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Top 25 Lucrative Careers in America: The Most High-Paying Jobs


Healthcare professions lead the roster of the most lucrative occupations, and the prospects for this sector look promising. As per the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), there is an estimated 13% surge anticipated in the employment of healthcare-related roles from 2021 to 2031. This upsurge is expected to introduce approximately 2 million fresh employment opportunities. The agency attributes this expansion to the necessity to fill in the positions left vacant by employees permanently exiting their respective roles. By way of comparison, the BLS foresees an overall job growth of 5.3% across the United States during the same period.

Below is a list of the best-paying professions. Continue reading to find more information about each one.

Occupation Median Annual Salary





Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon


Emergency Medicine Physician


Orthopaedic Surgeon, Except Paediatric






Surgeon, Other




Paediatric Surgeon


Ophthalmologist, Except paediatric






Physician, Pathologist




General Internal Medicine Physician


Family Medicine Physician


Physician, Other


Chief Executive


Nurse Anaesthetist


Paediatrician (General)


Airline Pilot, Copilot, and Flight Engineer


Dentist (All Specialties)


Dentist (General)


Computer and Information Systems Manager


1. Cardiologist

According to the BLS, cardiologists are specialized surgeons who focus on diagnosing, treating, managing, and preventing diseases associated with the cardiovascular system. Some specialize in conducting procedures like balloon angioplasty and stent placement for heart conditions, while others concentrate on utilizing electrodes to examine and treat the heart's chambers, known as echocardiography, or working with the heart's electrical system, also known as electrophysiology.

Typically, cardiologists maintain regular business hours, although their workweek might extend to 50 to 60 hours, contingent on the volume of patients and unforeseen heart-related emergencies. Even with a fixed schedule, they need to remain available or be on-call during evenings, weekends, and holidays.

Aspiring cardiologists usually complete an undergraduate degree for four years of medical school and an additional four years of residency. Additionally, they must pass a certification exam administered by the American Board of Internal Medicine to become a certified cardiologist.

In general, the BLS anticipates a 3% growth in employment for this field from 2021 to 2031.

2. Anaesthesiologist

According to the BLS, anaesthesiologists are medical professionals tasked with administering anaesthetics and pain-relieving medications before, during, or after surgical procedures. This specialized occupation ranks second on the list of highest-earning professions.

Anaesthesiologists contend with demanding and unpredictable work hours, as they must align with the schedule of the operating room. They are required to be present for both scheduled surgeries and emergency operations, contributing to the irregular nature of their workdays.

Regarding education, aspiring anaesthesiologists in the United States typically complete four years of medical school, followed by a four-year residency in anaesthesiology, which may extend depending on their chosen subspecialty. Additionally, they are required to pass a licensing exam.

The BLS anticipates a 1% growth in employment for this field from 2021 to 2031.

3. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

Oral and maxillofacial specialists address a broad spectrum of conditions, traumas, and abnormalities in the region surrounding the mouth and jaw. Common issues they handle include wisdom teeth, jaw misalignment, and tumors and cysts affecting the jaw and oral cavity. They are also adept at performing dental implant procedures.

These professionals are employed by hospitals, large medical centers, and dental facilities. Some may serve as educators at dental schools or oversee the training of residents. Many practitioners establish their own practices, often working extended hours to perform intricate and complicated surgeries. They may also need to be on standby for urgent cases demanding immediate attention.

Regarding qualifications, oral and maxillofacial surgeons typically need an undergraduate degree, a four-year dental program, and a minimum of four years of residency training. Post-training, they frequently undertake a two-part examination to earn certification from the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in the United States.

Based on projections by the BLS, employment in this field is expected to grow by 5% from 2021 to 2031.

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4. Emergency Medicine Physician

As suggested by the job title, emergency medicine doctors are required to swiftly make critical medical decisions to prevent fatalities or severe harm. They must promptly assess, stabilize, and provide care for patients often suffering from traumatic injuries. In an emergency department, they might oversee the emergency medical team.

