Young people in the United States are on the hunt for fulfilling careers that align with their personal goals and financial needs.

One helpful tool for high school and college students looking to navigate the job market is salary data. Knowing the earning potential of different careers can help individuals make informed decisions about their future and gain a deeper understanding of the various job opportunities available.

Keep reading to see the 27 highest-paying jobs in America ranked in ascending order.

27. Architectural Engineers

Architectural Engineers
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Architectural engineers are responsible for designing and maintaining the infrastructure that supports modern society. This includes roadways, bridges, and energy utilities.

These professionals have specialized training and knowledge in various areas. These include hydrodynamics, energy utilities, and roadway maintenance.

They must be able to anticipate society’s needs. They also need to account for population growth and infrastructure needs.

To become an architectural engineer, one must obtain an engineering degree. Some individuals also pursue a master’s degree. The average salary for an architectural engineer is $105,163 per year.

26. Computer and Information Systems Managers

Computer and Information Systems Managers
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Computer and information systems managers are responsible for developing and maintaining frameworks that enable businesses to carry out their daily activities.

They are critical thinkers and proficient programmers who work tirelessly to improve the efficiency and reliability of networks.

One area that has seen significant growth in recent years is cloud computing, which has become a premium service for storing and distributing data. Information system managers are the backbone of this system, providing the necessary support for data usage and storage.

Computer and information systems managers earn an average salary of $111,094 per year and typically hold a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering or a related field.

They are constantly working to solve problems and improve the overall performance of computer systems.

25. Marketing Managers

Marketing Managers
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Marketing managers specialize in branding and promotional activities for businesses and products. They work with a team of individuals to develop and execute marketing strategies that align with the company’s goals and objectives.

Marketing managers may work in-house for a specific company or on a project basis for different businesses across various industries.

Marketing managers are creative problem solvers who possess a wide range of skills and experience in the field.

They are experts in understanding the human psyche and delivering compelling and entertaining pitches to promote businesses and services.

These professionals have developed techniques and tools for use in a limited window of applications, and they focus solely on the performance of a singular product or brand.

At least a bachelor’s degree in a business-focused program is required to become a marketing manager. The average salary for a marketing manager is $116,933 per year.

With their expertise and experience, marketing managers play a crucial role in the success of businesses and their products.

24. Lawyers

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Lawyers have a diverse range of career paths, each with its own unique challenges and opportunities. They can work in criminal law, defending clients accused of wrongdoing, or they can work in corporate law, ensuring that businesses operate within the law’s confines.

The tasks of a lawyer are varied and can provide daily challenges that are often unique with every new day.

On average, lawyers earn $127,990 per year, with some of the highest-paid lawyers earning over $1,000,000 annually. Business Insider reports that Qualcomm’s General Counsel, Donald Rosenberg, earns nearly $10,000,000 per year.

To become a lawyer, one must complete seven years of education, including a bachelor’s degree and law school.

The legal profession offers a range of opportunities and challenges for those interested in pursuing a career in law. The potential for high earnings and the opportunity to work in a variety of fields make it an attractive option for many aspiring lawyers.

23. Political Scientists

Political Scientists
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Political scientists are professionals who study how people interact and how governments can collaborate to provide for their citizens.

They work in various settings, including universities, think tanks, and government agencies. Political scientists conduct research and teach courses in their area of specialization. They also work with policymakers to develop and implement policies that improve the lives of citizens.

To become a political scientist, one needs at least a master’s degree in their related specialization, which takes a minimum of six years. The average salary for political scientists is $128,020 per year.

Political science is a complex field that provides immense satisfaction to those who pursue it.

22. Data Scientists

Data Scientists
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Data scientists use their analytical skills to evaluate trends in various fields, including energy, music, sports, gaming, and agriculture.

They collect and explore information about a topic to identify patterns and insights that can be used to further their field of study.

With a passion for data science and analytical reasoning, a person can leverage their expertise to make a significant impact in any field they choose.

Data scientists typically earn an average salary of $128,425 per year and require a bachelor’s degree, plus a probable master’s program, totaling about six years of education.

They use a variety of tools and technologies to analyze data, including machine learning algorithms, data visualization tools, and statistical models.

Their work is critical in ensuring that energy supply remains consistent across the entire grid and in other industries where data analysis is vital.

21. Pharmacists

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Pharmacists play a crucial role in the healthcare industry by providing patients with the appropriate medication and advice.

They work in collaboration with doctors and other medical professionals to ensure that patients receive the correct dosage and medication for their ailments.

Pharmacists must have a vast knowledge of dosages, drug interactions, and allergy considerations to provide the best care possible.

