Here Are the 20 Highest Paying Jobs in America This Year

When it comes to career paths, job titles like "oil baron" or "CEO of Fortune 500 company" will always gross the highest incomes in the country. But for those of us not born into excessive wealth or destined to become the next Mark Zuckerberg, LinkedIn's annual State of Salary report highlights the many other options for high-paying and rewarding jobs that are much more plausible. 

The report cites data from over 2 million LinkedIn users through April of this year, providing a glimpse of the trades and industries that offer the most lucrative salaries, entry-level positions, and career-track options in America. If you're at all motivated by cash, consider it your adult guidance counselor. 

The new findings align with previous research regarding high-paying jobs in the medical industry, concluding that the highest paying profession in the country is that of an orthopaedic surgeon, which grosses an average salary of $450,000 per year, nationwide. Other medical trades dominate eight of the top 20 spots, which are listed in descending order below: 

20. Senior Director, Engineering: $239,000 
19. Investment Banking Associate: $240,000  
18. Associate General Counsel: $242,000 
17. Senior Vice President, Marketing: $245,000 
16. Vice President, Research & Development: $248,000 
15. Medical Director: $250,000
14. Ophthalmologist: $250,000
13. Vice President, Supply Chain: $255,000
12. Senior Vice President, Strategy: $256,000
11. Senior Vice President, Human Resources: $272,000
10. Vice President, Tax: $272,000
9. Senior Managing Director: $298,000
8. Senior Vice President, Sales: $300,000
7. Senior Vice President, Finance: $300,000
6. Emergency Physician: $314,000
5. Anesthesiologist: $350,000
4. Plastic Surgeon: $350,000
3. Radiologist: $374,000
2. Cardiologist: $382,000
1. Orthopaedic Surgeon: $450,000

While the overall takeaway suggests going to medical school if you can afford it, there's a variety of other fields to whet your money-earning appetite, chief among which are finance and tech. As the report states: "Leadership roles in finance, sales, tax, human resources, strategy, supply chain, research and development, marketing, and legal are all alternate routes to a high salary." 

If you're looking to earn a strong salary straight from the get-go, entry-level positions in finance and brand management both earn starting purses of $100,000 per year. Mid-level positions, on the other hand, are the most lucrative in finance, "but roles in sales, marketing, and engineering also take spots on the list," per the report. 

Unsurprisingly, the degree that promises the most moneymaking career is an MD, as doctors vastly outperform graduates with MBAs and law degrees (JDs). Sadly for the academic set, worker-bees with PhDs and MAs scrape the bottom in the advanced degree category, but they still outperform workers with just a bachelor's degree. When it comes to cities with the highest salary-earners, San Francisco takes the cake. Which is really no surprise, considering how expensive it is to call the Bay Area home. 

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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Esquire. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster