Unless you’re Lil Wayne or T-Pain -- in which case you can throw your money this-a-way and that-a-way wherever you please -- how and where you get your dollars makes a huge difference.
And according to a recent GOBankingRates study, Atlanta is where the players play -- and where the dentists... dentist? The study examined employment rates and median salaries for the 20 top-paying jobs in 405 US cities to find where workers make the most in their respective fields.
Of the industries included, dentists in Atlanta, GA, earn more money than tooth doctors anywhere else in the country, filling dentures and their pockets alike, making more than $186,000 per year. Physicians in Erie, PA, have the second-highest salary, making $180,900 a year, proving that it pays to help people. Breaking that trend, though, marketing managers (clearly working on commission) in Durham, NC, make the third-most, with a yearly paycheck totaling $159,600. One of these things is not like the others...
Rounding out the top five, nurse practitioners in San Jose, CA, claim the fourth most lucrative job, making $143,430, while registered nurses in Santa Cruz, CA, earn $136,570. Hellooooo Nurse. In fact, it’s good to be anything in California. The Golden State gives out the largest paychecks to 10 out of the 20 careers assessed in the study, and is the highest-paying state in the Union.
As for the worst state to work in, that'd be Wisconsin (sorry, cheese-makers), while Winston-Salem, NC, is the lowest-paying city, with an annual median income of $54,240 -- more than three times less the annual median income of $186,310 in the highest-paying city, Atlanta.
To see where you land on the salary map, check out this interactive graphic.
And assuming you haven’t already signed up for dental school, check out the states and cities that pay the most and least below.
The five highest-paying states (with at least 10,000 employed):
4. District of Columbia
The five lowest-paying states (with at least 10,000 employed):
1. North Dakota
The five highest-paying cities (with at least 1,000 employed):
5. Santa Ana, CA
4. Sacramento, CA
3. Springfield, IL
2. Santa Cruz, CA
1. Atlanta, GA
The five lowest-paying cities (with a minimum 1,000 employed):
5. Joplin, MO
4. Nashville, TN
3. Oklahoma City, OK
2. Tallahassee, FL
1. Winston-Salem, NC
Head here for a full breakdown of the results.