Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs in USA 2024 (Inc Salaries)

Stephen Ramotowski
March 20, 2024 · 12 min read

In this article, let's explore the highest-paying jobs in the USA, including their earning potential, job description, and outlook.

What US career makes the most money?

This is one of the most common questions people ask when they are choosing a career path, looking for a job, or contemplating making a career shift.

While there are many other factors to consider when choosing a job or career, we cannot deny the fact that earning or salary potential is a major concern for many of us.

The good news is you don't have to sacrifice your passion for money because there are high-paying US jobs in almost all sectors.

Don't believe us? Please take a look at our top 10 list of the highest-paying jobs in America for 2024 so you can see it yourself:

Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs in USA (Inc Salaries)

1. Chief Executive Officer

The company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is responsible for guiding the company towards success and growth.

They are in charge of making corporate and financial decisions, establishing business strategies, and managing operations.

Lastly, they serve as the channel of communication between the staff and the board of directors, stakeholders, and consumers.

Educational Requirements

Regardless of what industry you're in, the most important requirement for a CEO is a master's degree in business administration.

Lucky for you, there are now plenty of online MBA programs that you can easily complete while you work.

In addition to this, you’ll also need years of relevant work experience and other professional certifications to demonstrate your leadership and management skills.

Job Outlook

The demand for all top executives will increase by 3%, which is as fast as the average for all occupations.

This rate is equivalent to 311, 600 annual job openings until 2032.

Salary Information

Accoring to salary data, the annual median wage for a Chief Executive Officer is around USD 329,400.

Keep in mind that the salary may vary depending on the type of industry you are in, the size of the company you're managing, as well as your education and certifications.

2. Physician/ Doctor

Physicians are at the top of the highest-paying medical and healthcare jobs, so it doesn't come as a surprise that they're included in the list of the highest paying jobs in America for 2024.

Among all the medical occupations, below are the top-paying specialties:

Anesthesiologists specialize in providing anesthesia administration during surgery, pain management, and critical care to patients after surgery.

General Internal Medicine Doctors or Internists focus on the diagnosis and treatment of complex, chronic, and multi-system disorders, such as diabetes, GI issues, infectious diseases, and other age-related concerns.

Obstetricians and gynecologists specialize in the management and treatment of conception, pregnancy, childbirth, and all other female reproductive and sexual health issues.

Emergency Medicine Physicians focus on the treatment and diagnosis of patients with immediate medical concerns.

Educational Requirements

It takes around 12 years to become a doctor. This includes completing a four-year undergraduate program (preferably in biology and other sciences) followed by four years of medical school, and four to five years of specialization training.

You'd also need to pass a few exams, including the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and two parts of the US Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE)

Job Outlook

The projected growth rate varies depending on the specialization.

According to the BLS, the expected increase for medical specialties ranges from 1% to 7%.

Salary Information

The projected earnings also vary depending on your specialization. With that said, here are the average annual salary of the highest-paying specialties:

3. Psychiatrist

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who are trained in the diagnosis, treatment, management, and prevention of mental, emotional, and behavioral issues.

What makes them different from a psychologist is they have the authority to prescribe medications and other therapeutic interventions.

Educational Requirements

Becoming a psychiatrist takes about 12 years. The process includes a 4-year bachelor’s program in psychology, 4-year medical school program, and a 3-year residency program.

After this, you’ll be eligible to take the board certification exam to become a licensed and qualified psychiatrist.

Job Outlook

The demand for psychiatrists is expected to increase by 7%, which is the highest projected job growth among all physician positions.

This growth rate translates to 30, 500 annual job openings until 2032.

Salary Information

As per Glassdoor, psychiatrists earn an average salary of USD 234,200 per year.

They may also receive an estimated additional pay of USD 21, 400 through cash bonuses, tips, and profit sharing.

4. Airline Pilot

Airline pilots are expert aviators who operate and navigate aircraft to ensure the efficient and safe transportation of people and cargo.

To keep the flight secured and comfortable, they work with a flight team, which includes flight engineers, copilots, flight attendants, and the ground crew.

Educational Requirements

Start your career in flying with a bachelor’s in engineering, business, or transportation. Additionally, you will need to finish flight training school to earn your private pilot certificate.

Next, you need to get your instrument rating and finish the necessary number of flight hours to qualify for the Commercial Pilot Airline Exam (CAX) to obtain your commercial pilot license.

