Best Jobs that Pay Well in 2022

The healthcare industry has the highest paying jobs. According to government data, healthcare jobs account for the majority of well-paying jobs on the compensation ladder.

The Bottom Line

As previously said, healthcare jobs topped the list of well-paying jobs, and the sector’s future seems quite promising. Healthcare occupations are expected to rise by 16 percent between 2020 and 2030, generating roughly 2.6 million new jobs, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). According to the agency, this growth is “primarily attributable to an older population, which leads to increased demand for healthcare services.”

TAKEAWAYS

  • Several healthcare jobs topped the list of high-paying employment; the top ten positions all fell into this category.
  • Outside of the healthcare areas, corporate top executives have well-paying jobs.
  • At the end of March 2021, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its most recent list of National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates.

The Techniques Employed in Compiling the Best Jobs that Pay Well

The BLS wage data is used to compile the rankings. In the yearly publication, National Occupational Employment and Income Estimates, the BLS utilizes mean, or average, salaries for each occupation instead of median earnings, which represent the annual wage of a typical person in that function.

The pay figures and job outlook forecasts are based on data collected until May 2020, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics last updated its occupational statistics.

List of Highest Jobs that Pay Well in 2022

  1. Anesthesiologists: $271,440

Anesthesiologists are doctors who “administer anesthetics and analgesics for pain management prior to, during, or after surgery,” according to the BLS. This highly specialized job has risen to the top of the list of highest-paying occupations.

An anesthesiologist’s work hours are dictated by the operating room’s schedule, which can be lengthy and unpredictable. Because anesthesiologists are needed for both scheduled surgeries and emergency procedures, such as traumatic events and childbirth, anesthesiologists are in high demand.

Education — After four years of medical school, aspiring anesthesiologists in the United States typically complete a four-year residency in anesthesiology, with some subspecialties requiring even more time.

Job Outlook — Overall, employment is expected to drop 1% over the next decade, according to the BLS.5

  1. Surgeons: $251,650

Despite the fact that being a surgeon necessitates several years of specialized training, these doctors are rewarded with one of the highest-paying careers. Depending on their speciality, surgeons may be required to work long, unpredictable hours. While surgeons who specialize in preventative and elective procedures may have a more predictable schedule, those who specialize in trauma or neurosurgery may work lengthy, even nocturnal shifts.

Surgeons heal damaged bones and diseases like cancer with procedures. Before and after surgery, surgeons assist in the management of the patient’s care. A surgeon may need to answer patient concerns over the phone even if they aren’t scheduled to work, and on-call surgeons may make emergency excursions to the hospital.

To become a surgeon, you must first complete medical school and obtain a bachelor’s degree.

To become a surgeon, you must first complete medical school, then a multi-year residency program, and maybe a specialty fellowship.

Job Outlook — Overall, employment is projected to increase 3% over the next decade, according to the BLS.5

  1. Obstetricians-Gynecologists: $239,120

Obstetricians-gynecologists, or OB-GYNs, are doctors who specialize in vaginal, ovarian, uterine, and cervical reproductive health and childbirth. They earn somewhat more than orthodontists and oral and maxillofacial surgeons.

Successful OB-GYNs are skilled at conveying information to patients that benefits their health and that of their children. They’re also great at dealing with high-stress situations, such as childbirth, which can happen at any time of day.

Education — Becoming an OB-GYN requires graduation from medical school, as well as completion of a four-year obstetrics residency program and a four-year gynecology residency program. Following that, these doctors must pass a license exam before they may practice.

Job Outlook — The number of OB-GYN jobs is expected to decrease by 2% by 2030, according to the BLS.5

  1. Orthodontists: $237,990

Orthodontists specialize in tooth correction and are frequently referred out by patients’ dentists. X-rays are frequently taken, braces are applied, mouth guards are made, and other procedures are performed as needed by these experts.

