Working at a job you love for top dollar — that’s the American dream in a nutshell.
Well, if you’re hoping to achieve that dream in 2017, it looks like you’re going to have to love healthcare, management, law or engineering.
Of course, there are plenty of great-paying jobs across the country, but according to recent studies, America’s best prospects come down to those four growing fields.
America’s Top 20 Highest-Paying Jobs
The following 20 occupations make up America’s top high-paying jobs for 2017, as ranked by US News and World Report and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition to salary and projected job growth, these jobs were ranked based off employment rate, work prospects, stress and work-life balance.
|Rank||Job Title||Average Annual Salary||Projected Growth from 2014-2024|
|3||Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon||$233,900||18%|
|4||Obstetrician and Gynecologist||$222,400||18%|
Health care positions largely dominate this top 20. Despite the stress and unpredictable hours many people associate with medical jobs — especially those “Grey’s Anatomy” fans — the positions that made it onto this list are much more regulated than the schedule of your average TV drama surgeon.
The Highest-Paying Jobs Geographically
Want a more localized breakdown? Here it is. On the graphic below, borrowed from Business Insider, you’ll see the high-paying jobs laid out by state:
Careers in health care dominate the map, although the highest paying opportunities vary by state.
What does this mean for you? Simple. It means location can have an impact on the best opportunities for career growth, and it never hurts to have some awareness of how the two influence one another in your field.
Great Careers Outside of the Top 20
Even if your professional field falls somewhere outside the realm of these 20 jobs, that doesn’t mean you can’t also get killer benefits, fair work terms and competitive pay. To ensure that you’re capitalizing on career-growing opportunities, run through this checklist before your next job hunt:
- Determine where you want to live and work — if top dollar is your priority, make sure you research where your specialty is most valued
- Research competitive pay and benefits in that geographic area
- Armed with your research, brush up on how to negotiate a salary before your interview
The bottom line — make an effort to stay informed. Being knowledgeable about the current state of your field helps you determine your own specific career goals, simplifies your job search and impresses interviewers.