The 20 Highest Paying Careers in the World

If you’re looking to earn more money or you’re just getting started in the working world, then this article’s for you! We’ve listed some of the highest-paying careers and jobs in the world to help you identify which careers pay the most.

You might be shocked at some of them, as quite a lot of professions aren’t always associated with high earning potential.

20. Lawyer

Average Salary: $141,890

The first highest-paying career in the world is something that I’m sure most people are familiar with: lawyers. In order to make the big bucks in this profession, you need to study for a number of years, pass several examinations, and, of course, pass the bar!

You’ll need to represent clients, draw up legal documents, and spend a lot of time advising your clients on legal transactions or strategies.

This profession is known to include a lot of long hours and overtime; however, the rewards for all that hard work can pay off quite nicely in the form of a comfortable salary, stock options, and bonuses.

19. Marketing Manager

Average Salary: $145,620

Next up, we have marketing managers. These guys are responsible for planning, executing, and delivering companies marketing policies and plans.

This can come in all shapes and sizes, but generally, they’ll be focusing more on the strategy side of things than implementation. As well as a nice annual salary and benefits package, good marketing managers can also receive commissions and bonuses based on sales targets or revenue.

However, $145,620 is an average, so depending on experience and past results, this number could vary considerably until you prove your worth.

18. Podiatrist

Average Salary: $148,470

If you have a thing for feet or are just curious about them, then becoming a podiatrist could be something to look into. Podiatrists specialize in diagnosing and treating foot-related issues, deformities, and diseases.

Things like bunions, ingrown toenails, and fractures will be commonplace in your day-to-day work. If you’re thinking about becoming a podiatrist, then you’ll need to get a bachelor’s degree first and then go to podiatry school for around 4 years.

After that, you can get a job in a practice or start your own. You’ll obviously be able to earn more money from your own practice; however, $148,470 a year is pretty darn good for working for someone else.

17. Petroleum Engineer

Average Salary: $154,780

If you’re interested in natural gases and oil, then becoming a petroleum engineer might be right up your street. These guys specialize in coming up with methods to enhance oil and gas extraction and production.

Usually, this is done by developing new technologies that can extract these natural resources in a safe and environmentally friendly way.

A strong understanding of math and science would be very beneficial for a career in engineering, and depending on where you live, some governments will even pay for your studies if you want to pursue a career in this type of engineering.

16. IT Manager

Average Salary: $142,530

Responsible for protecting and securing a company’s IT infrastructure and networks from things like malware and hackers, IT managers usually have a broad understanding of computing as well as a particular specialization. In their day-to-day roles, they’ll also supervise any software or hardware upgrades, as well as troubleshoot any technical issues.

IT managers are paid well because they’re highly in demand at the time of writing this article. Technology moves so quickly and updates are constant that companies need highly skilled professionals to manage these processes and make sure everything goes to plan with a hitch.

Generally speaking, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in computer science is expected of you if you’re looking to apply for this position.

However, experience tends to matter a lot more, so you could 100% become an IT manager without a degree, as long as you know what you’re doing and can prove it.

15. Airline Pilot and Co-Pilot

Average Salary: $161,280

If you have a fear of flying, then definitely don’t consider pursuing a career as a pilot. However, if you love flying or just think it’s pretty cool, then becoming an airline pilot could be a good fit for you. It’s one of the highest-paying careers in the world and comes with a lot of perks.

Having said that, to earn the big bucks and get all the perks, you’ll have to go through vigorous training and physical examinations, as well as continually keep up with new tests and checkups.

But if you can pull all that off, you’ll be sitting pretty with an average salary of $161,280 and the ability to call yourself an airline pilot whenever anyone asks! Pretty cool, right?!

14. Nurse anesthesiologist

Average Salary: $169,450

In fourteenth place, making an average of $169,450 a year, we have nurse anesthesiologists. These professionals play a big role in the safety and conditions of patients in hospitals. They are responsible for administering anesthesia, overseeing patients recovery, and monitoring their vitals.

In order to become an anesthesiologist, you’ll need to first train as a registered nurse and then obtain a master’s degree from an accredited nurse anesthesia program. If you like helping people and have that responsibility, then this could be a good choice for you.

13. Dentist

Average Salary: $174,110

We’ve all been to the dentist at some point in our lives, right? And you know that a good one doesn’t come cheap, especially if you get caught off guard and have a surprising procedure.

Well, all those surprises and regular check-ups can add up to some pretty decent revenue for most dental practices. But to reach that level, you’ll have to study for several years, pass a lot of examinations, and really hone your craft and reputation.

Dentists are responsible for examining, diagnosing, and treating any issues related to your teeth and gums. The good thing is, everyone has teeth, so as long as you’re qualified and good, you’ll always have clients.

12. Pediatrician

Average Salary: $183,240

If you have a keen interest in children and can see yourself looking after them on a daily basis, then look no further; becoming a pediatrician could be your calling.

Your main responsibilities will be to diagnose, prevent, and treat diseases and injuries in children. You’ll also be looking for any other physical, mental, or social health problems, making sure that they’re as comfortable as possible. Making $183,240 a year to help children get better sounds like a great deal to me!

11. Prosthodontist

Average Salary: $196,960

Slightly different from a dentist, prosthodontists are responsible for constructing oral prostheses to replace missing teeth or any other oral deformities. They are often referred to as “dental plastic surgeons,” as they do a lot of cosmetic work.