Emergency room physicians often work atypical or extended shifts to tend to patients, particularly during urgent situations. They might be on duty overnight or on weekends, managing a constantly fluctuating influx of patients.

In terms of education, aspiring emergency room doctors need to follow a trajectory akin to other medical practitioners. This involves obtaining a bachelor's degree, gaining admission to medical school, completing the four-year medical program, undergoing a four-year residency as an emergency room physician, passing a licensing examination, and ultimately obtaining Emergency Medicine Certification.

According to the projections by the BLS, there is an anticipated 3% growth in job opportunities in USA for emergency room doctors from 2021 to 2031, with the addition of 1,300 positions over the decade.

5. Orthopaedic Surgeon, Except Paediatric

Orthopaedic surgeons are responsible for the diagnosis and surgical treatment of rheumatic and other conditions related to the musculoskeletal system, as defined by the BLS.

The majority of orthopedic surgeons operate within hospital environments or private clinics, engaging in both planned and emergency surgeries. This often results in a demanding schedule and extended work hours. Certain procedures, such as back or neck surgeries, may require an entire day to complete without any breaks.

In terms of education, specializing in orthopedic surgery begins with obtaining a bachelor's degree, followed by admission to medical school and subsequent advanced training in the field of orthopedics. This is pursued by a residency at a surgery center or clinic, followed by a state-administered examination and successful board certification in the state where the surgeon intends to practice.

According to the BLS, there is a projected 3% increase in job opportunities for orthopedic surgeons between 2021 and 2031.

6. Dermatologist

Dermatologists identify and treat conditions related to the skin, hair, and nails. They may conduct both medical and surgical procedures within the field of dermatology. 

Dermatologists have the option of working in private practices or serving in clinics at prominent teaching hospitals and institutions. Their work hours are typically consistent and predictable, with most maintaining a standard schedule of 30-40 hours per week. 

In terms of education, similar to other medical professionals, dermatologists usually pursue a bachelor's degree followed by a medical degree, which typically takes an additional four years. Depending on their area of expertise, they may also undergo 3 to 9 years of internship and residency, and they must pass relevant certification examinations. Further specialization often involves additional training in a fellowship program lasting 1 to 3 years. 

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According to the BLS, there is an anticipated 3% increase in the number of available dermatologist positions from 2021 to 2031.

7. Radiologist

A radiologist is a medical professional who utilizes various imaging technologies, including x-rays, MRI, nuclear medicine, and ultrasound, to diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries. They may also conduct minimally invasive procedures and tests.

The majority of a radiologist's responsibilities are centered in an office environment, focusing on interpreting images, reviewing reports, and discussing findings and diagnoses with other physicians. Communication typically occurs through the patient's primary care physician, who is responsible for implementing the results and determining the course of treatment.

To become a radiologist, one must undergo approximately 13 years of education and training, which includes obtaining a bachelor's degree, completing four years of medical school, participating in a residency program, undertaking a fellowship, and ultimately obtaining licensure and board certification. Students also have the option to pursue radiography courses abroad.

According to projections, the employment of radiologists is expected to grow by 4% from 2021 to 2031.

8. Surgeon, Other

A surgeon is tasked with performing operations on patients dealing with injuries or illnesses. Responsibilities include examining patient x-rays and discussing the procedure with the patient, preparing for the surgery, and conducting surgeries with the aid of fellow surgeons, nurses, and surgical technicians.

On an average basis, a general surgeon typically dedicates 50-60 hours per week to work (excluding time allotted for on-call duties). Depending on the specific practice, surgeons might be on call nearly around the clock, seven days a week.

In terms of education, all physicians, including surgeons, must first complete an undergraduate degree program, often in a scientific field such as biology or chemistry. This is followed by four years of medical school and a three-year residency. Subsequently, an internship spanning several years in the surgery department of a hospital is necessary, along with obtaining the necessary licensing and certification.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates a 3% growth in the number of surgeons from 2021 to 2031.

