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These Are the Highest-Paying Jobs in the U.S.

By Daniel B. Kline – Updated Sep 18, 2019 at 12:25PM

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Most are hard to get and require a lot of training.

Many people make career decisions based on how much they can earn. If you faint at the sight of blood, it's probably not a great idea to become a doctor because it pays well. But if you're equally enamored with being a physician and being a social worker, you might lean toward the better-paying job.

That makes Glassdoor's annual look at America's highest-paying jobs a useful tool for anyone entering school or contemplating a change in careers. Many of these jobs require advanced training or degrees in law or medicine. But if you're willing (and capable) of putting the work in, opportunities exist.

"When it comes to capturing a job seeker's attention, we know that salary is one of the top factors a job seeker considers when deciding whether to apply for a particular job," said Glassdoor senior economic research analyst Amanda Stansell in a press release. "Today, in a very tight job market, job seekers around the U.S. sit in the driver's seat for finding their next dream job and earning the salary they think they deserve. So, with a recession potentially looming in the U.S., we identified those jobs and companies that are heating up the competition and paying the highest salaries in 2019."

A doctor talks with a patient.

Being a doctor ranks at the top of the salary scale. Image source: Getty Images.

What are the highest paying jobs?

Jobs in healthcare and technology dominate the list. That makes sense because these positions require a lot of schooling and/or an immense amount of skill. Not everyone can become a doctor or learn how to do higher-end tech jobs even if they are willing to put in the work.

25 Highest Paying Jobs in the U.S. for 2019

Rank

Job Title

Median Base Salary

1

Physician

$193,415

2

Pharmacy manager

$144,768

3

Dentist

$142,478

4

Pharmacist

$126,438

5

Enterprise architect

$122,585

6

Corporate counsel

$117,588

7

Software engineering manager

$114,163

8

Physician assistant

$113,855

9

Corporate controller

$113,368

10

Software development manager

$109,809

11

Nurse practitioner

$109,481

12

Applications development manager

$107,735

13

Solutions architect

$106,436

14

Data architect

$104,840

15

Plant manager

$104,817

16

IT program manager

$104,454

17

Systems architect

$103,813

18

User-experience manager

$102,489

19

Site reliability engineer

$100,855

20

Cloud engineer

$98,626

21

Attorney

$97,711

22

Data scientist

$97,027

23

Information security engineer

$95,786

24

Analytics manager

$95,238

25

Financial planning and analysis manager

$94,874

Data source: Glassdoor.

What can you do?

If you're entering college (or going back to it), look at this list to see if you're capable of learning how to do one of these jobs. Before you commit, however, do some homework. Talk to some people in the field and ask if they are happy. You might find that the hours and sacrifices required for some of these positions aren't worth the money. It's also possible you will find widespread happiness or discontent in some of these fields -- you have to ask before you put the work in.

It's also important to talk to people in the field you choose about whether they see demand staying high. Some professions -- lawyer being a good example -- have become crowded, making it harder to earn a lucrative salary.

Don't pursue work solely because it pays well. Use lists like this and your own research to best match what you pursue with opportunities that will pay well.

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