On average, pharmacists earn an annual salary of $128,570 and must complete at least six years of education, including pharmacy school.

Their expertise is invaluable in prolonging and saving the lives of patients across the United States.

20. Petroleum Engineers

Petroleum Engineers
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Petroleum engineers play a crucial role in the extraction and exploitation of petroleum products from the Earth. They are responsible for designing and implementing safe and efficient methods of extracting oil and gas from deep beneath the surface of the Earth.

This requires a deep understanding of geology, reservoir engineering, and drilling technology. Petroleum engineers work in teams with other professionals to ensure that the extraction process is carried out safely and efficiently.

According to recent data, the average salary for a petroleum engineer is $130,850 per year. To become a petroleum engineer, one typically needs to earn an engineering degree, which usually takes five years of study.

Petroleum engineers are in high demand due to the growing need for oil and gas products across the globe.

19. Judges

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Judges play a crucial role in our judicial system by upholding the laws and moral authority of society. They are carefully selected from experienced lawyers with a long track record of moral excellence and legal proficiency.

Many lawyers aspire to become judges, but only the best among them are selected for this prestigious role.

To become a judge, a bachelor’s degree and law school education are required, along with a minimum of two years of practical experience. However, many judges obtain this honor only after a decade or more of practice as an attorney.

The average salary for a judge is $133,840 per year, with a Supreme Court Chief Justice earning an average of $267,000 per year.

Judges are responsible for interpreting laws, enforcing court orders, and settling disputes. They must remain impartial and fair, and their decisions significantly impact society.

The judicial system relies on judges to maintain the legal system’s integrity and uphold everyday citizens’ rights.

18. Financial Managers

Financial Managers
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Financial managers are responsible for managing the financial activities of businesses, ensuring that they are making sound financial decisions to maintain long-term sustainability.

They oversee the daily financial operations of the organization, including budgeting, forecasting, and financial analysis.

Financial managers play an important role in ensuring financial stability and risk management. They identify potential financial risks and develop strategies to mitigate them.

To become a financial manager, one typically needs a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or a related field and roughly five years of experience in a finance-related occupation. The average annual salary for financial managers is $134,180.

17. Aeronautical Engineers

Aeronautical Engineers
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Aeronautical engineers are essential in the aviation industry as they design and test flightworthy aircraft. They are responsible for the creation and maintenance of aircraft, enabling private and commercial planes to fly both domestically and internationally.

These professionals have designed incredible machines that have made international trade, tourism, and the exchange of ideas possible. Aeronautical engineers also work on space exploration, creating rockets capable of launching from our atmosphere.

To become an aeronautical engineer, one needs a bachelor’s degree in the field, and potentially a master’s degree in a specific area, which takes around 5-7 years to complete. Aeronautical engineers earn an average salary of $134,231 per year.

16. Airline Pilots

Airline Pilots
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Airline pilots are responsible for transporting people and goods quickly and safely across different locations. They lead an exciting and fast-paced life, flying to multiple cities in a single day and spending nights in different countries or states.

As a result, airline pilots are considered some of the most adventurous people in the world.

To become an airline pilot, one must have a minimum of 1,500 hours of flight experience, which can be completed in about two years.

This specialized experience and knowledge is necessary for airline pilots to perform their duties with confidence and safety. They must take off and land with precision, covering the distance of their flight plan in the air.

The average salary for an airline pilot is $134,630 per year. This high salary is a reflection of the skills and expertise required for the job.

Airline pilots must be knowledgeable about aviation regulations, weather patterns, and navigation systems.

15. Software Architects and Engineers

Software Architects and Engineers
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Software architects and engineers are responsible for creating and maintaining cloud storage and sharing solutions that have become the standard in the modern world. They play an essential role in the development of internet and digital architecture, which are crucial for communication technology and information sharing.

These professionals work to build tailored solutions to all kinds of problems that exist in the workplace and in the commercial market, from game design to tax calculation software.

To become a software architect or engineer, one must have a bachelor’s degree in a STEM or software-related program. The average salary for this profession is $137,353 per year.

With the increasing demand for technology, the need for software architects and engineers is also on the rise. They are essential in ensuring that businesses and institutions are equipped with the necessary technology to operate efficiently.

14. Podiatrists

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Podiatrists are specialized doctors who focus on diagnosing and treating conditions related to feet and ankles. They help patients with foot pain and mobility issues to regain ease of movement and access to the world at large.

Podiatrists are essential in supporting daily movement and general mobility concerns that can affect a person’s quality of life.

To become a podiatrist, one must complete up to eight years of education, including medical school and residency. The average salary for a podiatrist is $148,220 per year.

