20 Highest Paying Jobs in the World

Are you curious to know what job makes the most money? what is the highest paying job in the world? Get the answer here.

Why do we work? I mean, why do we spend a considerable part of the day, or about eight to 10 hours or even more, working? Surely, the common answer would be for earning money.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re earning a low income or high, the reason we all work is for money. Considerations such as career development and social status come much later.

However, if you’re a student, you might be interested in knowing who makes a lot of money from their work? What are the 20 highest-paying jobs in the world?

Actually, there are several jobs that can earn you a six-figure salary every year. Yes, every year. And these are legit as well as highly respected jobs that anyone can take if they get the necessary educational qualifications.

So, how does one get any of these 20 highest-paying jobs in the world? The answer is simple. It starts with career planning.

Therefore, if you’re interested in finding any of these 20 highest paying jobs in the world, continue reading. Because I will be discussing these jobs briefly as well as show you the way to get these jobs.

Let’s start with the steps to get any of these 20 highest-paying jobs in the world.

highest-paying jobs in the world

Steps to Get Highest Paying Jobs in the World

Obviously, nobody will give you any of these highest paying jobs without proper educational qualifications and skills. This means, if you want these jobs, the time to start preparing for getting them is right now, as student.

Here’re the steps to prepare yourself for getting any of these highest paying jobs in the world.

Career Planning: Once you read this article fully, you would have a good idea about these 20 highest paying jobs in the world. This means, you can start planning your career by taking any of the superb educational courses necessary to get these jobs. Plan your career in a manner that you can get these degrees and apply fo such jobs.

Choosing the Right College: Not everyone that graduates with a course can get a highest paying job in the world. As a matter of fact, you would also require the degree from a specific college or university. That’s because, a certain college or university is famous around the world for that course and its graduates are in high demand for these high paying jobs. Therefore, while planning your career, make sure to include the best college in that field and aim at getting a seat for that particular course.

Skills Matter: Graduating from a superb college or university doesn’t automatically imply that you will get any of these 20 highest paying jobs in the world. Therefore, you have to acquire the skills that’re necessary to qualify for such a job. Nobody hires fresh college graduates for any of these highest paying jobs, unless you’re looking at employment in some foreign land where manpower is scare and the employer requires someone with your degree but without skills and experience.

Once you take all these three steps that I mention above, you’re ready to apply for one of the 20 highest paying jobs in the world. The next thing is to find an employer that would pay you the whopping salary. You can select the employer on basis of your qualifications, skills and experience and also the type of organization where you would love to work.

So, which are these 20 highest paying jobs in the world for which you should prepare? Here we go to the next step, to discuss these jobs in brief.

Read also: 50 best paying jobs without a degree or experience

20 Highest Paying Jobs in the World

Since you would like to prepare to find any of these 20 highest paying jobs in the world, here’s my curated list. Actually, I’ve included several different professions in my list. Therefore, it’s possible there’re other highest paying jobs in the same profession that don’t feature here. 

Regardless, this list should give you a fair idea of what to expect from any specific profession too. You can look at the salaries of these jobs at PayScale.com or Salary.com before deciding to apply. Remember, the pay also depends on the employer you choose.

1. Cardiologist


A cardiologist gets the highest pay in the USA and in most parts of the world. Their median salary is $356,000 per year. They make this money by working independently as a cardiologist or with some clinic and hospital.

With an increase in the number of people having a sedentary lifestyle, the incidence of heart disease is growing. This makes cardiologists very important to healthcare.

2. Radiologist


The median pay of a radiologist in America is about $355,000 per year. This is also a job in the medical and healthcare field. Radiologists take and analyze the results of diagnostic tests such as X-rays, ultrasound, CT scans and others.

They file a detailed report for doctors treating a patient to arrive at a proper diagnosis. In fact, a radiologist can hold a Doctor of Medicine or MD degree.

3. Anesthesiologist 


How would patients be protected against intense pain during the surgery? This is the responsibility of the anesthesiologist. They’re medical experts who know exactly how much dose of anesthesia to give for each patient and the part of the body that needs to be numbed for the surgery. 

They also monitor patients during a complex surgery to ensure they’re properly numbed and sedated and don’t feel any pain. An anesthesiologist in USA earns close to $350,000 per year.

