If you’re tired of your job and want something that pays better, you may perform a Google search to determine which jobs pay the best. If you look at Forbes’ list of high paying jobs, you’ll see that they’re primarily medical and legal professions. If these jobs pay so well, why don’t more people work as doctors and lawyers?
There are other high paying job skills but these jobs that pay over $100K per year seem to be the most common. Some other jobs that pay over $100K each year include:
If you’re interested, you can search for other $100K+ jobs on TheLadders.com.
The “Pros” of These Professions
The greatest attraction to these career paths are the paychecks. The average salary for most of these positions we discussed is about $120K, which is double the average U.S. household income according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Yet, some people enter medical and even legal professions because of the potential good they can do for others.
Another benefit of these positions is the power and prestige associated with them. You can generally get immediate respect when people find out you’re a doctor, lawyer (usually), or a business executive.
The demand and compensation for medical professionals keeps going up. Lawyers usually stay gainfully employed as well. Recruiters always hunt for engineers and IT professionals, which means these positions offer employment security also.
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The Low-Points of High Paying Jobs
As we asked earlier, why don’t more people work in these careers when they offer such big paychecks? What follows are a few major problems these types of positions have:
Lots of (Difficult) Schooling
Most of these medical professions require about 11 years of schooling and residency according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Lawyers need to complete about 3 years of law school beyond their 4-5 years of undergraduate study. Engineers can do well with a 4-year degree, but their programs require intense studies of math and science. Many business executives earned Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees which require 2-3 years of schooling after getting a Bachelor’s degree.
LOTS of Student Debt
Hand-in-hand with all that advanced education are large student loan debts. On average, people who get medical or legal degrees have about $100K in student loan debt. Some specialists have as much as $300K by the time they’re done with their programs! MBA students fair a little better with only about $40K in student loan debt. How long does it take—with the accrued interest—to pay these debts off? Even with a $100K+ salary?
Consumed by a Career
People who complete the schoolwork for these professions have to subject themselves to grueling internships and residencies before they can actually get their credentials. 24-36 hour shifts are common in medical/hospital residencies. Recent law school grads who work as legal clerks put in 60-80 hours each week. Other people I’ve know who’ve attained the ranks of business executives have sacrificed their health and/or relationships to do so. These high paying positions often require you to be on-call any time of day or every day of the week.
Are These High Paying Jobs Worth the Costs?
That is a question you must answer for yourself. Remember that the total compensation package includes more than the paycheck. It may include the satisfaction and sense of excitement you experience in the work itself. There are other ways to learn higher paying skills. Every career has its advantages and disadvantages. Remember that no one is going to pay you well for simply having fun all day. As you work to find a better career, you need to learn how to perform a cost-benefit analysis to make an effective career choice.