Because orthodontists work directly with patients, they must have excellent communication skills as well as strong analytical and problem-solving ability. Some work for major orthodontic practices, while others own their own practice, which necessitates good management abilities.

Future orthodontists must attend a dental school curriculum that includes both classroom and clinical practice after getting a bachelor’s degree. Following that, these new doctors must finish a specific residency program and pass a licensing exam.

Job Outlook — By 2030, the BLS expects the number of orthodontic jobs in the U.S. to reach 6,900, reflecting an 8% increase from 2020.15

  1. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons: $234,990

In and around the mouth and jaw, oral and maxillofacial surgeons treat a wide range of diseases, injuries, and deformities. Problematic wisdom teeth, misaligned jaws, tumors, and cysts of the jaw and mouth are among the most prevalent issues they’ll deal with. In addition, they may do dental implant surgery.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons often need a bachelor’s degree, a four-year dental degree, and at least four years of residency. Following their training, surgeons frequently take a two-part exam to get certified by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in the United States.

Job Outlook — From 2020 to 2030, employment is expected to increase 8%, according to the BLS.15

  1. Physicians (Other): $218,850

They would finish in sixth place if the average compensation of all physicians working in all other specialties was taken into account. 18 Allergists, cardiologists, dermatologists, oncologists (those who treat cancer), gastroenterologists (those who specialize in the digestive system), and ophthalmologists are all included in this “other” category (eye specialists). It also includes pathologists, who examine body tissue for anomalies, and radiologists, who evaluate medical images and treat cancer patients with radiation.

After earning a bachelor’s degree, any medical doctor (M.D.) or doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) must attend medical school. Most clinical occupations also need completion of a resident program, while some may continue on to receive fellowship training.

Job Outlook — Total employment among all physicians is expected to increase 5% by 2029, according to the BLS.5

  1. Psychiatrists: $217,100

While all psychiatrists assist in the treatment of mental illnesses, the field encompasses a wide spectrum of expertise. 20 Some specialize in child and adolescent psychiatry, while others focus on forensic (legal) psychiatry, addiction psychiatry, or consultation psychiatry in a medical environment. Others specialize in psychoanalysis, which entails the psychiatrist assisting the patient in recalling and examining past experiences and emotions in order to better understand current feelings.

Private practice, hospitals, community agencies, schools, rehabilitation programs, and even jails are all places where psychiatrists work.

Psychiatrists are medical professionals, unlike psychologists, who also treat mental health disorders. They must complete medical school, followed by a residency program, after getting an undergraduate degree.

While all psychiatrists assist in the treatment of mental illnesses, the field encompasses a wide spectrum of expertise. 20 Some specialize in child and adolescent psychiatry, while others focus on forensic (legal) psychiatry or addiction. According to the American Psychiatric Association, the first year of residency often include working in a hospital setting and handling a variety of medical illnesses, followed by three or more years of mental health training. Following that, many graduates seek certification from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Job Outlook — Among physicians, psychology is expected to be one of the fastest-growing specialties over the next several years. The BLS predicts that employment will grow 13% from 2020 to 2030.

READ: List of Top 15 Quick Certifications That Pay Well in 2022

  1. Prosthodontists: $214,870

Prosthodontists use artificial devices such dental implants, dentures, bridges, crowns, and veneers to replace missing or damaged teeth. 22 Physicians that excel in this field have a great interest in science, are capable of diagnosing complex dental disorders, and have the mechanical knowledge to appropriately treat patients. Many of them work with cancer patients, so they must be aware of the demands of surgical patients and how to handle those who are through radiation or chemotherapy.

A college degree is required for a career in prosthodontics, followed by completion of a dental school program to become a doctor of dental surgery (DDS) or a doctor of dental medicine (DDM) (DDM). Candidates then complete a residency program before applying to the American Board of Prosthodontics for certification.

Job Outlook — It’s a pretty exclusive club—there are only about 700 prosthodontists in the U.S. However, the number of prosthodontists is expected to grow 8% over the next decade, according to BLS projections.

