If you're motivated by financial factors, choosing and pursuing a high paid job will be at the forefront of your career goals. Doctors, lawyers and engineers tend to have a reputation for paying well, and are often seen as the most desirable professions, but in reality they may not be the highest paid jobs.
Let's take a look at the best paying jobs in 2020.
What is the highest paying job in 2020?
The highest paid job of 2020 is anesthesiologist, earning a mean annual salary of $267,020.
Anesthesiologists are responsible for administering general and regional anesthesia, which is what allows surgeons to operate and perform procedures on patients without causing the patient pain. Anesthesiology is a complex and highly stressful profession, as it involves monitoring vital signs and critical functions of the human body throughout every step of the patient's surgery.
In addition to administering anaesthesia, anaesthesiologists are often required to perform other functions that keep a patient alive and pain free.
In order to become qualified, anesthesiologists have to undertake an average of 12,000 to 16,000 hours of clinical training, with a typical pathway including a four year undergraduate degree, four years of medical school, and a four years residency. It's no wonder that it's one of the highest paying jobs in the world.
Research suggests that anesthesiologists tend to be satisfied with their choice in career, despite the high stress and responsibility they take on daily.
What jobs pay $200K+ a year?
Medical professions dominate the highest paying careers, with surgeons, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, obstetrician-gynecologists, orthodontists, psychiatrists, and physicians all earning salaries over $200K annually.
Other best paying jobs that can bring an average salary of $150-200K include CEO, investment banker, marketing manager, software engineer, IT manager, lawyer, and sales manager. Many of these positions are reached through climbing a professional ladder, progressing through a business by earning promotions to upper management positions.
Marketing managers, for example, don't just spend years studying and then walk into a job earning $150K. They may have studied business and then spent their career working hard in more junior and mid-level positions before eventually earning the job as marketing manager.
There tends to be a payoff when it comes to the highest paying jobs. Higher paid jobs often come with a significant amount of stress and responsibility. People in these positions have to be motivated enough to do their best in the face of often enormous amounts of pressure, and six-figure financial compensation can only help provide some of that motivation.
People in very high paid jobs are often in a position to negotiate other benefits too, such as flexible working hours, more vacation days, stock options, company vehicles, or even a big office on the top floor.
Lastly, petroleum engineers and people who work in oil and gas companies tend to have high paying positions. It's one of the best paying industries in the world since qualified petroleum engineers are highly sought after.
What is the best career in the world?
The best career is not always the highest paid career. While money can certainly play an important factor in a person's happiness, the best career for you truly comes down to what makes you happy, not just having one of the highest paying jobs.
Looking at a balance between financial compensation, work-life balance, and the levels of stress or pressure associated with the job, some of the best careers are considered to be software developer, statistician, dentist, nurse, and occupational therapist.
It's worth looking into typical job satisfaction rates for the career you're considering. Many people go into certain professions unaware of how stressful they can be. One example of this is social work. While many people go into social work due to a desire to help others and a compassionate nature, many practicing social workers face huge amounts of pressure and stress in their jobs, and the career can be incredibly emotionally taxing.
Other factors to consider besides money
When considering what your ideal career would be, think about your interests and values, what motivates you, and what brings you joy, and consider whether you're likely to have those things fulfilled in a particular job. Sometimes the best aspect of a job can be the company culture, or your relationships with colleagues or clients.
Many people find that their ideal career is to build their own business from the ground up, while others dream of climbing the corporate ladder in an international organization. Someone driven largely by the desire to help people might find the most fulfillment in a career which allows them to make a difference in the lives of others.
Other benefits to consider when it comes to choosing a rewarding job path to pursue include health benefits, retirement plans, vacation days and other perks such as gym memberships.
Whatever path you choose to take, keep in mind that you can change your path later in life if you realize that it's not for you. However, you may want to be fairly sure before you commit 12,000 hours to becoming an anesthesiologist, for example!