Podiatrists work with patients of all ages and backgrounds, from athletes to the elderly. They treat a variety of conditions such as plantar fasciitis, ingrown toenails, and foot and ankle injuries.

Podiatrists may also perform surgeries and prescribe medication to treat their patients’ conditions.

13. Physicists

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Physicists are among the most highly compensated scientists in research-focused fields. Their primary focus is understanding the laws and principles governing the physical world.

Physicists are responsible for answering some of the most perplexing questions that confront society. They explain why celestial bodies move the way they do and why humans remain grounded to the Earth’s surface.

Physicists play a crucial role in designing spacecraft that travel beyond the moon and in developing safety features for automobiles and airplanes. The discipline of physics can explain virtually everything that moves. As a result, physicists are involved in the design and development of consumer products, both large and small.

According to recent estimates, the average salary for a physicist is $152,400 per year. To become a physicist, one typically needs to earn a Ph.D., which can take four to ten years of study.

12. Corporate CEO

Corporate CEO
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The CEO’s role is diverse and complex, and it varies depending on the industry and competitive nature of the marketplace they operate within. Their primary responsibility is to ensure a safe and prosperous work environment for their employees and provide an exceptional product for their clients.

This job is highly rewarding, even in the smallest of marketplaces, but it is also immensely challenging.

CEOs of large conglomerate enterprises earn astronomical sums of money, with an average salary of $162,669 per year. However, CEO salaries vary widely, with the top earners skewing most data wildly. For example, Expedia’s Peter Kern and Amazon’s Andrew Jassy earned truly absurd-sounding figures of $296,247,749 and $212,701,169, respectively, in 2021, according to AFL-CIO.

While a bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for most CEO positions, many CEOs also have an MBA, which amounts to roughly five years of higher education, along with relevant industry work experience.

11. Internal Medicine Specialist

Internal Medicine Specialist
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Internal medicine specialists are medical professionals who specialize in providing long-term care for patients with chronic health conditions. They work with a diverse range of patients, including adults, to diagnose and treat conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and lung issues.

These specialists are natural diagnosticians and provide tailored treatment plans to meet each patient’s unique needs. Physicians and other general practitioners typically refer patients with chronic health conditions to internal medicine specialists for ongoing care and management.

Internal medicine specialists undergo extensive education and training, including 11 years of schooling and residency, to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to provide high-quality care to their patients.

According to recent data, the average salary for an internal medicine specialist is $162,704 per year. These professionals play a vital role in the healthcare system, providing ongoing support and care to patients with chronic health conditions.

10. Family Medicine Practitioner

Family Medicine Practitioner
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Family medicine practitioners are general physicians who specialize in treating most or all members of local families in their community. They provide health services to their clients while also getting to know them on a more personalized level.

This allows them to be involved in their patients’ successes and setbacks, making them a guiding light for children as they navigate the world. In addition to providing medical advice, family medicine practitioners also offer guidance on a wide range of non-medical facets of life.

The average salary for a family medicine practitioner is $204,987 per year. To become a family medicine practitioner, one must complete seven years of education and residency.

9. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
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Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are dental professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions related to the mouth, teeth, and gums. They perform surgical procedures such as extracting wisdom teeth, placing dental implants, and corrective jaw surgery.

Oral surgeons collaborate with dentists and orthodontists to create personalized treatment plans for each patient. To become an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, one must complete 12 to 14 years of education and residency.

The average annual salary for oral and maxillofacial surgeons is $208,000. As every patient’s oral health is unique, oral surgeons tailor their treatment plans to meet individual needs, ensuring the best possible patient outcomes.

8. Dentist

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Dentists play a crucial role in maintaining oral health and ensuring healthy teeth and gums for their patients. They collaborate with a team of oral hygienists to provide specialized services to protect and maintain their patients’ oral health. In addition, dentists may partner with orthodontists to offer a range of specialized treatments.

Oral health is essential to overall well-being, and dentists understand the importance of maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Neglecting oral health can lead to a host of problems, including bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease. Moreover, studies have shown a link between oral health and heart health, highlighting the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene.

Dentists require at least eight years of collegiate training, followed by an additional year of residency. The average salary for a dentist is $226,565 per year.

7. Physician

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Physicians are medical professionals who specialize in diagnosing and treating illnesses and injuries. They are the first point of contact for patients seeking medical attention and are responsible for providing primary care services.

Physicians work in various settings, including private practices, hospitals, and clinics. They are trained to diagnose and treat various medical conditions, from minor illnesses to chronic diseases.

Physicians must have excellent communication skills, as they need to be able to explain complex medical information to patients in an easy-to-understand manner. They must also be knowledgeable about the latest medical advancements and be able to stay up-to-date with the latest treatments and procedures.

