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The 25 Highest-Paying Jobs in America

The 25 Highest-Paying Jobs in America
Credit: Efetova Anna/Shutterstock

If money is what you are after in a job, you should consider looking for work in the health care, legal and technology industries, new research shows.

More than two-thirds of the 25 highest-paying jobs ranked by Glassdoor this year are in one of those three fields.

Topping the list for the third straight year is physician. The study shows that the median base salary for physicians has fluctuated in recent years. In 2015, the median base salary was $212,270. It dropped to $180,000 last year, and this year it increased to $187,876.

All of this year's 25 highest-paying jobs have a median base salary of more than $94,000. That's a slight decline from a year ago, when all of the top-paying jobs had median base salaries in the six figures. [See Related Story: The 20 Best Jobs for Flexibility]

“With nearly half the list comprised of jobs in the tech and healthcare industries, this report reinforces that higher salaries are found in America's fastest job-creating sectors, which require higher education and in-demand skill sets," Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor's chief economist, said in a statement.

These are the 25 highest-paying jobs in 2017 and their median base salaries:

  1. Physician: $187,876
  2. Pharmacy manager: $149,064
  3. Patent attorney: $139,272
  4. Medical science liaison: $132,842
  5. Pharmacist: $125,847
  6. Enterprise architect: $112,560
  7. Physician assistant: $112,529
  8. Applications development manager: $112,045
  9. R&D manager: $111,905
  10. Corporate controller: $110,855
  11. Software engineering manager: $109,350
  12. IT architect: $105,303
  13. Software architect: $104,754
  14. Nurse practitioner: $104,144
  15. Solutions architect: $102,678
  16. Data architect: $102,091
  17. Actuary: $99,507
  18. IT program manager: $98,883
  19. UX manager: $98,353
  20. Systems architect: $97,873
  21. Plant manager: $97,189
  22. Scrum master: $95,167
  23. Financial planning and analysis manager: $94,862
  24. Nuclear engineer: $94,852
  25. Attorney: $94,695

Despite nearly 70 percent of employees reporting that salary and compensation are among their top considerations before accepting a job, Chamberlain says money isn't what drives happiness.

"While pay is one of the leading factors job seekers consider when determining where to work, our research shows that salary isn’t necessarily tied to long-term job satisfaction," Chamberlain said. "Rather, the factors that employers should focus on to drive employee satisfaction long-term are having great senior leadership, positive culture and values, and clear upward career opportunities for employees."

For a job title to be considered for the highest-paying jobs rankings, it must have received at least 100 salary reports shared on Glassdoor by U.S.-based employees over the past year. To ensure the most reliable median base salary for all job titles, Glassdoor also applies a proprietary statistical algorithm to estimate annual median base pay, which controls for factors such as location and seniority.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.

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