The 20 Highest Paying Careers in the World (2020)

Want to find out the highest paying careers, and their average salary?

If you’re looking to earn more money, or you’re just getting started in the working world, then this article’s for you!

We’ve listed some of the highest paying careers/jobs in the world to help you identify which careers pay the most.

You might be shocked at some of them, as quite a lot of professions aren’t always associated with high earning potential.

Highest Paying Careers in the World
Highest Paying Careers in the World

The 20 Highest Paying Careers in the World

The list of careers and figures mentioned below have been compiled from various sources around the web, such as Business Insider & Career Addict.

These are the 20 highest paying careers in the world:

20. Lawyer

Average Salary: $141,890

The first highest paying career in the world is something that I’m sure most people are familiar with: Lawyers.

In order to make the big bucks in this profession, you need to study for a number of years, pass several examinations and, of course, pass the bar!

You’ll need to represent clients, draw up legal documents and spend a lot of time advising your clients on legal transactions or strategies.

This profession is known to include a lot of long hours and overtime, however, the rewards for all that hard work can pay off quite nicely, in the form of a comfortable salary, stock options and bonuses.

19. Marketing Manager

Average Salary: $145,620

Next up, we have Marketing Managers.

These guys are responsible for planning, executing and delivering companies marketing policies and plans.

This can come in all shapes and sizes, but generally, they’ll be focusing more on the strategy side of things, instead of implementation.

As well as a nice annual salary and benefits package, good marketing managers can also receive commissions and bonuses based on sales targets or revenue.

However, $145,620 is an average, so depending on experience and past results, this number could vary considerably until you prove your worth.

18. Podiatrist 

Average Salary: $148,470

Now, if you have a thing for feet, or you’re just curious about them, then becoming a Podiatrist could be something to look into.

Podiatrists specialise in diagnosing and treating foot-related issues, deformities and diseases.

Things like bunions, ingrown toenails and fractures will be commonplace in your day to day work.

If you’re thinking about becoming a Podiatrist, then you’ll need to get a bachelors degree first and then go to podiatry school for around 4 years.

After that, you can get a job in a practice or start your own.

You’ll obviously be able to earn more money from your own practice, however, $148,470 a year is pretty darn good working for someone else.

17. Petroleum Engineer 

Average Salary: $154,780

If you’re interested in natural gases and oil, then becoming a Petroleum Engineer might be right up your street.

These guys specialise in coming up with methods to enhance oil and gas extraction and production.

Usually, this is done by developing new technologies that can extract these natural resources in a safe and environmentally-friendly way.

A strong understanding of maths and science would be very beneficial for a career in engineering and depending on where you live, some governments will even pay for your studies if you want to pursue a career in this type of engineering.

16. IT Manager 

Average Salary: $142,530

Responsible for protecting and securing a companies IT infrastructure and networks, from things like malware and hackers, IT managers usually have a broad understanding of computing as well as a particular specialism.

In their day to day roles, they’ll also supervise any software or hardware upgrades, as well as troubleshoot any technical issues.

IT Managers are paid well because they’re highly in demand at the time of writing this article. Technology moves so quickly and updates are constant, that companies need highly skilled professionals to manage these processes and make sure everything goes to plan with a hitch.

Generally speaking, obtaining a bachelors degree in computer science is expected from you if you’re looking to apply for this position.

However, experience tends to matter a lot more, so you could 100% become an IT manager without a degree, as long as you know what you’re doing and can prove it.

15. Airline Pilot & Co-Pilot 

Average Salary: $161,280

If you have a fear of flying then definitely don’t consider pursuing a career as a Pilot.

However, if you love flying or just think it’s pretty cool, then becoming an airline pilot could be a good fir for you.

It’s one of the highest paying careers in the world and comes with a lot of perks.

Having said that, to earn the big bucks and get all the perks, you’ll have to go through vigorous training and physical examinations, as well a continually keeping up with new tests and checkups.

But, if you can pull all that off, you’ll be sitting pretty with an average salary of $161,280 and the ability to call yourself an Airline Pilot whenever anyone asks!

