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Future Jobs-O-Matic

Future Jobs: The highest-paid careers in the U.S.

Ryan Faughnder Aug 21, 2012

Looking to climb to the top of the economic food chain? Then you might want to considere a career as a surgeon, dentist, lawyer, or pharmasist. These are among the top 10 highest paying gigs, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics featured in Marketplace’s new Future Jobs-O-Matic career forecasting tool.

Here are the top 10 from that list:

1. Physician and Surgeon
The median pay for this occupation is $166,400 or more a year. Also, employment is expected to increase 24% from 2010 to 2020.

2. Dentist
A median yearly income of $146,920, plus relatively high job growth? That’s something to smile about. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons and orthodontists are likely to make even more.

3. Architectural and Engineering Manager
The median 2010 income for these folks was $119,260. Those at the higher levels in their organizations often get fancy benefits packages that include stock options, expense accounts and bonuses.

4. Podiatrist
This occupation’s median yearly income was $118,030 in 2010. Self-employed podiatrists may earn more than salaried doctors, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but they’re also responsible for the costs of running their business.

5. Computer and Information Systems Manager
Median annual wages for computer and information systems managers was $115,780 in 2010. People working in systems design can expect to make even more. One catch: about 24% worked 50 hours per week or more in 2010.

6. Petroleum Engineer
The media annual wage in 2010 for a petroleum engineer was $114,080. Those working in oil and gas extraction make a bit more. Get ready for some 50- to 60-hour workweeks. The high price of oil is to thank for your high wages and sunny job prospects.

7. Lawyer
The median annual wage for lawyers is $112,760. That’s what you get for four years of undergrad, three years of law school and passing the bar. If you own your own practice, you’ll typically earn less than if you’re a partner at a firm.

8. Pharmacist
The median annual income for pharmacists is $111,570. About a fifth of those in this occupation work part-time. Beware competition from an overload of graduating pharmacy students, though.

9. Marketing Manager
The median annual wage was $108,260 in 2010. Advertising isn’t going away, but this is a hugely competitive field, so watch out.

10. Air Traffic Controller
You’re flying high, at a median annual income of $108,040. You’ll start quite a bit lower, at $37,070, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. But you’ll make more with each new training phase completed. Be prepared to work nights, weekends and holidays. And when we say nights, we mean it. Also, employment is expected to decline in the coming years.

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