9. Obstetrician-Gynecologist

Medical professionals specializing in the health of the female reproductive system, including childbirth, are referred to as obstetricians-gynecologists or OB-GYNs. This field of medicine is centered on providing medical care related to pregnancy or childbirth and involves the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases affecting the female reproductive system.

While their typical work schedule involves regular appointments with patients, attending to a patient during childbirth can occur at any time of day or night, necessitating their availability for such events throughout their career.

The path to becoming an OB-GYN entails obtaining a bachelor's degree in obstetrics program and a gynaecology residency program, usually lasting four years each. After two years of clinical practice, these physicians must pass a licensure examination.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of available OB-GYN positions is expected to grow by 2% from 2021 to 2031.

10. Ophthalmologist, Except Paediatric

Specializing in the diagnosis and surgical treatment of eye disorders and diseases, ophthalmologists also offer vision services, such as prescribing glasses and contacts, for patients requiring vision correction.

Typically practicing in private clinics, ophthalmologists primarily attend to patients in their offices and perform surgeries, maintaining regular working hours with minimal emergency cases.

Becoming an ophthalmologist necessitates a bachelor's degree, preferably in a scientific field, followed by completion of a four-year medical school program. This is succeeded by an internship and residency lasting between 3 to 8 years. Subsequently, passing the state medical board exam grants the medical license required to practice ophthalmology.

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), the number of ophthalmologists is projected to grow by 6% from 2021 to 2031.

11. Neurologist

Specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of brain and nervous system disorders, neurologists primarily address conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and epilepsy.

Like other medical professionals, neurologists may spend extended periods standing during the day, although working conditions can vary depending on their specific area of expertise.

Becoming a neurologist typically involves obtaining a degree from a 4-year college, passing the MCAT exam, completing medical school, a residency program, achieving board certification, and undertaking a fellowship, ultimately leading to licensure.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of job opportunities for neurologists is anticipated to increase by 3% from 2021 to 2031.


13. Orthodontist

Dealing primarily with corrective dental procedures, orthodontists often receive patient referrals from general dentists. Their responsibilities commonly include taking X-rays, applying braces, crafting mouth guards, and performing other necessary treatments.

While some orthodontists are employed by large orthodontic offices, others choose to manage their own practices, requiring strong organizational and leadership skills.

The path to becoming an orthodontist involves obtaining a college degree, completing a dental school program that includes both classroom and clinical components, and subsequently finishing a specialized residency program. Finally, they must pass a licensing examination.

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), the number of orthodontic job opportunities in the United States is anticipated to rise by 5% by 2031, resulting in approximately 6,300 positions.

12. Pediatric Surgeon

Specializing in the diagnosis and surgical treatment of fetal abnormalities, birth defects, illnesses, and injuries in fetuses, premature and newborn infants, children, and adolescents, pediatric surgeons cover various surgical specialties and subspecialties focused on pediatric care.

Typically, pediatric surgeons find employment in children's hospitals, community hospitals, or university medical centers, where they collaborate with a team of professionals including pediatricians, nurses, and surgical technicians.

The path to becoming a pediatric surgeon involves completing medical school (usually a minimum of 4 years), followed by 5 years of training in general surgery for adults, and an additional 2 years of fellowship training specifically in pediatric surgery, along with acquiring necessary licensing and certification.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of pediatric surgeons is expected to grow by 3% from 2021 to 2031.

14. Physician, Pathologist

Pathologists, as physicians, specialize in diagnosing diseases and conducting laboratory tests using organs, body tissues, and fluids. Their work often includes the responsibilities typically handled by medical examiners.

Clinical pathologists are primarily employed by the clinical laboratories of general hospitals and clinics, while some also work in research clinics affiliated with universities. Pathologists usually maintain full-time work hours. As their field often operates 24-hour laboratories, pathologists may be required to be on staff during overnight shifts and weekends.

The path to becoming a pathologist involves extensive education and training, including four years of undergraduate study, four years of medical school, and three to four years in a pathology residency program, culminating in the successful completion of licensing examinations.

