The 5 Highest-Paying Jobs of 2012

by Paula Wright

Salary is one of the key things that most people look at when they are choosing a job. Many times, people will have to change professions in order to increase their salary. Below are five of the highest-paying jobs in America.


Anesthesiologists are medical doctors who have completed a residency in anesthesiology. Anesthesiology is a branch of medicine that focuses on using medication to reduce or alleviate pain. Anesthesiologists put people to sleep before surgery, and they also monitor patients’ vital signs throughout the entire surgery. They may also assist in childbirth by giving the mother medications that alleviate pain.

The average salary for an anesthesiologist is around $210,000 per year. This is over seven times the average American salary of $33,000 per year. Anesthesiologists are required to complete four years of college, four years of medical school and a residency that lasts anywhere from three to six years. This job can also be very stressful.


As the term suggests, surgeons specialize in performing all types of operations. This job requires a high level of skill and precision, which is why there will always be a demand for surgeons. The average salary for a surgeon is around $219,000 per year.

Surgeons spend at least 12 years in school. Because people may need emergency surgery, they may also be required to work long, irregular hours. Additionally, the constant threat of being sued for medical malpractice adds to the stress of being a surgeon.


It is no surprise that most of the highest-paying jobs in America are in the medical field. Orthodontists are just one of the many health care workers that get to enjoy a nice salary. Orthodontists are specially-trained dentists who are responsible for administering treatments to straighten the teeth. They spend a total of eight years in undergraduate and dental school. Orthodontists are also required to complete a postgraduate orthodontic program, which lasts two or three years.

The mean salary for an orthodontist is around $204,000 per year. This is over six times the national average. Stress and long hours are two of the drawbacks that come along with being an orthodontist.

Oral Surgeon

An oral surgeon is someone who specializes in performing surgery on the mouth. There are two options for becoming an oral surgeon. People can go to medical school and then complete a residency in oral surgery. They can also go to dental school and complete a post graduate study in oral surgery.

The average salary for an oral surgeon is around $217,000 per year. Just like most other high-paying professions, long hours and stress also come along with the territory.


An obstetrician or gynecologist is someone who offers medical care to women. They also offer family planning services and care for women throughout their pregnancy. Obstetricians are required to complete at least three years of training in obstetrics after they finish medical school. The average salary for an obstetrician is around $217,000 per year. This job can be both physically and emotionally demanding.

cc licensed flickr photo shared by orphanjones

This post was written by Paula Wright

Paula Wright is a midwife and guest author at, a site with guides and information to help prospective students find the right school for their intended career path.

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