Everyone wants to become wealthy, or at least have the luxury of not having to worry about paying rent on time, sending the children to a good school, and having enough funds for retirement. Everyone needs to understand, though — teenagers, most especially — that nothing “just happens,” unless you win the lottery for 10 million dollars or some other highly unlikely circumstance.
It’s important to have a plan and a clear picture of what you want to do in the future. These are the keys to having a career path that gives you fulfillment and financial security.
Here’s my advice: Obtain a degree that your chosen industry will recognize. You can concentrate on your education first or study while working as an assistant or rank and file employee. If you do the latter, you’ll have the advantage of gaining educational credentials and career experience at the same time.
In-Demand Industries Pay the Highest
Jobs in the medical field offer the highest pay in the US. This hasn’t changed in the last decade, and will likely continue in the coming years. If you’re already on this career track (ex: you’re a nurse, dental assistant, or hygienist), you can pursue continuing education in your current discipline or go back to school to study another specialization.
Medical and healthcare professionals receive high salaries because their services are in-demand. The same goes for IT and engineering professionals. The world is in the thick of digital and infrastructure developments, and the roles of software developers, IT managers, and engineers are critical to most business operations.
Law professionals also continue to enjoy high demand and high salaries for their services, although the rates vary per industry and state. Those who work for large firms, for example, may find better compensation compared to professionals in smaller companies.
Careers in finance and marketing are also promising, but a lot hinges on your employer. If you snag a position at a multinational company, you can expect a six-figure annual salary. Working for smaller-scale enterprises won’t guarantee you the same, though.
Top 25 Highest-Paying Jobs in 2018
If your goal is to live a comfortable life, it only makes sense to map a career that offers high pay. Below are 25 jobs with some of the highest annual median salaries in America today.
- Radiologist: $490,000 (American Medical Group Association)
- Cardiologist: $356,000 (Forbes)
- Anesthesiologist: $269,000 (US Bureau of Labor Statistics / US News & World Report)
- Surgeon: $252,910 (BLS/USN)
- Medical Director: $230,000 (Forbes)
- Pathologist: $225,000 (Forbes)
- Hospitalist: $220,000 (Forbes)
- Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, and Orthodontist: $208,000 (BLS/USN)
- Physician: $201,840 (BLS/USN)
- Psychiatrist: $194,740 (BLS/USN)
- Senior Corporate Counsel: $175,000 (Forbes)
- Software Engineer: $168,000 (Forbes)
- Director of Engineering: $164,000 (Forbes)
- Tax Director: $161,000 (Forbes)
- Patent Attorney: $160,000 (Forbes)
- Nurse Anesthetist: $160,270 (BLS/USN)
- Dentist: $159,770 (BLS/USN)
- Global Marketing Director: $155,000 (Forbes)
- IT Manager: $135,800 (BLS/USN)
- Marketing Manager: $131,180 (BLS/USN)
- Petroleum Engineer: $128,230 (BLS/USN)
- Financial Manager: $121,750 (BLS/USN)
- Lawyer: $118,160 (BLS/USN)
- Political Scientist: $114,290 (BLS/USN)
- Optometrist: $106,140 (BLS/USN)
Many of these occupations require up to 15 years of formal education. If you have the aptitude for the industry and have time and resources to invest in studying, it’s possible to pursue these jobs even if you’re already in your 30s or 40s.
Again, planning is the key to gaining wealth. If your goal is to earn more than a hundred thousand a year, choose the next steps in your career path wisely.