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The best-paying professions in the World

Article by Ifeoma Obi

When one decides to follow a particular career path, it is imperative to find out what the best-paying jobs are.  When it comes to choosing a career, it is not only about what you are passionate about but what will also sustain you and your desired lifestyle in the long run. However, when researching upon the best paying jobs, do not concentrate on the jobs that are paying well now but jobs that will pay well particularly by the time you complete your studies and further on into the future. A typical example is that where the world is going, careers that have to do with programming will be very popular due to the automation of business systems and artificial intelligence.

Though a career's advantages should not only be judged by the salary because there are other factors to take into account like bonus pay, vacation time, health insurance benefits, pensions or retirement packages, and opportunities for advancement.  It is equally important not to judge a career's disadvantage purely by the salary or whether or not the career is one of the 20 highest paying. Education cost, on-call responsibilities, competition for job openings, health risks, and job stress are a few potential downsides as well. According to Career Profiles (Career and job search guide), these are the highest hourly wages and annual salary figures as of 2019. The salary values discussed in this article refer to the mean annual salaries recorded worldwide. 

# Occupation Hourly Wage Annual Wage
1 Anesthesiologists $127.88 $266,000
2 Surgeons $121.10 $251,900
3 Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons $116.70 $242,700
4 Obstetricians and Gynecologists $113.10 $235,200
5 Orthodontists $110.28 $229,400
6 Psychiatrists $103.89 $261,100
7 Physicians and Surgeons, All Other $101.63 $211,400
8 Family and General Practitioners $100.27 $208,600
9 Dentists, All Other Specialists $96.15 $200,000
10 Internists, General $95.37 $198,400
11 Prosthodontists $94.69 $177,000
12 Chief Executives $94.25 $196,100
13 Pediatricians, General $90.16 $187,500
14 Dentists, General $83.71 $174,100
15 Nurse Anesthetists $81.47 $169,500
16 Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers N/A $161,300
17 Petroleum Engineers $74.41 $154,800
18 Computer and Information Systems Managers $71.99 $149,700
19 Podiatrists $71.38 $148,500
20 Architectural and Engineering Managers $70.33 $146,300

Evaluating demand and wages in Australia. While medicine and management hit the top of the list, a directional driller also performs well. They are in high demand in the energy sector, drilling for gas and oil across the world. Air traffic controllers and construction managers also did well. Neither of these jobs need a university degree but you will need training. In the digital age, working with software development pays well. Wages are growing in the IT industry as the demand for new services and applications grows. A technical writer also finds endless streams of work to document new systems and products.

Evaluating the top-paying jobs in America. Rankings are based on salary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additional information comes from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET). Whereby for clarity and convenience, some overlapping job categories were omitted. The figures and statistics are based on data collected through May 2018. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) published its most recent list of National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates at the end of March 2019. The key takeaways from the United Stated Salary Survey data were that healthcare jobs headed the list of the highest-paying occupations. The top 10 jobs all belonged to this sector. Altogether, 14 out of the top 25 jobs were in this field. Corporate chief executives are in the highest-paid profession outside of the healthcare fields.

In various research anesthesiologists and surgeons are ranked first and second respectively. Loosely speaking, most top 20 paying jobs are identified firstly in the medical field followed by Chief Executive Officers then airplane pilots and engineers and lastly those in architecture and the computer engineering industry interchangeably.


  1. (2019). List of Highest Paying Careers and Occupations (2019). [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 Nov. 2019].
  2. Investopedia. (2019). Top 25 Highest-Paying U.S. Jobs of 2019. [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 Apr. 2019].
  3.  “Highest Paying Jobs in the World.” Adzuna.Com.Au, 9 May 2018, Accessed 25 Nov. 2019.

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