  1. Family Medicine Physicians: $214,370

Physicians who “diagnose, treat, and offer preventative care to people and families across the lifetime,” according to the BLS. Patients are frequently referred to experts by these medical doctors for more advanced therapy.

Patients often see family medicine professionals, also known as primary care physicians, for routine screenings and treatment of common health problems including sinus and respiratory infections, as well as chronic conditions like diabetes, asthma, and heart disease.

Some primary care physicians specialize in working with adults (internists) or children (pediatricians) (pediatricians). Family physicians are doctors who serve patients of all ages, from infants to the elderly. Family practice doctors typically address a broader spectrum of medical issues due to their diverse patient demographic.

Family medicine professionals must finish a residency program after graduating from medical school. Before seeking for board certification, doctors must complete a certain number of months in each training field.

Job Outlook — According to the BLS, employment among family medicine doctors is expected to grow 5% from 2020 to 2030.

  1. Internal Medicine Physicians: $210,960

Another medical role is ranked No. 10 on the list. Adult patients are the focus of internists, who often work as primary care doctors or hospitalists. 29 Internists who work in primary care see a lot of patients and need to treat a variety of conditions, from asthma and diabetes to high cholesterol and hypertension, much like other general practitioners. With visits lasting 15 to 30 minutes on average, rapid decision-making is essential.

Internists often undergo a residency period after getting a bachelor’s degree and graduating from medical school, during which they rotate between various healthcare specializations. Some people choose to specialize in areas like cardiology, pulmonology, or cancer. Internists who are board-certified have a significant advantage in the job market.

Job Outlook — Employment among general medicine internists is expected to drop 1% by 2030, according to the BLS.

  1. Chief Executives: $197,840

Outside of the medical and dental industries, chief executives are the highest-paid professionals. The CEO’s function as the firm’s highest-ranking employee is to make crucial choices about the management team, lead the company toward new markets or product sectors, and interact with the board of directors.

Despite their great pay, many CEOs have demanding schedules. According to a 2018 Harvard Business Review survey, the average CEO works 62.5 hours per week, with around half of that time spent in the office and the other half spent traveling.

Educate yourself. Unsurprisingly, the majority of Fortune 100 CEOs (53 percent) have a bachelor’s degree in business administration, according to a Forbes study. Many, on the other hand, had majored in unrelated disciplines as undergraduates (though some went on to earn a master’s degree).

Many, on the other hand, had majored in unrelated disciplines as undergraduates (though some later received a master of business administration, or MBA, degree). As students, many leaders in tech-related organizations studied engineering.

Job Outlook — The number of people working as top executives is expected to grow about 8% over the next decade.

  1. Dentists (All Other Specialties): $194,930

Dentists who specialize in other practice areas also get compensated quite well. The BLS lumps these other specialists into one grouping, which brings in an average salary of $194,930, according to the bureau’s latest data from 2020.

Among the practitioners included in this category are endodontists, who perform root canals and other procedures dealing with the inside of the tooth, and periodontists, who treat the gums and bones around the teeth.

Education — Most dental programs require a bachelor’s degree with coursework in biology and chemistry. Like other dental professionals, specialists must take the Dental Admission Test to get accepted into an accredited dental program. After dental school, specialists typically complete two to three years of additional training in the field of their choice.

Job Outlook — The BLS expects employment in the specialties listed above to increase 5% over the next decade.

  1. Nurse Anesthetists: $189,190

Nursing tends to pay well in general compared with most other career paths, although nurse anesthetists do particularly well. Per the BLS, nurse anesthetists “administer anesthesia and provide care before, during, and after surgical, therapeutic, diagnostic, and obstetrical procedures.”3940

While their role is similar to that of an anesthesiologist, they don’t complete the same level of training. That means becoming a nurse anesthetist takes less time and money than going to medical school and becoming a physician. Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) may work in a broad array of different settings, including hospital surgical suites, obstetrical delivery rooms, ambulatory surgical centers, doctor’s offices, and pain management centers.