If this sounds like an interesting career path for you, then you’re going to need to get yourself either a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or a Doctor of Medicine (DMD) to qualify yourself to practice. You’ll also need a bachelor’s degree of some kind to qualify for dental school.

Once you’ve gained your qualifications and built up some experience, you can be looking at achieving an average salary of $196,960.

10. Internist

Average Salary: $198,370

Sometimes in life, it can be difficult to determine what’s causing pain in our body, especially if it’s not immediately obvious on the outside. Internists are physicians who provide a diagnosis and non-surgical treatment plans for internal injuries or diseases.

They do not perform any surgeries at all and focus on acute illnesses like diabetes, high blood pressure, and Alzheimer’s. Many internists choose to specialize in one specific internal organ system, like the digestive system, and focus 100% of their energy on that.

9. CEO

Average Salary: $200,140

To be employed as a Chief Operating Officer (CEO) by a company, you’ll need to have gained a lot of experience in the managerial side of running a business and leadership qualities.

You’re responsible for leading and directing the company toward achieving its desired goals, as well as determining strategies and adhering to company and government policies, rules, and regulations.

It often takes many years of relevant work experience and a proven track record of success before an individual can be considered ready to become a CEO.

8. General Practitioner (GP)

Average Salary: $208,560

The first point of contact for anyone suffering from any kind of pain or illness is usually a general practitioner (GP). Your GP will advise, diagnose, and treat any health-related issues you have, or recommend that you see a particular specialist depending on your symptoms.

To become a general practitioner, you’ll need to go through approximately seven to ten years of training and education. It’s certainly worth it if you’d like to help people and be the first point of contact for someone when they become ill.

7. Psychiatrist

Average Salary: $216,090

The next highest-paying career in the world is that of a psychiatrist. Psychiatrists diagnose and treat disorders of the mind. They’re paid to listen to patients issues and determine the root cause of their problems. It’s obviously a lot more detailed and systematic than that, but that is the long and short of it.

If this sounds interesting to you, then you’ll need to complete your medical training and then specialize in psychiatry. But as you can see, it could be well worth your time and effort, as the average salary is approximately $216,090.

6. Orthodontist

Average Salary: $228,500

Number six is the third profession in the dental field on our list and the highest-paid of them all. Orthodontists are responsible for examining, diagnosing, and fixing any dental abnormalities relating to the position of the jaw and teeth. They straighten the structure of the teeth, fix crooked smiles, and adjust bite positions using braces and retainers.

To achieve orthodontic status, you’ll need to first complete a dental degree and then enroll in and complete a postgraduate orthodontic program. As we’ve seen with other professions in dentistry, the payoff is well worth your time if you can qualify.

5. Gynecologist

Average Salary: $235,240

In fifth place, we have a physician who specializes in medical care related to pregnancy and childbirth, as well as diagnosing, treating, and preventing diseases in women.

Gynecologists help maintain women’s reproductive systems, and their tasks can vary greatly from one day to the next. For example, one day they might have to deliver a baby, and the next they could be performing laser surgery to remove HPV cells or just carrying out regular checks.

4. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

Average Salary: $243,500

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are different from normal dentists in that they perform surgical procedures on the face, mouth, and jaw that mainly focus on hard and soft tissues.

In order to have a career in this field, you’ll need to study for an additional four years after completing a dentistry degree. But, with an average salary of close to $250,000, those extra four years could be well worth your time.

Also, it’s a career that also allows you to help other people while being financially rewarded, which can’t be said for all the career paths on our list.

3. Surgeon

Average Salary: $251,000

Surgeons are one of the highest-paid careers in the world to pursue. It’s also very easy to justify their average annual salary, as they’re actually saving lives and improving people’s well-being.

To become a surgeon, depending on the specialization you choose, requires several years of extra study after becoming a qualified doctor. You’ll need to pick an area of interest to specialize in and then do the required work to be able to practice as a professional surgeon.

The more experience you have and the rarer your area of expertise is, the more money you’re able to make. You’ll see evidence of this in position one on the list.

2. Anesthesiologist

Average Salary: $265,000

Anesthesiologists are physicians who are responsible for administering anesthetics prior to, during, or after surgery. They also have a number of other responsibilities, including dealing with emergency situations, giving advice on pain management, and carrying out assessments in critical care units.

If becoming an anesthesiologist sounds like something you’d like to do as a career, then, after becoming a doctor, you’ll need to complete a further 4-year anesthesiology residency program.

It’s possible that you’ll also need to sit for a further examination from the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA). Once all of the above is said and done, you can look to earn somewhere in the region of $265,000 a year with experience.

1. Neurosurgeon

Average Salary: $381,500

The highest-paying career in the world is that of a neurosurgeon. This is a highly trained surgeon who has chosen to specialize in, diagnose, and surgically treat disorders of the central and peripheral nervous systems.

Neurosurgery is one of the most demanding medical professions and requires an extensive amount of training and education. For example, in order to earn the big bucks, you’ll need to complete the normal eight years of doctoral training, a one-year internship in general surgery, and roughly five to seven years in a neurosurgery program.

Then, if you want to go one step further, you can complete a fellowship to specialize in one particular area. On top of all that, you’ll need to find the time to stay up-to-date with all the latest advances in neuroscience and attend regular meetings, seminars, and conferences.


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