Highest Paying Occupations

The Highest Paying Occupations in America

Are you wondering if you are qualified to switch to one of the highest paying occupations? Maybe you are considering the option of going back to school for a career that will make your wallet nice and fluffy each paycheck. Of course money isn’t everything and you should certainly pursue a career that you will enjoy doing—after all, you will spend a great deal of your time at work. However, we have to admit that with the economy still being on the shaky side, the wisest financial decision you can make is to go for a well-paying career, which also happen to be quite secure!



One of the highest paying occupations is that of a surgeon. This applies to surgeons in all regions of the medical practice, although specifically to those who specialize in a particular area, such as the brain, heart, or skeletal system. You may be wondering why surgeons are the highest paid individuals. The truth is, surgery is risky business, even for someone who is well trained. –And training is another reason why a surgeon takes home a pretty paycheck. Not only does a surgeon have to complete schooling for a basic bachelor’s degree, but they then have to proceed to medical school where they will spend an additional four years gaining the basics about whatever medical field they are going to pursue. After graduating from medical school, the doctor will then spend five years of “residency” in a surgical unit. It is not until this residency is completed that one becomes a true working surgeon. But heck, at an average salary of $182,000 a year, one might just say that the effort is well worth it!

Engineering Manager

If you know your engineering stuff—or think you might like to get a degree in the engineering field—then this occupation would see you well set! An engineering manager doesn’t only have training in all aspects of engineering, but they will also know quite a lot about business workings. An engineering manager must also be comfortable not only managing and overseeing other engineers, but they must also be able to lead by example and act as a mentor and guide to the engineers. The typical degree requirements for this career include a bachelor’s degree in engineering as well as another bachelor’s degree in some form of business. This degree could earn you a whopping $140,000 a year salary!



Do you dream of flying? If so, you might consider the career of an airline pilot which has the potential to bring in around $135,000 a year. In all fairness, pilots really do have to go through a lot of training before they can bring in this kind of dough. Pilots not only fly everything from commercial planes to crop dusters, but they are also qualified to fly helicopters, monitor air traffic, and fulfill the role of aviation director. A basic pilot’s license can be obtained through a professional school such as a college or university or it can be obtained through a local flight school. In order to get a pilot’s license one must complete at least 250 hours of flying time. This might not sound so bad, but it does cost around $100 per hour, which works out to about $25,000 when all is said and done!


If you have an interest in oral health, then you might do well as a dentist! This career pulls in around $132,000 a year, which definitely earns a place on this list of highest paying occupations, but a dentist earns every penny. Many of us take for granted the intricate work and precision that is required in this career. It’s not just a matter of drilling away a few cavities and filling them in. Complete knowledge of the mouth and the conditions that can affect it is required. Granted there are quite a few different fields of oral medicine, such as an orthodontics and oral surgery, so the type of schooling required differs. One could expect to spend at least eight years in school to become a dentist.