The 10 Best-Paying Jobs For 2014

Tyler Durden's picture

First it was the Fed's unemployment rate target. This was quickly ignored and forgotten - just as we predicted would happen in December 2012 - when the unemployment rate "hit and beat" the Fed's target, even as the Fed's Russell 200,000 target was still far, far away.

Then it implicitly became the rate of those long-term unemployed, but now that even this number is starting to indicate lack of slack, the central bank "target" has shifted once again, this time as hinted by the BOE's Marc Carney, who is now looking at the one indicator we said was the only relevant one from day 1 - the lack of real wage growth, or in other words, not quantity of jobs but quality.

And of course, as we have shown over the past two years, the reason for the lack of wage growth is that the jobs added are either of the part-time variety, or predominantly low paying jobs.

Still, there is some hope left, even for choose not to pursue the final days of what once were the best-paying if least constructive and beneficial to society jobs in the US, namely finance.

According to a new analysis from CareerCast jobs, seven of the top 10 careers are in the healthcare industry and, as expected, require an advanced degree. As CBS reports, while these jobs are all pegged to show strong earnings growth through 2022, there is a downside: Becoming a surgeon or physician requires years of graduate school and training, which requires an investment of time and money. "There is a tradeoff for every job," CareerCast publisher Tony Lee told CBS MoneyWatch. "Surgeon might be the best paid job in the country, but what it takes to become a surgeon is substantial in terms of cost and years when your earnings are minimal," such as during a residency.

Oh well, at least it doesn't require stealing from widows and orphans, and one can even sleep at night without ingesting industrial amounts of horse tranquilizer.

So without further ado, here are the ten top paying jobs for 2014:

1. Surgeon 

Annual average salary: $233,150

Projected growth by 2022: 18 percent

While surgeons are the top-earning workers in the analysis, the tradeoff is often a staggering amount of student debt. Graduates in the class of 2013 left medical school with a median debt of $175,000, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Still, some surgeons can far exceed the average, with about 6 percent of general surgeons bringing home at least $500,000, according to a Medscape report last year.


2. General Practice Physician 

Annual average salary: $187,200

Projected growth by 2022: 18 percent

General practice physicians rank as the second highest-paid career. Like surgeons, the profession is forecast to have an above-average rate of growth through 2022.

One reason is that baby boomers are starting to retire from their medical practices, but an aging population is keeping demand high for medical professionals. Yet not enough students are enrolling in medical school to make up the shortfall, causing the Association of American Medical Colleges to estimate a shortfall of more than 65,000 primary-care doctors by 2025.

Some medical students are preferring to enroll in training for medical specialties such as cardiology, given higher pay for specialists and the often stressful role of a general practitioner.


3. Psychiatrist 

Annual average salary: $178,950

Projected growth by 2022: 18 percent

Becoming a psychiatrist also requires years of training. After medical school, students enroll in a residency program before getting licensed to practice. While they earn less than some other medical specialists, psychiatrists enjoy higher job satisfaction than others in the medical field, Medscape found.


4. Orthodontist 

Annual average salary: $149,310

Projected growth by 2022: 16 percent

Orthodontists attend dental school before enrolling in either a Doctor of Dental Surgery or a Doctor of Dental Medicine. The next step is to enroll in a post-doctoral orthodontics program. Overall, training can take 10 years from bachelor's degree to the final specialty program.


5. Dentist 

Annual average salary: $146,340

Projected growth by 2022: 16 percent

Getting into dental school can be competitive, notes the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While they often earn high salaries, the downside is that the profession comes with a high level of stress, partly from dealing with fearful patients.


6. Petroleum Engineer 

Annual average salary: $130,280

Projected growth by 2022: 26 percent

Some petroleum engineers are nearing retirement, which is opening up opportunities to younger workers, Lee notes. That's also helping the growth rate for this industry, as well as demand from the growing oil and gas exploration sites.


7. Air Traffic Controller 

Annual average salary: $122,530

Projected growth by 2022: 1 percent

While a high-paying job, working as an air-traffic controller carries a high level of stress. Because of this, some workers burn out while still young, Lee notes. It's also facing a below average growth rate because some functions of air control are being automated, requiring fewer workers.


8. Pharmacist 

Annual average salary: $116,670

Projected growth by 2022: 14 percent

Like other medical professions, becoming a pharmacist also requires years of training. Pharmacists earn a four-year Doctor of Pharmacy degree, and must become licensed by passing two exams, the BLS notes.


