The highest paying jobs in the US


Written by:


The highest-paying jobs in the U.S. are often medical professions, though careers in technology, information, and transportation are working their way into the upper ranks. Medical careers have consistently topped the list, though, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that health care professions, like family medicine physicians and anesthesiologists, see median wages equalling or exceeding $208,000 per year.

But you don’t need a Ph.D. to get a great-paying job. There are high-paying careers for every education level, such as airline pilots or computer system managers, which usually only require a bachelor’s degree for entry-level positions.

Top 10 Highest-Paid Jobs in the U.S.

1. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons

The average salary is $311,460 per year, and this job requires a Medical Doctor degree and an internship or residency.

2. Anesthesiologists

The average salary is $311,190 per year, and this job requires a Medical Doctor degree and an internship or residency.

3. Surgeons

The average salary is $297,800 per year, and this job requires a Medical Doctor degree and an internship or residency.

4. Obstetricians and Gynecologists

The average salary is $296,210 per year, and this job requires a Medical Doctor degree and an internship or residency.

5. Orthodontists

The average salary is $267,280 per year, and this job requires a Medical Doctor degree and an internship or residency.

6. Psychiatrists

The average salary is $249,760 per year, and this job requires a Medical Doctor degree and an internship or residency.

7. Family Medicine Physicians

The average salary is $235,930 per year, and this job requires a Medical Doctor degree and an internship or residency.

8. Physicians (All, Except Pediatric)

The average salary is $203,450 per year, and this job requires a Medical Doctor degree and an internship or residency.

9. General Internal Medicine Physicians

The average salary is $201,440 per year, and this job requires a Medical Doctor degree and an internship or residency. (Learn if health care is a good career path.)

10. Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

The average salary is $198,190 per year, and this job requires a bachelor’s degree, as well as significant on-the-job training.

Good-Paying Jobs for Master’s Degree Holders

Many of the best-paying occupations for those with master’s degrees are projected to grow in the coming years, especially medical professions like nurse practitioners, and technology-related careers like computer and information research scientists.

  • Computer and information research scientists: Average salary of $142,650
  • Political scientists: Average salary of $120,430
  • Physician assistants: Average salary of $119,460
  • Mathematicians: Average salary of $112,430
  • Nurse midwives: Average salary of $114,210

High-Paying Jobs for Bachelor’s Degree Holders

The best-paying jobs for people with bachelor’s degrees are often management-level positions, so they may require some experience in the industry or starting at a lower position and working your way up to manager. A lot of the best-paying jobs with a four-year degree are growing at least as fast as the average for all industries and few even require on-the-job training.

  • Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers: Average salary of $198,190
  • Computer and information systems managers: Average salary of $162,930
  • Architectural and engineering managers: Average salary of $158,970
  • Natural sciences managers: Average salary of $156,110
  • Marketing managers: Average salary of $153,440

Best-Paying Jobs for Associate Degree Holders

High-salary careers that require an associate degree typically require at least some on-the-job training, and many are within the health care industry. Some careers you can get with only a two-year degree include:

  • Air traffic controllers: Average salary of $127,920
  • Nuclear technicians: Average salary of $95,200
  • Radiation therapists: Average salary of $94,000
  • Nuclear medicine technologists: Average salary of $84,850
  • Dental hygienists: Average salary of $81,360

High-Salary Jobs Without a Degree or Higher Education

Finding a good-paying job without college or a degree is definitely possible. A high school diploma is typically required, though, and these jobs often involve a lot of hands-on training or apprenticeships.

  • Commercial pilots: Average salary of $115,080
  • Nuclear power reactor operators: Average salary of $111,220
  • Transportation, storage, and distribution managers: Average salary of $105,580
  • First-line supervisors of police and detectives: Average salary of $98,760
  • Power distributors and dispatchers: Average salary of $95,520

Key Takeaways

  • Many of the best-paying jobs require some sort of on-the-job training, apprenticeship, internship, or residency. These sorts of experiences help employees gain the hard skills they need to do their job well.
  • The health care industry is always expanding, but technology jobs are growing too — the BLS reports that the computer and information technology industry is projected to grow 13% from 2020 to 2030.
  • Higher education may mean higher pay, but it can also mean student loan debt and a long-term commitment. It is important to consider the cost of getting some of these high-paying jobs. A report from the Association of American Medical Colleges says that the average cost of medical school tuition is over $50,000 per year. That price doesn’t account for peripheral costs, either, like health insurance, fees, textbooks, transportation, or housing. It also does not include the costs associated with getting an undergraduate degree.

Still trying to figure out which career path is right for you? Explore your options by taking one of Forage’s online virtual experience programs.

Source: Salary and growth information sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by

More from MediaFeed:

Need extra money? These weekend jobs are actually fun


Sometimes, even a full-time job doesn’t provide enough income to reach your financial goals. Whether you’re saving for a large purchase, aiming to put money aside for emergencies, or just trying to make ends meet, securing additional income is a great way to avoid financial hardship.