Pretty cool, right?!

14. Nurse Anesthesiologist

Average Salary: $169,450

In fourteenth place, making an average of $169,450 a year, we have Nurse Anesthesiologists.

These professionals play a big role in the safety and conditions of patients in hospitals.

They are responsible for administering anesthesia, overseeing patients recovery and monitoring patients vitals.

In order to become an Anesthesiologist, you’ll need to first train as a registered nurse and then obtain a masters degree from an accredited nurse anesthesia programme.

If you like helping people, and what that responsibility, then this could be a good choice for you.

13. Dentist

Average Salary: $174,110

We’ve all been to the dentist at some point in our lives, right?

And you know that a good one doesn’t come cheap, especially if you get caught off guard and have a surprising procedure.

Well, all those surprises and regular check-ups can add up to some pretty decent revenue for most dental practices.

But, to reach that level, you’ll have to study for several years, pass a lot of examinations and really hone your craft and reputation.

Dentists are responsible for examining, diagnosing and treat any issues related to your teeth and gums.

The good thing is, everyone has teeth, so as long as you’re qualified and good, you’ll always have clients.

12. Pediatrician

Average Salary: $183,240

If you have a keen interest in children and can see yourself looking after them on a daily basis, then look no further, becoming a Pediatrician could be your calling.

Your main responsibilities will be to diagnose, prevent and treat diseases and injuries in children. You’ll also be looking for any other physical, mental or social health problems, making sure that they’re as comfortable as possible.

Making $183,240 a year helping children to get better sounds like a great deal to me!

11. Prosthodontist

Average Salary: $196,960

Slightly different to a dentist, Prosthodontists are responsible for constructing oral prostheses to replace missing teeth or any other oral deformities.

They are often referred to as “Dental Plastic Surgeons”, as they do a lot of cosmetic work.

If this sounds like an interesting career path for you, then you’re going to need to get yourself either a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or a Doctor of Medicine (DMD) to qualify yourself to practice. You’ll also need a bachelor’s degree of some kind to qualify for dental school.

Once you’ve gained your qualifications and built up some experience, you can be looking at achieving an average salary of $196,960.

10. Internist

Average Salary: $198,370

Sometimes in life, it can be difficult to determine what’s causing pain in our body, especially if it’s not immediately obvious on the outside.

Internists are physicians that provide a diagnosis and non-surgical treatment plans for internal injuries or diseases.

They do not perform any surgeries at all and focus on acute illnesses like diabetes and high blood pressure and Alzheimer’s.

Many Internists choose to specialise in one specific internal organ system, like the digestive system and focus 100% of their energy on that.

9. CEO

Average Salary: $200,140

To be employed as a Chief Operating Officer (CEO) by a company, you’ll need to have gained a lot of experience in the managerial side of running a business and leadership qualities.

You’re responsible for leading and directing the company toward achieving their desired goals, as well as determining strategies and adhering to company and government policies, rules and regulations.

It often takes many years of relevant work experience and a proven track record of success before an individual can be considered ready to become a CEO.

8. General Practitioner (GP)

Average Salary: $208,560

The first point of contact for anyone that suffering from any kind of pain or illness is usually a general practitioner (GP).

Your GP will advise, diagnose and treat and health-related issues you have, or recommend for you to see a particular specialist depending on your symptoms.

To become a general practitioner, you’ll need to go through approximately seven to ten years of training and education.

It’s certainly worth it if you’d like to help people and be the first point of call for someone when they become ill.

7. Psychiatrist

Average Salary: $216,090

The next highest paying career in the world is that of a Psychiatrist.

Psychiatrists diagnose and treat disorders of the mind. They’re paid to listen to patients issues and determine the root cause of their problems.

It’s obviously a lot more detailed and systematic than that, but that is the long and short of it.

If this sounds of interest to you, then you’ll need to complete your medical training and then specialise in Psychiatry.

But as you can see, it could be well worth your time and effort as the average salary is approximately $216,090.

6. Orthodontist

Average Salary: $228,500

Number six is the third profession in the dental field on our list, and the highest paid of them all.

