20 HIGHEST PAYING JOBS

Feb 5, 2008

1. Chief executives
Average annual earnings of full-time workers: $240,903
Compared to average earnings for all jobs: +494%
Average annual hours of work: 2,322
Average hourly earnings: $103.76
Tasks: Formulate policies, set goals and oversee operations for a business or nonprofit institution.
Education and training required: Bachelor's or advanced degree, usually in business administration or liberal arts. Extensive experience in chosen field.
2. Physicians and surgeons
Average annual earnings of full-time workers: $139,849
Compared to average earnings for all jobs: +245%
Average annual hours of work: 2,100
Average hourly earnings: $66.59
Tasks: Diagnose and treat diseases and injuries. Conduct research into the causes and transmission of diseases.
Education and training required: Bachelor's degree, four years of medical school and three to eight years of internship and residency. Must pass a licensing exam.
3. Dentists
Average annual earnings of full-time workers: $133,777
Compared to average earnings for all jobs: +230%
Average annual hours of work: 2,032
Average hourly earnings: $65.82
Tasks: Diagnose and treat problems with teeth or mouth tissue. Perform corrective surgery on gums and supporting bones.
Education and training required: Bachelor's degree (with an emphasis on science courses), followed by dental school. Must pass a licensing exam.
4. Lawyers
Average annual earnings of full-time workers: $126,530
Compared to average earnings for all jobs: +212%
Average annual hours of work: 2,179
Average hourly earnings: $58.07
Tasks: Advise clients about their legal rights and obligations. Prepare for and conduct lawsuits. Represent clients in negotiations or court.
Education and training required: Bachelor's degree and three years of law school. Must pass a state bar examination.
5. Aircraft pilots and flight engineers
Average annual earnings of full-time workers: $120,505
Compared to average earnings for all jobs: +197%
Average annual hours of work: 1,264
Average hourly earnings: $95.31
Tasks: Fly airplanes or helicopters to transport passengers, mail or other cargo.
Education and training required: At least two years of college. Minimum of 250 to 1,500 hours of flight experience, depending on the type of plane. Must hold a commercial pilot's license with instrument rating.
6. Engineering managers
Average annual earnings of full-time workers: $113,388
Compared to average earnings for all jobs: +180%
Average annual hours of work: 2,120
Average hourly earnings: $53.48
Tasks: Supervise engineers and technicians. Coordinate research, design and development of new products or processes.
Education and training required: Bachelor's or advanced degree, usually in engineering. Professional experience as an engineer.
7. Securities & commodities sales agents
Average annual earnings of full-time workers: $111,338
Compared to average earnings for all jobs: +175%
Average annual hours of work: 2,079
Average hourly earnings: $53.54
Tasks: Advise clients of investment opportunities. Sell stocks and bonds.
Education and training required: Bachelor's degree, with an orientation toward business administration, economics or finance. Must pass a licensing exam.
8. Computer & information systems managers
Average annual earnings of full-time workers: $106,087
Compared to average earnings for all jobs: +162%
Average annual hours of work: 2,099
Average hourly earnings: $50.53
Tasks: Oversee a company's computer activities, including Internet operations and network security. Supervise systems analysts and programmers.
Education and training required: Bachelor's or advanced degree, often combining studies in business and technology. Extensive technical knowledge.
9. Marketing & sales managers
Average annual earnings of full-time workers: $100,491
Compared to average earnings for all jobs: +148%
Average annual hours of work: 2,137
Average hourly earnings: $47.03
Tasks: Coordinate a company's market research, marketing strategy, sales, advertising and promotion activities.
Education and training required: Bachelor's degree with a broad liberal-arts background. Master's degree is preferred by some employers.
10. Optometrists
Average annual earnings of full-time workers: $100,419
Compared to average earnings for all jobs: +148%
Average annual hours of work: 1,957
Average hourly earnings: $51.30
Tasks: Diagnose vision problems and eye diseases. Prescribe eyeglasses or other visual aids. Conduct vision therapy.
Education and training required: Bachelor's degree and four years of optometry school. Must pass a licensing exam.
11. Pharmacists