9. Podiatrist 

Annual average salary: $116,440

Projected growth by 2022: 23 percent

This medical specialty is projected to grow faster than the average U.S. profession, thanks to the aging American population, the BLS notes. Podiatrists will be increasingly in demand to treat patients with foot and ankle problems created by chronic illnesses such as obesity, the agency adds.


10. Attorney 

Annual average salary: $113,530

Projected growth by 2022: 10 percent

Last but not least, lawyers still rank among the top 10 paying professions in the U.S. Following a downturn after the recession, the job market for attorneys is improving, Lee notes. Some Baby Boomer attorneys will be retiring, opening up more demand for younger legal eagles.

Via: CBS

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kowalli's picture

is bankster, USA president, congressman, ceo and etc not included?

WayBehind's picture

No, those are not included because politician or thief is not a real job

Raymond K Hessel's picture

There's no way this  list is correct.  Attorney shouldn't be on that list considering how high the unemployment rate for them is right now.

And the doctors' pay all seem way too low, by a factor of about 5x.

I think this list is full of bull shit.

kaiserhoff's picture

Pharmacist, the ability to count pills.

A job that should have been replaced by bar codes years ago.

Latina Lover's picture

They forgot to include prostitutes.  Most whores make more money than most doctors.

Keyser's picture

That top 10 list is a bit on the low side... I know O&G workers making more than all these folks... 

AldousHuxley's picture

healthcare $ comes from your taxes....

Doctors have government protection of their jobs through licensing...


Pay drug company scientists more to actually cure diseases, not service providers like doctors and pharmacists.


Also start taxing hospitals and medical services and watch prices go down.

NoDebt's picture

What th hell is wrong with that foot the Podiatrist is.... scraping, I guess?  Working on a zombie from The Walking Dead?

Semi-employed White Guy's picture

$116,440 is not nearly enough to work with nasty feet like that.

Skateboarder's picture

It's like freaking Hobbiton around here. :-)

StychoKiller's picture

Coming from yer avatar, that's comedy gold right thar! :>D

ILoveDebt's picture

Retail pharmacists - yes.  Hospital pharmacists - no.  They actual do pharmaceutical related work with dosing of patients.  


The irony is that retail pharmacists make more money then hospital pharmacist.  

Citxmech's picture

Of course in retail there's like one actual licensed pharmacist for every 7-8 techs.

Big Brother's picture

Retail pharmacists - to quote a friend of mine who works for CVS:

First off, you deal with the general public. 

  • If you work in a poor neighborhood, you're primarily handing out psych drugs paid for by a third party (the tax-payer).  You're at risk of getting robbed for the pain-killers you store in the back safe.  You're under constant survalence from the DEA to ensure your Percoset and Vicodin volumes add up.
  • If you work in a college town, your highest-volume seller is the "the morning after pill".
  • If you work in a wealthy neighborhood, your highest net-profit item is Viagra®.

Secondly, if you work for an HO-

  • You count pills all day and hand them off to nurses.  If you like the solitary and not dealing with the general public, this is the way to go.
  • You take a 40% paycut to do so.


Raymond K Hessel's picture

A good pharmacist is more than a pill counter. 

He can help you answer questions about medications, side effects, whether or not they interact with other medicine, vitamins, etc.

If you go to a CVS or Walgreens, then no, that pharmacist doesn't work there.  The pharmacist I'm describing owns the store.  If you go to Walgreens, you probably go to Wal-Mart, so you should expect to get treated like any other kind of adult retard who doesn't have half the sense God gave him.

NoPension's picture

There can't be more than two, maybe three, pharmacist owned store in the country. I may be on the high side.

FredFlintstone's picture

I never understood this part of it. Wouldn't your prescribing physician be looking at all of this and answering questions?

wee-weed up's picture

Being a doctor under ObozoCare?
Sorry... No thanks! No amount of money...

kaiserhoff's picture

Defective list.

Life guards and prison guards in Cali got the rest of ya'll smoked.

Urban Redneck's picture

They left off the $180,000 per year at only 20 hours a week that can be made by posting obnoxious links on Zerohedge.

Citxmech's picture

Oh yeah - that reminds me:  My sister's cousin made $18k last month pimping her chihuahua on Craigslist and posting the hidden videos she took to YouTube - to see how, visit my link at. . . 

knukles's picture

So it's you fuckers stole my chihuahua for sex! 
Where's my taste of the 18 large?

l8apex's picture

The $ amount for psychiatrist is accurate.  Couldn't say for the any of the others.  Low by a factor of 5x, that's funny.

blown income's picture

My Psychiatrist had to close his private practice a few months back , he was a great doctor but the insurance companys effectivly killed his practice..Nobody wants to pay for mental health..


