10 Highest Paying Jobs In The US: Physician, Nurse and Dentist
|Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs In The US In 2022. Photo KnowInsiders|
US Job Market Overview
The COVID-19 pandemic has radically shifted the work landscape, as millions of Americans switched career paths or said goodbye to the office forever. While U.S. employment will experience stunted growth over the next 10 years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, certain jobs will be soaring in demand.
According to a new analysis from the BLS, the U.S. will add 11.9 million jobs through 2030, many in industries that were hit hardest by the pandemic. Food preparation and service-related jobs including servers, cooks and fast food employees are projected to add about 1.5 million jobs by 2030.
Wind turbine service technicians topped the list for the most in-demand jobs of the next decade, with that group of workers expected to jump by 68.2%. Other jobs in the ranking fall into three categories: renewable energy, data and health care. Interest in wind and solar energy has skyrocketed as installation costs drop and more countries prioritize reducing their carbon emissions, Bureau of Labor Statistics Division Chief Michael Wolf tells CNBC Make It.
Other occupations, such as information security analysts and data scientists, will become more popular as people continue to work from home and online. “As companies have more of their employees working remotely, they’re going to invest more in software and systems that enable them to be productive in that environment,” Wolf says. “There’s also an increased emphasis on protecting their data and information online.”
How COVID-19 affected US Job Market
1. The labor market collapse was truly universal
After the onset of COVID-19, the U.S. workforce experienced an unprecedented level of layoffs as employers across industries closed their doors to the public. The ranks of the unemployed swelled from 6.2 million people in February 2020 (a 3.8% unemployment rate) to 20.5 million in May 2020 (a 13.0% unemployment rate).
Additional data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the number of Americans who wanted a job but were not in the labor force grew from 5 million in February to 9 million March, pointing to an actual unemployment rate that exceeded 13%.
Compare these numbers to the Great Recession, when the number of unemployed Americans increased by 8.8 million people between late 2007 and early 2010. During the pandemic, roughly 6 million people were going onto unemployment insurance every week in late March/early April, far exceeding the 1 million people per week in the darkest days of the Great Recession.
2. Employer-employee relationships remained intact even with temporary layoffs
Often in times of recession, we worry that employers will respond to a temporary shock by permanently laying off their employees. The severing of these ties can be incredibly damaging for workers whose life cycle earnings never completely recover. It’s the reason why countries like Germany have programs in place to absorb some of the shocks and incentivize employers to maintain a tie with their workers. The U.S. has yet to develop a similar policy, partly out of the recognition that these types of programs inevitably create winners and losers. While keeping an employee linked to an employer can protect employees from future wage loss, severed ties can have a positive cleansing effect, reallocating resources toward more productive endeavors. But that’s in a typical recession, and COVID-19 is anything but typical.
During COVID-19, employers and employees have voluntarily maintained ties. The phenomenon of temporary layoffs during the crisis is more widespread than any economist could have predicted. Within the pool of workers who reported being unemployed in April 2020, a full 80% expected their employer to recall them, suggesting that most employers thought the economic shock was temporary enough that they didn’t need to reallocate resources or close their doors permanently.
3. Labor demand is surging as labor supply lags behind
Over the course of 2020, we observed a number of false starts. The job market made a comeback in early summer, when U.S. workers recovered half of all jobs lost, only to sputter in July and crash again in the fall and winter. It’s only this spring that we’ve seen a major rebound in job vacancy postings. Employers are ready to go.
On the other side of the supply and demand equations, employees are less enthusiastic about returning to work. During a typical recession, the number of people searching for work outstrips the number of jobs available. During the pandemic, in contrast, job boards have displayed far more vacancies than there are workers to fill them. Driving around town, I constantly notice windows displaying “Now Hiring” signs.
Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs In The US In 2022
If you take the mean salary of all physicians working in all other specialties, they would come in sixth place. This “other” grouping includes jobs as varied as allergists, cardiologists, dermatologists, oncologists (who treat cancer), gastroenterologists (digestive system specialists), and ophthalmologists (eye specialists). It also covers pathologists, who study body tissue for possible abnormalities, and radiologists, who analyze medical images and administer radiation treatment to cancer patients.
