The Top 10 Highest-Paying Jobs in the US
In every economy, certain jobs will thrive and others will struggle. In the United States, employment in some industries has grown rapidly while other fields have contracted. Some jobs are almost guaranteed to offer a high income and excellent career prospects.
Other professions are likely to struggle to remain relevant and pay well.
This article lists the top 10 highest-paying jobs in the U.S. If you’re considering a new career or perhaps a new major at college, these may be some of the best options in terms of salary potential and job growth potential. Keep reading to learn more about these careers and whether they might be right for you!
- 10. Actuaries
- 9. Computer Software Engineers
- 8. Dental Hygienists
- 7. Dental Surgeons
- 6. Pharmacy Principals/Presciencies, Research Scientists and Pharmacists
- 5. Lawyers
- 4. Marketing Managers
- 3. Software Developers, Applications and Systems Software
- 2. Computer and Information Research Scientists
- 1. Physicians and Dentists
If you are a numbers person who likes to analyze risk and come up with solutions, then being an actuary might be a great career choice. Actuaries analyze financial data and other statistics to predict future outcomes and potential risks. This includes everything from health care to life insurance and even the likelihood of extreme weather events. Companies hire actuaries to assess their risk and help decide how much to charge customers, how much to invest, and how much coverage to provide.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that actuaries earn an average salary of $96,220 per year. The demand for actuaries is expected to grow by 9% through 2026. This is much faster than average. If you are interested in this field, be sure to check with your college or university to see if they offer a degree program in actuarial science.
9. Computer Software Engineers
Computer software engineers design, develop, and test software for computers and other digital products. These engineers are responsible for everything from creating the code that tells computers what to do to managing the team of engineers who create new software products.
The BLS reports that computer software engineers earn an average annual salary of $103,810. The field is expected to grow by 12% between now and 2026, which is faster than the average growth rate. The majority of software engineers work in computer systems design. If you are interested in this field, you may want to look for schools offering degrees in computer software engineering.
8. Dental Hygienists
If you like helping people and care about oral health, consider becoming a dental hygienist. Hygienists are the people who clean teeth, help patients with oral health issues, and educate patients about the importance of good oral hygiene. They are trained in a few different methods of removing plaque and tartar from teeth, including scalers, pliers, and rubber cups.
Dental hygienists earn a median annual salary of $70,810. The field is expected to grow by 19% through 2026. This rate of growth is much faster than average. If you want to become a dental hygienist, you will usually need to get an associate degree and certification.
7. Dental Surgeons
Becoming a dental surgeon takes many years of education, but it is a great career choice for those who enjoy working with teeth and dealing with oral health. A dental surgeon is a combination dentist and oral surgeon. Such specialists can perform more complicated procedures, such as tooth extractions, endodontic therapy, and oral pathology.
Most dental surgeons earn a very comfortable salary, although you have to complete many years of school and training before you can work as one. The average annual salary for a dental surgeon is $168,900. The field is expected to grow by 17% through 2026. If you want to become a dental surgeon, you will usually need to get a master’s degree in oral and maxillofacial surgery.
6. Pharmacy Principals/Presciencies, Research Scientists and Pharmacists
The top 10 highest-paying jobs are full of fields that require high education and experience levels. Pharmacy principals, pharmacy research scientists, and pharmacists are all in this category. These professionals design and manage pharmacy operations, conduct research into new drugs, and dispense prescription medications to patients.
The average salary for pharmacy principals is $135,200 per year. Pharmacy research scientists earn $96,110 annually. Pharmacists earn $122,860 per year on average. The field of pharmacy is expected to grow by 19% through 2026. There are a few different ways to become a pharmacist, including attending a doctorate program and completing a residency.
The job of a lawyer is as relevant and important today as it has ever been. People need legal assistance in all sorts of situations, and the profession of law is one of the highest-paying careers available. A lawyer is someone who represents clients in court and advises them on their legal rights and obligations. Lawyers can specialize in many different areas, such as corporate, labor and employment, tax, real estate, health care, or estate planning.
The BLS reports that the average salary for all lawyers is $134,530 per year. This is expected to grow by 9% through 2026. If you want to become a lawyer, you will generally need a bachelor’s degree, a law degree, and a license to practice.
4. Marketing Managers
Marketing Managers are responsible for all aspects of marketing for their company. This includes things like creating advertising campaigns, developing marketing strategies, and managing the team of people who create marketing materials and advertisements. The BLS reports that the average salary for all marketing managers is $127,920 per year. The field is expected to grow by 10% through 2026. If you want to become a marketing manager, you will usually need a bachelor’s degree, preferably in marketing. You may also want to pursue an advanced degree.
3. Software Developers, Applications and Systems Software
The computer software industry has seen steady growth for decades as new software and applications are developed. This sector includes computer software developers, applications and systems software engineers, and computer systems software engineers. Such professionals create and maintain computer programs, websites, and other software applications. They may also design new software and hardware systems.
The BLS reports that software developers, applications and systems software engineers earn an average annual salary of $127,680 per year. This field is expected to grow by 12% through 2026. If you want to become a software engineer, you will usually need a bachelor’s degree in computer science or another computer-related field.
2. Computer and Information Research Scientists
Computer and information research scientists conduct research into computer technologies and information management. They may be employed by a university or private company conducting basic research. Alternatively, they may be employed by a company to solve specific problems. The BLS reports that computer and information research scientists earn an average annual salary of $115,350 per year. The field is expected to grow by 13% through 2026. If you want to become a computer and information research scientist, you will need a PhD in computer science or a related field.
1. Physicians and Dentists
The top 10 highest-paying jobs are all excellent choices for people who want to make a great living. But the top two highest-paying jobs are even better. Physicians and dentists are the highest-paying jobs in the United States. Physicians are the top-earning profession. This includes all types of physicians, such as pediatricians and allergists. The average physician earns an annual salary of $208,000 per year.
The field is expected to grow by 8% through 2026. Dentists are right behind physicians as the second highest-paying profession. The average dentist earns $156,670 per year. The field is expected to grow by 14% through 2026. If you want to become a physician or dentist, you will need to obtain a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, and a medical or dental degree from an accredited school.
Keep in mind that there are many other high-paying jobs available. Many of these jobs don't require a college degree. Instead, many require specialized training. If you are interested in one of these high-paying jobs, you may want to talk to someone at your local community college to find out how to get the training you need.
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