With the average cost of college now climbing to nearly $35,000 per year, it makes sense that people want to know what the highest paying jobs are. After all, you want a good return on your investment if you spend money on college. The top 10 highest paying jobs are largely in the medical field. These jobs require more education, but they also pay much more than non-medical jobs and allow people to follow their passions of helping people. Each of the listed jobs pays at least $100,000 per year and are expected to grow in need through at least 2024. Most will grow for even longer as baby boomers age and find themselves in need of medical care more often.
Earning a median income of more than $258,000 USD per year, anesthesiologists top the list of the highest paying jobs. Anesthesiologists are responsible for administering anesthesia to patients while they undergo surgical procedures. This includes monitoring vital functions to determine how much medication to start with and whether more is required throughout the surgery. While many anesthesiologists do work in operating rooms, they are also needed in intensive care units, labor and delivery wards and pain clinics.
People who want to follow this career path must earn an undergraduate degree, graduate from medical school with a Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathy degree, undergo a four-year residency or fellowship and, finally, obtain a state license that includes passing the U.S. Medical and Licensing Examination in the United States or an equivalent exam in other countries. The anesthesiology field is expected to continue to grow through at least 2024.
Obstetricians and gynecologists are more often referred to as OB/GYNS. OB/GYNS are responsible for diagnosing, treating and preventing diseases and disorders in women. This includes screening for and treating breast cancer, cervical cancer, menopause and a range of other reproductive health issues. In addition to treating these diseases and disorders, OB/GYNS treat expectant mothers throughout their pregnancies. This includes monitoring the health of both baby and mother during pregnancy, in labor and delivery, and throughout the postpartum period.
OB/GYNS must obtain a bachelor's degree and a medical degree. Their residencies last an average of four years and passing a board certification test is required. OB/GYNS earn more than $222,000 per year. The field will continue to grow through at least 2024.
There are many different types of surgeons, and the field is one of the highest paid in the world. As of 2017, a general surgeon earns about $208,000 per year. Depending on the type of surgery required, surgeons meet with patients to discuss options before operating to treat broken bones, diseases, deformities and much more. Some types of surgeons, such as heart, brain or cosmetic surgeons, earn even more money. People who follow this career path may go on to work in emergency rooms, oncology wards or at their own practice. Some surgeons also work in academia or for the government.
To work in the field, a student must earn a bachelor's degree and a post-secondary degree from an accredited medical school before going on to complete a residency that can take up to seven years. They must also pass relevant examinations to become certified before working independently. The field is expected to grow faster than average through 2026.
Psychiatrists are doctors who diagnose and treat mental illnesses. In addition to individual sessions, psychiatrists may run group therapy sessions, work in mental health wards at hospitals or work in schools, among several other options. Because mental health symptoms often aren't physical, they must be skilled in identifying behavioral patterns.
Psychiatrists are required to earn an undergraduate degree and a medical degree. Like other doctors, they must complete a residency and a fellowship, which can take between two and four years. Before practicing on their own, psychiatrists must pass a medical licensing and board certification exam. Psychiatrists earn around $194,000 per year, and the field should continue to grow through 2024.
While the income for physicians varies greatly depending on their specialties, family and general practitioners earn about $192,000 per year. Getting into the field, which is expected to keep growing through 2024, requires an undergraduate degree, a medical degree, a residency program and state licensure. Those who intend to specialize in a certain aspect of medicine may also need certification in that specialty.
Family and general practitioners are responsible for examining, diagnosing and treating patients. The job can range from performing sports physicals and annual checkups to prescribing antibiotics, pain medications and a range of other medications to improve patients' quality of life. Medical doctors may own their own practice, work in an office with many other doctors, work in clinics or hospitals, or travel.
Orthodontists are dentists who specialize in treating and preventing dental irregularities. In most cases, this includes the application of braces on the teeth. Daily tasks often include meeting patients, creating molds of their teeth and fitting their orthodontic appliances.
People who follow this career path, which is expected to grow through 2024, earn about $187,000 per year. To become an orthodontist, a person must obtain a bachelor's degree in a science field, attend a four-year dental school and receive three years of specialized training in orthodontics before passing a state licensing exam.
Marketing managers are responsible for helping companies reach their sales objectives. This involves conducting market researching, evaluating demand for a product or service, identifying target audiences, establishing pricing strategies and much more. Marketing managers also often take on the role of social media manager as well as build brand awareness through celebrity endorsements, contests and much more.
Most companies require a job candidate to have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in business administration or marketing. Some larger employers require a master's degree and extensive experience in advertising or brand management. Marketing managers often earn about $141,000 per year. The job has an average growth rate and should continue to grow through 2024.
Information technology managers, more commonly known as IT managers, focus on handling the technology-related projects for a wide variety of companies. In addition to understanding the computer technology related to the field, IT managers must be able to lead a team of other IT employees. The team is responsible for ensuring the company's internet, software, computers and networks are running efficiently and securely at all times.
While some IT managers only require an associate degree, people who want to go into the industry may have better luck if they have a bachelor's degree in computer science or a similar field. Some employers require a master's degree in business. IT managers typically earn about $132,000 per year in a field that is expected to grow through 2024.
Petroleum engineers are responsible for determining the location and amount of fuel in underground reservoirs. They must have knowledge of fluid mechanics and geology as well as the knowledge necessary to work with advanced computer modeling and imaging programs. Petroleum engineers are also responsible for making the necessary adjustments throughout the drilling process when companies tap into these fuel reserves.
People who want to go into this field will need to earn a degree in engineering. Most entry-level positions only require a bachelor's degree, but those who want to advance will likely need to obtain a master's degree. In addition to attending a university, candidates must pass a state licensing exam. Petroleum engineers typically earn nearly $130,000 each year. The industry is expected to have an average growth rate through 2024.
Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating foot and ankle injuries or diseases. Although podiatrists see all types of people, many of them find most of their work in sports medicine. These doctors work to prevent injuries or heal existing ones and must often take x-rays, set fractures or breaks, and prescribe medication or physical therapy.
Students who want to go into podiatry must first earn a bachelor's degree in a pre-med or science major and then go on to earn a Doctorate in Podiatric Medicine. A residency program that lasts up to four years is also required. Podiatrists earn about $119,000per year, and the field is expected to grow through 2024.
Of course, your career should be about more than money. Many of the highest paying jobs require long hours that include weekends, nights and holidays, especially for those working in emergency departments. When deciding which career path that you want to follow, consider your passions. If you have a passion for helping people, the medical field is a good idea. If you love computers and technology, consider information technology positions. Marketing is an excellent choice for introverts.
No matter which field you decide to go into, remember to check out all options for paying for college. Scholarships and grants can save tons of money, and government loans are often easier to pay off than those through big banks. Above all else, remember that your career path is not set in stone. Many people in their 40s are doing something completely different than they imagined in their 20s. Don't be afraid to change your mind and evolve as you enter adulthood and decide on a career path.
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