That said, working 40 hours a week can wipe you out, and we’re firm believers that weekends (or other days off) should be spent enjoying life. But what if you could find ways to make money on the weekends doing something enjoyable?


There are a variety of part-time weekend jobs for side hustlers that might align with your interests and talents, so you could choose something that is meaningful to you. And when you enjoy a task, it’s easy to put in the hours and reap the monetary rewards. If you learn how to make money doing something you love, you’ll be ahead of a lot of others.


Ivan-balvan / iStock


If you’re an animal lover (the kind that stops to pet strangers’ dogs on the street), you might find that spending your weekends walking dogs or pet-sitting will put a smile on your face while you earn some extra cash.


Try connecting with dog owners using one of these services:

  • Rover
  • Wag!




Delivering food and groceries can be a lucrative weekend side hustle if you’ve got a few free hours, and it’s simple to get started. While each delivery service works slightly differently, in many cases, you can just sign up as a delivery driver and start fulfilling orders. There are typically no special requirements, apart from being over 18 years of age and having a reliable mode of transportation to pick up and deliver orders.

If this sounds like the right side gig for you, you’ve got options:

  • Doordash
  • Postmates
  • Instacart
  • Shipt
  • Uber Eats


bondarillia / istockphoto


Whether you’re an expert house cleaner, landscaper, roofer, or woodworker, you can put your skills to good use and earn some extra money on the weekends. Plus, you’ll get to help others with their home projects, which will make you feel fulfilled in addition to boosting your bank account.

Platforms like HomeAdvisor Pro let you set up a profile and connect with homeowners who need help with house projects. And the best part? When you sign up for HomeAdvisor Pro, you’ll get free marketing help, which could help you connect with potential clients even faster.




If you’re looking for a side hustle you can do from the comfort of your couch, taking surveys may be a good option for you. All you need is a smartphone and an internet connection. While you won’t earn a full-time income with this side gig, it can certainly help you bank a little extra spending money.

Again, there are typically no special requirements to sign up for a survey platform. In most cases, you simply need to be over 18 and willing to share your opinion. Here are some great options if you’re interested:

  • Survey Junkie
  • Inbox Dollars
  • Swagbucks
  • MyPoints
  • Branded Surveys
  • Kashkick


If you have an eligible vehicle and don’t mind driving people from place to place, consider working as a rideshare driver. You get to set your own schedule and may be able to earn extra money during busy hours of the day. If you have some free time, becoming a Lyft or Uber driver on the side could be a profitable gig.


Andrei Stanescu / istockphoto


If playing with kids all weekend sounds like a good time to you, consider becoming a weekend nanny. You’ll be able to play games, run around, act goofy, and help out a parent in desperate need of some time away.


While there aren’t any requirements for becoming a nanny, you’ll be able to charge more if you have a degree, CPR and first aid certifications, and experience with kids. Your potential employer may also want to conduct a background check.


You can connect with parents in need of childcare on these sites:

  • Nanny Lane
  • Sittercity




Travelers often hire house sitters to ensure the plants get watered and the mail gets brought in. Often, house sitters also take care of pets in the household. It’s easy to make a little extra cash house-sitting without putting forth much effort.

It’s also a great option if you want to sit back, put your feet up, and catch up on your Netflix or social media feed. Check out these websites to get started:

  • MindMyHouse
  • Nomador


KristinaJovanovic / istockphoto


If you love kids but would prefer to work from home, you can teach English online to children in China and earn up to $22 an hour via VIPKid. You don’t need to speak Chinese, and you’ll be able to help students gain confidence in another language. The curriculum will be provided for you, and you’ll work one on one to make sure each child gets the educational attention they deserve.




If you’re an exercise addict who wants to inspire others to take on healthy habits, consider becoming a group fitness instructor or personal trainer. Employment in the industry is increasing, and jobs in the field can be both fun and rewarding.


For most opportunities, you’ll need to become certified, and the American Council on Exercise (ACE) is the largest certifier in the nation. The level of effort and time required will depend on the certification you choose. However, you’ll be able to study for the certification exam on your own time and at your own pace.


Getty Images | Hagen Hopkins


Fans of top-notch alcohol may enjoy serving wine or beer at a restaurant, brewery, or winery. You may need a certification or license to get started, so be sure to research the requirements in your area. If you love the job and want to get more involved, you might even consider getting an alcohol permit and launching a mobile bartending business.



kieferpix / istockphoto


If you live in a state where cannabis is legal for medical or recreational use, becoming a budtender could be a rewarding way to help people get treatment for all kinds of ailments. In most states, you’ll need to get a basic license, and there may be a small upfront cost. Just be careful to choose a legitimate budtender certification program. If you’re not ready to budtend, becoming a cashier at a dispensary could be a great way to break into the industry.



