By the end of this year, experts estimate that the GDP per capita in the United States will reach 56200.00 USD. It’s expected to continue trending upward over the next several years, too.
As with most countries, the United States’ job market was negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with unemployment rates peaking at 14.8 percent during April of 2020. The job landscape is slowly but surely starting to recover now, though, and there are many high-paying job opportunities available throughout the country.
Have you been out of work? Are you looking to make a career change and switch to a higher-paying job? Are you a student hoping to land one of the best-paid jobs in the United States when you graduate?
If you said “yes” to any of these questions, keep reading. No matter what category you fall into, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about the highest-paying jobs in the US.
What Salary Is Considered Rich in the US?
In the United States, the average annual salary is $74,378 per year. According to this data from Zip Recruiter, salaries above $97,000 per year are considered outliers.
If you were to land one of the best-paid jobs in the United States and earn a salary above this number, you’d likely fall into the “rich” category and would be able to live very comfortably in the United States.
Of course, it’s worth noting that the cost of living in the United States varies a great deal from state to state. Someone living in Oklahoma and earning $100,000 per year would be able to stretch their dollars a lot farther than someone living in a place like California or Hawaii (where the cost of living is 96.3 percent higher than it is in the rest of the country.
What is the #1 Highest Paid Job in the US?
Now that you have a better understanding of what qualifies as a high salary in the United States, let’s move on and talk more specifically about the best-paid jobs in the United States, starting with the number one highest paid position in the country.
The highest paying job in the United States in 2022 is a cardiologist, a physician who focuses on health issues related to the heart. The average annual salary for a cardiologist is $351,827 per year, which is nearly 5 times the average annual salary in the U.S.
Even if you don’t want to pursue a career in cardiology, it would behoove you to seek out a job in the medical field if a high salary is a top priority for you. As you’ll see in the list below, many of the other highest-paid positions in the United States are in the medical field.
Here are the top 20 highest paying jobs in the United States, all of which pay well over $100,000 per year on average:
What Are The Highest Paying Jobs in the US?
20. Software Engineering Manager
Average Annual Salary: $138,933 per year
👉 Browse Software Engineering Manager Jobs in the US on GrabJobs
19. Software Architect
Average Annual Salary: $139,127 per year
👉 Browse Software Architect Jobs in the US on GrabJobs
18. Enterprise Architect
Average Annual Salary: $142,355 per year
👉 Browse Enterprise Architect Jobs in the US on GrabJobs
17. Director of Information Security
Average Annual Salary: $149,204 per year
👉 Browse Director of Information Security Jobs in the US on GrabJobs
16. Vice President
Average Annual Salary: $151,358 per year
👉 Browse Engineering Manager Jobs in the US on GrabJobs
15. Quantitative Analyst
Average Annual Salary: $153,539 per year
👉 Browse Quantitative Analyst Jobs in the US on GrabJobs
14. Enterprise Architecture Manager
Average Annual Salary: $168,762 per year
👉 Browse Enterprise Architecture Manager Jobs in the US on GrabJobs
13. General Practitioner
Average Annual Salary: $170,283 per year
👉 Browse General Practitioner Jobs in the US on GrabJobs
Average Annual Salary: $180,202 per year
👉 Browse Pediatrician Jobs in the US on GrabJobs
11. Nurse Anesthetist
Average Annual Salary: $185,856 per year
👉 Browse Nurse Anesthetist Jobs in the US on GrabJobs
Average Annual Salary: $191,931 per year
👉 Browse Obstetrician Jobs in the US on GrabJobs
9. Internal Medicine Physician
Average Annual Salary: $194,938 per year
👉 Browse Internal Medicine Physician Jobs in the US on GrabJobs
Average Annual Salary: $196,417
👉 Browse Dentist Jobs in the US on GrabJobs
Average Annual Salary: $202,387 per year
👉 Browse Physician Jobs in the US on GrabJobs
Average Annual Salary: $214,896 per year
👉 Browse Periodontist Jobs in the US on GrabJobs
Average Annual Salary: $216,248 per year
👉 Browse Surgeon Jobs in the US on GrabJobs
Average Annual Salary: $224,577 per year
👉 Browse Psychiatrist Jobs in the US on GrabJobs
Average Annual Salary: $264,850 per year
👉 Browse Orthodontist Jobs in the US on GrabJobs
Average Annual Salary: $326,296 per year
👉 Browse Anesthesiologist Jobs in the US on GrabJobs
Average Annual Salary: $351,827 per year
👉 Browse Cardiologist Jobs in the US on GrabJobs
What are the Highest Paying Industries in the United States?
