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For many, salary is a primary consideration when choosing careers, and that’s why people tend to gravitate toward jobs that pay the most. Below, you’ll discover 10 of the best paying jobs in America this year. The reasons they pay so much are varied: high demand, high stress, and high-performance requirements, among other explanations. Take a look at the responsibilities they entail, the annual salaries they command, and the level of education they require to see if your career is on the right trajectory.
1. Anesthesiologist (Mean annual salary: $269,600)
According to US News & World Report, surgeons earn an average of $252,910 a year—that’s 6 per cent less than what anesthesiologists normally earn. The difference is because the latter profession deals with complex and high-risk substances while playing a critical role in surgeries and other invasive operations. In addition, they are required to be present during an operation to monitor a patient’s vital signs and do what they can to keep patients safe and comfortable throughout the procedure.
Educational requirements: Four years undergraduate study, four years medical school, and four years residency
2. Physician (Mean annual salary: $201,840)
The term physician covers a lot of professions in the medical field including pediatricians, gynecologists, cardiologists, family practitioners, and even dermatologists. These medical service providers diagnose and treat injuries, illnesses and conditions by examining patients, taking medical histories, and conducting tests. They can also prescribe medications and advise patients on different ways to improve health and wellbeing, such as changes in diet and hygiene, and preventive care.
Educational requirements: Four years undergraduate study, four years medical school, and three to seven years residency
3. Psychiatrist (Mean annual salary: $200,220)
Like physicians, clinical psychiatrists evaluate, diagnose, and treat medical conditions; only their practice focuses on mental disorders instead of physical ones. Some of the illnesses they help remedy include bipolar disorder, depression, eating disorders, and schizophrenia. Psychiatrists can prescribe, direct and administer psychotherapeutic medications and treatments for mental, behavioral, and emotional issues suffered by a patient.
Educational requirements: Four years education and training as a Doctor of Medicine and four years of residency
4. Petroleum Engineer (Mean annual salary: $147,030)
The job of a petroleum engineer relates to oil and gas production. When a new oil reservoir is discovered, a petroleum engineer is called in to analyze and determine the feasibility of the location for oil mining. Once feasibility is confirmed, the engineer then develops the most efficient drilling and extraction strategy possible to minimize costs while maximizing profit for the petroleum company.
Educational requirements: Bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering, chemical engineering, or mechanical engineering
6. IT Manager (Mean annual salary: $145,740)
Information technology (IT) managers oversee both of the company’s hardware and software needs, taking care of the implementation, maintenance, upgrade and protection of such systems from malware, hacking, and other attacks. Planning, organizing, and evaluating IT and electronic data systems are also part of an IT manager’s job description, as are the recruitment, training, and coaching of IT personnel.
Educational requirements: Bachelor’s or master’s degree in a computer course and five or more years of IT work experience
7. Sales Manager (Mean annual salary: $135,090)
Sales managers handle the training and evaluation of sales staff while providing them with the leadership and guidance they need to meet their sales targets. They are also responsible for setting sales goals and quotas, analyzing data and metrics, and building an effective sales strategy. Sales management is a very hands-on job, with managers often greatly involved in the hiring and firing process of sales team members.
Educational requirements: A high school diploma is often enough, plus at least two years’ experience in sales or related positions. Some employers require a bachelor’s degree in a business or commercial field.
8. Financial Advisor (Mean annual salary: $123,100)
Financial advisors provide clients with expert advice on how to manage their money, and as such, the role requires keen knowledge about macro and micro financial conditions in order for an advisor to recommend the most suitable products and services available. This requires research, experience and credibility. Great communication skills are also an integral part of the job, as financial advisors will often have to meet with clients face-to-face. Aside from financial counseling, financial advisors may also help clients create budgets, invest on the client’s behalf, or set up a healthy retirement fund.
Educational requirements: Bachelor’s degree in business, economics, finance, statistics, and similar fields.
9. Actuary (Mean annual salary: $114,120)
Like financial advisors, actuaries also evaluate, manage, and advise clients on avoiding risks and making sound financial decisions. The difference is that while the former works with individuals, the latter works for companies and industries. An actuary’s work is also more technical in nature, with their job requiring a deep understanding of business and economics along with a well-developed talent for statistics, investment, and probability theory.
Educational requirements: Bachelor’s degree in business, economics, finance, statistics, and similar fields and an associate actuarial certification, which can take four to six years to complete
10. Political Scientist (Mean annual salary: $112,250)
As the name suggests, political scientists work in the realm of public policies and public management practices. The ‘scientist’ in their job description comes from the duties of the position, which include the analyzing the structure and function of governments and political entities, researching political subjects, and understanding the relations between countries and political ideologies. They may also collect and study data from various sources in the political spectrum, such as community voices, surveys, and election results.
Educational requirements: Bachelor’s degree in political science, writing and statistics, along with the completion of a master’s or PhD program and internship
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