Education — Any medical doctor (M.D.) or doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) is going to require medical school after attaining a bachelor’s degree. Most clinical professions also require the completion of a residency program, although some may go on and receive fellowship training after that.
Job Outlook — Total employment among all physicians is expected to increase 5% by 2029, according to the BLS.
|Anesthesiologists: Average salary: $271,440; Job outlook: 0.5% growth |
Surgeons: Average salary: $251,650; Job outlook: -2.2% growth
Obstetricians and gynecologists: Average salary: $239,120; Job outlook: -1.4% growth
Physicians (all other) and opthamologists (except pediatric): Average salary: $218,850; Job outlook: 4.3% growth
Psychiatrists: Average salary: $217,100; Job outlook: 11.9% growth
Family medicine physicians: Average salary: $214,370; Job outlook: 6.1% growth
General internal medicine physicians: Average salary: $210,960; Job outlook: -0.6% growth
Pediatricians: Average salary: $184,570; Job outlook: -1.6% growth
Podiatrists: Average salary: $151,110; Job outlook: 0.2% growth
2. Dentists and Other Dental Specialists
|Photo Create Dental Harmony|
Dentists who specialize in other practice areas also get compensated quite well. The BLS lumps these other specialists into one grouping, which brings in an average salary of $194,930, according to the bureau’s latest data from 2020.
Among the practitioners included in this category are endodontists, who perform root canals and other procedures dealing with the inside of the tooth, and periodontists, who treat the gums and bones around the teeth.37
Education — Most dental programs require a bachelor’s degree with coursework in biology and chemistry. Like other dental professionals, specialists must take the Dental Admission Test to get accepted into an accredited dental program. After dental school, specialists typically complete two to three years of additional training in the field of their choice.38
Job Outlook — The BLS expects employment in the specialties listed above to increase 5% over the next decade.15
|There’s a lot of money to be made in the dental world, but the financial opportunity varies by speciality. Some of the top-paying dental professions in the U.S. include: |
Orthodontists: Average salary: $237,990; Job outlook: 2.4% growth
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons: Average salary: $234,990; Job outlook: 2.4% growth
Prosthodontists: Average salary: $214,870; Job outlook: 2.2% growth
Dentists (all other specialties): Average salary: $194,930; Job outlook: 0.2% growth
Dentists (general): Average salary: $180,830; Job outlook: 2.8% growth
3. Chief Executives
Average salary: $197,840
Job outlook: -10% growth
Chief executives (also known as chief executive officers, or CEOs) lead companies. As the highest-ranking office in the company, a chief executive role comes with a lot of responsibilities. Not only do CEOs oversee the operations of the company, but they’re also responsible for setting its mission and vision and making the big, strategic decisions (whether that’s deciding to expand into new markets, launch a new product, or build out the team). Chief executives are also often responsible for communicating on behalf of the company—whether that’s with the public, the press, shareholders, or the company’s board of directors.
There are no universal education requirements for chief executives; while many are experienced business people with the advanced degrees to match (like MBAs), others are entrepreneurial-minded, business-savvy individuals who decided to forgo traditional education and focus on building their businesses.
4. Nurse Anesthetists
Average salary: $189,190
Job outlook: 13.7% growth
Nurse anesthetists are responsible for providing care to surgical patients that’s specifically related to anesthesia. This includes evaluating patients before surgery, administering anesthesia, monitoring patients during surgery (including vital signs and other biological functions), adjusting anesthesia as necessary to keep patients unconscious and unable to feel pain, and managing post-surgery care.
There’s a lot of schooling that goes into becoming a nurse anesthetist: Nurses first must complete their bachelor’s in nursing (BSN), then get their RN license, and then pursue advanced education in nurse anesthesia. Currently, you can become a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) with a master’s degree—but by 2025, all new CNRAs will need to pursue a doctorate in order to practice.
5. Airline Pilots
|Photo USA Today|
Salary range: $32,000-$74,000 per year
An airline pilot captains a commercial aircraft that carries passengers and cargo from one location to another. As an airline pilot, your duties include conducting pre-flight instrument checks, taxiing aircraft to and from airport gates and around runways, handling takeoffs and landings, and flying aircraft safely between destinations. To captain a plane, you must be capable and confident in your aviation abilities in any weather conditions and at all times of day and night.
