Top 12 Highest Paying Jobs and How to Land One

Sarah O’Mahoney

Marketing Specialist & Freelance Writer

There are many things to consider when applying for a job, but the truth is that the financial aspect of a job is generally very important to any candidate. Although you may want to pursue a job that you are passionate about, the chances are that you take the salary into consideration before even applying for a job. At the end of the day, employees have bills to pay and having enough money to live comfortably is something most job applicants need to consider. 

Of course, some jobs pay higher than others, and this is determined by a number of different factors. Aspects like your educations, skills and experience, the location of the job, the industry and your qualifications all come into account. It may be considered difficult to curate a list of the highest paying jobs in order, seeing as there are so many factors. Both internal and external factors will determine the salary.

On that note, this blog is going to explore the highest paying jobs in 2021. Just remember that this list goes in descending order, but each salary may differ from time to time depending on the factors we mentioned above.

Medical Lawyer: $300,000

Medical Lawyer is the highest paying job of 2021

A medical lawyer, which is the highest paying job in 2021, is required to provide representation to patients who have lawsuits in the medical/healthcare sector. A person may need medical representation if proper medical laws or procedures may not have been followed. For example, if a patient went for an operation and the surgeon made a mistake during the operation, the patient may decide to open a case.

This role requires really good communication and negotiation skills. A medical lawyer is responsible for speaking on behalf of the patient and other tasks like negotiating settlement payments. 

If one wants to become a medical lawyer, it should be noted it is difficult but rewarding to get qualified. Though medical law is a high paying job, medical lawyers will need to get their degree, go to law school, and then pass the bar exam. 

Anaesthesiologist: $270,000

Anaesthesiology is one of the highest paying careers currently. This role revolves around pain management. Anaesthesiologists are responsible for patient care before, during, and after surgery. 

If you are considering trying this career out for yourself, just know that it does not come easy. Anaesthesiologists have a lot of responsibility in the hospital, which means the hours they work are unpredictable and long. Anaesthesiologists have to study for four hard years in med school, followed by another four years of residency, and then another year of exams. If you are successful during your time studying to become an anaesthesiologist it will most certainly be worth your while financially! 

Surgeon: $250,000

The next up on our list of high paying jobs and professions is another job which falls under the healthcare sector. Surgeons have huge responsibility which includes performing operations on patients, treating diseases and injuries, as well as being able to specialise in different areas like neurosurgery, or reconstructive surgery. 

Surgeon as a high paying job

Though being a surgeon is a high paying job, surgeons can work unsociable hours as they are needed during all hours of the day and night. They also may be required to be on call in case of an emergency, or come into the hospital during their time off. Becoming a surgeon also takes years and requires a lot of determination and passion for caring for areas. 

Orthodontist: $230,000

Orthodontists work in the area of teeth correction. This role includes the task of fitting patients with braces, retainers and mouth guards. Many orthodontists decide to open their own practises, and some work in big orthodontic offices. Whether the orthodontist works for themselves or not, they require really good communication skills, patience and problem-solving skills. 

Like we have seen with the highest paying jobs, they are not easily up for grabs. The same goes for becoming an orthodontist. This profession requires studying for a college degree, and then they must complete a dental program which includes hands-on work experience in the area. They then have to complete a residency program before they can sit exams which enables them to become fully licensed orthodontists. 

If you have ever envisioned yourself fitting braces and changing train track bands for middle school kids and up, maybe this is the job for you! 

Psychiatrists: $220,000

This profession is focused on mental health and helps patients work through difficult times in their lives. Psychiatrists can focus on certain areas of the study such as addiction, and mental health illnesses such as schizophrenia and depression. This career requires a lot of compassion and empathy as well as skills like communication and stress tolerance. 

We mentioned that psychiatrists can specialise in different areas, but they can also work in different settings. Psychiatrists are needed to help students in schools, colleges, patients in hospitals, prisoners in jail or prison, and other facilities. 

Being a psychiatrist is a job that is difficult to switch off from as patients may need your help even outside of scheduled meetings. This means that this role can be super time consuming and the person filling this role needs to have a great love and passion for helping others. 

Periodontist: $210,000

A periodontist is a type of dentist who specialises in the placement of dental implants as well as helping patients prevent and treat oral diseases. This role is different to a dentist, as a dentist deals with teeth and gums. A periodontist works with the gums and the bone supporting the teeth. A patient might go to see a periodontist if they need a specialist to deal with a more complex mouth issue. 

If this is a career you may be interested in, make sure to set aside at least 7 years to become qualified. You will need to spend 4 year getting your college degree, followed by another 3 years of special training as a resident periodontist. 

Becoming a periodontist can make for a really exciting career and is definitely a rewarding job. However, you should keep in mind that this professionally gratifying job comes with a lot of effort and you will most definitely meet challenges along the way. If you have what it takes to become a periodontist, then it is worth it!

Physicians & Family Medicine Physicians: $210,000

Physicians and Family Medicine Physicians (or GPs) are known to the general public as “regular doctors”. These are the doctors you visit if you are feeling ill, need a check up or need to renew a prescription for your medicine. Your, or your family’s, physician may often refer you to see a specialist if your symptoms look like something another doctor can deal with better.

Physicians have the option of working specifically with children or adults. If the doctor treats patients of all ages, then they are referred to as a family physician. 

