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12 Highest Paying Jobs: Careers With the Best Earning Potential

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Chief Executives$193,850
Airline Pilots$147,220
Computer and Information Systems Managers$146,360
Architectural and Engineering Managers$144,830
Petroleum Engineers$137,720
Marketing Managers$136,850
Financial Managers$129,890

12 Highest Paying Jobs


If you’ve ever asked yourself “What are the top five highest paying jobs?” it’s likely that many of the prospective answers are in the medical field. One of the best paying medical careers is an anesthesiologist. This is a physician that administers analgesics before, during, and after surgery. In fact, these are the anesthetics that render a patient unconscious as the surgery takes place. 

This is a very specialized career and it frequently tops the list of high-earning medical professions. The working hours can be lengthy and unpredictable because emergency surgical procedures are certainly possible. But it is one of the highest paying jobs that helps people.  

As an anesthesiologist, you will take part in both scheduled and unscheduled childbirth, trauma events, and surgical procedures. You will need:

  • At least four years of medical school 
  • Followed by a four year residency in anesthesiology 
  • Further experience may be needed for further specialization. 


These are the doctors that specialize in uterine, ovarian, cervical, and vaginal health for general good health and childbirth. 

As obstetricians-gynecologists (OB-GYN) you will use your communication skills to provide health advice to patients for them and their babies. Consequently, you will need to be able to handle high-stress situations that can occur at any time of the day. 

To work as an OB-GYN, you will need to graduate from medical school. Additionally, you’ll need to complete a gynecology residency and obstetrics program. This usually lasts for at least four years and then you need to gain a license to practice in your state.


As an orthodontist, you will help your patients to maintain and improve their dental health. Most people refer to an orthodontist as a dentist. However, these doctors engage in a wide variety of tasks, including:

  • Creating mouth guards, 
  • Applying braces, 
  • Taking X-rays, 
  • Fitting crowns, 
  • Removing decay 
  • Other procedures. 

This role requires good problem solving abilities. If you have your own practice, you will need solid management skills too. To work as a dentist, you need a college degree. Furthermore, you should attend a dental school program. You must then complete a residency program and a licensing exam. 

This role requires good problem solving abilities


One of the highest paying occupations for people interested in mental health is to work as a psychiatrist. As a psychiatrist, you will help your patients to deal with a wide variety of mental health issues. But, it’s natural to focus on a certain specialty. While some psychiatrists work in forensic or legal psychiatry, others focus on addictions and some specialize in psychoanalysis to help people deal with emotions and historical events.

A psychiatrist can work in private practice, schools, hospitals, community agencies, prisons, rehabilitation programs, and more.

Qualification requirements

To work as a psychiatrist you need an undergraduate degree, a residency program must be completed and this typically involves working in a medical facility.

Afterward, a further three years are spent focused purely on mental health practice and then a certificate from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology is required. This is one of the fastest growing fields with estimated projected job growth of around 12% over the next ten years.

Chief Executives

When many people think about what careers pay the most it’s hard to ignore the chief executive (CEO) and their generous bonuses. In fact, this is one of the highest paid jobs outside of both the dental and medical fields. As a CEO, you will be making crucial decisions that will steer the company towards greater profits to satisfy the board of directors and shareholders.

Consequently, this is a lucrative career. But the demands of the role are daunting and beyond the capabilities of many people. Indeed, a recent Havard Business study found that an average CEO works 62.5 hours per week. Around half of that time was spent working in the office and the other half was spent traveling.

Do you need a business admin degree?

Recently, a Forbes study found that 53% of Fortune 100 company CEOs had a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Furthermore, many chief executives also have an undergraduate degree in a wide variety of fields with a later Master of Business or MBA degree. This demand for this role is set to grow by around 4% over the next ten years.

Airline Pilots

One of the highest paying jobs in the world is flying planes as an airline pilot. As you can imagine, you will be working away from home, but the paycheck and the nature of the work are rewarding.

As a senior pilot, you would be the captain of the plane and oversee the rest of the flight crew before, during, and after the flight. The less experienced pilot is usually the co-piot and they are there to learn from the captain and gain confidence. The third crucial member of the team is the flight engineer. They are responsible for monitoring the cabin pressure, fuel assessments, pre-flight checks, and more.

In many airlines, the flight engineer role has been supplanted with additional technology. The co-pilot has taken on many of those responsibilities.

Getting started

To work as an airline pilot you need a bachelor’s degree and an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate supplied by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The usual entry point is to work as a commercial pilot to accumulate flight time. You’ll need at least 1,500 hours of flight experience to get a job with an airline. This career has a projected growth of around 3% over the next ten years.

Computer and Information Systems Managers

As a Computer and Information Systems (IS) Manager, you would be overseeing many functions of a computer system, including; 

  • Programming, 
  • Systems analysis, 
  • Data processing, 
  • And more. 

The IS manager needs to evaluate the IT needs of their governing body, NGO, or business to ensure that the computer meets the needs of their organization. 

To become an IS Manager, you should have several years of experience in a related field and at the upper tier of this career, a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) would need 15 years of relevant IT experience. Furthermore, many IS Managers have a bachelor’s degree in a computer major, and some graduate from Management Information Systems (MIS) programs. 

This gives you a solid grounding in business, programming, and software development to prepare you for a future IS Manager role. When you’re ready to take the next step, you will work for a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or perhaps a graduate degree. This typically takes around 2 years but most people take them part-time alongside their existing IT role. The projected growth for IS Managers is expected to be 10% over the next ten years which is much higher than the rest of the economy.

