America’s Top Paying Jobs of 2017: Positions, Median Salaries, and Descriptions

It’s been no secret to anyone that physicians, and those who take on other roles in the medical field, make more than the majority of others. If you were thinking about pursuing a medical career after spending a lot of time watching “Grey’s Anatomy”, it’s probably a good idea. General surgeons are reported to make a median income of $409,665.

While the bulk of positions on the list are in the medical field, you should remember that they come with quite a bit of student debt. Reports say that the total sum for medical school can range upwards of $150,000. That of course leaves room for added expenditures. So, you are going to make more money as a medical professional, but you do need to be prepared to make a big investment in your future.


Take a look at the other positions that landed a spot on the top paid list.

10) Pharmacist – $122,230

If you’ve ever been prescribed medications before, then you’ve had a run-in with a pharmacist, or a pharmacist’s assistant. The position is a vital role in the medical field because pharmacists are there to distribute the medications that doctors prescribe to patients. In addition to that, they also provide support, guidance, dosage assistance, and information on side effects.

9) Air Traffic Controller – $122,410

The first of three non-medical positions on the list is air traffic controller. The ATC position is very high stress and requires a lot of skill. The purpose of the role is to provide instruction, guidance, and information to pilots flying the planes in the air. While aircrafts do fly to pre-determined schedules, they don’t always take the same route. Mainly, they are the traffic controllers of the sky. Their guidance is what keeps planes from flying into one another.

8) Podiatrist – $124,830

Podiatric physicians, or podiatrists, are doctors who specialize in treating the foot and the ankle. In America, podiatrists also complete a full surgical residency in their respective field so they can surgically treat the foot and ankle. Typically, podiatrists participate in four years of undergraduate studies, and four years in a surgical residency program.

7) Petroleum Engineer – $128,230

Petroleum engineers study the geological and geophysical information in drilling methods to assist with designing and building more efficient machines. They work with oil and gas companies to create the design and carry on with testing methods. They also operate the software that gets used to run the machines that have been designed. In the majority of all cases, petroleum engineers are the best paid in comparison to other engineers.

6) Dentist – $153,900

Dentists are medical professionals that have trained, studied, and specialize in oral health. They have a supporting team that works with them to assist with diagnosing, preventing, and treating diseases of the gums, mouth, and teeth. There is four years of training and studying, and depending on the state, a postgraduate surgical residency must get completed as well.

5) Senior Corporate Executive – $181,210

The senior corporate executive position is one that covers a broad range of industries. For the most part, these are the highest positions on a corporate ladder, and sometimes get referred to as “the big wigs.” While managers oversee the day-to-day tasks of a small team or select group of people, senior corporate executives manage the entire organization or company.

4) General Practice Physician – $190,490

Also referred to as a general practitioner, a general practice physician is a doctor with a full medical degree that treats, diagnoses, and prevents both acute and chronic illnesses. The extensive training and studying that they do qualify them to treat patients of any age or sex. These physicians don’t specialize in one particular area, and the United States Navy has many general medical officers that are on active duty.

3) Psychiatrist – $194,740

Many people might believe a psychiatrist and psychologist to be the same, but they are entirely different. A psychiatrist is a doctor, whereas a psychologist isn’t. Psychiatrists receive a degree in a medical specialty that involves treating mental disorders. They also must isolate the distinction between a mental disorder, and a psychiatric side effect from brain trauma such as epilepsy, hemorrhaging, and stroke.

2) Orthodontist – $208,000

The number two spot goes to orthodontists. Like doctors can choose areas that they would prefer to specialize in, dentists can do the same. Orthodontists are qualified dentists who have further extended their studies to diagnose, prevent, and treat dental irregularities. Some standard tools used by orthodontists are retainers, braces, facemasks, and headgear.

1) Surgeon – $409,665

Surgeons are the highest paid medical professional job in America and for a good reason. There are over 20 different surgical specialties, and extensive studying and training go into the position. Surgeons study as an undergraduate for four years and complete an additional four or five-year surgical residency in their desired field. Many surgeons start off in general surgery and move to their desired specialty (neurological, dental, transplant, cardiothoracic, etc.) afterward.

All of the positions listed above are a lot of hard work, take determination and a lot of studies. Also, they do also require a college/university education. The competition to get accepted into a school for the listed fields is steep, so if it’s something that you’re interested in, it’s never too soon to get started. You can receive great information on how to obtain any of the degrees by visiting with your school’s guidance counselor.


America’s Top Paying Jobs of 2017: Positions, Median Salaries, and Descriptions

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