After reading through that list, it should be pretty clear that the healthcare industry is one of the highest paying industries in the United States. What about the others, though?
Here’s a breakdown of the country’s highest paying industries, complete with the top 3 job titles and average salaries in each industry.
On the list of the highest paying industries in the United States, healthcare obviously ranks at the top. There is a strong demand for healthcare workers in the United States (especially after the COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the country and the globe for the last year and a half), and those who specialize in a particular type of medicine (such as cardiology or anesthesiology) are particularly well-compensated. The following are the top 3 job titles in the healthcare field:
Top 3 Job Titles and Salaries
- Cardiologist: Average annual salary $351,827
- Anesthesiologist: Average annual salary $326,296 per year
- Orthodontist: Average annual salary $264,850 per year
Job prospects are very promising for those who choose to work in the healthcare field in the United States. Whether you want to become a physician, an orthodontist, or a nurse, there are tons of job openings available throughout the country, and many of them come with competitive salaries and benefits.
👉 Browse Jobs in the Healthcare Industry in the US
The engineering industry is another high-paying industry in the United States. It comprises several different types of engineering, including mechanical, electrical, and civil engineering.
There is a strong, consistent demand for qualified engineers throughout the country, so it makes sense that this would be one of the highest-paying industries across the board. If you want to work in the engineering field but aren’t sure which kind of job to pursue, here are the industry’s top 3 job titles:
Top 3 Job Titles and Salaries
- Computer Vision Engineer: Average annual salary $148,084 per year
- Aeronautical Engineer: Average Annual Salary $102,581 per year
- Electrical Engineer: Average Annual Salary $95,235 per year
Job prospects for engineers in the United States look very good. For students who are looking for a lucrative career and aren’t interested in the medical field, engineering is a great alternative. Those who are great problem-solvers and enjoy the design and manufacturing processes.
👉 Browse Jobs in the Engineering Industry in the US
3. Information Technology
Information Technology (or IT for short) is a crucial component of nearly every business in the United States (and throughout the world). Because of this, it’s understandable that the IT industry is booming and offers a lot of high-paying career options. Those who are particularly tech-savvy can earn a generous salary working in the industry, especially if they pursue one of these 3 jobs:
Top 3 Job Titles and Salaries
- Enterprise Architecture Manager: Average Annual Salary $168,762 per year
- Director of Information Security: Average Annual Salary $149,204 per year
- Enterprise Architect: Average Annual Salary $142,355 per year
The job prospects for careers in the IT field are very promising. There are lots of high-paying jobs in this industry, and there’s also a lot of room for growth over time. You may start a career in a lower-paying position, such as a software engineer (which still allows you to earn over $100,000 per year). With more training and experience, though, you’ll have the potential to move up into a higher-paid position, such as the ones listed above.
👉 Browse Jobs in the IT Industry in the US
For those who want to earn a generous salary, jobs in finance are nearly always a safe bet. The finance industry is another high-paying industry in the United States, with a lot of great job opportunities that are worth considering. Here are the top 3 highest paying job titles and salaries for this field:
Top 3 Job Titles and Salaries
- Quantitative Analyst: Average Annual Salary $153,539 per year
- Investment Banker: Average Annual Salary $90,058 per year
- Compliance Officer: Average Annual Salary $82,425 per year
The job outlook for those looking to break into the finance industry is promising. There are lots of opportunities (and likely always will be) for those who want to help others manage their finances, whether they’re working with businesses or individuals.
👉 Browse Jobs in the Finance Industry in the US
5. Mining, Resources, and Energy
Last on the list of the highest paying industries in the United States is the mining, resources, and energy industry. Jobs in this industry can often be very demanding, both in terms of hours worked and physical labor. However, they also pay very well, which is a good trade-off for a lot of workers in the United States.
The following are the top 3 highest paying job titles that fall under the mining, resources, and energy umbrella.
Top 3 Job Titles and Salaries
- Petroleum Engineer: Average Annual Salary $156,780
- Geophysicist: Average Annual Salary $104,216 per year
- Metallurgist: Average Annual Salary $91,496 per year
There are many high-paying positions available in the mining, resources, and energy industry, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. This industry is constantly growing and evolving, and there’s always a need for new, talented individuals who can help to facilitate these changes.
👉 Browse Jobs in the Mining Industry in the US
What are the Highest Paying Jobs for Fresh Graduates in the US?
