21 high-paying jobs for people who love to be the center of attention

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Surgeons can make well over $200,000 annually.
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Getty Images

While some people prefer to operate under the radar at work, others strive to be the star of the show with all eyes on them.

We combed through the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), a US Department of Labor database that compiles detailed information on hundreds of jobs, to find positions that value achievement and recognition above other criteria, such as relationships and independence.

We then looked at salary data on the US Bureau of Labor Statistics website for each position to find those with the highest average salaries, and several clocked in well above $100,000 annually.

If you love being the center of attention, read on to learn about 21 positions where you can shine and make six figures a year.


No. 21. Optometrist

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Official U.S. Navy Page/flickr

Average annual salary: $101,410

What they do: Examine the eyes and other parts of the visual system. They also diagnose and treat visual problems and manage diseases, injuries, and other disorders of the eyes. They prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses as needed.

Projected growth through 2024: 14%


No. 20. Mathematician

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University of the Fraser Valley/flickr

Average annual salary: $103,720

What they do: Conduct research to develop and understand mathematical principles. They also analyze data and apply mathematical techniques to help solve real-world problems.

Projected growth through 2024: 14%


No. 19. Engineering teacher, postsecondary

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UC Davis College of Engineering/flickr

Average annual salary: $104,220

What they do: Teach courses related to the application of physical laws and principles of engineering for the development of machines, materials, instruments, processes, and services at the college or university level. This includes those who only teach and those who split their time between teaching and research.

Projected growth through 2024: 9% to 13%


No. 18. Investment-fund manager

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REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Average annual salary: $104,850*

What they do: Plan, direct, and coordinate the investment strategies and operations for a large pool of liquid assets supplied by institutions or individual investors.

Projected growth through 2024: 2% to 4%

*This is the average annual salary for “Managers, All Other,” according to the BLS.


No. 17. Political scientist

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US Embassy Canada/Flickr

Average annual salary: $104,920

What they do: Study the origin, development, and operation of political systems. They research political ideas and analyze governments, policies, political trends, and related issues.

Projected growth through 2024: -2%


No. 16. Geoscientist, except hydrologists and geographers

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Flickr/HWUPetroleum

Average annual salary: $105,720

What they do: Study the composition, structure, and other physical aspects of the earth. They may also study the earth’s internal composition, atmospheres, and oceans and its magnetic, electrical, and gravitational forces. This title includes occupations such as mineralogists and paleontologists.

Projected growth through 2024: 9% to 13%


No. 15. Economics teacher, postsecondary

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COD Newsroom/flickr

Average annual salary: $106,980

What they do: Lead economics courses at the college or university level. This includes those who only teach and those who split their time between teaching and research.

Projected growth through 2024: 9% to 13%


No. 14. Computer-systems engineers

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UC Davis College of Engineering/flickr

Average annual salary: $108,430*

What they do: Design and develop solutions to complex applications problems, system-administration issues, or network concerns. They may also assist with managing and integrating systems.

Projected growth through 2024: 2% to 4%

*This is the average annual salary for “Computer Hardware Engineers,” according to the BLS.


No. 13. Astronomer

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Grand Canyon NPS/flickr

Average annual salary: $110,220

What they do: Observe, research, and interpret astronomical phenomena. Their work helps improve our basic knowledge of the universe and can be applied to solve practical problems.

Projected growth through 2024: 2% to 4%


No. 12. Pediatrician, general

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Army Medicine/flickr

Average annual salary: $183,180

What they do: Physicians who diagnose, treat, and help prevent injuries and diseases in children.

Projected growth through 2024: 9% to 13%


No. 11. Dermatologist

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Shutterstock

Average annual salary: $187,200*

What they do: Diagnose, treat, and help prevent skin conditions, such as acne, psoriasis, and dandruff, by conducting examinations and analyzing skin abnormalities.

Projected growth through 2024: 14%

*This is the average annual salary for “Physicians and Surgeons,” according to the BLS.


No. 10. Ophthalmologist

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Thomson Reuters

Average annual salary: $187,200*

What they do: Conduct eye exams and vision correction, like optometrists, but are also trained to perform eye surgery, including cataracts and glaucoma.

Projected growth through 2024: 14%

*This is the average annual salary for “Physicians and Surgeons,” according to the BLS.


No. 9. Neurologist

source
Thomson Reuters

Average annual salary: $187,200*

What they do: Diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases and disorders of the nervous system.

Projected growth through 2024: 14%

*This is the average annual salary for “Physicians and Surgeons,” according to the BLS.


No. 8. Family and general practitioner

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iStock

Average annual salary: $192,120

What they do: Physicians who diagnose, treat, and help prevent common diseases and injuries through regular tests and checkups. They may refer patients to specialists for further care.

Projected growth through 2024: 9% to 13%


No. 7. Psychiatrist

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Joe Houghton/flickr

Average annual salary: $193,680

What they do: Physicians who diagnose, treat, and help prevent mental disorders. They can collaborate with physicians, psychologists, social workers, psychiatric nurses, or other professionals to discuss treatment plans and progress.

Projected growth through 2024: 14%


No. 6. Internist, general

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Getty Images/Christopher Furlong

Average annual salary: $196,520

What they do: Physicians who diagnose and provide nonsurgical treatment of diseases and injuries of internal-organ systems.

Projected growth through 2024: 9% to 13%


No. 5. Hospitalist

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Flickr / COD Newsroom

Average annual salary: $197,700*

What they do: Provide inpatient care predominantly in settings such as medical wards, acute-care units, intensive-care units, rehabilitation centers, or emergency rooms.

Projected growth through 2024: 14%

*This is the average annual salary for “Physicians and Surgeons, All Other,” according to the BLS.


No. 4. Orthodontist

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Wonderlane/flickr

Average annual salary: $221,390

What they do: Design and administer appliances that realign teeth and jaws. These appliances help produce and maintain normal function of the teeth and jaw, as well as improve appearance.

Projected growth through 2024: 14%


No. 3. Obstetrician and gynecologist

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Daniel Lobo/flickr

Average annual salary: $222,400

What they do: Provide medical care to women during pregnancy and childbirth. They may also provide general medical care to women.

Projected growth through 2024: 14%


No. 2. Oral and maxillofacial surgeon

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DoD News Features/flickr

Average annual salary: $233,900

What they do: Perform surgery and other procedures on the mouth and face to treat diseases, injuries, or defects. They may also perform surgery to improve function or appearance.

Projected growth through 2024: 14%


No. 1. Surgeon

source
Getty Images

Average annual salary: $247,520

What they do: Treat diseases, injuries, and deformities by invasive, minimally invasive, or noninvasive surgical methods, such as using instruments or appliances or by manual manipulation.

Projected growth through 2024: 14%