Education — Candidates have to graduate with a master’s degree from an accredited program, which typically takes 24 to 51 months. Some go on to complete a fellowship program, particularly if they’re specializing within the field. To become a CRNA, candidates also need at least one year of full-time experience working as a registered nurse in a critical-care setting.

Job Outlook — It’s hard to find a job that will grow faster than nurse anesthetists over the next several years; the BLS expects employment to grow 45% by 2029.

  1. Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers: $186,870

Working in the aviation industry can mean a lot of time away from home, but it also leads to a nice paycheck in many cases. The BLS lumps airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers into one category, which generates a mean salary of $186,870 in 2020.

The pilot, or captain, typically has the most experience operating a plane and oversees the other members of the flight crew. The copilot is the second in command during the flight and helps the captain with responsibilities in the cockpit.

Flight engineers do preflight checks, monitor the plane’s cabin pressure, assess how much fuel is being burned, and perform other important duties. However, because of the increased amount of automation in new aircraft, there are fewer jobs for flight engineers than there used to be.

Education — Airline pilots usually require a bachelor’s degree and have an Airline Transport Pilot certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration. They often start out as commercial pilots and accrue thousands of hours of experience in the cockpit before gaining employment with an airline.

Job Outlook — There are roughly 85,500 individuals employed as airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers in the United States. The BLS expects that number to rise by 14% between 2020 and 2030.

  1. Pediatricians (General): $184,570

Pediatricians—physicians who specifically treat children—make less than internists and general practitioners but are still among the highest-paid professionals.47 These general practitioners perform checkups and exams for younger patients, treat common ailments, and administer immunizations. They often refer patients to a specialist when their health issues are more complex.7

Pediatricians require strong critical-thinking skills, especially given the large number of patients they often serve, as well as excellent interpersonal skills and empathy.

Education — After medical school, pediatricians enter residency programs that allow them to develop their skills in a clinical environment. They must pass licensing exams to practice, and most receive board certification to boost their prospects in the job market.

Job Outlook — There are currently around 30,200 pediatricians practicing in the United States, although the BLS expects that number to drop by 2% over the next decade.

  1. Dentists (General): $180,830

Dentists often show up in lists of the best jobs in healthcare. While the pay tends to be attractive, the combination of relatively low stress and flexible scheduling certainly adds to the appeal.

In a typical week, dental practitioners might find themselves analyzing X-rays, filling cavities, extracting damaged teeth, and administering sealants. It’s a job that requires a strong grasp of best practices in the field, attention to detail, and the ability to develop a good rapport with patients.

Education — While not always required to do so, dentists often select biology or other science majors as an undergraduate. After college, they take the Dental Admission Test (DAT) to get into a dental school, where they learn about subjects such as local anesthesia, anatomy, periodontics, and radiology. They also receive clinical experience under the supervision of a practicing dentist.

Job Outlook — The BLS expects overall employment among dentists to increase by 8% by 2030.

  1. Computer and Information Systems Managers: $161,730

Computer and information systems (IS) managers oversee functions such as electronic data processing, information systems, systems analysis, and computer programming.50 They evaluate the information technology (IT) needs of a business or government body and work with technical staff to implement computer systems that meet those objectives.

Successful managers need to develop sound plans that mesh with the goals of the organization, as well as the ability to motivate employees who are under their supervision.

Before becoming IS managers, individuals generally have several years of experience under their belt in a related field. In general, larger organizations require more-seasoned IT managers than smaller companies or startups. According to the BLS, a chief technology officer (CTO), who supervises the entire technology function at a larger organization, will often need more than 15 years of IT experience.

Education — Most computer and information systems managers have received a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related major. Some have graduated from management information systems (MIS) programs, which add business coursework to the normal computer programming and software development classes. To advance into a managerial role, IT professionals sometimes work toward a master of business administration (MBA) or other graduate degrees. MBA programs usually take two years to complete full time, although some employers take courses part-time while they continue to work in an IT capacity.