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), the total employment opportunities for pathologists are anticipated to grow by 4% from 2021 to 2031.

15. Psychiatrist

Psychiatrists specialize in providing treatment for various mental health issues, with the field comprising several sub-specialties. Some focus on child and adolescent psychiatry, while others specialize in forensic (legal) psychiatry, addiction psychiatry, or consultation psychiatry, which typically takes place in a medical setting. Some psychiatrists concentrate on psychoanalysis, aiding patients in recollecting and examining past events and emotions to gain a better understanding of their current feelings.

Psychiatrists practice in a diverse range of settings, including private practices, hospitals, community agencies, schools, rehabilitation programs, and correctional facilities.

The path to becoming a psychiatrist abroad diverges from that of psychologists as psychiatrists are medical doctors. After completing an undergraduate degree, they must attend medical school and then undertake a residency program. Subsequently, they pursue certification from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), psychiatry is projected to be one of the fastest-growing specialties among physicians in the coming years, with employment expected to increase by 9% from 2021 to 2031.

16. General Internal Medicine Physician

Internists, who commonly act as primary-care physicians or work in hospitals, specialize in providing care for adult patients. Similar to other general-practice doctors, internists attend to a diverse range of ailments, including but not limited to asthma, diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension.

The educational path for internists involves obtaining a college degree and completing medical school, followed by participation in a residency program encompassing rotations through various healthcare specialties. Like all physicians, they must acquire a license to practice.

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), employment for general-medicine internists is expected to grow by 2% between 2021 and 2031.

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17. Family Medicine Physician

The BLS defines this category as physicians who "diagnose, treat, and provide preventive care to individuals and families across the lifespan." These medical doctors often refer patients to specialists for advanced treatments. While some primary-care doctors exclusively focus on adults (internists) or children (paediatricians), family physicians treat patients of all ages, spanning from childhood to advanced age. Consequently, they typically manage a broader spectrum of medical conditions.

After graduating from medical school, family medicine physicians undergo a residency program that requires them to complete a specific number of months in each training area before becoming eligible for board certification.

As per the BLS, employment among family medicine doctors is anticipated to grow by 3% 

from 2021 to 2031.

18. Physician, Othe

Physicians operate in a variety of settings, both clinical and nonclinical. Clinical settings encompass physicians' offices and hospitals, while nonclinical environments involve government agencies, non-profit organizations, and insurance companies.

The path to becoming a physician typically entails acquiring a bachelor's degree followed by a medical degree, which takes an additional four years. Depending on their chosen specialization, physicians may also need to undertake three to nine years of internship and residency programs. Sub-specialization may require additional training in a fellowship lasting from one to three years. Licensure is also a mandatory step in this process.

According to projections by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), overall employment of physicians and surgeons is expected to grow by 3% from 2021 to 2031, a rate slower than the average for all occupations.

19. Chief Executive

Chief executives rank among the highest-paid professionals in the USA outside of the medical or dental fields. These individuals, as the top-ranking employees of a company, are responsible for making crucial decisions regarding the management team, guiding the organization into new markets or product areas, and liaising with the board of directors.

Despite their lucrative compensation, many chief executives face demanding schedules. A survey by the Harvard Business Review revealed that the average CEO spends 62.5 hours per week at work, with approximately half of their time dedicated to office duties and the remaining half allocated to travel.

Education-wise, chief executive officers are generally well-educated professionals. According to a study, 98% of chief executives worldwide possess at least a bachelor's degree, 64% hold at least a master's degree or its equivalent (including MBAs), and 10% have earned a doctorate.

The number of individuals working as top executives is projected to increase by about 6% from 2021 to 2031.

20. Nurse Anaesthetist

Nursing, in general, tends to offer competitive remuneration compared to most other career paths, with nurse anaesthetists ranking particularly well. According to the BLS, nurse anaesthetists "administer anaesthesia and provide care before, during, and after surgical, therapeutic, diagnostic, and obstetrical procedures."