According to recent data, the average salary for a physician is $226,690 per year. Becoming a physician requires extensive education and training, with 10 to 14 years of education and residency required, including three to seven years as a resident.

Overall, physicians play a crucial role in the healthcare system, providing essential medical care to patients and helping to improve their overall health and well-being.

6. Psychiatrist

Psychiatrist 1
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Psychiatrists are medical professionals who specialize in treating patients with mental health issues. They undergo extensive training, including 12 years of education, medical school, and residency.

Psychiatrists have a deep understanding of the relationship between the brain and behavior and are able to prescribe medication to their patients.

While many people may confuse psychiatrists with other mental health professionals, such as psychologists or therapists, the main difference is that psychiatrists are medical doctors. This means that they can diagnose and treat mental health disorders like any other medical condition.

According to the latest data, the average salary for a psychiatrist is $220,380 per year. This is due to the high level of education and specialized training required to become a licensed psychiatrist.

Overall, psychiatrists play a crucial role in the mental health field by providing patients with the necessary medical treatment and support to improve their quality of life.

5. Orthodontist

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Orthodontists are dental professionals who specialize in diagnosing, preventing, and treating dental and facial irregularities. They use braces, aligners, and other orthodontic appliances to straighten teeth and correct bite problems.

Orthodontists work closely with dentists to ensure their patients’ dental health. The field of orthodontics is constantly evolving, with new technologies and techniques being developed regularly. As a result, orthodontists have a dynamic and exciting workplace.

They treat patients of all ages, from children to adults, who experience various dentition problems. Orthodontists typically earn a high salary, with an average annual income of $274,880. However, becoming an orthodontist requires a significant investment in education, with 10 to 11 years of collegiate and specialized medical education.

Overall, orthodontists play an essential role in maintaining their patients’ dental health and ensuring their confidence in their smiles.

4. Gynecologist and Obstetrician

Gynecologist and Obstetrician
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Gynecologists and obstetricians are medical professionals who specialize in women’s reproductive health. They provide care for pregnant women and help them navigate the complex processes involved in creating new life. They also offer general sexual and reproductive health services to women of all ages.

Gynecologists and obstetricians play a crucial role in family planning and are trusted partners in countless households around the nation. On average, they earn a salary of $312,800 per year. To become a gynecologist or obstetrician, one must complete 12 years of schooling and residency.

Their expertise and knowledge make them essential to the healthcare system, ensuring that women receive the best care possible for their bodies, needs, and future plans.

3. Radiologist

Radiologists are medical professionals who specialize in interpreting diagnostic imaging tests such as X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans. They play a critical role in diagnosing and treating various medical conditions by providing a baseline diagnosis to medical teams.

Radiologists must have a vast knowledge of medical conditions and their corresponding imaging indicators to make accurate and timely diagnoses. They work with medical teams to provide treatment options and support to patients in need.

Radiologists’ salaries reflect their specialized training and importance in the medical field. According to recent data, the average salary for a radiologist is $353,247 per year. Becoming a radiologist requires up to 13 years of college, medical school, residency, and specialized training.

2. Anesthesiologist

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An anesthesiologist is a medical professional responsible for administering anesthesia to patients undergoing surgery. They work alongside surgeons and other healthcare professionals in the operating room.

During surgery, anesthesiologists monitor the patient’s vital signs, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen levels, to ensure they remain stable and safe throughout the procedure. They also adjust the medication as needed to maintain the patient’s level of sedation and pain relief.

Anesthesiologists administer anesthesia and are responsible for waking patients up from anesthesia at the end of surgery. This requires a thorough understanding of the medications used and how they affect the body.

To become an anesthesiologist, one must complete 12 years of collegiate and medical school training, including residency. The average salary for an anesthesiologist is $380,299 per year.

Anesthesiologists must possess a high level of training, knowledge, and attention to detail to ensure the safety and well-being of their patients during surgery.

1. General Surgeon

General Surgeon
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General surgeons are highly skilled professionals who perform surgeries on patients. They are trained for many years to develop the critical skills necessary to provide essential services to patients.

General surgeons are natural problem solvers, and they use their skills daily. They must have a steely demeanor, quick thinking, and immense confidence to handle unique problems that can occur in a surgical setting at a moment’s notice.

General surgeons are among the highest-earning professionals, with an average salary of $430,159 per year. To become a surgeon, they must undergo 13 years of collegiate and specialized training, including medical school, residency, and a fellowship program.

General surgeons are responsible for performing various surgeries, including emergency, routine, and complex surgeries. They must work well under pressure and make quick decisions to save lives.

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