For those who are in school right now and thinking about the future, it’s understandable that you want to know about the highest paying jobs in the United States for fresh graduates. After all, the average college debt in the U.S. currently sits around $32,731.
If you want to hit the ground running and start earning a high salary as soon as you graduate, a career in engineering, information technology, or finance will likely be your best bet. Yes, healthcare careers are the highest paying in the United States overall. However, it may take graduates a while before they start earning the kinds of salaries lifted above.
For those who are looking to start making a lot of money right after they graduate from school, here are 5 of the best jobs to consider pursuing:
1. Software Engineer
It’s true that software engineering isn’t the highest-paying career in the Information Technology industry. However, software engineers do earn some of the highest salaries right out of school, with an average starting salary of around $90,000 per year.
Software engineers are valuable team members who play a key role in developing various systems and software programs for different businesses. As more companies work to shift into the digital age, software engineers will become even more desirable.
Remember, spending some time working in software engineering will also give you valuable job experience. It will also help you to qualify for higher-paying positions, including management and supervisor positions, later on.
👉 Browse Software Engineering Jobs in the US on GrabJobs
2. Investment Banking Analyst
If you want to find a high-paying career in finance right out of school, working as an investment banking analyst is a great choice.
On average, entry-level investment banking analysts earn around $85,000 per year. This is just the beginning, too. Over time, you’ll also have opportunities to rise through the ranks and become a higher-earning investment banker.
Investment banking analysts get paid so well right out of school because they provide a very important service to businesses and sometimes even government entities. They help their clients maximize their earnings and make smart financial decisions, so it makes sense that they get paid a high salary in exchange for their expertise.
👉 Browse Investment Banking Jobs in the US on GrabJobs
3. Computer Information Systems Manager
Another high-paying career for IT graduates is a computer information systems manager. If you can land any kind of management position out of college, there’s a good chance you’re going to be earning a high salary.
The average salary range for computer information systems managers falls somewhere between $52,400 to $89,900 per year, and there’s lots of room for growth in the field as you gain experience, too.
Like many other IT jobs, computer information systems managers are in high demand because they oversee companies’ entire IT departments. They make sure everything is running smoothly from a technical standpoint, which, in 2021, is key to any business’s success.
👉 Browse Computer Information Systems Manager Jobs in the US on GrabJobs
4. Computer Science Engineer
Computer science engineers can also earn a generous salary right after graduating, too.
On average, computer science engineering graduates can expect to earn between $66,700 and $112,600 after leaving school. This is a great starting salary that will only increase over time.
Computer science engineers, like other IT/computing professionals, are in high demand right now because of their technical expertise. Nearly all businesses are actively working to improve from a technological standpoint, and computer science engineers play a key role in helping them to accomplish this.
👉 Browse Computer Science Engineer Jobs in the US on GrabJobs
5. Petroleum Engineer
Most engineering graduates can expect to earn a high salary right out of college, no matter what kind of engineering degree or specialization they chose to pursue. That being said, petroleum engineers are some of the highest-paid entry-level engineers, with an average starting salary range of $102,300 to $176,300 per year.
As you’ll likely recall, petroleum engineers are part of the mining, resources, and energy industry, which is one of the country’s highest-paid industries. If you seek out a career in this prosperous (yet demanding) field, you can expect to earn a high starting salary right away, especially with a degree in engineering.
👉 Browse Petroleum Engineer Jobs in the US on GrabJobs
Which College Degree Pays the Most in the US?
If you want to qualify for one of the highest paying jobs in the United States for fresh graduates, you’ll need to earn the right degree. Listed below are some of the best degrees to pursue if you want to land a high-paying job after college:
Average starting salary: $165,000
Average starting salary: $139,300
Average starting salary: $72,117
Computer Information Systems
Average starting salary: $71,000
Finance / Economics
Average starting salary: $67,817
Of course, there is a lot of variability when it comes to the amount of money you can earn after graduating college in the United States. The numbers mentioned above are just estimates to give you a general idea of your earning potential should you choose a specific career path. Your salary may be higher or lower when you first graduate depending on where in the country you’re located.
Are You Ready to Land One of the Highest Paying Jobs in the United States?
Now that you know more about the highest-paying jobs in the United States and the degrees required to qualify for them, are you ready to get to work? Keep this list in mind so you can figure out which jobs you want to pursue and start working on the skills you’ll need to land them.
Want to learn more about how you can increase your chances of getting a high-paying job in the U.S.? If so, GrabJobs is here to help. Check out our free job search tool today, or look through our blog to find more insightful posts.