Orthodontists are responsible for examining, diagnosing and fixing any dental abnormalities relating to the position of the jaw and teeth.

They straighten the structure of the teeth, fix crooked smiles, and adjust bite positions using braces and retainers.

To achieve Orthodontists status, you’ll need to first complete a dental degree and then enrol and complete a postgraduate Orthodontist program.

As we’ve seen with other professions in dentistry, the pay off is well worth your time if you can qualify.

5. Gynecologist

Average Salary: $235,240

In fifth place, we have a physician that specials in medical care related to pregnancy and childbirth, as well as diagnosing, treating and preventing diseases of woman.

Gynecologist help maintains the woman’s reproductive systems and their tasks can vary greatly from one day to the next.

For example, one day they might have to deliver a baby and the next they could be performing laser surgery to remove HPV cells, or just carrying out regular checks.

4. Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon 

Average Salary: $243,500

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons are different from normal dentists, as they perform surgical procedures to the face, mouth and jaw, that mainly focus on hard and soft tissues.

In order to have a career in this field, you’ll need to study for an additional four years after completing a dentistry degree.

But, with an average salary of close to $250,000, those extra four years could be well worth your time.

Also, it’s a career that also allows you to help other people whilst being financially rewarded, which can’t be said for all the career paths on our list.

3. Surgeon

Average Salary: $251,000

Surgeons are one of the highest-paid careers in the world to pursue.

It’s also very easy to justify their average annual salary, as they’re actually saving lives and improving peoples overall well being.

To become a surgeon, depending on the specialism you choose, requires several years of extra study after becoming a qualified doctor.

You’ll need to pick an area of interest to specialise in and then do the required work to be able to practice as a professional surgeon.

The more experience you have and the rarer your specialist area of expertise is, the more money you’re able to make.

You’ll see evidence of this from position one on the list.

2. Anesthesiologist 

Average Salary: $265,000

Anesthesiologists are physicians that are responsible for administering anaesthetics prior to, during or after surgery.

They also have a number of other responsibilities including, dealing with emergency situations, giving advice on pain management and carrying out assessments in critical care units.

If becoming an Anesthesiologist sounds like something you’d like to do as a career, then, after becoming a doctor, you’ll need to complete a further 4-year anesthesiology residency program.

It’s possible that you’ll also need to sit a further examination from the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA).

Once all of the above is said and done, you can look to earn somewhere in the region of $265,000 a year, with experience.

1. Neurosurgeon

Average Salary: $381,500

The highest paying career in the world is a Neurosurgeon.

This is a highly trained surgeon that has chosen to specialise in, diagnose and surgically treat disorders of the central and peripheral nervous system.

Neurosurgery is one of the most demanding medical professions and requires an extensive amount of training and education.

For example, in order to earn the big bucks, you’ll need to complete the normal eight years of doctoral training, a one-year internship in general surgery, and roughly five to seven years in a neurosurgery program.

Then, if you want to go one step further, you can complete a fellowship to specialise in one particular area.

On top of all that, you’ll need to find the time to stay up to date with all the latest advances in neuroscience and attend regular meetings, seminars and conferences.

Summary

We hope you enjoyed our list of the 20 highest paying careers in the world.

As you can see, these careers are very well paid and some are even more rewarding than others.

However, to get to that level of income, a lot of blood, sweat and tears will need to be spent, so bear that in mind if you’re looking to pursue one of these high paying careers.

Here’s a quick recap of the 20 highest paying careers in the world.

  1. Neurosurgeon
  2. Anesthesiologist
  3. Surgeon
  4. Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
  5. Gynaecologist
  6. Orthodontist
  7. Psychiatrist
  8. General Practioner (GP)
  9. CEO
  10. Internist
  11. Prosthodontist
  12. Paediatrician
  13. Dentist
  14. Nurse Anaesthesiologist
  15. Airline Pilot & Co-Pilot
  16. IT Manager
  17. Petroleum Engineer
  18. Podiatrist
  19. Marketing Manager
  20. Lawyer

What’re your favourite highest paying careers in the world? Leave a comment below.

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