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What follows are details on the top 20 paid jobs in the US and it certainly makes for interesting reading. This is a list where you feel as if the possibilities are endless as to which one deserves to be at the top, but thanks to a lot of research by the Bureau of Labor Statistics it has been possible to compile what is a rather definitive list.

1. Anesthesiologist
Ranked number one in the list of the best paid jobs in the US is an anesthesiologist. According to the American Society of Anesthesiologists, their average annual salary is listed as being $235,070 and that puts them in a clear first place according to official government statistics. This can of course be attributed to the fact that they have our life in their hands whenever we require an operation, so it is good to see that they are paid well for that particular role.

2. Surgeon
Close behind anesthesiologists are surgeons with an average annual salary of $233,150 according to their own official association. There are just over 41,000 surgeons listed in the US performing a huge number of operations throughout the year and of course demand for their skills becomes higher as the population grows. It is also accepted that they play a key role in keeping us alive, so they are also rightfully rewarded for their skills.

3. Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons
It is important to differentiate between this form of surgeon and those listed above as these guys are more specialized in the part of the body they work on and what they can do. Their average annual salary is listed as being $218,960 with this figure being quoted by the Association of American Medical Colleges and it is also worth nothing that there are just over 4,000 of these specialists listed as operating within the United States. They do require extensive training over at least a decade, so are certainly deserving of this particular salary.

4. Obstetrician and Gynecologist
According to the official medical association for obstetricians, the average mean salary in the last year for these specialist doctors was listed as being $212,570. Once again, it is important to point out that they require around 12 years of training in total before they are able to practice within this field and as of 2014, there are 21,730 of them licensed to practice medicine within the United States. Their average salary is also anticipated to rise over the forthcoming years as is the norm with any specialist within the healthcare industry.

5. Orthodontist.
In fifth place is an orthodontist and they are reported as having an average annual salary of $196,270 with this statistic coming from the American Association of Orthodontists. In order to qualify they must first of all attend dental school and graduate before then continuing their studies to become a doctor of dental surgery before a further post-doctorate degree in order to become fully qualified. As is the norm, this can take over 12 years of study before they are fully qualified and able to practice.

6. Internist
Being an internist is certainly a rewarding job within the medical field and the Association of American Medical Colleges have listed their annual average salary as being $188,440. They are required to be able to deal with a range of medical issues and complex cases and it does require a number of years of studying before the individual is at the required level to work as an internist. In 2014 there are 46,410 working within the United States.

7. General Physician
A general physician is a very well paid job, but it has been slightly left behind by other careers within the healthcare industry. Once again we need to refer to the Association of American Medical Colleges for details on the average annual salary and according to their research it is currently $187,200. There are currently 307,220 of them licensed to work in the United States and it is well known as to the amount of studying it takes in order to become a qualified physician and the number of years it takes to get into that particular position.

8. Family Practitioner
Your local family practitioner is a very well paid individual and the Association of American Medical Colleges state that their average annual salary is $183,940. There are also currently 120,860 of them licensed to work in the United States and their training takes the same form as other general physicians with the only difference being the area within which they decided to specialize.

9. Psychiatrist
The American Psychiatric Association state that the average annual salary for their members is now listed as being $182,600 and this does take into account the amount of studying that is required in order to become fully qualified to then be allowed to practice within the field. Students must attend medical school and only after graduating from there can they then go on to specialize in psychiatry meaning that it takes a number of years before any chance of employment.

10. Chief Executive
It is perhaps rather surprising to discover that a chief executive appears so far down on this list as a number of people mistakenly believe that this is the role that would be at the top of this particular list. However, according to details listed on the Forbes.com website, their average annual salary is much lower than initially thought although it is still quite impressive with it being listed as $178,400. There are also apparently close to 250,000 chief executives working in the US, so it is clear that some of them will indeed be earning huge salaries on a yearly basis if this is the average.

11. Specialist Dentist
This particular dentist will specialize in certain aspects of dentistry and is seen as being the more senior partner in a dentistry practice. They are lesser qualified than orthodontists, but according to the American Dental Association, the average annual salary is listed as $170,340. It is important to point out that this form of dentist requires the individual to attend a dental school, graduate, and then often become a doctor of dentistry. This can often then equate to an individual taking a total of eight years before they are fully qualified.

