When people select a career path, there are many things they will consider—their paycheck is often one of the most important. Listed here are the 10 highest paying jobs in the United States for 2013 and a bit of information about each one.
#10 – SAP Basis Administrators
An SAP Basis Administrator is an individual who works to install, maintain and configure SAP programs—one of the leading software types used in business management. This software is used for many reasons, including processing information about clinical pharmaceutical drug trials and even keeping track of a small retail store’s sales. These individuals earn an average of $107,000 annually with the highest paid SAP basis administrators earning as much as $160,000 per year.
#9 – Management Consultants
Management consultants are the individuals who work with companies who are struggling to cut their overhead costs, remain profitable or even remain competitive in various industries. These individuals often work long hours and must travel more than normal—often cross-country—but the pay is well worth it. Management consultants earn an average of $110,000 per year with the highest-paid consultants earning as much as $190,000 per year.
#8 – Pharmacists
As more and more pharmaceutical drugs are developed to prevent, treat and cure illness and disease, the demand for pharmacists will continue to grow. These individuals must study for six to eight years after high school before they can become licensed pharmacists, but with an average annual salary of $114,000 per year and the potential to earn as much as $133,000 per year, the time invested in education is well worth the outcome.
#7 – Software Architects
Software architects are the individuals who assess a company’s needs, develop software that will meet these needs, and then translate that software into a language that the infamous C-suite can understand. This is a high-level position that requires plenty of education and experience, but with an average salary of $119,000 per year, individuals who succeed in this field are financially secure. There is also the potential to earn more than $162,000 annually with on-the-job experience.
#6 – Actuaries
Actuaries are statistical analysts and number pushers who generally work for insurance companies in order to assess the financial risk associated with insuring either a specific client or an entire demographic. They may also work out the statistical likelihood of a trailer park being demolished by a tornado, or even how long an individual may live based upon his or her lifestyle. They earn an average of $136,000 annually with the potential to earn well over $200,000.
Dentists can earn as much as many doctors earn per year—an average of $147,000 per year—with half the education. It generally takes four years of education after high school to become licensed as a dentist, but once this is completed, the entry-level salary for a brand new dentist is generally $100,000. Experienced and established dentists can earn as much as $253,000 per year—particularly if they open their own practices as opposed to working in dental clinics.
#4 – Petroleum Geologists
The term ‘petroleum geologist’ is a fanciful way to describe an individual who is responsible for locating sources of petroleum within the earth and determining whether or not it is financially beneficial or even safe to extract it. These individuals earn an average salary of $149,000 per year, but experienced petroleum geologists can earn as much as $247,000 per year.
#3 – Nurse Anesthetists
A nurse anesthetist works alongside an anesthesiologist—or sometimes even alone—during surgical procedures and is responsible for assessing a patient before surgery, determining the correct amount of anesthesia to administer and monitoring the patient during the surgery. They earn an average of $159,000 per year, but experienced nurse anesthetists can earn as much as $205,000 annually.
#2 – Petroleum Engineers
Not to be confused with petroleum geologists, petroleum engineers are the individuals who develop and oversee drilling processes so that petroleum can be extracted from various locations as efficiently as possible. Though the job can certainly be demanding and even dangerous at times, the average salary of $162,000 per year is enticing. With experience, petroleum engineers can earn as much as $265,000 annually.
#1 – Neurosurgeon
Neurosurgeons are responsible for diagnosing and treating disorders of the spinal cord, brain and central nervous system as a whole. It is a sometimes stressful profession that is highly demanding and requires more than 10 years of post-high school education. The average salary of $368,000 is well worth this investment, however. Individuals who are highly experienced or renowned for their abilities may earn as much as $643,000 annually; this is a jaw-dropping figure, but it is brain surgery, after all.
The 10 highest paying jobs in the country for 2013 are also some of the most stressful and dangerous, but with experience and a good education, these risks can be reduced. These high-paying careers also demand plenty of time and resources, but this is a great trade-off for financial security in the eyes of many.