Job Outlook — The BLS projects that total employment will jump 11% by 2030, much faster than the economy-wide average.

  1. Architectural and Engineering Managers: $158,100

These managers are charged with coordinating all the technical aspects of architecture or engineering projects.54 That can include consulting with clients and preparing specifications for the project, analyzing the feasibility of work being proposed, and reviewing contracts and budgets.

In addition to having strong administrative skills, managers in these fields need a background in architecture or engineering to understand the demands of a particular project.

Education — While some engineering management positions may only require a bachelor’s degree, some employers require a master’s. For positions that are nontechnical in nature, managers often pursue a master’s in business administration. For those in more technical roles, however, degrees such as a master’s in engineering management are often more beneficial.

Job Outlook — Jobs in architectural and engineering management are expected to grow 4% by 2030, or about average for all occupations, according to the BLS.

  1. Natural Sciences Managers: $154,930

Moving up the organizational chart is the ticket to a good payday in just about any field, and the sciences are no different. Professionals who supervise chemists, physicists, biologists, and other scientists are in the top 25 of all occupations when it comes to mean pay.

Natural sciences managers can have any number of titles, including health sciences manager, laboratory manager, research and development director, research manager, senior investigator, and senior scientist. What they have in common is a responsibility to coordinate activities such as testing, quality control, and production and to oversee research and development.

Education — The typical career path for managers begins as a scientist. In some cases, that may only require a bachelor’s degree, although many roles necessitate a master’s degree or Ph.D. in a scientific field. Some managers pursue a professional science master’s (PSM) degree program, which fuses advanced scientific learning with business coursework.

Job Outlook — The 2020–2030 outlook for natural sciences managers looks bright, with 6% employment growth expected by the BLS.

  1. Marketing Managers: $154,470

Products and services don’t sell themselves. It takes talented professionals to analyze how much demand there is for a particular offering and find ways to bring it to market. Marketing departments also determine the price that will maximize profit for the company.

These functions are crucial to a business’s bottom line, so it may not be a surprise that marketing managers are among the highest-paid professions in the U.S. In 2020, the mean annual wage for this title was a cool $154,470.

To flourish, marketing managers have to demonstrate a blend of creativity and business acumen. Day-to-day activities include everything from acquiring market research to planning promotional activities to developing websites and social media campaigns.

Education — Marketing managers typically need a bachelor’s degree, with classwork in areas such as management, economics, finance, computer science, and statistics being particularly helpful. Highly competitive jobs may require a master’s degree.

Job Outlook — The BLS expects the job market for marketing managers to grow faster than average, with an estimated 10% growth by 2030.

  1. Petroleum Engineers: $154,330

Energy sources, including fossil fuels such as oil and gas, are the lifeblood of the economy. However, extracting those important resources efficiently requires some serious know-how, and petroleum engineers play a big role.

Their main goal is to develop methods to pull oil and gas from new deposits below the Earth’s surface and design new ways to extract fossil fuels from existing wells. Typically, the responsibilities of a petroleum engineer include ascertaining operational methods, performing a cost-benefit analysis for a given project, and analyzing survey or geographic data.

Among the titles they may possess are completions engineers, who help devise the optimal way to finish a well; drilling engineers, who figure out how to efficiently and safely drill the well; production engineers, who evaluate oil and gas production after the well has been created; and reservoir engineers, who estimate the amount of oil and gas available in underground deposits, which are known as reservoirs.

Education — Future petroleum engineers benefit from taking extensive coursework in math and science as early as high school. Entry-level jobs in the field require at least a bachelor’s degree, with coursework generally focusing on engineering principles, thermodynamics, and geology. Some universities offer five-year combined programs that lead to a bachelor’s and a master’s, which may be necessary for some employers or for those hoping for greater advancement.