While their responsibilities overlap with those of an anaesthesiologist, nurse anaesthetists do not undergo the same level of training. Consequently, becoming a nurse anaesthetist requires less time and financial investment than attending medical school and becoming a physician. 

Certified registered nurse anaesthetists (CRNAs) may work in a wide range of settings, including hospital surgical suites, obstetrical delivery rooms, ambulatory surgical centres, doctor's offices, and pain-management centres.

To become a CRNA, candidates must graduate with a master's degree from an accredited program, typically lasting between 24 to 51 months. Some individuals may opt to pursue a fellowship program, particularly if they are specializing within the field. Aspiring CRNAs also need to accumulate at least one year of full-time experience working as a registered nurse in a critical-care setting.

The BLS anticipates a significant 40% growth in employment for nurse anaesthetists between 2021 and 2031.

21. Pediatrician (General)

Pediatricians, who specialize in treating children, earn less than internists and general practitioners but are still considered some of the highest-paid professionals.

These general practitioners conduct routine checkups and examinations for younger patients, address common illnesses, and administer immunizations. They often refer patients to specialists when faced with more intricate health concerns.

Given the substantial number of patients they typically handle, paediatricians require robust critical-thinking skills, as well as exceptional interpersonal abilities and empathy.

After completing medical school, paediatricians enter residency programs to hone their skills in a clinical setting. They must pass licensing examinations to practice and often pursue board certification to enhance their job prospects.

The current count of paediatricians practicing in the United States stands at approximately 36,800. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates a modest 1% or 400-practitioner increase between 2021 and 2031.

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22. Airline Pilot, Co-pilot, and Flight Engineer

Working in the aviation industry often entails prolonged periods away from home but also comes with substantial remuneration in many instances. The BLS groups airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers into one classification.

Typically, the pilot, or captain, boasts the most experience in operating an aircraft and oversees the other members of the flight crew. The copilot assumes the role of second-in-command during the flight and assists the captain with cockpit responsibilities.

Flight engineers conduct preflight checks, monitor cabin pressure, evaluate fuel consumption, and handle other crucial duties. However, due to the increased level of automation in modern aircraft, there are fewer job opportunities for flight engineers than in the past.

Educationally, airline pilots usually hold a bachelor's degree and possess an Airline Transport Pilot certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration. Many begin their careers as commercial pilots, accumulating thousands of hours of cockpit experience before securing employment with an airline.

The number of individuals employed as airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers in the United States currently hovers around 87,600. The BLS predicts this figure to rise by 6% between 2021 and 2031.

23. Dentist (All Specialties)

Specialized dentists, excluding oral surgeons and orthodontists, also command substantial compensation. The BLS combines these other specialists into one category, which encompasses endodontists performing root canals and other procedures related to the inner tooth, as well as periodontists treating gums and bones around the teeth.

Educationally, most dental programs require a bachelor's degree with coursework in biology and chemistry. Similar to other dental professionals, specialists must undertake the Dental Admission Test to gain admission into an accredited dental program. After dental school, specialists usually undergo two to three years of additional training in their chosen field.

The BLS expects employment in the aforementioned specialties to increase by 6% between 2021 and 2031.

24. Dentist (General)

Dentists frequently appear on lists of the top healthcare professions. Alongside attractive remuneration, the blend of relatively low stress and flexible scheduling adds to the allure of this field.

In a typical workweek, a general dental practitioner might find themselves examining X-rays, performing cavity fillings, extracting damaged teeth, and applying sealants. This role demands a solid understanding of best practices in the field, attention to detail, and the ability to build a strong rapport with patients.

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 In terms of education, while not always mandatory, dentists often opt for majors in biology or other scientific disciplines during their undergraduate years. After college, they take the Dental Admission Test (DAT) to gain admission to dental school, where they study subjects such as local anesthesia, anatomy, periodontics, and radiology. They also gain clinical experience under the guidance of a practicing dentist.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates an overall 6% increase in employment among dentists from 2021 to 2031, with the number of professionals in the field reaching more than 154,600.

