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Top Paying Careers 2012

Ever wondered who makes the biggest bucks of all?  Salaries tend to vary slightly from year to year, but here’s a peek at the top-paying careers of 2012.

1. Chief Executive Officer
Average Yearly Salary: $300,000+
Opportunity Outlook: Low
CEOs are notoriously high-paid, and the average salary has exploded in recent years. Many Fortune 500 company CEOs earn more than 10 million dollars per year, and enjoy perks that are unrivaled. However, the job often requires many years of experience and can be particularly stressful due to the level of responsibility.

2. Corporate Executives
Average Yearly Salary: $230,000
Opportunity Outlook: Good
Though there isn’t a clear path to becoming a “c-level” employee, the pay is high and the benefits and recognition can be really rewarding if you’re willing to do what it takes. Corporate executives at large companies enjoy some awesome perks that companies don’t always disclose (think use of a private jet, golf rounds on the company, flexible time off, and more).

The downside? Getting to this level rarely comes early in life and often requires a significant amount of shmoosing (and sometimes high-level connections).

3. Oral and maxillofacial Surgeons
Average Yearly Salary: $220,000
Opportunity Outlook: Very Good
Another high paying, high demand job in healthcare that doesn’t require such demanding hours (typically) is an oral surgeon. They rank among the highest paid healthcare professionals and have lots of mobility and opportunity in all areas of the country.

The not so good? Expect to spend at least 10 years in school with residency to follow before you’ll be bringing in the big bucks.

4. Anesthesiologists
Average Yearly Salary: $220,000
Opportunity Outlook: Good
Seeing a trend here? Though many specialized doctors are paid well, anesthesiologists are almost always among the highest paid of all medical professionals. The position doesn’t come easy, however: a significant amount of post-grad work coupled with high pressure working conditions and continuing education means that the road to become the ‘knockout doctor’ isn’t a fast or gentle one. You’ll also be expected to keep up with a significant amout of continuing education and certifications throughout your career.

5. Radiologists
Average Yearly Salary: $202,000
Opportunity Outlook: Excellent
Radiologists are in extremely high demand as the use of medical imaging equipment continues to rise with the aging U.S population. The downside? Lots and lots of school – radiologists spend many extra years in school beyond those that a typical doctor (and even many other specialists) pursue. If you’re willing to stick it out though, average starting salaries are over $200k per year, and the job security prospect is excellent.

Sound interesting but not sure if you’re down the the endless school? Try a career as a radiologic technician. A job as a radtech typically only requires a 2 or 4 year degree as a radiation technologist and certification. If you decide you like what you’re doing you can always go for more school – and in the interim you’ll enjoy some of the top pay for any job with a 2 year degree.

6. Obstetricians
Average Yearly Salary: $188,000
Opportunity Outlook: Very good
Obstetricians are doctors that deliver babies. Because of the critical nature of safely delivering a newborn, physicians that specialize in this filed require a significant amount of training and ongoing learning. Techniques used to give birth change often and because of the nature of the job, obstetricians are faced with a demanding, high-responsibility job.

The upside? Delivering babies means you’ll get to work with people on the happiest day of their life.

7. Internists
Average Yearly Salary: $183,000
Opportunity Outlook: Excellent
Internists are doctors that specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of adult diseases. Internists are different from family doctors or general practitioners in that they often spend a major portion of their career in teaching and research. Most work at hospitals primarily, and their extra education commands them a significantly higher average income than general practitioners.

The downsides of becoming an internist are in line with any high-level medical profession: lots of college, significant responsibility, and often long hours. But as some of the most respected and important clinicians on the scene, expect career availability in any area of the U.S.

8. Surgeons
Average Yearly Salary: $175,000
Opportunity Outlook: Excellent
Surgeons are in tremendously high demand and there’s no end in sight: the population is expanding and aging, surgical procedures are increasingly important and useful for a variety of conditions, and elective surgeries are more common than ever. Laproscopic surgery is also increasingly popular, and the field is rapidly expainding.

School is intense for surgeons: expect to spend at least 6-9 years in school and residence after you’re done with your Bachelor’s degree. The hours can also be demanding since surgeons are often (if not always) on call to perform important life-saving procedures at all hours of the day.

9. Family Doctors
Average Yearly Salary: $165,000+
Opportunity Outlook: Excellent
The swelling population coupled with the rising costs of healthcare means that salaries for doctors are rising. There’s a shortage of U.S family doctors, and in turn the the demand for family doctors is getting so high that benefits, bonuses, and perks are rising too.

A career in the medical field is tough no matter what the role, but the need for qualified medical professionals ensures that you’ll have mobility around the country and enjoy working in a high-demand field for many years to come. If you have what it takes to make it through 8 years of med school and another few years for internships/residency, you’ll enjoy one of the most important and respected careers in the world. Family doctors often work more normal hours as well, which means less time on-call and less stress overall.

10. Psychiatrists
Average Yearly Salary: $160,000+
Opportunity Outlook: Very Good
Psychiatry isn’t an easy job – it requires a significant amount of school work and professional development to get into this position, and you’re working in an environment that can sometimes be emotionally draining (though maybe equally rewarding). However, psychaitrists enjoy some excellent benefits: flexible hours, high starting pay, and high demand in a world that’s increasingly open to psychotherapy. Additionally, many psychaiatrists start their own practice and enjoy a position where they make their own schedule and run their own operation.

Becoming a psychiatrist taks a lot of work: an undergraduate and doctorate degree are required, and you must pass a licensing exam to practice. Most states also require that psychiatrists complete a predefined amount of continuing education.

If you have what it takes, you’ll enjoy starting salaries well over $100,000 per year. Psychiatrists also have the option to move into a teaching or research role.



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Category: Career Central

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