I feel bad for him as we kinda became freinds and was always there for me , I always paid cash..

lasvegaspersona's picture


I suspect the average is correct for physicians but the spread is wide. Some are comfortable as salaried HMO docs others are aggresive and hungry. They do private practice and if they do well they can make a lot more.

Medicine has a high fixed cost. Once you make your nut the rest is yours. In hard times still have that nut, staff, rent and medical malpractice insurance. If you are young, smart and confident you can make a good living in medicine.

In Nevada they just allowed PAs and nurse practitioners to open practices WITHOUT a supervising physician. Family Practice docs are going to see a lot of competition. the competition will have less training and less debt but will be able to compete head to head. It is the beginning of America's version  of the barefoot doctors. Cuba already cranks out hundred of thousands of 'doctors' and sends them to other S American  countries.

They simply can't have the skills or training of Western trained MDs and DOs. It will ultimately reduce healthcare costs but the price is unknown for the patients.

Tapeworm's picture

Good points, but a NP can do a job that the factory hospitals gouge Workmans' Comp insurers $16,000 for the NP's total bill of under 400 dollars.

 That is a direct example for two finger cuts that needed six to eight stitches. Neither needed anything more than a good seamstress with scrupulous cleanliness. Besides, NP's dont prescribe statins forever and always, but are more likely to tell the fatassed patient to lay off of the carbs and to switch to unadulterated fats. You might have noticed that NP's are far more likely to have decent knowledge of nutrition.

 No, they cannot do everything but a good one can cover a lot of the injuries and such that are such a huge source of extorted EZ munney that keeps the bloat of parasitic hospital administrators in their 750k houses and Mercs and BKs those without fantasy and unaffordably priced "insurance".

FredFlintstone's picture

American DO's even scare me. Give me an American male MD in a wealthy suburb with a little grey hair.

StackShinyStuff's picture

"Arch Criminal" not a category in the survey

BigJim's picture

I'm voting 'Petroleum Engineer'.

The others are either very stressful or involve a decade of study. Or usually necessitate being a sleazebag.

BlindMonkey's picture

Petroleum Engineers are pretty oily types too.

knukles's picture

You'll get fired for saying abiotic

Lostinfortwalton's picture

Marine engineers, the guys who design the offshore oil rigs and equipment, are doing almost as good as the petroleum engineers.

lasvegaspersona's picture

7 years for a Family Practice doc and 9 years AFTER COLLEGE for specialists like Cardiology, Rheumatology, Pulmonology, Kidney and in between for some surgeons more for others.

You get paid after the first 4 years but it wasn't much when I was in training.

Sudden Debt's picture

At least, everybody respects the doctors who put on 9000 dollar bandaids on people's fingers who cut them....

Handful of Dust's picture

You got off cheap. However, I seldom gripe about my docs because they're all very good ... it's the hospitals that rub me the wrong way. You can at least talk to your doctor; ever try dealing with a hospital over a $14,386 bill for an 18 minute procedure?

lasvegaspersona's picture

Handful...I have pricing simply makes no sense. It is an outrage. I quit practicing in hospitals years ago. Much less stressful and far more efficient.

StychoKiller's picture

I don't gripe to my primary care Doc, she gives me lots of therapuetic treatments every week -- we've been married since 1984, so there's that as well. :>D

FredFlintstone's picture

Every week? You must still be young.

A Nanny Moose's picture

politician and thief is redundant

FreedomGuy's picture

I would like to see sports stars (NFL, NBA, MLB, etc.), mafioso's, and Congressmen up there. Harry Reid has done amazingly well on his salary.

Tucson Tom's picture

your list,with the exception of some CEO`s,requires  no integrity or morals!

ILoveDebt's picture

An engineer without integrity will kill more people than a doctor wihout one in many cases.  I believe most engineers have integrity. 

Syrin's picture

Lottery winner, the ideal profession

JuliaS's picture

Career winner. Like Charlie Sheen.

BigJim's picture

 is bankster, USA president, congressman, ceo and etc not included?

To be a considered a 'job' doesn't it have to involve some kind of value add?

sessinpo's picture

The best paying job is welfare reciever. It's hard sitting on your ass watching a big screen tv, while waiting for that check and ebt credit.

Surging Chaos's picture

Nah I'd say being a bankster puts the welfare mooch to shame in terms of being better paid. Those EBT cards can't compare to the .01%er version of welfare: TARP/ZIRP/QE4eva.