25 Jobs That Pay Over 200k (#25 Is Surprising)

By Chris Kolmar - Apr. 15, 2021

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It’s a given that people want to be paid handsomely for laboring away 40 hours of their every week. Earning an exorbitant paycheck buys the comforts and luxuries of life that most are left to only daydream of. The bright-colored sports car, a house with spare guestrooms, at least a few weeks of vacation for the family every year, etc.

While it’s true that most people desire a financially lucrative job, fewer are actually employed in these types of positions. If you’re curious about careers that are earning over $200,000 yearly, peruse the list below of the top 25 highest paid jobs.

  1. Information systems manager. Keeping computer systems up and running takes the contributions of many different players, such as programmers, analysts, and technical support specialists. The person responsible for keeping all these employees supervised properly is an information systems manager, also referred to as an IT manager.

    The position entails handling a lot of different tasks, such as determining the effectiveness of current systems, creating a budget, and implementing software security solutions. All while adhering to software licensing laws.

    Effectively managing a large group of employees in their technological duties can be a daunting task as there’s a lot of authority that comes with the position. However, for this responsibility, information systems managers are paid over a six-figure starting salary.

    Median salary: $131,000

    Top 10% salary: $173,000

  2. Petroleum engineer. Finding energy sources, like oil and gas, is the job of petroleum engineers, and they’re making the big bucks for it.

    They design equipment that’s used to pull these fuels from underground reserves and determine the best way of going about this endeavor. After extraction, they evaluate production to make improvements when necessary.

    Their goal is to remove petroleum materials from the earth in the most efficient and environmentally conscious way. If they fail to meet this responsibility, it’s the entire planet on the line, making it a very important position. Since the population relies on energy from these sources, top petroleum engineers earn over $150,000 annually.

    Median salary: $101,000

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    Top 10% salary: $174,000

  3. Corporate lawyer. Major companies depend on a team of experienced and knowledgeable corporate lawyers to protect them in the event of any legal circumstances. There’s a big set of laws that apply specifically to corporations, and these are the forte of a corporate lawyer.

    Without a strong team of corporate lawyers, influential companies run the risk of breaking the law by preparing documentation or conducting deal negotiations incorrectly. There’s a lot of power placed in the hands of corporate lawyers, which is why they make a six-figure salary even from entry-level positions.

    Median salary: $112,000

    Top 10% salary: $203,000

  4. Information security director. More business than ever before is taking place online, which has created a growing need for airtight information security. Information security directors analyze a client’s current situation, develop strategies to enhance information security, and devise plans for handling these circumstances if they, unfortunately, arise.

    A company’s information slipping into the wrong hands due to lacking security can be a devastating situation without the proper guidance and preparation. That’s why corporations are willing to dish out over $200,000 for their top information security directors.

    Median salary: $173,000

    Top 10% salary: $207,000

  5. Investment banker. Investment bankers are masters at taking an initial sum of money and turning it into more. They use financial models to determine an accurate measure of debt and equity, which they use to make informed recommendations about how to increase a client’s capital.

    Most investment bankers have a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and go through at least five to eight years of schooling before they’re qualified to give their financial input. After achieving this level of education, though, investment bankers have the potential to earn a salary of over $200,000.

    Median salary: $101,000

    Top 10% salary: $208,000

  6. Judge. From lawyers and court clerks to prosecutors and reporters, many people lend a hand in the court process. After all sides of a court case have played their part, it’s up to a judge to apply the law to the best of their ability in legal rulings. They observe the proceedings of a courtroom, acting as the objective voice of reason and the law.

    Carrying out the terms of justice is an enormous responsibility to be tasked with. Judges quite literally hold people’s fate in their hands daily, but they’re compensated well for this duty. Judges make $170,000 on average, a salary which is subject to increase with experience in the position.

    Median salary: $170,000

    Top 10% salary: $209,000

  7. Pediatrician. Infants, children, and young adults are healthcare patients who need special care, simply for the fact that they’re in a developmental stage. That’s why their healthcare is tended to by a specialized doctor, called a pediatrician, instead of a generalized practitioner.

    In addition to evaluating younger patients to monitor their growth and development, pediatricians also provide preventative care and treat illnesses when needed. They work cohesively with other medical specialists and give referrals when a medical condition exceeds their skill set.

    As with many medical careers, becoming a pediatrician involves a lengthy education process. They must complete a medical school and a residency before being qualified as a full-blown pediatrician. After which, they can earn as much as $17,000 a month.

    Median salary: $155,000

    Top 10% salary: $214,000

  8. Chief finance officer (CFO). A company’s finances are the factor that keeps it afloat, and the person who is in charge of this department is a chief financial officer (CFO). A CFO acts as a leader within their organization to manage all aspects of financial fitness.

    Some of their general responsibilities include formulating a comprehensive budget, providing long-term business recommendations to company executives, and providing financial reports.

    Being a chief financial officer means taking on a position of leadership within a company. It demands the utmost expertise in finances and business, but with this knowledge comes an impressive salary.