4. Surgeon


Performing surgery isn’t easy by any chance. It requires superb knowledge to diagnose a medical problem, identify which part of the body requires a surgery and go about cutting into the guts of a patient without committing any mistakes.

This complex job makes surgeons the fourth-highest paid people in the world. On average, a surgeon at a clinic or hospital in the USA gets a median base salary of $338,000. This figure could be much higher if you’re a surgeon in highly specialized fields such as neurosurgery and cardiac surgery, among others.

5. Medical Director

Medical Director

A medical director is usually the head of a department at any hospital. This is a very prestigious position in the medical profession. To become a medical director, a doctor would require several years of experience and matching skills as well as a superb degree in medicine.

Medical directors are responsible for the daily functioning of their department. They ensure that all standards are met and there’re no errors or mistakes that can affect a patient or hospital. Also, a medical director needs to stay abreast of all latest developments in that field. They earn about $250,000 per year as median base pay.

6. Pathologist


Ranking No-6 on my list of 20 highest paying jobs in the world is that of a pathologist. Usually, we don’t see much of pathologists because they do their work in the background. A pathologist plays a very important role in the medical team treating a patient.

They provide doctors with proper reports of test samples of specimens taken from patients. Additionally, pathologists also help in various investigations such as crime, insurance and archelogy, among others. They examine human remains and tissues to determine things such as cause of death. The base median pay of a pathologist in USA is $225,000 per year.

7. General Physician

General Physician

Who doesn’t know a general physician also known as GP or, a family doctor in most of the cases?  In fact, GPs are the first line of medical treatment when anyone, including us, suffers an ailment such as common flu, cough or colds or pains and aches.

They are highly qualified and skilled doctors capable of treating a wide range of diseases. And, if a patient requires further medical treatment, they refer them to specialists. The base median pay of a GP is about $220,000 per year. Actually, it’s not really much if we consider the knowledge they have and their abilities to treat every disease as the first line of treatment.

8. Hospitalist


A hospitalist is something between a general physician and a specialized doctor. They provide routine care to patients at a hospital. A hospitalist is often the first person that would check you, request for diagnostic checks, prescribe medicines and tell you about the line of medical treatment.

They’re generally well-qualified general physicians with some knowledge about one or more specialty in the field. The base median pay of a hospitalist in the USA is $220,000 per year. They work in shifts often and attend to patients if there’s an emergency, before calling a specialist.

9. Psychiatrist


The job of every psychiatrist is very difficult. It’s worth knowing that psychiatrists don’t help only persons suffering from mental illnesses. In fact, they help ordinary people too, because psychiatry can help everyone live a better life. 

However, they see mentally sick people, counsel and treat them with medicines. This job is hard because psychiatrists have to correctly diagnose various kinds of mental disease. This can involve talking to patients who aren’t able to speak properly.

Additionally, they also counsel family members of a patient and sometimes, have the tough task of convincing them to commit someone to a hospital for better care. A psychiatrist in USA earns $218,000 as base median pay.

10. Senior Corporate Counsel

Senior Corporate Counsel

Now, coming to other fields. There’s no job as complicated as one of a senior corporate counsel. Actually, these are highly qualified and skilled attorneys and hold a law degrees from some superb universities.

The job of a senior corporate counsel is to advise the employer, usually a large corporation, about the steps it needs to take to comply with various American and foreign laws to ensure the company doesn’t get into legal problems.

They represent the organization at courts and hearings and help in making contracts for everything from jobs to partnerships. This complex job often requires working beyond office hours. Hence, they get a base median pay of $215,000 per year.

Read also: 27 best-paying gig economy jobs

11. Staff Software Engineer

Staff Software Engineer

At No-11 is a staff software engineer because they earn more than $180,000 per year. To work as a staff software engineer, you’ll definitely require an engineering degree with several years of work experience in developing different kinds of software and apps for some of the top companies.

That’s because software is most important for everyone nowadays, whether it’s an individual or an organization. This is also a very prestigious job. If you qualify, you can expect job offers from some of the topmost names in the software industry.

12. Dentist


It goes without saying that getting any dental treatment in the USA is very expensive. Indeed, dentists in the USA earn a base median pay of $175,000 per year. However, this is considerably lower than other medical and healthcare professionals.