Job Outlook

The need for airline pilots will increase by 4%, which is the average growth rate for most occupations.

Even though its growth rate is lower than most occupations in this list, this sector will still generate about 16 800 job openings annually until 2032.

Salary Information

Airline Pilots earn an annual median wage of USD 215,600.

Depending on the airline and pay structure, most of them may also get to receive cash bonuses amounting to around USD 33,100 per year.

5. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

An oral and maxillofacial surgeon is a medical and dental specialist who performs surgeries on the jaw, neck, head, mouth, and face to correct problems or for cosmetic purposes.

The medical conditions they treat include impacted wisdom teeth, oral reconstructive surgery, dental implants, misaligned jaws, head and neck cancers, and accident-related traumas and injuries.

Moreover, they are also in charge of administering anesthesia and prescribing pain control interventions to patients.

Educational Requirements

The stepping stone to becoming an oral and maxillofacial surgeon is the dentist pathway. This means that you need to obtain an undergraduate program, pass the Dental Admission Test, earn your DDS or DMD degree from an accredited dental school, and earn your dental license.

On top of that, you'll also have to complete additional surgery training, which includes a 4-year surgery residency program and 2-year medical program.

You’d also need to pass the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery to obtain certification.

Job Outlook

BLS categorizes oral and maxillofacial surgeons under the dentist category, so it's expected that the demand for this profession will grow by 4% until 2032.

Salary Information

The annual median wage for Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons in the US is USD 190,500. They may also get an average additional pay of USD 18,500 through cash bonuses.

6. Orthodontist

An orthodontist is a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of jaw and teeth irregularities.

What makes them different from regular dentists is they are highly trained in managing and installing all types of dental devices, including retainers, braces, and bands.

Some of the dental abnormalities they attend to are crooked teeth, crowded teeth, jaw misalignment, teeth with wide gaps, and bite issues.

Educational Requirements

The road to becoming an orthodontist takes about 10 to 11 years.

The process includes a 4-year undergraduate program (preferably in biology and chemistry), 4-year dental schooling, and 2 to 3-year orthodontics residency program.

In addition to the degrees, you’d also need to pass two examinations: the Dental Admission Test and the National Board Dental Examination.

Job Outlook

According to BLS, the overall employment of dentists will increase by 4%, which is as fast as the average for other occupations.

This growth rate is equivalent to about 5, 100 job openings yearly until 2032.

Salary Information

Orthodontists have an annual median wage of USD 204,800 with an additional pay of USD 26,500 every year.

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7. Lawyer

Lawyers are trained and licensed to provide legal representation and advice to their clients. They play a significant role in upholding the country's legal system by advocating for their client's rights while ensuring that the laws are being fairly followed and applied.

Educational Requirements

You’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree to enter law school. While you can choose from a wide range of degrees, the most common majors are English, economics, political science, and philosophy.

After completing your law degree, you’d also need to take and pass the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) to qualify for law school.

Upon finishing law school, you'll earn a Juris Doctor degree, which will qualify you for the bar examination.

The last step is to obtain your licensure by passing the bar examination, which varies depending on the state.

Job Outlook

The law industry is projected to experience a growth rate of 8% which is equivalent to around 39, 100 job openings annually until 2032.

Salary Information

In the US, lawyers may earn as much as USD 165,700 annually.

On top of that, they may also receive an estimated additional pay of USD 20,200 through profit sharing and cash bonuses.

8. Architectural and Engineering Manager

Managers in the architectural and engineering field are responsible for overseeing renovations and construction projects to ensure that they will go as planned.

Just like a project manager, they have the technical knowledge needed to make sure that they have the right plans, materials, and methods to carry out the project.

But while a project manager is responsible only for the construction project, an architectural manager covers a broader focus as they also handle staff development and manage client relationships.

Educational Requirements

You need a bachelor’s degree in architecture or engineering to enter this field.

To become a manager, you need years of experience and a master’s degree in business administration, engineering management, or technology management.

Depending on the company, you can either earn this before getting a management role or get it while working as a manager.

Job Outlook

The need for this profession is projected to increase by 4% until 2032.

Despite its limited growth, the industry is still expected to produce about 13 600 job openings every year for the next few years.

Salary Information

Architectural and engineering managers make an annual average salary of USD 140,400. Depending on their company's pay structure, they may also earn an average additional pay of USD 47,400 per year.