6. Computer and Information Systems Managers
Average salary: $161,730
Job outlook: 10.4% growth
Computer and information systems managers (a title often shortened to information systems managers or IS managers) design, manage, and maintain the systems and software a company uses to store, analyze, and communicate data. This includes evaluating the organization’s current systems and technology and making recommendations for improvements, developing large-scale information systems strategies, and continually monitoring the company’s information systems to ensure things are as safe, secure, and efficient as possible.
In order to succeed in their role, IS managers need to know the ins and outs of information systems, so they typically hold at least a bachelor’s degree in a tech-related field (like computer science or information technology).
7. Architectural and Engineering Managers
Average salary: $158,100
Job outlook: 2.6% growth
Architectural and engineering managers plan, oversee, and direct projects and activities for companies in the architectural and/or engineering spaces. Depending on the organization, this may include tasks like leading research and development, creating the plans for a new project (for example, a new product or design), solving technical problems, drafting budgets, hiring necessary staff, supervising operations at a construction or manufacturing site to ensure the project is completed on time.
Architectural and engineer managers need, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree in architecture, engineering, or a related field—but many companies prefer or require their managers to hold a master’s degree.
8. Natural Sciences Managers
Average salary: $154,930
Job outlook: 4.8% growth
Natural sciences managers leverage their scientific backgrounds to develop or improve a variety of initiatives within an organization (for example, a research and development firm or a manufacturing company), including research and development, testing, quality control, and production. Natural sciences managers work with a company’s leadership team to define and understand the organization’s goals—then hire and oversee a staff of researchers and scientists (chemists, physicists, biologists, and more) to bring those goals to fruition. While natural sciences managers need a strong background in the relevant science area, they also need to have business savvy and excellent project and people management skills.
Natural sciences managers need at least a bachelor’s degree in a scientific field (like biology or chemistry)—although many companies prefer that their managers hold advanced degrees.
9. Marketing Managers
Products and services don’t sell themselves. It takes talented professionals to analyze how much demand there is for a particular offering and find ways to bring it to market. Marketing departments also determine the price that will maximize profit for the company.
These functions are crucial to a business's bottom line, so it may not be a surprise that marketing managers are among the highest-paid professions in the U.S. In 2020, the mean annual wage for this title was a cool $154,470.
To flourish, marketing managers have to demonstrate a blend of creativity and business acumen. Day-to-day activities include everything from acquiring market research to planning promotional activities to developing websites and social media campaigns.
Education — Marketing managers typically need a bachelor’s degree, with classwork in areas such as management, economics, finance, computer science and statistics being particularly helpful. Highly competitive jobs may require a master’s degree.
Job Outlook — The BLS expects the job market for marketing managers to grow faster than average, with an estimated 10% growth by 2030.
10. Petroleum Engineers
|Photo Career Girls|
Energy sources, including fossil fuels such as oil and gas, are the lifeblood of the economy. However, extracting those important resources efficiently requires some serious know-how, and petroleum engineers play a big role.
Their main goal is to develop methods to pull oil and gas from new deposits below the Earth’s surface and design new ways to extract fossil fuels from existing wells. Typically, the responsibilities of a petroleum engineer include ascertaining operational methods, performing a cost-benefit analysis for a given project, and analyzing survey or geographic data.
Among the titles they may possess are completions engineers, who help devise the optimal way to finish a well; drilling engineers, who figure out how to efficiently and safely drill the well; production engineers, who evaluate oil and gas production after the well has been created; and reservoir engineers, who estimate the amount of oil and gas available in underground deposits, which are known as reservoirs.
Education — Future petroleum engineers benefit from taking extensive coursework in math and science as early as high school. Entry-level jobs in the field require at least a bachelor’s degree, with coursework generally focusing on engineering principles, thermodynamics, and geology. Some universities offer five-year combined programs that lead to a bachelor’s and a master’s, which may be necessary for some employers or for those hoping for greater advancement.
Job Outlook — When it comes to employment growth, the BLS expects petroleum engineering to be roughly average over the next decade, at 8%.
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