U.S. News & World Report released its 2021 list of the 25 "Best Paying Jobs" in the United States, and all 10 of the top-ranking jobs are in the health care industry.
How U.S. News determines its 'Best Paying Jobs'
The 2021 "Best Paying Jobs" are a subset of the 2021 U.S. News list of "100 Best Jobs."
The "100 Best Jobs" list is based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS). To compile its rankings, U.S. News identified the professions with the largest projected number and percentage of openings from 2019 to 2029, and then evaluated them against seven measures, including:
- Median salary;
- Unemployment rate;
- 10-year growth volume;
- 10-year growth percentage;
- Future job prospects;
- Stress level; and
- Work-life balance.
Of the resulting "100 Best Jobs," the 25 professions with the highest median salaries were then selected for the "Best Paying Jobs" list.
One limitation of the data is that BLS reports salaries in ranges that, during the period included in the U.S. News report, extended only up to $208,000 per year. As such, any job with a median salary higher than that level was reported as paying $208,000 annually.
The 'Best Paying Jobs'
Health care professions up made all 10 of the top jobs on the list.
Anesthesiologists—for whom BLS reported a median salary of at least $208,000—topped the rankings. Although BLS reported the same median salary for several other medical professions, those jobs didn't score as well by other measures, such as number of projected jobs and unemployment rate, according to U.S. News.
The health care occupations among the 25 "Best Paying Jobs" of 2021, along with their associated salary as reported in BLS data, were:
1. Anesthesiologist ($208,000);
2. Surgeon ($208,000);
3. Oral and maxillofacial surgeon ($208,000);
4. Obstetrician and gynecologist ($208,000);
5. Orthodontist ($208,000);
6. Prosthodontist ($208,000);
7. Psychiatrist ($208,000);
8. Physician ($206,500);
9. Pediatrician ($175,310);
10. Nurse anesthetist ($174,790);
11. Dentist ($155,600);
18. Podiatrist ($126,240);
20. Pharmacist ($128,090); and
22. Optometrist ($115,250).