20 Highest Paying Jobs

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Celebrity blogs and magazines are plastered with pictures of high profile actors, athletes and business leaders, so you might think that these occupations are your only route to wealth.

If you want to make several million dollars for a few months' work, then, yes, you probably should star in a Hollywood blockbuster. But if you're looking for careers to lead you to financial success, remember to put everything into perspective.

You will rarely find a physician making as much money as George Clooney, but remember that he's only one of a few celebrity actors. The majority of actors aren't recognizable faces and they surely are not earning seven figures. The odds of being a famous athlete or CEO are just as slim.

If money's what you're after, then set your sights on more realistic goals by looking at the everyday occupations around you. The 20 highest paying jobs in the U.S. are within your grasp. That's not to say they're easily attained -- they all require hard work and years of experience, and most of them require extensive education. Still, your odds of becoming a physicist are probably better than becoming quarterback for the New England Patriots.

Hopefully your name's at the top of the draft picks next season. Until then, look over this list of the 20 highest paying jobs, according to CBSalary.com, and their projected employment in 2016. The requirements for each of these jobs vary, ranging in both education and experience.


1. Physicians

Mean annual salary: $147,405*

2006 employment (including surgeons): 633,000**

2016 projected employment (including surgeons): 723,000


2. Top corporate controllers

Mean annual salary: $115,818

2006 employment (all financial managers): 506,000

2016 projected employment (all financial managers): 570,000


3. Engineering managers

Mean annual salary: $100,038

2006 employment: 187,000

2016 projected employment: 201,000


4. Corporate attorneys

Mean annual salary: $93,250

2006 employment (all attorneys): 761,000

2016 projected employment (all attorneys): 844,000


5. Physicists

Mean annual salary: $93,073

2006 employment: 17,000

2016 projected employment: 18,000


6. Systems and programming managers

Mean annual salary: $90,138

2006 employment: n/a***

2016 projected employment: n/a


7. Pharmacists

Mean annual salary: $89,564

2006 employment: 243,000

2016 projected employment: 296,000


8. Marketing managers

Mean annual salary: $87,038

2006 employment: 167,000

2016 projected employment: 192,000


9. Financial analysis managers

Mean annual salary: $86,739

2006 employment: 506,000

2016 projected employment: 570,000


10. Lead computer programmers

Mean annual salary: $80,182

2006 employment (all programmers): 435,000

2016 projected employment (all programmers): 417,000


11. Lead systems analysts

Mean annual salary: $79,479

2006 employment (all analysts): 504,000

2016 projected employment (all analysts): 650,000


12. Personnel managers

Mean annual salary: $77,984

2006 employment: n/a

2016 projected employment: n/a


13. Benefits managers

Mean annual salary: $75,425

2006 employment: 49,000

2016 projected employment: 55,000


14. Electrical engineers

Mean annual salary: $75,094

2006 employment: 153,000

2016 projected employment: 163,000


15. Sales area managers

Mean annual salary: $73,146

2006 employment: 318,000

2016 projected employment: 351,000


16. Chemical engineers

Mean annual salary: $71,942

2006 employment: 30,000

2016 projected employment: 33,000


17. Purchasing managers

Mean annual salary: $69,980

2006 employment: 70,000

2016 projected employment: 72,000


18. Mechanical engineers

Mean annual salary: $68,775

2006 employment: 226,000

2016 projected employment: 235,000

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