Now more than ever, wages are one of the key factors that people are taking into consideration when looking for a job. The majority of the highest paying careers out there are related to the medical field, suggesting that this may be the best field to search for a high-paying job.
Check out the highest-paying jobs of the year below and learn what it takes to earn some of that money for yourself.
What does it take to get a high-paying job?
In today’s competitive job market, there is a lot that goes into making someone the perfect candidate. Employers today are looking for key “soft skills” like critical thinking, communication, and mental flexibility, making these stand out as the most valuable career skills for 2022 and beyond.
One thing is also clear from taking a look at the statistics, for those of you who are asking, “how can I get a high-paying job?” The number one answer is education. Among the highest paying careers in this list, and even those that didn’t make the cut, a vast majority of them require a doctorate <em>and then some</em> with the added requirements of internships, residencies, and continuing education.
All salary data used in this article comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and represents the average salaries that were published in the annual National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates report.
The Highest Paying Careers of 2022
Airline pilots kick off this list in the tenth position. In this job, you may think that all that a pilot does is fly the plane, but that isn’t the case. The BLS includes pilots, co-pilots, and flight engineers in this career category. Captains are responsible for managing the flight crew and sitting in the cockpit; flight engineers are also responsible for monitoring the function of the plane while in the air and on the ground.
This career has the lowest barrier of entry on this list. In order to become a pilot, you need to have at least a bachelor’s degree. From there, pilots will need to get their Airline Transport Pilot certificate. Once that’s done, they’re in the air! Commercial pilots typically have several thousands of hours in the air before they’re hired by an airline.
The average salary for this job is $186,870
Nurse anesthetists are the nursing answer to anesthesiology. They have a lot of the same tasks as a typical anesthesiologist (which is a type of medical doctor). They help patients before, during, and after surgery to help ensure that they either remain unconscious or are at least feeling no pain.
In order to become a nurse anesthetist, there is quite a pathway to trek. Aspiring professionals in this field have to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and then go on to the Master’s level. Nurses will take classes and participate in thousands of hours of clinical training before they can officially become this type of advanced practice registered nurse or APRN.
The average salary for this job is $189,190
Chief executives, often called CEOs, are in charge of whatever organization that they work at. They are in charge of making all major corporate decisions as well as being the public face of the company. This title comes with many different names and many different responsibilities, and those can vary a bit based on the size and scope of the business.
There is not technically a degree or education requirement to start your own business or run one; however, globally, 98% of CEOs have at least a bachelor’s degree, and a further 64% have graduate degrees. It seems that a Master of Business Administration is one of the most common choices.
The average salary for this job is $197,840; the CEOs’ earnings are determined by the overall profits of the business, though, so they can be much higher.
General Internal Medicine Physicians
General internal medicine physicians are physicians that specialize in… you guessed it! Internal medicine. These doctors can find employment in hospitals, clinics, or private practice. They are similar to a family doctor in that it is their job to order tests, treat diseases and illnesses, and deal with acute problems.
The main difference between an internal medicine physician and a family medicine physician is that those who specialize in family medicine are equipped to treat kids and teens rather than just adults. In order to become this type of doctor, also called an internist, you will need to go to college, then medical school, and then complete internships and residencies to finish training.
The average salary for this job is $210,960
Psychology is a broad field, and within that, medical doctors are known as psychiatrists. They can specialize in a certain area, such as addiction, childhood development, forensics, or practice general psychiatric medicine. This is one of the few jobs on this list that can be done in a variety of settings such as a hospital, school, private practice, or even in prison.
As psychiatrists are medical doctors, that means that they must go through a lot of schooling, just like any other kind of doctor. They have to complete a bachelor’s degree, medical school, and then a psychiatric residency program; this residency program includes working in a clinical setting as well as studying pharmacology and more in-depth concepts in mental health.
The average salary for this job is $217,100
Oral surgeons are another type of dentist that can make bank. Of course, that comes with the difficult tasks of removing problematic wisdom teeth, completing complex jaw surgeries, removing tumors, and treating injuries or diseases that impact the face, mouth, and jaw. This important work can do a lot for people’s health and confidence.
This line of professional dentistry can be entered through the long academic journey of a bachelor’s degree and then dental medical school. Following dental school, these dentists must complete an additional four years of residency to prepare them for a two-part certification exam administered by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.
The average salary for this job is $234,990
Orthodontists are a type of dentist that specializes in working with bones, whether that is the bones in the face and jaw or the patients’ teeth themselves. These types of dentists help make people’s smiles straighter with braces and retainers and help fix other irregularities in the teeth and jaws like underbites, crooked jawbones, and more.
Becoming an orthodontist, much like becoming any other kind of dentist, includes a lot of schooling. After completing a college degree, aspiring orthodontists must complete dental school, which is four years of specialized medical training that includes time in both classroom and clinical settings. Finally, they must complete a residency and a final licensure exam.
The average salary for this job is $237,990
Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Bringing life into the world is a beautiful thing, and people are lucky that they can do so with the help of obstetricians and gynecologists. Other responsibilities of an OB-GYN include taking care of all aspects of reproductive and vaginal health, including treating illnesses, contraceptive management, and a myriad of other vital services.
In order to become an OB-GYN, people have to go through four years of undergraduate study, medical school, internships, and complete residency requirements. It takes about ten years in school. Then, after two years of practice, there is one final exam to sit for before someone becomes a fully-licensed OB-GYN.
The average salary for this job is $239,120
Next on the list, surgeons come in a close second for the highest paying career of the year. Becoming a surgeon is no easy feat, requiring four years of undergraduate study, four years of medical school, and even further training after graduation. In the United States, it takes about ten years to become a surgeon.
All of that schooling goes into making sure that surgeons know how to take care of their patients, whether that is repairing broken bones, removing organs, completing cosmetic procedures, or something else. Each type of surgeon has additional specialized certifications that they need in addition to all their academic study.
The average salary for this job is $251,650
The highest-paying career is, unsurprisingly, in the medical field. In order to become an anesthesiologist, you have to go to medical school and earn a doctoral degree. From there, you have to specialize your education with internships and a residency. This usually takes 12 or more years of schooling and training.
An anesthesiologist is tasked with overseeing surgical patients and making sure that they receive proper anesthesia and related care, including monitoring their vital signs and pain management medications.
The average salary for this job is $271,440.