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At More Than $200K a Year, Surgeons Are Highest Earners

Healthcare-related fields dominate the top 10.

Published: August 13, 2014

The training is long and costly, the hours are demanding, and the pressure can be tremendous, but for those who make it as surgeons — or as any of several other healthcare-related professionals — the financial rewards are impressive.

A new ranking by Careercast.com says surgeons top the list when it comes to the highest-paying jobs of 2014, with an average annual salary of $233,150. They're joined in the top 10 by 6 other healthcare-related professions: general physicians, psychiatrists, orthodontists, dentists, pharmacists and podiatrists.

And there's considerable room for growth in all 7 fields, according to the analysis, ranging from an expected 14% increase in positions for pharmacists by 2022 to an expected 23% growth in jobs for podiatrists over the same period.

Of course, those 6-figure salaries are usually accompanied by 6-figure debts, at least at first. The Association of American Medical Colleges says members of the Class of 2013 left school with a median debt of $175,000 and that 40% of grads owed $200,000 or more.

Here are the 10 best-paying positions, along with average 2014 salaries and projected growth rates over the next 8 years:

  1. Surgeon, $233,150, 18%
  2. General physician, $187,200, 18%
  3. Psychiatrist $179,950, 18%
  4. Orthodontist $149,310, 16%
  5. Dentist $146,340, 16%
  6. Petroleum engineer $130,280, 26%
  7. Air-traffic controller $122,530, 1%
  8. Pharmacist $116,670, 14%
  9. Podiatrist $116,440, 23%
  10. Attorney $113,530, 10%

Jim Burger


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