The 20 best high-paying jobs in America for 2017

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These jobs pay more than $100,000 a year and offer other perks like low stress levels and great work-life balance.
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ChaNaWiT/Shutterstock

When choosing a career, it’s important to seek out jobs that are meaningful and challenging.

But a high salary doesn’t hurt, either.

US News & World Report recently released its 2017 Best Jobs rankings, which determines the best occupations in the US based on median salary, employment rate, growth, job prospects, stress level, and work-life balance. You can read more about the methodology here.

The publication then ranked these coveted positions by pay, finding that, unsurprisingly, many of America’s top jobs come with six-figure salaries. Positions in the healthcare sector dominated the list, with anesthesiologists claiming the top spot, followed by surgeons and oral and maxillofacial surgeons.

Read on to see the 20 best high-paying jobs in the US, with salary data and projected job growth included from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:


20. Pharmacist

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Milos Bicanski/Getty Images

Average annual salary: $119,270

Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 3%

Imperative to the healthcare industry, pharmacists not only fill prescriptions, but also educate patients on the potential side effects of their medications, teach them how to handle side effects, and monitor which prescriptions each patient is taking to prevent mixing incompatible drugs.


19. Business-operations manager

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Sebastiaan ter Burg/Flickr

Average annual salary: $119,460

Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 7%

Business-operations managers take care of the details that are vital to keeping a business running, including hiring new talent, negotiating contracts, making strategy decisions, and building and leading effective teams. The highest-paying cities for this job are Bridgeport, Connecticut, New York City, and Trenton, New Jersey.


18. Sales manager

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WOCinTech Chat/flickr

Average annual salary: $130,400

Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 5%

Sales managers get their company’s product into customers’ hands. This requires managers to establish client relationships and sales territory, guide sales teams, develop training programs for new hires, outline team strategies, and set short- and long-term goals.

Sales managers typically hold either a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business administration and have expertise in marketing.


17. Financial manager

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Getty Images / Carl Court

Average annual salary: $134,330

Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 7%

Financial managers are integral to their companies because they advise and control the checkbook. Individuals in this position produce profit projections, oversee the cash flow of projects, and coordinate accounting practices. The job is incredibly detail-oriented and requires finesse in handling numbers and communicating complicated financial statements to other employees.


16. Podiatrist

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Tomas Bravo / Reuters

Average annual salary: $136,180

Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 14%

Podiatrists specialize in feet and ankles, treating conditions that range from ingrown toenails and bunions to fractures and sprains. It’s no easy task to become a podiatrist, however. After completing a bachelor’s degree, individuals must attend a podiatric medical school, complete a three-year residency program, and pass the American Podiatric Medical Licensing Exam.


15. Lawyer

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bikeriderlondon / Shutterstock

Average annual salary: $136,260

Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 6%

There are quite a few different career paths and specializations lawyers can take, from working at a private firm to a public position as a district attorney. But one thing holds across the many different iterations: Being a lawyer requires long, committed hours in the office.

Though salaries vary depending on specialty, lawyers make the most in and around San Jose, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.


14. Marketing manager

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WOCinTech Chat/flickr

Average annual salary: $140,660

Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 9%

Being a marketing manager doesn’t come with a set-in-stone list of responsibilities. It requires employees to balance a variety of tasks, including everything from hiring new talent to strategic planning to design work. The highest-paying cities for this position include San Jose, San Francisco, and New York City.


13. Information-technology manager

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Vancouver Film School/Flickr

Average annual salary: $141,000

Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 15%

IT managers supervise software and hardware upgrades, protect office networks from hackers and malware, and coordinate technology issues with top executives. The position isn’t industry-specific, either. As technology becomes increasingly integral to day-to-day business operations, IT managers have become necessary across all sectors.


12. Petroleum engineer

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District/Flickr

Average annual salary: $149,590

Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 10%

Petroleum engineers create new technology or create new ways to apply existing technology to help untap oil. Because the industry and the federal government want to encourage engineering breakthroughs and more environmentally friendly extraction techniques, most university students can expect to get their studies fully underwritten and even receive a stipend.