Average annual earnings of full-time workers: $97,334
Compared to average earnings for all jobs: +140%
Average annual hours of work: 2,067
Average hourly earnings: $47.09
Tasks: Distribute drugs prescribed by physicians. Advise patients on the use and side effects of medications.
Education and training required: At least two years of college, followed by four years of pharmacy school. Must pass a licensing exam.
12. General & operations managers
Average annual earnings of full-time workers: $96,777
Compared to average earnings for all jobs: +139%
Average annual hours of work: 2,200
Average hourly earnings: $44.00
Tasks: Coordinate daily operations of a company or nonprofit organization, based on policies set by the chief executive.
Education and training required: Bachelor's or advanced degree, usually in business administration or liberal arts. Extensive experience in chosen field.
13. Natural sciences managers
Average annual earnings of full-time workers: $94,225
Compared to average earnings for all jobs: +132%
Average annual hours of work: 2,079
Average hourly earnings: $45.32
Tasks: Supervise scientists and technicians. Oversee research and development of new products or processes. Coordinate testing and quality control.
Education and training required: Master's or doctoral degree in the sciences. Professional experience as a chemist, biologist or other natural scientist.
14. Computer & information scientists
Average annual earnings of full-time workers: $93,256
Compared to average earnings for all jobs: +130%
Average annual hours of work: 2,080
Average hourly earnings: $44.83
Tasks: Conduct basic research in computer science. Design new computers and new uses for them. Develop solutions for problems related to computer hardware and software.
Education and training required: Master's or doctoral degree. Extensive technical knowledge.
15. Financial managers
Average annual earnings of full-time workers: $86,794
Compared to average earnings for all jobs: +114%
Average annual hours of work: 2,101
Average hourly earnings: $41.30
Tasks: Prepare financial reports, oversee investment activities and implement cash-management strategies for financial institutions or other businesses.
Education and training required: Bachelor's or advanced degree in finance, accounting, economics or business administration. Extensive professional experience.
16. Computer software engineers
Average annual earnings of full-time workers: $86,668
Compared to average earnings for all jobs: +114%
Average annual hours of work: 2,103
Average hourly earnings: $41.22
Tasks: Design and develop new software for computer operating systems and network distribution.
Education and training required: Bachelor's degree and a broad knowledge of a variety of computer systems and technologies.
17. Public relations managers
Average annual earnings of full-time workers: $85,548
Compared to average earnings for all jobs: +111%
Average annual hours of work: 2,061
Average hourly earnings: $41.51
Tasks: Develop communications programs to increase public awareness of a company's goods and services and to maintain its positive image.
Education and training required: Bachelor's degree with a broad liberal-arts background. Master's degree is preferred by some employers.
18. Announcers
Average annual earnings of full-time workers: $84,919
Compared to average earnings for all jobs: +109%
Average annual hours of work: 2,078
Average hourly earnings: $40.87
Tasks: Host newscasts or other programs on radio and television stations. Conduct on-air interviews.
Education and training required: Bachelor's degree is preferred, but not mandatory. Pleasant, well-controlled announcing style.
19. Purchasing managers
Average annual earnings of full-time workers: $84,626
Compared to average earnings for all jobs: +109%
Average annual hours of work: 2,094
Average hourly earnings: $40.42
Tasks: Oversee purchasing of all raw materials and services needed by a company for its operations. Supervise purchasing agents.
Education and training required: Bachelor's degree is preferred. Extensive experience needed, usually beginning as a purchasing clerk or agent.
20. Industrial production managers
Average annual earnings of full-time workers: $82,513
Compared to average earnings for all jobs: +103%
Average annual hours of work: 2,136
Average hourly earnings: $38.62
Tasks: Oversee production activities in an industrial plant or division.
Education and training required: Bachelor's degree is preferred by most employers. Apprenticeship and work experience are also important.
 

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