Last updated on: 11/5/2013 | Author:

Highest Paying Jobs and Fastest Growing Jobs

In 2010 the median pay for the top 20 highest paying jobs in the United States was $103,910 per year (or, $49.98 per hour) and higher. Of those jobs, one required an associate’s degree, seven required a bachelor’s degree, and 11 required doctorate or professional degrees for entry-level positions.

The top 30 fastest growing jobs in 2010 had median annual incomes ranging from $19,640 (personal care aides) to $82,040 (veterinarians). Of those jobs, five required less than a high school degree, nine required a high school degree (or the equivalent), four required an associate’s degree, six required a bachelor’s degree, two required a master’s degree, and four required a doctorate or professional degree.

I. Top 20 Highest Paying Jobs

Job2010 Median Pay
per year
2010 Median Pay
per hour
Number of Jobs
in 2010
Expected Growth by 2020
(14% is average)
Entry-Level Degree Required
1.Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons1> 166,399> $80.00155,7002%doctoral or professional
2.Physicians and Surgeons> 166,400> $80.00691,00024%doctoral or professional
3.Orthodontists> 166,400> $80.00155,7002%doctoral or professional
4.Chief Executives$165,080$79.242,136,9005%bachelor’s or Master’s
5.Dentists, All Other Specialists$161,020$77.29155,7002%doctoral or professional
6.Dentists, General$141,040$67.70155,7002%doctoral or professional
7.Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates$119,270$57.2562,7007%doctoral or professional
8.Architectural and Engineering Managers$119,260$57.24176,8009%bachelor’s
9.Prosthodontists2$118,400$56.83155,7002%doctoral or professional
10.Podiatrists$118,030$56.6512,90020%doctoral or professional
11.Natural Sciences Managers$116,020$55.6949,3008%bachelor’s
12.Computer and Information Systems Managers$115,780$55.57307,90018%bachelor’s
13.Petroleum Engineers$114,080$54.7630,2002%bachelor’s
14.Marketing Managers$112,800$54.14216,80014%bachelor’s
15.Lawyers$112,760$54.12728,20010%doctoral or professional
16.Pharmacists$111,570$53.55274,90025%doctoral or professional
17.Air Traffic Controllers$108,040$51.8627,000-3%associate's
18.Political Scientists$107,420$51.565,6008%master's
19.Physicists$106,370$51.0620,60014%doctoral or professional
20.Financial Managers$103,910$49.88527,1009%bachelor's

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Occupational and Employment Statistics,”, Mar. 29, 2013

II. Top 30 Fastest Growing Jobs

Job2010 Median Pay
per year
2010 Median Pay
per hour
Number of Jobs
in 2010
Expected Growth by 2020
(14% is average)
Entry-Level Degree Required
1.Personal Care Aides$19,640$9.431,878,70071%less than high school
2.Home Health Aides$20,560$9.871,878,70069%less than high school
3.Biomedical Engineers$81,540$39.1415,70062%bachelor’s
Stonemasons, and
Tile and Marble Setters
$27,780$13.331,250,20060%less than high school
5.Helpers--Carpenters$25,760$12.361,250,20056%less than high school
6.Veterinary Technologists
and Technicians
7.Reinforcing Iron
and Rebar Workers
$38,430$18.4519,10049%high school diploma or equivalent
8.Physical Therapist Assistants$49,690$23.83114,40046%high school diploma
and Steamfitters
$26,740$12.841,250,20045%less than high school
and Event Planners
11.Diagnostic Medical
12.Occupational Therapy
$51,010$24.4836,00043%high school diploma or equivalent
13.Physical Therapist Aides$23,680$11.37114,40043%high school diploma
14.Glaziers4$36,640$17.5941,90042%high school diploma or equivalent
15.Interpreters and
16.Medical Secretaries$30,530$14.654,010,20041%high school diploma or equivalent
17.Market Research Analysts
and Marketing Specialists
18. Marriage and
Family Therapists
19.Brickmasons and
$46,930$22.53104,80041%high school diploma or equivalent
20.Physical Therapists$76,310$36.63198,60039%doctoral or professional
21.Dental Hygienists$68,250$32.76181,80038%associate’s
22.Bicycle Repairers$23,660$11.3610,49038%high school diploma or equivalent
23.Audiologists5$66,660$32.0013,00037%doctoral or professional
24.Health Educators$45,830$22.0063,40037%bachelor’s
25.Stonemasons$37,180$17.85104,80037%high school diploma or equivalent
26.Cost Estimators6$57,860$27.77185,40036%bachelor’s
27.Medical Scientists,
Except Epidemiologists
$76,700$36.82100,00036%doctoral or professional
28.Mental Health Counselors$38,150$18.31156,30036%master's
29.Pile-Driver Operators7$47,860$22.97404,90036%high school diploma or equivalent
30.Veterinarians$82,040$39.3861,40036%doctoral or professional

III. Descriptions of Select Occupations

III. Descriptions of Select Occupations
1. Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons: "Perform surgery and related procedures on the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial [the roof of the mouth that forms the upper jaw] regions to treat diseases, injuries, or defects ...[and] to improve function or appearance."
2. Prosthodontists: "Construct oral prostheses to replace missing teeth [like dentures] and other oral structures to correct natural and acquired deformation of the mouth and jaws, to restore and maintain oral function, such as chewing and speaking, and to improve appearance."
3. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers: "[U]se special imaging equipment that directs sound waves into a patient's body (in a procedure commonly known as an ultrasound, sonogram, or echocardiogram) to assess and diagnose various medical conditions."
4. Glaziers: "[I]nstall glass in windows, skylights, storefronts, and display cases to create distinctive designs or reduce the need for artificial lighting."
5. Audiologists: "[D]iagnose and treat a patient's hearing and balance problems using advanced technology and procedures."
6. Cost Estimators: "[C]ollect and analyze data to estimate the time, money, resources, and labor required for product manufacturing, construction projects, or services. Some specialize in a particular industry or product type."
7. Pile-Driver Operators: "Operate pile drivers mounted on skids, barges, crawler treads, or locomotive trains to drive pilings for retaining walls, bulkheads, and foundations of structures, such as buildings, bridges, and piers."

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Occupational and Employment Statistics,”, Mar. 29, 2013

Photo Source: Department of Regulatory Agencies, Division of Professions and Occupations, “Satellite [Image],” (accessed Oct. 25, 2013)