11. Nurse anesthetist

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Flickr/isafmedia

Average annual salary: $160,250

Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 19%

Nurse anesthetists help doctors complete painful procedures by administering anesthesia through intravenous drugs or inhaled gases. To become a nurse anesthetist, registered nurses must complete at least one year of critical-care experience and earn a master’s degree from an accredited nurse-anesthesia program.


10. Prosthodontist

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Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Average annual salary: $161,020

Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 18%

Different from an orthodontist, prosthodontists are dental specialists who build oral prostheses that replace missing teeth. These replacements can help patients in a number of ways, from improving appearances to restoring the ability to speak and eat.


9. Dentist

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Scott Olson/Getty

Average annual salary: $172,350

Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 18%

Dentists help maintain the health of patients’ mouths, gums, and teeth by filling cavities, diagnosing oral diseases, and extracting teeth when needed. The highest-paid dentists work in Lafayette, Indiana, Brownsville, Texas, and Wausau, Wisconsin.


8. Pediatrician

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Army Medicine/flickr

Average annual salary: $183,180

Projected growth (2014 – 2024): 10%

Pediatricians focus on the physical and mental health of children, from infancy to adolescence. Specialties range from oncology and hematology to developmental behavior and psychiatry, but at the end of the day, it’s all about advocating the best course of care and communicating it to parents and patients.


7. Psychiatrist

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U.S. Army/Flickr

Average annual salary: $193,680

Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 15%

Unlike podiatrists and surgeons, who deal with physical afflictions, psychiatrists tend to patients’ mental health. They diagnose and treat complex conditions like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety. Psychiatrists use a combination of methods to treat these disorders and write prescriptions when necessary.


6. Physician

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Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Average annual salary: $196,520

Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 9%

The term “physician” encompasses everything from primary-care doctors to gynecologists to cardiologists to dermatologists – and every niche in between. Income varies based on each doctor’s experience and specialty, but the highest-paid physicians work in Florence, South Carolina, Atlanta, Georgia, and Medford, Oregon.


5. Orthodontist

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Wonderlane/flickr

Average annual salary: $221,390

Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 18%

Orthodontists are tasked with constructing beautiful smiles by fixing irregular bites and realigning crooked teeth. This is most often done through braces, but they also use retainers and other appliances to create an optimized plan for each patient.


4. Obstetrician and gynecologist

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USNavy/flickr

Average annual salary: $222,400

Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 18%

Obstetricians and gynecologists help maintain women’s reproductive health, though the positions differ. Gynecologists screen for HPV and other STDs, help manage contraceptives, and assist patients with issues like abnormal bleeding. Those who are also obstetricians, often referred to as OB-GYNs, deliver babies and monitor mothers-to-be throughout pregnancy.


3. Oral and maxillofacial surgeon

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DoD News Features/flickr

Average annual salary: $233,900

Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 18%

Unlike a regular dentist, oral and maxillofacial surgeons go through an additional four years of surgical training to be able to perform surgical procedures pertaining to the face, mouth, and jaw, such as fixing a cleft lip or administering a face-lift. These doctors are also able to administer anesthesia and diagnose cancer.


2. Surgeon

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Phalinn Ooi/flickr

Average annual salary: $247,520

Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 20%

Surgeons undertake a heavy job: opening up people’s bodies to correct injuries, diseases, or deformities. Surgeons are rigorously trained for the serious nature of the job, however. After completing a bachelor’s degree and four years of medical school, they must enter a surgical residency program, which takes a minimum of five years to finish.


1. Anesthesiologist

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Getty Images/Carsten Koall

Average annual salary: $258,100

Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 21%

It’s no surprise that anesthesiologists rake in the highest salaries in the country. They’re responsible for administering the drugs that allow surgeons to complete painful, invasive procedures without discomforting patients. The highest-paid anesthesiologists are found in Detroit, Michigan, Wichita, Kansas, and Worcester, Massachusetts.