Top 10 Highest Paying Careers of 2020

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Sep 2, 2020

Sep 2, 2020 • by Rebecca Smith

Have you ever wondered which careers come with the biggest paychecks? Most of us have likely pondered this topic before deciding what we should do or should have done with our lives.

It should come as no surprise that healthcare professionals usually earn high salaries. In fact, five of the top-paying positions are all in the medical field. However, the remaining five are careers in widely varying fields rather than a single industry.

Join us as we count down the top ten highest paying careers of 2020.

Marketing Manager - $102,000

Marketing managers oversee an organization’s sales and marketing team. They estimate the demand for products and services through extensive research. They need to identify markets, set prices, and increase market share while keeping customers satisfied.

The combination of these responsibilities means that a marketing manager needs to be detail-oriented while also being out-of-the-box thinkers. If you want to pursue this career, you’ll need a BA, as well as sales, PR, and advertising experience.

The potential salary for a marketing manager is around $102,000 per year.

IT Systems Manager - $133,000

These managers keep an organization’s IT infrastructure in top working condition. They perform network and systems maintenance and support while keeping all software and hardware up to date.

IT system managers require specialized training. You’ll need a BA in computer science or an IT-related qualification. You might even have to pursue a master’s degree. Strong leadership, communication, and organizational skills are a must.

An IT systems manager’s potential salary comes in at $133,000 annually.

Engineering Manager - $156,000

Engineering management is exceptionally specialized. These industry experts are required to lead projects and technical or engineering teams. What makes these managers unique is that they need to be very technical while also being very personable. They need to be able to mentor and coach highly intelligent individuals in a complex field.

If you’d like to pursue this career, you’ll need training and experience in both management and engineering disciplines. The potential earnings, however, well make up for the time and effort.

As an engineering manager, you can earn around $156,000 per year.

Corporate Lawyer - $195,000

Ensuring that a company or organization’s transactions are lawful is a corporate lawyer’s primary role. They analyze and gather evidence in case of legal action, formulate contracts, and provide advice on corporate taxation matters.

According to LawTally, it’s essential to get a specialized lawyer that suits your needs. However, corporate lawyers often need to understand various legal fields, from personal injury to labor law, and everything in between. That’s why these experts get paid the big bucks.

With a salary potential of $195,000 per year, it comes as no surprise that they are the legal field's top earners.

Dentist - $225,000

If you’re thinking of pursuing a dentistry career, you’ll need a BA and attend four years of dental school. You can also specialize in a particular field, from oral surgery to pediatric dentistry. However, specialized fields require several more years of study.

When you graduate, you’ll receive either a DDS or DMD degree, which allows you to practice. A dentist’s potential salary comes in at a staggering $225,000 per year.

Physician (Doctor) - $235,000

The primary duties of a physician include preventative treatment, performing diagnoses, and creating treatment plans. Doctors also educate their patients on medical conditions and provide preventive care where possible.

Before becoming a physician, you must earn a bachelor’s degree and spend four years in medical school. It’s a massive and expensive commitment that’ll require extensive study – especially if you decide to specialize.

However, with a potential salary of $235,000 per year, your dedication will pay off in time.

Orthodontist – $295,000 

Orthodontists are essentially dentists who specialize in teeth and jaw alignment, braces, and dental devices. Keep in mind that, as a specialist field, you’ll need to invest a lot of time and gain a lot of practical experience.

Aside from your dentistry degree, you’ll need to do at least three years of additional study to become an orthodontist. You’ll also need an exceptional DAT score. Your hard work will pay off eventually, though, and you can expect a comfortable potential salary of $295,000 per annum.

Surgeon - $396,000

Surgeons come in various shapes and sizes, from plastic and reconstructive to cardiac and brain specialists. When you enter an operating room, these professionals are the ones that make sure you enter and exit alive.

Aside from performing the surgeries, you’ll also need to manage nurses, technicians, and several other staff members in this position. You’ll likely need to study for thirteen years or more before you can become a specialist, so don’t expect your own TV show any time soon.

However, with a potential yearly salary of $396,000, you might not need a show anyway.

Anesthesiologist - $410,000

Anesthesiologists are paid the most in the medical field, and for a good reason. These professionals are in control of your life while you’re in surgery. They say when to start or stop and control the patient’s drugs, fluids, breathing, and more.

If you want to become an anesthesiologist, you’ll need exceptional human physiology knowledge – more than any other medical professional. Besides your medical degree, residency program, and ABA certification, you’ll also need a few critical skills. For example, anesthesiologists need to adapt to any situation in an instant because their actions can save or kill a patient.

It should come as no surprise that these heroes earn $410,000 per year or more.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) - $430,000

CEO’s oversee and manage all company operations and resources. It’s their job to serve as a line of communication between the business and the board and act as the public face of the company.

Interestingly, you don’t need any qualifications – although they’d undoubtedly serve you well. Many CEOs do pursue degrees later in life, but with a good business idea and a lot of hard work, almost anyone can attain this title. Unfortunately, the $430,000 annual salary also comes with extensive hours and extremely stressful responsibilities.

Final Word

From marketing managers to anesthesiologists and CEO’s, the world is filled with high-paying and enriching careers. However, it’s clear that the higher the salary, the more extreme the responsibility. If you want to become one of these top earners, you’ll have to put in the time and dedication to achieve your goal.