Special Report

The 25 Highest-Paying Jobs in America

The technology and health sectors are two of the most vibrant, highly innovative, and ultra competitive industries in the U.S. economy. To maintain relevance, companies in these industries require highly skilled and often highly educated employees. Such employees do not come cheaply and to attract them, companies offer large compensation packages.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 25 highest paying jobs in America ranked by median annual base salary. Employee experience review company Glassdoor identified the jobs based on salary reports employees in these jobs shared on glassdoor.com over the past year.

Physicians and lawyers are the highest and second highest paying professions in the United States, with salaries of $180,000 and $144,500, respectively. The majority of the 23 other highest paid occupations are — like physicians — in the health sector but also in the technology sectors.

Click here to see the 25 highest paying jobs in America.

The highest paying jobs are concentrated in these sectors largely because they are in high demand. These professions also frequently require skills that are exceedingly difficult to automate.

In an email with 24/7 Wall St., Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor chief economist, explained that many of these health sector and technology jobs involve a level of judgment and creativity that is impossible to automate at present. “The urgency of many healthcare scenarios requires snap-decisions or creative solutions to existing medical conditions,” Chamberlain gave as example. Similarly, in the technology sector, a degree of flexibility and creativity in these highly paid jobs is required that is very difficult to automate.

Fifteen of the 25 highest paying jobs are management positions. While Glassdoor’s data do not suggest that managerial positions are on the rise, managers in any given industry are often better paid. “The manager skill set that requires maintaining a working team in a fast-paced, highly-educated industry like tech, finance or healthcare is also something that employers find difficult to automate, and will invest in with higher employee salaries,” said Chamberlain.

By contrast, the typical receptionist, server, leasing consultant, or office assistant — to give just a few examples — earn starting salaries between $30,000 and $35,000. The relatively low salaries for these jobs can be at least partially attributed to the fact that, unlike the highest paid occupations, they do not typically require high levels of education, technical skills. In some cases, automation of these jobs is also partially to blame.

Pay is among the most important factors for individuals looking for a job. According to a recent Glassdoor survey, more than two-thirds of people consider compensation one of their primary considerations when accepting a job.

While a high salary may attract job-seekers to particular positions, once they are in the job, pay is by no means the primary driver of employee satisfaction. “When we dig deeper into what keeps employees satisfied once they’re in a job and with a company, we find that culture and values, career opportunities, and trust in senior leadership are the biggest drivers of employee satisfaction,” Chamberlain said.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed Glassdoor’s 25 Highest Paying Jobs in America report, released March 9, 2016. According to the report: “For a job title to be considered for Glassdoor’s 25 Highest Paying Jobs in America report, job titles must receive at least 75 salary reports shared by U.S.-based employees over the past year (1/24/15 – 1/23/16). The number of job openings per job title represents active job listings on Glassdoor as of 2/23/165. If job titles have the same median base salary, the job title with the higher number of job openings receives higher rank. This report takes into account job title normalization that groups similar job titles. C-suite level jobs were excluded from this report.” In addition to data from Glassdoor, we reviewed job outlook for jobs listed in the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook.

These are the 25 highest paying jobs in America.

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