12 Highest-paying Jobs and How to Get Them

Picking a career is one of the most important decisions of your life. A lot of deliberation goes into finding a job that pays well and is fun to do. Sectors like healthcare, aviation, legal, and information technology are some of the top choices among professionals today. To ensure your interests and career prospects perfectly align, you must explore different options and check out the eligibility criteria and expected salaries to make an informed decision.

A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for most of the jobs in these sectors. And based on the recent market trends, the healthcare sector offers the most lucrative jobs that require a number of qualifications, certifications, and skills necessary to earn high-paying salaries. Here are 12 high-paying jobs and the approximation of the annual salary that you can expect.

Surgeon – $398,000
Surgeons rank among the most highly paid medical professionals. The remuneration varies depending on the specialty, years of experience, and advanced degrees necessary for the specialization. A bachelor’s degree in disciplines that focus on chemistry, biology, and physics is the most basic prerequisite for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

Clearing the MCAT will get you into medical school for four years. Post that, you must also choose a specialty to start internship and residency programs with a hospital. Depending on the specialty, it takes three to seven years in general and core surgery training to be eligible for practice.

Anesthesiologist – 392,000
Anesthesiologists work alongside the surgeon. They monitor a patient’s general anesthesia, sedation, or regional anesthesia to ensure pain relief before, during, and post a surgical procedure. To qualify, you must complete a four-year undergraduate degree followed by four years of medical school.

After completing an additional four years in the anesthesiology residency program, the final hurdle is a certification examination conducted by the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA). Post-certification, you can pursue a fellowship program and choose a specification of your choice in the field of medicine and surgery. Every state has a different pay scale that fluctuates depending on factors like the highest level of specialization, work experience, and skills.

Orthodontist – $277,000
Dentists who undergo further training and study advanced dental and surgical procedures become orthodontists. The special field of dentistry focuses on a niche study and practice to correct advanced dental problems. During the final year of dental graduate programs, you may choose to apply for an advanced two-three-year residency program to study orthodontics. Most programs require you to pass the National Board Dental Examination (NBDE).

It is quite challenging to get into an orthodontic residency program, with approximately only one out of 15 applicants being accepted across a limited number of colleges. The salary varies depending on your graduation score, special skills, and the total number of years in experience gained during clinical practice. Moreover, you can opt for a certification from the American Board of Orthodontics, which must be renewed every ten years.

Physician – $243,000
Physicians are trained to perform and assess general diagnostics by observing the signs and symptoms of a disease and analyzing the clinical history of a patient. It is one of the highest-paying jobs as the first assessment by a physician lays the foundation for further tests and treatments administered by a specialist, if deemed necessary by the physician.

To become a physician, you must complete eight years of formal education, followed by a four-year M.D. program. You must study, train, and practice to earn your degrees and complete the general physician residency before working in the field. Depending on your area of interest, there are a number of specialties and subspecialties in primary care. The salary range varies based on the chosen field of medicine to practice.

Psychiatrist – $230,000
Psychiatrists practice in the field of mental health sciences and are trained to assess the psychological concerns of patients. The field specializes in training doctors to administer psychotherapy and analyze psychological ailments that may also result in physical distress. You must earn a bachelor’s degree, graduate from a medical school, and finish four years of psychiatry residency to apply for the certification.

It is essential to apply in the state where you want to practice or complete the residency. It is required to take a state board examination and meet some state-specific requirements to practice legally. A certification from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) will grant you the license to practice. And this license must be renewed every ten years.

District Judge – $216,000
Judges are appointed to deliver a verdict based on the case the lawyer makes. Judges appointed by any court in any of the fifty states can conduct hearings, preside over trials, determine the manner of the trial, sentence guilty parties, and issue the final verdict that determines the outcome of the case.

To become a district judge, you must complete a bachelor’s degree and earn a Juris Doctor (JD) degree. Most states require you to be a lawyer and practice for at least two years before applying. In most cases, people who have practiced for seven to nine years, may later on, apply for judgeship. The remuneration varies depending on the number of years of experience in the legal system.

Lawyer – $167,000
Lawyers are trained to represent clients in different situations, which include writing a will, prosecuting criminals, defending victims, and managing estates. Lawyers are well versed in the text and procedures necessary to perform a particular task within the limits of the law. It is one of the best paying jobs as a good attorney provides sound legal advice in pressing matters that demand their expertise and intervention.

You must obtain a bachelor’s degree, pass the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), and apply for colleges accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). Upon graduation, the final step is passing the Bar examination to qualify and earn a license to practice law.

Dentist – $160,000
Dentists study and train with a prime focus on oral health. In fact, to be eligible for the Dental Admission Test (DAT), students in school must meet specific course credits to complete pre-dental science requirements. Dental colleges review the application, DAT scores, recommendations, interviews, and any internship experience gained while studying for a bachelor’s degree.

You may choose from Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) and Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD) degrees, both of which require four years of study after the bachelor’s degree. The final step after graduation is the National Board of Dental Examinations (NBDE) certification. Some even prefer opting for a specialization post completing the certification.