Finding a high-paying job is a common goal for many Americans. Whether you’re just starting your career or considering a switch, knowing which professions offer the highest salaries can guide your decisions. Here’s a look at the 20 highest paying jobs in America for 2024.

1. Surgeons

Surgeons top the list of highest paying jobs in America. They perform complex medical operations to treat injuries, diseases, and deformities. Becoming a surgeon requires extensive education, including a bachelor’s degree, medical school, and a residency program. Surgeons can specialize in areas like orthopedics, neurosurgery, or cardiovascular surgery.

Average Salary: $409,665 per year.

The demand for surgeons remains high due to the ongoing need for medical procedures. This profession is expected to grow as the population ages and requires more medical interventions.

2. Anesthesiologists

Anesthesiologists are medical doctors who administer anesthesia and manage pain during surgical procedures. They monitor patients’ vital signs and adjust anesthesia levels as needed. This role requires a bachelor’s degree, medical school, and a residency in anesthesiology.

Average Salary: $392,000 per year.

With the continuous need for surgeries and pain management, anesthesiologists are in high demand. Their expertise is critical to the success of surgical procedures and patient recovery.

3. Orthodontists

Orthodontists specialize in diagnosing and treating dental and facial irregularities. They use braces, retainers, and other appliances to straighten teeth and correct bite issues. To become an orthodontist, one needs a bachelor’s degree, dental school, and a residency in orthodontics.

Average Salary: $350,000 per year.

Orthodontists are essential for maintaining dental health and aesthetics. The demand for their services remains strong, driven by the importance of oral health and cosmetic dentistry.

4. Psychiatrists

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in mental health. They diagnose, treat, and help prevent mental illnesses through therapy, medication, and other treatments. This profession requires a bachelor’s degree, medical school, and a residency in psychiatry.

Average Salary: $249,760 per year.

The need for mental health services continues to grow, making psychiatry a critical and high-demand field. Psychiatrists play a vital role in helping individuals manage and overcome mental health challenges.

5. Physicians

Physicians, including general practitioners and specialists, diagnose and treat various illnesses and injuries. They provide preventive care and manage chronic conditions. Physicians need a bachelor’s degree, medical school, and a residency in their chosen specialty.

Average Salary: $208,000 per year.

Physicians are the backbone of the healthcare system, ensuring patients receive comprehensive medical care. The demand for physicians remains high, especially in underserved areas.

6. CEOs

Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) are the highest-ranking executives in a company. They make critical decisions, oversee operations, and set strategic goals. Most CEOs have extensive experience in their industry and hold at least a bachelor’s degree, often supplemented with an MBA.

Average Salary: $196,050 per year.

CEOs play a crucial role in the success of their companies. Their leadership and vision drive business growth and profitability, making them highly valuable.

7. Dentists

Dentists diagnose and treat issues related to teeth and gums. They perform procedures like fillings, extractions, and cleanings. Becoming a dentist requires a bachelor’s degree and dental school.

Average Salary: $178,260 per year.

Good oral health is essential for overall well-being, ensuring dentists are always in demand. Their role in preventive care and treatment makes them indispensable.

8. Nurse Anesthetists

Nurse anesthetists are advanced practice nurses who administer anesthesia and provide care before, during, and after surgical procedures. They need a registered nursing degree, clinical experience, and a master’s or doctoral degree in nurse anesthesia.

Average Salary: $183,580 per year.

Nurse anesthetists are critical in surgical settings, providing high-quality anesthesia care. Their advanced skills and knowledge are highly valued in the healthcare industry.

9. IT Managers

IT managers oversee an organization’s technology infrastructure, ensuring systems run smoothly and securely. They plan, coordinate, and direct computer-related activities. A bachelor’s degree in a related field and several years of experience are typically required.

Average Salary: $151,150 per year.

As technology continues to evolve, the need for skilled IT managers grows. They are essential for maintaining and improving a company’s tech environment.