Zummolo / iStock


If you enjoy discovering new brands and sharing them with your friends, you might like working with companies to spread the word about their products in your free time. In many cities, brands post ads on Craigslist looking for people to pass out samples at grocery stores, liquor stores, pop-up events, or other venues.


Sometimes these opportunities can overlap with your other interests. For example, we found ads looking for people to pour wine samples at a tasting and ads seeking people who love kids to promote toys at a family-friendly event. You can usually find these ads in the “gigs” section of your local Craigslist site.


Chaay_Tee/ istockphoto


Maybe you enjoy writing, graphic design, or you’ve got a knack for organization. If so, you may be able to make some money as a freelancer on the weekends. Sites like Upwork and Fiverr connect freelance writers, graphic designers, and virtual assistants with potential customers. While the pay for gigs on these platforms will vary, if you find the right options, you could end up with a lucrative, consistent weekend side hustle.





Not everyone has sewing skills, and there’s a demand for affordable alterations. If you have a sewing machine and are also skilled at hand-sewing, you’re already positioned to start a freelance business. Give your information to vintage stores and local boutiques to pass on to customers.


If you don’t have sewing skills but love helping people find the perfect fit, look into becoming an outfitter with Trumaker. You’ll find clients, take their measurements, and earn a commission from every custom-made item of clothing you sell.


Deposit Photos


Treasure hunters might enjoy scouring garage and estate sales for particularly high-quality items that can be resold online on sites like eBay or Amazon. You can also resell any used clothing you no longer wear or vintage clothing you find at thrift stores on apps like Poshmark.



CrispyPork/ istockphoto


Some companies want to gather data about customers’ experiences, so they’ll pay you a fee for providing feedback about your shopping experience in various stores. Typically, you’ll be asked to make a purchase, and then you’ll be reimbursed. Market Force and IntelliShop are two free platforms you can use to get started.


If you’ve got some experience in the hospitality industry and enjoy getting ready for a party, look for event set-up gigs. Weddings, festivals, and farmers’ markets all need staff to help set up and tear down. You may be able to find some weekend work on TaskRabbit.



AndreyPopov / istockphoto


Home staging is the process of decorating and furnishing a home in a way that will be appealing to as many buyers as possible. Start by networking with local real estate agents. You may need to work for free to start, but once you have a portfolio of homes you’ve staged, you can make some extra cash from your interior decorating skills.


If you’re passionate about your city and love getting to know people from all over the world, becoming a tour guide might be one of the best side hustles for you. You’ll be able to show travelers your favorite sights, eats, and activities, and you don’t even need to be a professional.


Check out how you can get paid by using the following sites:

  • Showaround
  • ToursByLocals


The best weekend side jobs depend on your lifestyle and what you’re comfortable doing. However, here are a few ideas for making money with a side gig:

  • Resell on Amazon or Poshmark
  • Drive for Lyft or Uber
  • Deliver food or groceries with DoorDash, Postmates, or Instacart
  • Get paid to pet sit or walk dogs with Rover
  • Work on home projects with HomeAdvisor
  • Take surveys and make money online with Survey Junkie or InboxDollars
  • Housesit with TrustedHouseSitters or MindMyHouse
  • Teach English with VIPKid


If there’s something you enjoy doing, you likely have the opportunity to earn money doing it as a side hustle or part-time job. For example, if you enjoy driving a car, consider driving people with Uber or Lyft or delivering food or groceries with DoorDash or Instacart.


If you like animals, it could make sense to earn extra income as a pet sitter on Rover. Keep an open mind and be aware of the surrounding opportunities to find a side gig you enjoy.




Many side hustles can earn you plenty of money if you dedicate enough time to them, which can be difficult if your day job takes up most of your time. However, here are a few side hustle ideas that can pay off if done well:

  • Resell items on Amazon
  • Blogging
  • Flip houses
  • Rent out properties on Airbnb or VRBO
  • Rent out storage space on Neighbor
  • Create an e-commerce business
  • Drive for a rideshare company
  • Rent out your vehicle with Turo or GetAround


Yes, it’s possible to make money blogging. You likely have to create content on a regular basis and grow your following to the point where you can offer services or products for money. In addition, if your blog starts gaining traction, you might be able to monetize your website with ads. It’s not easy being a blogger, but it might pay off if you put in the time and effort.


Whether you enjoy art and design, kiddos and doggos, shopping, or just exploring your city, there are several ways to make extra money on the weekends that won’t feel like work. Many offer flexible schedules and allow you to create your own hours or even set your own price, so you can supplement your weekday work and take control over your financial goals. Have fun hustling!



This article
originally appeared on 
FinanceBuzz.comand was
syndicated by


Victor Xok on Unsplash


Featured Image Credit: nathanaparise / istockphoto.