The 5 Highest-Paying Fields in the U.S.


The 5 Highest-Paying Fields in the U.S.


Ever wondered what the highest-paying fields in the U.S. are? If you’re thinking of switching jobs, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has broken down some of the top occupations by median annual salary. Based on information collected in May 2016, here are five professions that pay more than others. Keep in mind, these figures are only averages, and actual salaries may vary depending on your geographic location and experience level within each career field.


The 5 Highest-Paying Fields in the U.S.


With a median annual salary of $180,890, it is no surprise that physicians top our list of highest-paying careers in America. Becoming a physician requires extensive schooling and training, including four years at medical school and three to seven years of residency. The high pay isn’t just for those who work directly with patients; other jobs within healthcare can be lucrative as well.


Dental Hygienists

The most commonly held jobs for dental hygienists are office hygienist, clinical hygienist, and public health dentist. The majority of these hygienists work full time with 37 hours per week being reported as typical. According to BLS, Most dental hygienists work in dentist’s offices where they provide preventive dental care services under a dentist’s supervision.



The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that pharmacists’ median annual salary will rise from $114,980 in 2012 to $123,910 by 2022. What about pharmacy technicians? They earn a median wage of $32,600 as of May 2013—not too shabby either. Plus, there are more than 200,000 jobs for them nationwide. That’s pretty good news for anyone who wants to get into healthcare and make some money at it.


Petroleum Engineers

No wonder they call it black gold: Petroleum engineers have some of the highest earning potential of any profession. According to PayScale, a petroleum engineer’s median salary is $132,000, with top earners bringing home $187,000 or more per year. And you don’t need a bachelor’s degree to get started; many petroleum engineering jobs require only an associate degree.



$195,170; Surgeons: $202,505; Oral and maxillofacial surgeons: $208,760; Chief executives: $216,190; Obstetricians and gynecologists: $228,350 . Physicians and surgeons have been consistently ranked as one of America’s most well-paid professions since 2008. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment for physicians will grow 19 percent from 2012 to 2022, which is much faster than average. The aging population has increased demand for medical services and will continue to do so over at least the next decade or two.

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