9. Computer or Information Systems Manager

A Computer and Information Systems Manager leads the IT department, which is the team responsible for maintaining, installing, and protecting the company's hardware, software, and databases.

As managers, they are in charge of budget management, staff recruitment and training, performance reviews, scheduling, and inventory.

Additionally, they serve as the channel of communication between the staff and upper management.

Educational Requirements

A bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or a related field (like Information Technology and Computer Systems Management) can pave the way to becoming a Computer and information systems manager.

On top of that, you'd also need to obtain a tech support internship or IT work experience to qualify for an entry-level position.

Getting a master’s degree in business administration can increase your chances of getting promoted to a managerial position.

Job Outlook

BLS expects the demand for this industry to increase by 18% within the decade.

This growth will result in about 46 900 annual job openings for the next few years.

Salary Information

Computer and Information Systems Managers earn an annual median wage of USD 140,200.

Additionally, they may also get an additional payment of USD 11,600 through cash bonuses and profit sharing.

10. Nurse Anesthetist

Nurse anesthetists are the highest-paid advanced registered nurse practitioners. They are in charge of administering anesthesia and providing care to patients before, during, and after a surgical, diagnostic, or obstetrical procedure.

Before the procedure, they will take your medical history, inform you of potential risks, and prepare you for any surgery-related diagnostics and exams.

During the procedure, they will administer and adjust the anesthesia or painkillers and monitor your vital signs.

Post-surgery, they help in managing your recovery from the anesthesia.

Educational Requirements

Start your nursing career by obtaining a bachelor’s degree in nursing. After that, you’ll have to secure state licensure by passing the NCLEX-RN examination.

You'd also need to earn at least three years of relevant work experience and earn either a Master’s degree in Nursing (MSN) or a Doctorate in Nursing (DNP).

The last step to becoming a nurse anesthetist is to get certified by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCARNA).

Job Outlook

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the overall employment of different advanced nurse practitioners is expected to grow by 38% in the next few years.

This is equivalent to about 29, 200 job openings annually until 2032.

Salary Information

A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) earns an average salary of USD 126,900 per year.

Professionals in this field may also receive an average additional pay of USD 7,200 through cash bonuses.


Conclusion

So you see, there are high-paying jobs in almost all sectors you choose to specialize in.

But as you may have already noticed, the highest-earning jobs, regardless of the sector, are those in the management and leadership areas. Because of this, qualifying for these jobs requires advanced degrees like a BBA or MBA degree.

Lucky for you, Nexford offers an online BBA or MBA program that can help you diversify your skillset in the comforts of your own home.


FAQs

What is the highest-paying job within the USA in 2024?

Being a Chief Executive Officer is the highest-paying- job in America.

This position earns an average annual salary of USD 329,500, but their earnings can go as low as USD 276,500 and as high as USD 396,000.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which US jobs are projected to have the highest level of growth?

BLS projects that the fastest-growing industries among the highest-paid jobs would be healthcare and computer and information technology.

These include the need for nurse anesthetist roles, which will grow by 38%, and the demand for computer and information systems manager positions, which is expected to increase by 18%.

What is the best career path in the USA in 2024?

With their rapid growth, job stability, and higher-than-average compensation, the healthcare IT and cybersecurity industry offers some of the best jobs and career paths in the US.

What skills or expertise are required for high-paying US jobs?

Most, if not all, of the highest-paying jobs in the U.S. are in managerial or supervisory positions.

While the jobs belong to different industries with varying core competencies, there’s one important skill that’s needed in all sectors—leadership and management skills.

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What qualifications are required for high-paying US jobs?

Most of the high-paying US jobs require at least a master’s degree. On top of that, candidates would also need to have years of relevant work experience to land these positions.

Surgeons, physicians, and orthodontists also need to obtain three to nine years of specialized and subspecialized training.

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Why is it beneficial to gain a BBA/MBA degree in the USA?

In addition to equipping you with the leadership and management skills needed for these top jobs, a BBA or MBA degree can also provide the following benefits:

  • High earning potential

  • Competitive edge over other candidates

  • More marketable resume

  • Increased chances of promotion and landing a managerial role

  • Career and job versatility

  • More diversified skillset

  • Excellent networking and communication skills needed to thrive in virtually all industries

About the author
Stephen Ramotowski
Stephen Ramotowski

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