Like most high paying jobs in the healthcare sector, it will take many years of dedicated study and work to get to a place where you are earning upwards of $200,000 per annum. This job requires several years at medical school, followed by a residency program, just like most high paying jobs in this sector. Physicians have to spend a significant amount of time working in different areas before they can become certified. 

Chief Executive Officers (CEO): $200,000

This job is the first on our list which isn’t in the healthcare profession! A chief executive officer is one of the highest positions within a company. This role comes with a lot of responsibility, which includes making the biggest decisions for the company, creating long-term and short-term strategies to meet objectives and making sure resources are being managed well.

Chief executive officers need really good communication and active listening skills, seeing as they spend most of their day in meetings. The CEO is also responsible for helping employees meet performance targets and hold them accountable. 

Some chief executive officers may be the owner of the company, but this is not the case all of the time. To become a chief executive officer, having a bachelor’s degree in your chosen industry is needed, and a masters degree would be even better. Most CEO’s work their way up to the position within the company after working there for many years. It may be easier to get a job as a chief executive officer at another company if you have worked as one before at another.

Information Security Director: $190,000

This position requires a great knowledge of technology security measures, as an information technology director is responsible for designing, implementing and managing security strategies at an organization. Other responsibilities include developing strategies to deal with security incidents, maintain security policies, prepare and manage budgets for security projects.

Working as an information security director requires an interest and passion in all aspects in IT in order to do the job successfully. The information security director is part of the management of an organisation. 

A degree in computer science or another related field is needed to be considered for a role as an information security director. If you have or are in the middle of completing a Masters degree in IT Security then you are certainly on the right track to bag a high paying job as an information security director. Seeing this role is a director position, a couple of years of work experience in the field will be needed to apply for this job in most cases. 

Judge: $170,000

Judges have a lot of responsibility when it comes to the courts, and thus, it is among the highest paying jobs. A judge’s job is to apply the law as best they can according to the evidence they hear in court. Judges have to make important decisions which may change people’s lives for good, such as whether or not they are to be incarcerated. Judges are well paid for making such important decisions, meaning that this career will set you up well financially. 

If you enjoy watching crime and court series as much as the next person, the role of a judge may have peaked your interest. Like we have discovered through this blog, really good, high paying jobs don’t come easy.

If you are considering becoming a judge, you need to be willing to put in the work. Judges have to complete a bachelor’s degree before they go to law school. Once they are in law school, they have to earn a Juris Doctorate. Next up comes the bar exam. Once this exam is passed successfully, the aspiring judge can start to practice law. When they have enough practice and experience built up, they can earn their judgeship. This process takes years, so determination is key!

Chief Finance Officer (CFO): $160,000

Similarly to a chief executive officer, a chief finance officer is a very senior role within an organization. As the name suggests, this role is focused on managing a company’s finances. You may often hear people in business saying that CFO’s “hold the wallet”. This means that they have the last say when it comes to budgets and providing financial reports. 

One cannot become a chief financial officer without a lot of experience in finance. Most people in this position have worked their way up the corporate ladder to gain this title. Many chief finance officers started out as accountants, budget analysts and auditors. 

Software Engineering Manager: $150,000

It’s known that tech is a great area to get into if you are interested in earning a lot of money. A software engineering manager includes tasks like overseeing the development of software applications, designing applications and analyzing areas for modification. Software engineering managers require many particular skills such as in-depth knowledge of software technologies, different coding languages and the ability to communicate effectively. 

Seeing as this is a managerial role, some experience in managing people will be required. Having a Master’s degree in software engineering would definitely help an aspiring software engineering manager climb their way to this position. This job can be stressful and challenging at times, but you will be financially compensated for your efforts. 

How to Get a High Paying Job

As we’ve established, bagging a high paying job doesn’t come easy, but it certainly isn’t impossible. Knowing how to position yourself to be able to get a high paying career is key. There are many many tips and tricks you can apply to earn more money in your own job, or finding a better paying one. Let’s have a look… 

Network, network, network

Networking is super important if you are hunting for a higher paying job! Knowing the right people and having the right connections will help your job search for a high paying job. According  to one of our earlier articles, about 80% of jobs are never even advertised or made public!

This means that people are hired for these jobs through the means of knowing the right people. If you are in a position where you know the right people in your industry, ensure you make it known to them that you are looking for a better paying job. If they don’t know of anything, they may know of someone else who would… and that’s networking! 

Work on Your Skills

Companies pay for skills. If you have extra skills or have worked on building the ones you already had, you may be entitled to more financial compensation. It may be daunting to think about talking to your management about wanting a raise, but if your skills are good enough, this will reflect the need for a raise. If you are building your skills to apply for an external job, make sure to update your resume with your new and improved skills.

Check out Conferences

Conferences are a great way to network and find openings for high paying jobs. Seeing as a conference is filled with people with people of the same interest, it is a great place to find out the current happenings of your industry. Going to conferences is also a great opportunity to upskill and learn some new knowledge that you can apply to your job. 

Utilize Your Online Profile

Professional social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Introview, and Facebook are great places to express your interest in finding a higher paying job. You don’t necessarily need to go into detail about wanting a better wage than you are currently on, but you can express your interest in finding another job. Engaging with other professionals online, and following popular profiles within your interests and industries can lead to great things. 

Hopefully this blog has given you some inspiration and will encourage you to go after a high paying job. Even if the high paying jobs we have discussed aren’t within your expertise or industry, there are always ways to get promotions and higher paying jobs both internally and externally. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, whether that means having a chat with your boss, or applying for a new job. Be confident and go after what you deserve!

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