The 15 Highest Paying Jobs of 2012

September 4, 2012  |  
1 of 15

When choosing a job, we all want one that pays well, especially after years of college and hard work. According to statistics and information compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are 15 of the highest paying jobs in the US in 2012.

Surgeons & Doctors

Doctors and surgeons are needed on an hourly basis and their average yearly salaries show it. In 2012, doctors and surgeons made an average of $168,650-$234,950.

Dentists & Orthodontists

The services that orthodontists and dentists provide will always be needed, which is why these jobs pay plenty of money. In 2012 the average salary for these professionals started at $161,750 and maxed out at $204,670.


Chief executive officers made an average yearly salary of $176,550 in 2012. Would you be willing to coordinate operational activities and plan a company’s direction for that much cash?

Petroleum Engineer

Society today runs on oil which is exactly why the oil industry is booming and expanding. Petroleum engineers in 2012 made an average yearly salary of $138,980.


Though you’ll need years of experience and plenty of college education, as a lawyer you can expect to make a good living. In 2012 the average salary was $130,490 a year.

Architectural & Engineering Manager

Architectural and engineering managers made an average $129,350 in 2012. This profession involves planning, coordinating, and directing architectural activities.

Natural Science Manager

Natural science managers plan, coordinate, and direct outdoor activities related to a variet of sciences. In 2012 these managers made an average $128,230.

Marketing Managers

Marketing managers are in charge of creating marketing programs and policies as well as determining a company’s supply and demand rates. This job promised an average salary of $126,190.

Computer & Information Systems Manager

Technology is definitely a booming industry. In 2012 these professionals made an average yearly salary of $125,660.

Industrial & Organizational Psychologists

An industrial and organizational psychologist focuses on psychology in the workplace that is used for management, human resources, marketing, and more. In 2012 the job promised an average annual salary of $124,160.

Financial Manager

If you’re good at banking, investing, accounting, and anything finance and budget related, become a financial manager. In 2012 these professionals made $120,450 a year.

Airplane Pilots

Watch your bank account soar by becoming an airplane pilot or copilot. In 2012 the average salary was $118,070.

Sales Managers

In 2012, sales managers made an average of $116,860 a year.

Air Traffic Controller

Regulating airplane traffic can definitely bring dollars to the bank. This profession paid $114,460 a year.


Pharmacists, professionals who are responsible for everything related to prescription drugs, made an average of $112,160 in 2012.

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  • James B

    Median incomes make more sense when your universe of discourse encompasses a very disparate population. In the context of salaries, for what are fairly narrowly defined positions, I wouldn’t expect much difference between the mean an median. The distribution of incomes for petroleum engineers is fairly normal. But the distribution for something like US taxpayers is asymmetric, left skewed, and has a very long right tail. In that case, median makes a little more sense, but it still doesn’t really tell the full story.

  • steven paul

    The model posing as an MD above actually sold me some used hubcaps last week, in Kansas City !

  • dd121

    My God, they’re all negroes! I had no idea blacks were so brilliant and prosperous.

  • Da Gangsta Anderson


  • Gary

    wow you’re cool.

  • joe


    • Bob

      i dont know.

      • joe’s son


    • Tom


      • Duke


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  • GeekMommaRants

    Today a college education is the only way! Gone are the days of strong backs and fast hands. These are NOT careers one can figure out. Please, please, get an education.

    • James B

      I agree about college, but not all degrees are created equal. Science, technology, engineering, or mathematics are among the hardest, but stand the best chance of rewarding the degree holder with a lifelong increase in earnings.

  • forrealtho

    i’m not flipping through pages. some one please go through it and post all 15. muchas gracias!

    • Kyle