    Median salary: $136,000

    Top 10% salary: $225,000

  9. University professor. University students pay an enormous sum of money to attend college and soak up knowledge from the most qualified people in their field of study. These individuals are university professors, and they’re responsible for teaching higher education courses.

    While a huge portion of their job involves preparing and teaching classes, they’re also expected to handle administrative tasks. Many university professors choose to contribute scholarly articles in their field to keep their mastery up to date.

    Becoming a university professor isn’t a quick and easy process. Professors qualified to teach at the university level must possess a doctoral degree, which takes eight years at the bare minimum. That sounds like a long haul, but worth it to many, because top-earning professors can earn $239,000 per year.

    Median salary: $100,000

    Top 10% salary: $239,000

  10. Physician. When something is going wrong in a person’s body, whether it be an injury or an illness, they consult with a physician to figure it out. Physicians, sometimes known as doctors, are top-notch healthcare professionals who interpret a patient’s symptoms to diagnose and treat any ailments.

    A physician’s daily tasks are a lot like solving a mystery. They use examinations, medical history, and other forms of testing to gather clues and put them together to form a cohesive picture of the illness and treatment.

    Physicians keep regular people healthy by educating them, providing preventative care, and offering solutions to recurring health issues. For many, helping others is enough to pursue a career as a physician, but the huge salary doesn’t hurt either.

    Median salary: $154,000

    Top 10% salary: $241,000

    Estimated job growth. +4%

  11. Airline pilot. Navigating an oversized aircraft through the sky with ease is the main priority of airline pilots. They coordinate with the rest of their cockpit crew to safely fly the plane to its ultimate destination. This includes properly inspecting the aircraft, accurately communicating with air traffic control, and analyzing the best choice of the flight route.

    Airline pilots need to maintain their focus at all times, otherwise, it can be a very dangerous job. Since the position requires a particular set of expertise, pilots are paid well for their journeys. The top 10% of airline pilots can make over $250,000 a year.

    Median salary: $115,000

    Top 10% salary: $257,000

  12. Chief marketing officer (CMO). A company’s advertising efforts as act their main communication to their potential consumers. That’s why they hire the most experienced marketing professionals to work as their chief marketing officer (CMO).

    A CMO is in charge of organizing and overseeing the execution of large-scale marketing strategies. This involves market research, proper product analysis, and supervising a marketing team.

    As with many supervisory positions, chief marketing officers are expected to be more experienced in their industry than the average bear. In addition to fulfilling the education requirements, most companies look for a CMO with hands-on experience in a leadership role.

    Median salary: $175,000

    Top 10% salary: $272,000

  13. Prosthodontist. A prosthodontist improves the smiles of their patients in a very specific way. They are dental surgeons who focus on the creation of oral prostheses that are used to replace missing teeth and correct jaw deformities. Their prosthetics not only improve the appearance of a patient’s teeth but also their overall mouth function.

    Since being a prosthodontist is such a niche field, there are fewer of these dental surgeons in the United States than other specialized practices. The few prosthodontists that operate in the United States can make over $282,000 a year after gaining experience in the field.

    Median salary: $181,000

    Top 10% salary: $282,000

  14. Psychiatrist. Afflictions of the mind can be just as painful and unbearable as bodily illnesses. Individuals who are suffering from mental illness seek help from a psychiatrist to diagnose them and provide treatment. There are several treatment specialties that a psychiatrist might employ, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or psychotherapy.

    A psychiatrist is also authorized to prescribe medication to patients as they see fit. Psychiatrists are required to attend medical school to practice their profession because they prescribe medication to patients.

    The road to becoming a practicing psychiatrist can take about twelve years on average after completing a bachelor’s degree, medical school, and a residency program. However, upon completion psychiatrists can participate in a rewarding profession that helps people, and earn a salary of over $200,000 on average.

    Median salary: $212,000

    Top 10% salary: $295,000

  15. Medical lawyer. The practice of medicine isn’t perfect, and sometimes malpractice occurs. It’s the job of a medical lawyer to provide representation when the proper medical regulations and laws haven’t been followed.

    Some medical lawyers represent patients who believe they’re been the victim of malpractice, and others work in defense of accused healthcare centers. It’s a position that needs a firm grasp of medical law and negotiation skills.

    Becoming a medical lawyer requires just as much schooling as any other law profession. Medical lawyers must get through their bachelor’s degree, law school, and successfully pass the bar exam. The individuals who make it through these trials become licensed medical lawyers that are free to practice and potentially earn nearly $300,000 annually.

    Median salary: $152,000

    Top 10% salary: $296,000

  16. Orthodontist. An orthodontist is another mouth specialist that anchors their career in teeth and jaw irregularities. They use diagnostic tests, patient histories, and x-rays to evaluate the condition of a patient’s teeth and jaw. Following diagnosis, orthodontists formulate a detailed treatment plan to correct the issue and monitor progress over time.

    Orthodontists build a long-term relationship with their patients to fix any issues in their teeth and jaw, which requires strong interpersonal skills in addition to dental expertise. Due to the nature of their profession, orthodontists have high job security and an even higher paycheck.

