Money Makers: Top 15 Earnings Occupations
Looking to make some money? Check out the top 15 earnings positions based on the BLS National Compensation Survey

Top 15 Earnings Positions

What do you want to be when you grow up? Before you answer, check out this list from the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the top 15 professions by average annual wages.

Surgeons in Operation Room

After medical school, surgeons will have up to eight years of internships and residencies, but will be in one of the best paid in the medical field earning on average $339,442 a year, a chart topping 768% higher than the average surveyed worker.



Your anesthesiologist can be just as important as your surgeon since he or she is responsible for putting you under and of course, bringing you back out. You’ll need the education of an MD, plus extra specialization, but the additional work can pay off. The mean salary for a anesthesiologist comes in at $302,553, 684% higher than the average surveyed worker.

Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Beyond medical school, OB/GYNs have to complete a four-year residency and have numerous specialties to choose from including infertility, fetal medicine and oncology. The broad training and education commands an average salary of $279,635, 632% higher than average.

Chief Executive

All of the responsibility that comes with being chief brings hefty rewards. The average CEO surveyed brings in $211,653 a year. They say it’s good to be the king, as long as you don’t mind an occasional summons to testify before Congress.

Internist, General

Concentrating on treating internal organs, internists can make on average $180,210 a year.

Family and General Practitioner

Often the first destination for treating illnesses and common medical problems, these doctors also play an important role in preventative medicine and general health. As new technologies let the family doctor treat a wider array of problems, this field is expected to grow. On average, family and general practitioners surveyed brought in $169,727.


Sometimes you would pay any amount of money just to make the pain stop. After four years of dental school and up to six more years for specialization, the average dentist surveyed makes $149,998 a year, 339.2% higher than the average salary.


Psychiatrists are much more than just a comfy sofa. These doctors specialize in mental disorders and have an array of diagnostic technology, medications, and examination tools at their disposal. All of that knowledge requires almost eight years of post-baccalaureate work, but the mean wage of $147,939 is 334.5% higher than the average worker.


Children can be tough patients, forcing pediatricians to cover everything from broken bones to chicken pox. After medical school and at least three years of residency, pediatricians on average will make $132,797, 300% more than the average worker.


Law Teachers, Postsecondary

The people who research and teach about the law in our country tend to have advanced degrees and years of experience. Law professors can expect to earn on average $131,999, 298% more than the average worker.


There are many types of lawyers: corporate attorney advisor, transactional, trial, even those with a 1-800 number. Law school has become very competitive but in the end, the average lawyer makes $127,712, 288.8% more than the average worker.

Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

Talk about an office with a view. Being an airline pilot requires at least 1,500 hours of flight time and several licenses as well as written and physical examinations and even psychological and aptitude tests. All of that adds up to a nice mean annual wage of $125,431, 284% higher than the average worker.

Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary

Experts predict acute shortages in many professional health fields. Teachers in fields such as medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, physical therapy and pharmacology take home an average $125,156 annually.

Engineering Managers

As our world becomes more technologically complex, there is a greater need for people who can keep it all running. Engineering managers plan and direct research, design, and production activities and supervise engineers, technicians, developers and support staff. A combination of engineering and technical knowledge and experience coupled with administrative and management skills can fetch an average of $121,502 a year.


The economic climate brought economists to center stage in the news lately. Economists evaluate the distribution of resources and development of goods in a society. It’s not all fun and games though, much of the work requires a large amount of research, data collection and modeling. The best prospects are for those with advanced degrees,s but the payoff is an average annual salary of $121,274, 274% higher than the average surveyed worker.

Money Makers: Top 15 Earnings Occupations

Looking to make some money? Check out the top 15 earnings positions based on the BLS National Compensation Survey

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