10. Marketing Managers

Marketing managers develop and execute strategies to promote products and services. They analyze market trends, create advertising campaigns, and oversee marketing efforts. A bachelor’s degree in marketing or a related field and experience are needed.

Average Salary: $142,170 per year.

Marketing managers play a key role in driving sales and brand awareness. Their strategic planning and execution are vital for business success.

11. Financial Managers

Financial managers oversee an organization’s financial health. They prepare financial reports, direct investment activities, and develop strategies for long-term financial goals. A bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or a related field is required, often supplemented with an MBA.

Average Salary: $134,180 per year.

Financial managers ensure businesses are financially stable and compliant with regulations. Their expertise is crucial for strategic financial planning and analysis.

12. Lawyers

Lawyers advise and represent individuals, businesses, and government agencies on legal issues and disputes. Becoming a lawyer requires a bachelor’s degree, law school, and passing the bar exam.

Average Salary: $122,960 per year.

Lawyers are indispensable in the legal system, providing critical services in various fields such as criminal, corporate, and civil law.

13. Sales Managers

Sales managers direct an organization’s sales teams. They set sales goals, analyze data, and develop training programs for sales representatives. A bachelor’s degree in business or a related field and experience in sales are typically required.

Average Salary: $126,640 per year.

Sales managers are vital for driving revenue and achieving business growth. Their leadership and strategic planning skills are essential for success.

14. Pharmacists

Pharmacists dispense medications and provide information about their use. They also offer health advice and monitor patient health. A Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree and passing licensure exams are required.

Average Salary: $128,570 per year.

Pharmacists are essential healthcare providers, ensuring patients receive and understand their medications. Their role in patient care and safety is crucial.

15. Petroleum Engineers

Petroleum engineers design and develop methods for extracting oil and gas from deposits below the earth’s surface. A bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering or a related field is required.

Average Salary: $137,720 per year.

Petroleum engineers are critical for the energy sector, driving innovation in oil and gas extraction. Their expertise is vital for meeting energy demands.

16. Podiatrists

Podiatrists specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions of the foot, ankle, and lower leg. Becoming a podiatrist requires a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree and a residency program.

Average Salary: $126,240 per year.

Podiatrists play a crucial role in maintaining mobility and addressing foot-related health issues. Their specialized knowledge is essential for patient care.

17. Natural Sciences Managers

Natural sciences managers oversee the work of scientists, including chemists, physicists, and biologists. They coordinate activities such as research and testing. A bachelor’s degree in a science-related field and experience are required.

Average Salary: $137,900 per year.

Natural sciences managers are vital for advancing scientific research and development. Their leadership ensures successful project outcomes and innovation.

18. Architectural and Engineering Managers

Architectural and engineering managers plan, direct, and coordinate activities in architectural and engineering companies. A bachelor’s degree in architecture or engineering and experience are necessary.

Average Salary: $144,830 per year.

These managers are essential for overseeing complex projects and ensuring they meet technical and safety standards. Their expertise drives successful project completion.

19. Computer and Information Research Scientists

These scientists invent and design new technology and find new uses for existing technology. They solve complex problems in computing. A Ph.D. in computer science or a related field is typically required.

Average Salary: $126,830 per year.

Computer and information research scientists are at the forefront of technological innovation. Their work drives advancements in various industries.

20. Optometrists

Optometrists examine eyes for vision problems and prescribe corrective lenses. They also diagnose and treat eye diseases. A Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree and passing licensure exams are required.

Average Salary: $115,250 per year.

Optometrists are essential for maintaining eye health and providing vision care. Their role in detecting and treating eye conditions is crucial for overall health.


Choosing a career is a significant decision, and knowing which jobs offer the highest pay can help guide your path. These 20 professions not only provide substantial financial rewards but also offer opportunities for growth and fulfillment. Whether you’re interested in healthcare, technology, finance, or engineering, there’s a high-paying job that suits your skills and interests.