12. Dentist
A dentist has always been known as being a very well paid job and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, their average annual salary is currently $146,340. Interestingly enough, their job is also noted as being very stressful thanks mainly to the number of patients that have a severe phobia of being in that dental chair. They require less training than an orthodontist, but it can still take upward of 8 years in order to become fully qualified and able to practice.

13. Nurse Anesthetists
A nurse anesthetist is a highly qualified nurse who has undertaken additional training in order to assist an anesthesiologist in operations. The American Society of Anaesthesologists state that the mean salary for this position in the United States is $157,690 with 35,000 nurses working within this field. Their salary is substantially higher than a normal nurse, but that is due to them being required to train as a nurse before then undertaking additional training for this specialist role..

14. Petroleum Engineer
Oil does of course play a major role in the world and it affects our lives even when we do not realize it. However, it is all thanks to the role played by petroleum engineers, so it is understandable as to why they are so well paid in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics have indicated that this is an industry that is going to grow by an estimated 26% by 2022 and the average annual salary of this type of worker is currently listed as being $130,280.

15. Engineering manager
Engineers are rightfully seen as being very well paid jobs, but as is the norm the higher up the career ladder you go the higher the salary. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the average salary of engineering managers is currently listed as being
$136,540. In order to get to this level, the individual is required to obtain their engineering degree followed by an extended period of working in the industry. It may also require additional studying and qualifications before being given control over large scale engineering projects.

16. Podiatrists
This is certainly one job that is a surprise on the list of the top 20 best paid jobs in the US. However, when you think about our feet and how important it is to us for them to be in perfect health, then you can completely understand why podiatrists can indeed earn a fantastic salary. The American Podiatric Medical Association state that the average mean salary among their members is currently listed as being $135,070 with this bearing testimony to the specialist nature of their work. In order to become a podiatrist, the individual has to study at a podiatry medical school, which takes four years as a minimum before they are then offered a residency for a number of years after graduating. It does, therefore, take a number of years of training to get to the desired standard in order to earn this kind of salary.

17. Marketing managers
A marketing manager that is successful is worth their weight in gold and that does partly explain why they are paid so highly. The American Marketing Association states that marketing managers in the US are paid an average annual salary of $133,700, which is high considering the vast number of people that work within this particular industry. The high salary is directly related to the money that a first class marketing manager can generate for a company with successful campaigns, so in all honesty this is a small price to pay for what the company itself can earn.

18. Natural science managers
Natural science managers refers to people in charge of teams of scientist, clinicians, and research teams in laboratories, so they are rightfully well paid considering the work that they do and the scientific breakthroughs that they can be responsible for in their career. These managers must have a degree in some science along with a doctorate in a specialist area in order to have the experience that is required to lead such teams when there can be so much at stake. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary of people within this particular field of work is listed as being $132,850.

19. IT manager
Thanks to technology and the role that it plays in the world, it is no real surprise that an IT manager and specialist can actually be paid a higher salary than most people are aware of. Those at the top of the industry have spent a number of years obtaining various degrees in technology, engineering, and computer science along with a number of years experience developing their career. The Bureau of Labor Statistics state that the current average annual salary for people in this industry is listed as being $132,570.

20. Attorney
In 20th place of the list of the best paid jobs in the US is an attorney and a number of people will be very surprised that it only just scrapes into this list. According to the American Bar Association, the average salary for an attorney in the United States is noted as being $118,570 and this figure is significantly lower than most people would ever be aware of. However, when you consider the sheer number of attorneys that exist in the US and the sliding scale of their salary depending on their experience, then it is easier to understand why it is lower than you expect.

The one thing that this list shows is that the people that earn the most do so thanks to the importance of their job and the training that is required to get to that position in the first place. The details listed here have mainly come from official societies and associations although a condensed list is available on Forbes.com along with a list of the least well paid jobs in the country. This list can of course also change from year to year, so it can be entirely different in 2015. The details here were as the result of a study carried out in 2013 and this should be kept in mind when considering the careers that may indeed be of interest to you.

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