Choosing a career is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your life. It can be extremely difficult to settle on a career path as there are so many different factors to consider. These factors and ultimately the final decision you make, can have a dramatic impact on the style of life you will lead in the future. One of the most important factors is the salary that you can expect to earn in the career you are considering. Fortunately a number of national salary surveys have published their results on the web which allows you to get an appreciation of the type of salary that you can expect in your chosen career.
When it comes to making that tough decision of choosing a career, money is of course something that needs to be considered but by no means is it everything. Other factors commonly considered are your level of interest in the topic, typical working conditions, the academic and personal requirements of the job and also job availability. For most people salary is not the most important factor but nevertheless it is a factor that needs to be considered.
Below are the average annual salaries of the nation’s top 12 paying jobs according to the most recent Employment Policy Foundation study.
Top Paying Careers
- Doctors, Physicians and Surgeons - $147,000
- Aircraft pilots - $133,500
- Chief executives -- $116,000
- Electronic and Electrical Engineers -- $112,000
- Judges and Lawyers -- $99,800
- Dentists -- $90,000
- Pharmacists -- $85,500
- Management analysts -- $84,700
- Computer and Information System managers -- $83,000
- Financial analysts, managers and advisors -- $84,000
- Marketing and Sales managers -- $80,000
- Education administrators -- $80,000
It is probably not surprising to learn that all of the top paying jobs require at least a four year college degree. When compared with the top paying jobs that require only a two year college degree the difference is quite significant. The top paying job in this category is a Health Practitioner which has an average annual salary of $66,000 which is less than half the average annual salary of a Doctor.
It is probably also not surprising to see professions such as physicians, surgeons, pilots, chief executives, engineers, judges, lawyers, dentists and pharmacists occupy the very top positions. These are generally professions that are very demanding academically, personally demanding in a professional sense, highly pressured jobs and constantly in demand. They will typically require much more than just four years of study and even once in the role, a lifelong commitment to learning the latest practices.
It is very important to note when viewing statistics such as these that these are only averages and individual earnings can vary greatly. Factors such as level of education, level of experience, job performance, geographical location and even the employer in question can make a big difference to an individual’s salary.
The old advice of “Do something you love and you will never work a day in your life” is still great advice but increasingly people are balancing that against financial reality and their desire to use their career to finance their ideal lifestyle.