The 10 Best-Paying Jobs For 2014

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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