It start’s in kindergarten, when the teacher asks each young student the all -important question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Choosing a career is a quandary that follows us throughout our school years, and the pressure is on to figure out what type of training or education you should seek. There are so many different kinds of jobs, with a full spectrum of sub-specialties and a diverse range of skill and training required for each occupation.
There are also quite a few different reasons for choosing one career over another. People follow a certain job path and learn a skill because they have an interest or even a passion for a certain subject. They go into a field of work because it is a family business, or they choose a training course because they know there are a lot of available jobs for that occupation. People sometimes choose to study for a degree because they believe they’ll get a great-paying job in that field upon graduation.
Of course, one of the best ways to choose a career path is to examine a list of the highest paying jobs and then find out how to enter one of those job markets. We’ll take a look at the fields that pay the most, and at a few of the different occupations included in the top-paying careers. We’ll also look at a comparison of the highest paying careers for women, and let you know which cities around the world offer the biggest paychecks.
Ten Highest Paying Jobs in 2013
In a compilation of recent studies performed by US News & World Report and another by AOL Jobs, we have put together a list of ten of the highest paying jobs in the world in 2013. The placement of each occupation on this list is not only based on the average starting annual salary for these occupations but also has taken into account the potential top end income, considered whether the occupation is one that is highly in demand and also considered survey results indicating job satisfaction. Salaries are noted in US dollars but are based on global average incomes in these fields.
1. Dentist ($74,000 – $250,000)
2. Pharmacist ($84,000 – $$144,000)
3. Physician ($67,000 – $250,000)
4. Computer Systems Analyst ($49,000 – $120,000)
5. Registered Nurse ($44,000 – $96,000)
6. Database Administrator
7. Software Developer
8. Physical Therapist
9. Web Developer
10. Dental Hygienist
Highest Paying Fields
A study released recently by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce found that nine out of ten of the highest paying careers of 2013 belonged to workers with degrees in the STEM disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. For example, the study found that liberal arts majors made about half the annual income of engineering majors, only $34,000 median salary compared to $54,000 per year.
The following list will further break down the STEM occupations and their starting salaries, and provide a better understanding of the potential for an engineering degree:
1. Mechanical Engineering – $58,000
2. Electrical Engineering – $57,000
3. General Engineering – $55,000
4. Civil Engineering – $50,000
It is certainly no secret, however, that the occupational field with the most available jobs in any given location is the health care industry. Health care jobs have both some of the highest and some of the lowest salaries, but there are always health care jobs wherever you live, so looking for a dependable career field should also be considered when making that career path decision. Nursing careers earn a very respectable starting salary of $48,000 annually. You can always start at the bottom, continue your education and work your way to a higher paying position within the health care industry, with a better job security than some fields with higher starting salaries.
Money management careers also take in a quite comfortable yearly income, with accountants taking in $43,000 annually, finance careers earning $44,000, economics occupations $48,000 starting annual salary.
Top 5Highest Paying Jobs for Women
There are a few differences when comparing the highest paying jobs in general with a more detailed list specifically detailing the highest paying jobs for women only. The gender earning gap is still quite obvious, despite the fact that this year was the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act. Forbes recently published their analysis of the 2013 study by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealing the best paying jobs for women. The summary concludes that for women, the best fields to enter in search of the highest income are jobs in health care, business and computer science.
1. Pharmacist $98,000 per year (Note: the BLS also reports an expected growth in this field adding at least 70,000 jobs by the year 2020.)
2. Chief Executive $90,000 per year (Note: only about one fourth of all CEOs are women, and their income is 76% of the salary for men in the same position.)
3. Lawyers $85,000 (Note: Approximately one third of attorneys are women, however, women earn 80% of the salary earned by male attorneys.)
4. Nurse Practitioners (Note: Health care is the fastest growing sector of the job market and women are taking the opportunity to seize the majority of new jobs, with 84% of nurse practitioner jobs held by women.)
5. Computer and Information Systems Managers $79,500 per year (Note: While only a quarter of jobs in this field are held by women, earnings are close to those of men in many other fields: 88%.)
Highest Paying Cities in the World
If you’re considering a move to a city where you might be able to earn a higher income than where you currently live, you might want to look at the picture globally. Out of the twenty highest paying cities in the world, fourteen of them are located in Western Europe, with Copenhagen, Zurich and Geneva heading the list according to Forbes. Four of the highest paying cities in the world were in the United States, including New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Chicago. The other two highest paying cities on earth were Sidney, Australia, and Tokyo, Japan.
Although London doesn’t quite make this year’s top 20 list of highest paying cities in the world, the capital of the UK only just missed with a ranking of 21 in the world, and of 12 in Europe. The fluctuating value of the pound has London hovering just on and off again the list of 20 best paid cities, and it’s slated to be back on again next year. Highest paid cities in the UK include Aberdeen, Guildford, Cambridge, Reading, Oxford.
Taking a look at the highest paid cities in the United States, in addition to the four included in the world’s top twenty, these US cities also offer above average salaries: Manchester, NH, Washington, DC, Trenton, NJ, Boston, MA, Baltimore, MD, and Anchorage, AK.
Choose Carefully, Consider the Big Picture
Before you choose a career path, first consider which field will offer you the most personal fulfillment and satisfaction. If such a field happens to offer a job in one of the highest paying occupations, then you’ll be happy on all counts. And before you decide to move across the country or the globe to a city on the list of highest paying cities in the world, don’t forget to consider the broader picture and check out important factors like cost of living, housing, tax rates, crime rates, climate and living standards.