Dentists have a very intricate job, which ranges from cleaning your teeth to fixing dentures and sometimes, treating various dental and gum diseases too. They spend a lot of time for every patient because each one needs special care and attention.

13. Engineering Director

Engineering Director

You could be an engineer but to become an engineering director definitely takes a lot of skills and experience. This job involves participating with a full team of experts to work on a project. An engineering director also makes designs and plans for the company.

They ensure that the costs of a project are kept within the budget. This job also requires working beyond office hours and often traveling to different places, if the employer has projects there. An engineering director in the USA gets a base median pay of $170,000 per year.

14. Tax Director

Tax Director

The Internal Revenue Service and the US government are very specific about taxes. That means, individuals, as well as companies, have to pay taxes to the Federal government. A tax director is a person that works with large organizations to make their taxation policies and monitor compliance.

They also coordinate with various authorities to get tax rebates and waivers if possible. Tax directors rank among the most important people in any organization. For their effort, a tax director gets $168,000 per year.;

15. Corporate Advisor

Corporate Advisor

If you’re working at an organization, you would wonder who makes the rules and regulations, policies for staff and working procedures, among others. This is the job of a corporate advisor. Their role is perhaps one of the most complicated in the business world.

They make only about $165,000 per year but also have to bear a lot of stress. Their policies and advise to company owners can often mean the difference between profits and losses. They work beyond office hours to find newer and better policies for the employer.

16. Patent Attorney

Patent Attorney

As the name suggests, a patent attorney is the one that files for patents with appropriate offices. These include the patent office, among others. These attorneys are well aware of the various rules and regulations concerning the patent of a product or service.

When someone takes a patent under their name, it means that process or design can’t be copied by anyone else. Where necessary, these patent attorneys file for patents in different countries too. Additionally, they monitor various designs to ensure there’s no patent violation. They make a base median pay of $160,000 per year.

17. Global Marketing Director

Global Marketing Director

The designation itself speaks loudly. A global marketing director is someone that ensures that a company’s reputation, brand, products and services are promoted around the world.

This is done in collaboration with people working for the organization in those countries. As a result, they have superb knowledge of various markets and their requirements, types of customers, spending habits and their frequency of buying goods.

They assist the production team in making products and services that would have appeal in various countries. They travel around the world. A global marketing director can expect a pay of $158,000 per year.

18. Senior Software Engineer

Senior Software Engineer

This is a very responsible job as it involves creating, testing and monitoring all kinds of software for the employer and often, third parties too. This job requires a superb degree in software engineering and several years of experience in the same field.

Generally, senior software engineers find jobs very quickly with organizations in the Silicon Valley. As senior software engineer, you’ll have to find ideas for newer software and get your design team to work on the concept.

It also means you have to make software that would suit the needs of various buyers. For this work, you can expect a median base pay of $155,000 per year.

19. Airline Pilot (Passenger)

Airline Pilot

There’s some discussion whether airline pilots that fly passenger aircraft actually rank among the highest earners in the USA. Therefore, I will clear your doubts. A good airline pilot with several thousand flying hours experience can earn between $80,000 and $200,000 per year.

This is mainly for pilots that fly commercial airliners for passengers. Freighter pilots get a little lesser than this package but that too depends on their number of flying hours experience and the airline or cargo liner they’re working with. Overall, pilots working with airlines in the USA are among the highest paid people in the country.

20. Media Editors

Media Editors

Also, media editors- or those heading TV channels, news websites, newspapers and magazines are among the highest paid in the country. Depending on where they work, an editor that heads a media house can earn anything between $80,000 per year and $200,000 per year.

This high pay is because editors have to be extremely careful about what goes in print or is broadcast on TV, radio or websites. A single mistake can cost the media house its entire reputation.

Additionally, they’re also required to stay in touch with the latest news round the clock. This job often requires working beyond office hours and high-stress levels.

In Conclusion

While most of the jobs- or 10 of them- are in the field of medicine, I have also included 10 other jobs in different industries. While medicine, engineering and management are the topmost earners, you can also find highest paying jobs in freight and logistics, hospitality and media.

It depends on what qualifications you possess and matching skills with enough experience. Getting these jobs isn’t as difficult as one might imagine. There’re several organizations and employers that’re willing to pay these high salaries to deserving people.

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