Job Outlook — When it comes to employment growth, the BLS expects petroleum engineering to be roughly average over the next decade, at 8%.

  1. Financial Managers: $151,510

The finance department plays a pivotal role, especially in medium- and large-sized organizations.

Among their responsibilities are planning investment activities and assessing market trends to maximize profits while controlling risk. They also create financial reports that help the senior management team make decisions and inform shareholders.

Jobs that fall within the fast-growing financial manager category include controllers, who prepare financial reports such as income statements and balance sheets; treasurers, who devise investment strategies for the organization; and risk managers, who use various measures to limit the company’s exposure to financial or currency risk.

Education — According to the BLS, financial managers usually need a bachelor’s degree or higher in fields such as finance, accounting, economics, or business administration. Before assuming a manager role, most finance professionals have several years of experience in jobs such as loan officer, accountant, securities sales agent, or financial analyst.

Job Outlook — The need for financial managers is likely to grow much faster than the job market overall. The BLS foresees a 17% increase in total employment between 2020 and 2030.

  1. Podiatrists: $151,510

Podiatrists diagnose and treat diseases and deformities of the foot, ankle, and lower leg. They provide medical and surgical care.

Most podiatrists work in offices of podiatry, either on their own or with other podiatrists or health practitioners. Others work in private and public hospitals, in outpatient care centers, or for the government at a federal executive branch.

Education — Podiatrists must have a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree from an accredited college of podiatric medicine. A DPM degree program takes four years to complete. After earning a DPM, podiatrists must apply to and complete a three-year podiatric medicine and surgery residency (PMSR) program. Residency programs take place in hospitals and provide both medical and surgical experience. They may need to complete additional training in specific areas, such as podiatric wound care or diabetic foot care.

Job Outlook — One drawback of a future career as a podiatrist is a potential lack of job openings. According to the BLS, employment in this sector is projected to grow

2% from 2020 to 2030, slower than the average for all occupations. However, an average of 900 openings for podiatrists are projected each year. Most of these openings may result from the need to replace workers who transfer or retire.

  1. Lawyers: $148,910

Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law. Lawyers act as both advocates and advisors.

Lawyers may have different titles and different duties, depending on where they work. As such, they may receive the title of associates, defense attorneys, prosecutors, government counsels, corporate counsels, and public-interest lawyers.

In addition to working in different industries, lawyers may specialize in particular legal fields, like the environment, taxes, intellectual property, and family, among others.

Education — Becoming a lawyer takes four years of undergraduate study, followed by three years of law school. Most states and jurisdictions require lawyers to complete a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association. Then, prospective lawyers must take a licensing exam called the “bar exam.” Lawyers who receive a license to practice law are “admitted to the bar.”

Job Outlook — Employment of lawyers is projected to grow 9% from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Although law firms will continue to be among the largest employers of lawyers, many large corporations are increasing their in-house legal departments since hiring outside counsel lawyers can be costly.79

  1. Sales Managers: $147,580

Sales managers play a vital role in most companies—creating sales territories, identifying goals for salespeople, and developing training programs that help team members sell products and services more effectively. They also pore over sales data to identify the most promising products and markets and to assess the performance of sales employees.

While the pay tends to be very good, sales managers often have to travel to visit local sales offices and meet with distributors. Because they shoulder a lot of the responsibility for generating revenue within an organization, serving as a sales manager can also be stressful.

Education — Companies generally look for individuals with several years of sales experience for their sales manager positions. While some jobs may not require a college education, many demand a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Job Outlook — The BLS projects employment growth to be about average over the next decade, with a 7% increase in the number of working sales managers.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to jobs that pay well, it’s hard to beat a career in healthcare. Specialists tend to earn the largest paychecks, but general practitioners and even nonphysician roles, such as nurse anesthetists, certainly bring in attractive salaries. If the medical field isn’t for you, then careers such as engineering and management can also lead to lucrative jobs.

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