    Median salary: $194,000

    Top 10% salary: $303,000

  17. Chief executive officer (CEO). When it comes to the hierarchy within a company’s complex system, a chief executive officer (CEO) lands at the top of the food chain. A CEO holds the highest ranking within their organization, which puts them in the ultimate position of leadership.

    The details of their role might differ depending on the corporation, but their responsibilities generally involve making the final call on big company decisions and providing strong management to the employees working under them.

    The CEO acts as the face of the operation in coordination with the company’s board of directors. It’s a position that many people dream of, but it demands a lot of hard work to achieve it. Those who make the cut can expect to earn around three times the median national salary on average.

    Median salary: $155,000

    Top 10% salary: $308,000

  18. Gynecologist. Gynecologists are specialists in the field of women’s healthcare. Their main duties revolve around reproductive health, pregnancy, and fertility. They perform gynecological examinations, diagnose any potential health problems, treat any diseases that specifically affect female reproductive organs, and provide pre and postnatal care.

    Gynecology is a very in-demand role because half the population is women who need regular specified medical care. They are compensated equivalently to show this value.

    Median salary: $233,000

    Top 10% salary: $336,000

  19. Neurologist. Another highly paid medical specialty is a neurologist. The center of attention for these medical specialists are matters of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Their role involves assessing patients for issues related to these areas of the body and providing treatment or a referral after conclusions have been made.

    Neurology is a notedly complex topic in the medical field, which might be why neurologists are paid so well for their services. The average neurologist makes around $228,000 per year.

    Median salary: $228,000

    Top 10% salary: $352,000

  20. Astronaut. The idea of being one of the few people shot into space is an enticing concept as a job, but an astronaut’s responsibilities are much greater than this. They must communicate with mission control towers, provide maintenance to satellites, conduct zero-gravity experiments, in addition to piloting the spacecraft.

    Astronauts are put through meticulous education and training before ever being considered for a pilot, command, or crewmember astronaut position. This includes at least a master’s degree in a STEM-related field, plus two years of professional experience or 1,000 pilot hours.

    It’s a role that requires a lot of skills and dedication, which is probably why astronauts can make up to $393,000 a year.

    Median salary: $100,000

    Top 10% salary: $393,000

  21. Dermatologist. Dermatologists are medical professionals whose specialty is the diagnosis and treatment of skin conditions, which awards them with surprisingly a high salary. The majority of the patients that dermatologists treat display issues with skin cancer and acne.

    Their workdays are filled with consulting patients about the skin conditions or issues that they’re facing, evaluating their concerns, and providing treatment. Treatment for skin conditions usually includes medication or non-invasive surgical procedures, but they could be referred to a more advanced surgeon for complex issues.

    Median salary: $254,000

    Top 10% salary: $402,000

  22. Anesthesiologist. The stress of a looming surgical operation is lessened is by knowing that a trained anesthesiologist will be there to administer pain-relieving drugs properly.

    An anesthesiologist is a type of physician whose career centers around administering anesthetics. They coordinate directly with other medical professionals, such as doctors, nurses, and surgical staff to provide the proper dosage of medication to eliminate pain before, during, and after a procedure.

    Although the administration of anesthetics doesn’t seem like the biggest task in the world, it’s a crucial role in the world of surgery and their average pay reflects this.

    Median salary: $303,000

    Top 10% salary: $425,000

  23. Oral surgeon. Another kind of dental professional that is paid a massive yearly salary is oral surgeons. Their job is to perform corrective surgeries post-diagnosis on the mouth and jaw.

    Patients are usually referred to an oral surgeon by a dentist or orthodontist when a problem is too large to correct by standard dental measures. This can also include providing emergency surgery in response to mouth or jaw injuries and treatment for any oral infections.

    In addition to earning a Doctor of Medical Dentistry, an oral surgeon must be certified to practice in their specialty through licensing. While most people wouldn’t be too thrilled about spending their workday cutting into patients’ mouths, it’s a role that makes the top oral surgeons nearly half a million dollars every year.

    Median salary: $243,000

    Top 10% salary: $497,000

  24. Plastic surgeon. A plastic surgeon is a medical professional who is concerned with body part reconstruction, such as improving the appearance of birth defects or positively enhancing a patient’s body parts at their request. Another big part of a plastic surgeon’s job is consulting with a patient beforehand and providing care post-op.

    Plastic surgeons are some of the highly paid surgeons in the medical field because many of the surgeries that they perform are elective. Top-earning plastic surgeons can make over $500,000 annually.

    Median salary: $274,000

    Top 10% salary: $506,000

  25. Voice actor. Talented individuals with a great voice might be surprised to learn that they can potentially make a huge career out of sourcing it to on-screen characters. Voice actors are entertainers that work specifically to be the voice of characters in video games, movies, and animations.

    It doesn’t take much formal education to work as a voice actor. However, it’s a tough position to fill because the actors need to emote enough to convey personality using only their voice.

    The average voice actor makes a little over the national average when it comes to their salary. However, the best in the business make much more than that, with the top 10% bringing in $610,00 yearly.

    Median salary: $59,000

    Top 10% salary: $610,000

Never miss an opportunity that’s right for you.
Chris Kolmar


Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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