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Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs Based On Annual Gross Income: What Career Is Worth Pursuing?

Category: Financial News

A lot of people have their own approaches when it comes to the question of succeeding in life. Some say to just follow your passion and do something you love. Others believe in luck, while most stick to the time-tested formula of burning the midnight oil in school to get good grades and land a job in a top company. Sounds simple, isn’t it?

Movie stars and random celebrities who make it on Youtube earn millions from using their talent but they don’t make it to our list owing to the irregular nature of their jobs. The highest earners lead blue-chip companies or have specialized in their professions to make them indispensable in what they do.

If you ever wonder who makes the world go round, here is our list of the top 10 highest-paying jobs in the world based on reported annual gross income:

10. Air traffic controller – $122,000


This job is becoming more and more important with mobility being the order of the day for most people travelling the world. If controllers weren’t in command, there would be total chaos because they direct the comings and goings of airplanes, authorize arrivals and departures, and advise on flight path changes, if any. Their other vital functions include advising pilots on the weather, visibility, and nearby aircraft.

9. Petroleum engineer – $123,000


Gas and oil are vital for the operations of most households and industries because they bring in power. It is for this reason that the work of a petroleum engineer is significant… and well-paid! They often work with geologists to extract the oil on land or in off-shore wells. The only downside to this job is you get down and dirty working in remote locations in drilling sites.

8. Actuary – $126,000


You need to be good in math and statistics to excel in this job which involves evaluating the probability of an event and its financial consequences. These professionals are often found working for insurance companies, health care providers and accounting firms.

7. Computer & Information Systems Engineer – $130,000


Those who finish computer science or engineering in school often end up running the IT departments of huge companies and make sure that network data is kept secure. They also design software, develop new business applications and upgrade operating systems.

6. Airline Pilot – $132,000


Though most people think of it as a glamorous job, pilots have the supreme responsibility of transporting as many as 450 passengers to safety. Their tasks include preparing a flight plan based on a certain route; making sure that navigation equipment is working properly; assessing fuel load, engines and altitudes. Pilots are often paid a basic salary on top of flying hours taken and other benefits.

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5. Dentist – $140,000


This occupation will always be in-demand since people will always strive to keep their teeth in tip-top condition. They also do specialized tasks such as performing X-rays and the latest technologies in oral hygiene, and of course performing delicate surgeries when necessary.

4. Patent Attorney – $175,000


We all know that lawyers make a lot of money, whether employed or doing their own practice. But patent attorneys take home the bacon by working with top clients on their multi-million inventions and technical processes. Their main job is defending and protecting intellectual property by dispensing valuable legal advice.

3. General Surgeon – $288,000


After toiling 10 years in medical school, being a surgeon is ultimately fulfilling, both psychologically and financially. A doctor can save countless lives performing crucial, life-saving operations. Routine work involves seeing and diagnosing patients. Of course, specialist doctors have the potential to earn higher.

2. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – over $15 million 


In 2012, the median pay package for top executives in US public companies was $15.1 million, but McKesson CEO John Hammergren beat the record with an annual compensation of $131.19 million. The salary is just an icing on the cake since most CEOs also sit as chairmen of the board of corporations. They get stock options, bonuses and other fringe benefits.

1. Hedge fund manager – over $1 billion


Managing investments in a hedge fund is highly lucrative, with former Goldman Sachs trader David Tepper earning $3.5 billion in 2013. Fund managers often work under the ‘2 and 20’ rule where they charge a 2% management fee and another 20% for performance. This is on top of their own capital which they often invest in the funds, and earnings often skyrocket when the market is bullish.

By Nestor Gilbert

Senior writer for FinancesOnline. If he is not writing about the booming SaaS and B2B industry, with special focus on developments in CRM and business intelligence software spaces, he is editing manuscripts for aspiring and veteran authors. He has compiled years of experience editing book titles and writing for popular marketing and technical publications.

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