledge. The average yearly pay is $70,000 and a good mechanic earns every dime of it!

14. Postal Service Supervisor

This position requires good management and communication skills as they will manage a team of postal employees. Ensuring things run smoothly and customers receive their mail in an orderly and timely manner is key for this role. Often duties include hiring new personnel as well. A supervisor’s salary per year is approximately $70,000 while a postal carrier runs about $56,000 yearly. If you can weather any storm, this is a great option!

15. Train Conductor

Passenger trains are few these days but the duties of a conductor are still similar. The job description includes monitoring all instruments such as the battery, air pressure, and speed to keep the locomotive running smoothly. Being aware of obstructions, plus knowledge and use of controls are a must. The yearly salary is approximately $62,000.

16. Personal Trainer

A personal trainer is a rewarding job that also rewards with a yearly salary averaging $53,000. Their job is to work with people on a one-to-one basis, understanding goals and helping clients obtain them. They demonstrate and advise while providing motivation to be healthy and fit!

17. House Keeping

Keeping your room clean as a child can finally pay off! A head housekeeper can bring home approximately $42,000 annually. If being clean and orderly is in your blood, you could even climb the ladder to high-end facilities reaching a salary of $100,000!

18. Fire Fighter

Firefighters don’t just fight fires! They are highly trained, unsung heroes that save lives and protect all of us. They are also emergency medical technicians. They ride on and drive ambulances as well as fire trucks. They are on call around the clock while on a 24-hour shift. The average salary comes in at approximately $44,600.

19. Plumber

This is another occupation that could mean being on call 24/7. Pipes don’t have a timeline for breaking! Plumbers must know how to install, modify, maintain and repair all types of plumbing fixtures, drainage, and water systems. They also understand blueprints and structures for drainage systems. To call a plumber out may seem pricey but their average yearly income for round-the-clock duties is $58,000.

20. Grocery Store Manager

Teenagers getting a start stocking shelves and sticking with it can climb the success ladder to a grocery store manager. This is a job many people overlook until they realize the yearly income is approximately $72,000 to $100,000!

21. Police Officer

This is another job that can never be repaid. Police officers have the duty of upholding the law, providing public safety, keeping peace and order, responding to emergencies, protecting people and property, and enforcing traffic and other vehicle laws. Where criminal acts are involved, the officer’s job is to identify and arrest the perpetrators. The national average income for a police officer is approximately $53,000.

22. School Administrators

This category includes principals, vice-principals, and other administrative roles. Their job list is a big one and includes monitoring students as well as their achievements, staying involved with parents, budgeting, hiring and evaluating staff, overseeing facilities as well as being in charge of budgets, policies, and other procedures. This position pays approximately $70,000 yearly.

23. Fedex and UPS Drivers

Everyone gets excited when they see the big delivery truck stop at their house. These drivers are normally on the road three to five days at a time, working a minimum of eight hours daily which inevitably increases during the holidays. FedEx drivers make an average of $47,492 a year, while UPS pays their drivers a good bit more at $57,866.

24. Electrician

An electrician’s specialty is in the electrical wiring of buildings, new homes, transmission lines, and more. Their expertise could lead them to install brand new components or that of maintaining and repairing existing structures. It is often believed this career salary would be much higher yet it comes in at a shocking $56,000 per year!

Related: Budgeting 101: How to Set Your First Budget