25. Computer and Information Systems Manager

Computer and information systems (IS) managers oversee tasks such as electronic data processing, information systems, systems analysis, and computer programming. They evaluate the information technology (IT) requirements of businesses or governmental bodies and collaborate with technical staff to implement computer systems that fulfill those objectives.

Effective managers need to devise solid plans that align with the organization's goals, in addition to having the ability to motivate the employees they supervise.

Typically, individuals who become IS managers have several years of experience in a related field. Larger organizations generally require more seasoned IT managers compared to smaller companies or startups. According to the BLS, a chief technology officer (CTO), responsible for overseeing the entire technology function at a larger organization, often needs more than 15 years of IT experience.

Most computer and information systems managers have earned a bachelor's degree in a computer-related major. Some have completed management information systems (MIS) programs, which incorporate business coursework with the standard computer programming and software development classes. To progress into a managerial role, IT professionals sometimes pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or another graduate degree. Full-time MBA programs typically take two years to complete, although some employees undertake part-time courses while continuing to work in an IT capacity.

The BLS projects a 16% overall increase in employment between 2021 and 2031, significantly faster than the average job growth rate across the economy.


1. What Is the Highest Paying Job in the World? 

The article ranks the cardiologist as the highest-paying job, one of only three professions listed with an annual income exceeding $300,000. However, it does not consider ultra-CEOs like Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos, who earn substantially more.

2. Who Gets the Highest Salary in the World? 

Typically, CEOs of major corporations top the salary charts. In 2020, this position was held by Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, who received an extraordinary pay package of $6.6 billion. This amounts to $25.6 million for each working day.

3. How Can I Get a High-Paying Job? 

Many high-paying professions necessitate advanced degrees, such as a PhD or medical qualification. While some roles listed may only require a bachelor's degree, securing such positions is increasingly challenging when competing against candidates with higher-level credentials.


Healthcare careers often offer the highest-paying salaries, with specialists usually commanding the most significant pay checks. However, general practitioners and non-physician roles, such as nurse anaesthetists, also boast appealing salaries. Apart from the medical field, lucrative employment opportunities can be found in engineering and management.

It's important to note that compensation beyond salaries can substantially enhance income in fields not listed as top jobs by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For instance, bonuses can elevate the pay of Wall Street mutual fund managers to well over $1 million. Furthermore, a substantial portion of the world's wealthiest individuals are entrepreneurs or inheritors of entrepreneurial legacies. Hence, healthcare isn't the sole path to financial success. If one is averse to careers involving blood (or flying), there are alternative avenues to explore.

Most asked questions on Google

Canada: The Great White North is Number 1 on this list. With easy immigration processes, a welcoming society, great education and healthcare, cool weather, and the ever-growing job market, Canada is the undisputed leader in immigration potential.

Germany: The Deutschland is famous for precision, quality, and high expectations. Unsurprisingly, it makes the list but we’re still going to spell it out. Currently, home to over 170,000 Indians, Germany is a melting pot of different cultures mostly from other countries in the EU. A veritable hub for mechanical engineering, Germany has a low level of corruption, and a love for innovation and is home to over 25 Fortune 500 companies. With the demand for highly skilled professionals, Germany is a choice destination for young, smart immigrants from all over the world.

Provincial Nominee Program is one of the best routes for Canadian immigration. Every province (state) in Canada has its criteria for immigration. This criterion is custom-fitted to reflect the needs and growth opportunities arising in that respective province.

A Master’s Degree translates directly into a better CRS score. Your educational qualifications reflect the contribution you would make to the destination country’s economy which means that you would be more sought after. Speaking one of the country's primary languages (Eg: French for Canada) also greatly raises your chances for both visa success as well job opportunities.

If you fall under the NOC list in Canada or SOL in Australia (Occupations in demand list), it means that jobs are readily available for qualified candidates. On average, individuals earn 8 times as much salary in Canada as compared to India.


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