Architectural and Engineering Managers

An Architectural and Engineering Manager coordinates architecture and engineering projects. Specifically, you will consult with your clients, carry out work feasibility studies, create and review budgets, prepare project specifications, and more. 

The job requires a background in architecture and/or engineering and good administration skills to keep a project on track and under budget. While this may not be one of the best part time jobs, the growth of this job is estimated to be around 3% over the next decade which is fairly typical for this type of career.

Qualification requirements

To work in this position most companies require a bachelor’s degree. However, some high profile construction companies now ask for a master’s degree. If you’re pursuing a non-technical role, you can still enter this career with an MBA in Business Administration. On the other hand, those wanting a more hands on approach will need a master’s in Engineering Management to be helpful.

Petroleum Engineers

We need energy to run our economy. Oil and gas are still an important part of that process. Yet it’s hard to get at those vital resources. As a Petroleum Engineer, you will be responsible for the efficient extraction of those resources from below the Earth’s surface. 

Oil and gas are still an important part of the process

The primary responsibilities include: 

  • Ascertaining the correct method, 
  • Analyzing survey data,
  • Performing cost-benefit analysis. 

Of course, there are a few roles in the petroleum engineer field, including production, drilling, and reservoir engineers. 

  • A production engineer evaluates the gas and oil production after the well has been drilled. 
  • A drilling engineer determines a safe and efficient way to drill the well.  
  • A reservoir engineer estimates the available oil and gas present in the underground (reservoir) deposits after drilling has occurred. 

To work in this field, you will need a good ground in math and science. In fact, an entry level job in the industry requires a bachelor’s degree. The coursework you take should be focused on geology, thermodynamics, and other key engineering or scientific principles. Certain universities have excellent 5-year combined programs that are a good lead-in to a bachelor’s or even a master’s degree. The demand for petroleum engineers is expected to rise by around 3% over the next decade.

Marketing Managers

No product or service sells itself in the modern marketplace and a marketing manager is needed to analyze demand and find innovative ways to bring it to market successfully. In fact, in many companies, it’s the marketing department that sets the prices of products and services to deliver maximum profits for the entire company. 

As a marketing manager, you will have a key role in the company. This role is set to be one of the highest paid professions for years to come, particularly as the role expands into digital marketing. This role requires a unique mix of creativity and hard business sense. 

Some typical daily activities include:

  • Promotional planning, 
  • Analyzing market research data, 
  • Developing website, 
  • Organizing social media campaigns 
  • And more. 

A marketing manager needs a bachelor’s degree with a focus on finance, economics, management, statistics, computer science, and more. The estimated demand for this role is set to rise by 7% over the next ten years.

digital marketing jobs

Financial Managers

In many medium to larger organizations, the finance department plays a key role. Indeed, as a financial manager, you will plan investments, assess market trends and create financial reports to maximize potential profits. 

The information you provide will help the senior management team to make informed decisions and to keep the shareholders in the loop. 

There are a few specialized jobs that fall into this broader category, they are: 

  • Controllers: A controller creates financial reports such as income statements and balance sheets
  • Treasurers: A treasurer investigates and prepares investment strategies for the company
  • Risk managers: A risk manager uses certain metrics to protect the company against currency or financial risk.

In fact, if you love figures, this could be one of the best fun jobs that pay well for you. 

To work as a financial manager, you will need a bachelor’s degree. This should be in a relevant field, such as business management, accounting, finance, or economics. Before you grow into this role, it’s likely that you will assume a management position as an accountant, financial analyst, security sales agent, or loan officer. This will allow you to get several years of experience. To sum up this is an excellent career to train as for now, the demand for financial managers is set to increase by around 15% over the next decade.

what are fun jobs that pay well


As a pharmacist, you will need great people skills and a strong scientific background. Specifically, you will need to understand the doses of medications in great detail and the possible side effects. Of course, this means that you’re going to need a detailed orientated mindset and good knowledge retention skills. 

When a pharmacist works with patients in person, it’s important to articulate their expertise in a way that’s understandable for non-medical people. If you imagine a pharmacist, it’s likely that you think of a person in a white coat working at your local retail pharmacy. However, you can work as a clinical pharmacist at a hospital or other medical facility. 

You can work as a clinical pharmacist at a hospital or medical facility

As a clinical pharmacist, you may accompany doctors on their rounds, alternatively, perform research and drug trials for a pharmaceutical company.

To work as a pharmacist you need a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) post graduate degree that takes 3-4 years to complete. 

To be accepted for this degree you need a strong background in biology, chemistry, and physics. Additionally, you must also pass the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT). This is not a great career for many people because the demand is set to shrink by around 3% over the next ten years.

What are the Highest Paying Jobs Without a Degree?

If you don’t have much in the way of higher education, you may be wondering what are the highest paying jobs without a degree requirement? One great position is working as an elevator installer and repairer. In fact, all you need to get started is a high school diploma. 

In this role, you will be working in cramped conditions with heavy machinery. Additionally, you may be on 24 hour call at times to cover potential emergencies. However, if you are not scared of heights or small spaces and you have a good work ethic, this could be the ideal fit for you.

This is one of the leading recession proof jobs and the job growth for this role is expected to rise by around 7% over the next decade. It offers an average annual salary of $88k per year.

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Kate Starr


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