Special Report

The Highest Paying Jobs You Can Have in America

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With job openings surging and unemployment at 3.6%, the U.S. labor market, by some estimates, is the tightest it has ever been. In this environment, Americans are quitting their jobs at a historic pace – many in search of higher pay – as employers are raising salaries to attract new talent and keep their workforce.

While average hourly wages are climbing steadily across many jobs, there are a handful of occupations that stand out as having exceptionally high pay. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 20 occupations with a median annual salary of over $145,800 – more than triple the median annual wage across all occupations of $45,760

Using data from the BLS, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 20 highest paying jobs in America. It is important to note that the BLS does not provide detailed salary information beyond the threshold of $208,000. As a result, the nine occupations on this list with a median salary of $208,000 or more are ranked by employment, from lowest to highest.

While millions of Americans are quitting their job each month in search of higher-paying employment opportunities, the jobs on this list are not attainable for the vast majority of workers. These high-paying jobs are highly concentrated in medicine and typically require years of education and training beyond college. Even the occupations on this list that are not in the medical field are highly specialized and unattainable for most workers transitioning mid-career.  Here is a look at the states where the most people are quitting their jobs.  

The high pay in these occupations is attributable in part to their level of specialization, as greater specialization tends to require more years of schooling – which can result in higher student loan debt and shorter careers. Here is a look at the highest and lowest paying college majors in America.

Click here to see the highest paying jobs you can have in America 
Click here to read our detailed methodology

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20. Podiatrists
>2021 median pay: $145,840 per year
>Employment: 8,840


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19. Judges, magistrate judges, and magistrates
>2021 median pay: $148,030 per year
>Employment: 27,790

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18. Architectural and engineering managers
>2021 median pay: $152,350 per year
>Employment: 187,100

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17. Physicists
>2021 median pay: $152,430 per year
>Employment: 20,020


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16. Computer and information systems managers
>2021 median pay: $159,010 per year
>Employment: 485,190

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15. Dentists, general
>2021 median pay: $160,370 per year
>Employment: 108,680


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14. Pediatricians, general
>2021 median pay: $170,480 per year
>Employment: 33,620

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13. Dentists, all other specialists
>2021 median pay: $175,160 per year
>Employment: 4,750

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12. Chief executives
>2021 median pay: $179,520 per year
>Employment: 200,480


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11. Nurse anesthetists
>2021 median pay: $195,610 per year
>Employment: 43,950

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10. Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers
>2021 median pay: $202,180 per year
>Employment: 81,310


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9. Orthodontists
>2021 median pay: $208,000 per year or more
>Employment: 5,140

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8. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons
>2021 median pay: $208,000 per year or more
>Employment: 5,330

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7. Obstetricians and gynecologists
>2021 median pay: $208,000 per year or more
>Employment: 21,570


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6. Psychiatrists
>2021 median pay: $208,000 per year or more
>Employment: 25,520

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5. Anesthesiologists
>2021 median pay: $208,000 per year or more
>Employment: 31,130


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4. Surgeons, except ophthalmologists
>2021 median pay: $208,000 per year or more
>Employment: 36,270

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3. General internal medicine physicians
>2021 median pay: $208,000 per year or more
>Employment: 58,260

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2. Family medicine physicians
>2021 median pay: $208,000 per year or more
>Employment: 102,930


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1. Physicians, all other; and ophthalmologists, except pediatric
>2021 median pay: $208,000 per year or more
>Employment: 390,680


To identify the 20 highest paying jobs in America, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupations are ranked on the median annual pay for the occupation in 2021. 

For the nine highest paying occupations on this list, the median annual pay is greater than or equal to $208,000, the upper threshold of BLS pay reporting. Since the precise annual compensation for those occupations is not reported, they are ranked on the number of people who hold those jobs, from lowest to highest. 

Employment by occupation also came from the BLS and figures are for May 2021, with the exception of two occupational categories: surgeons, except ophthalmologists and physicians, all other; and ophthalmologists, except pediatric. For these two categories pay is as of May 2019.

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