The Best Paying Jobs in AmericaDeconstructing the top 10 lists

Traffic on a rainy day in midtown Manhattan as people look to get to work

Forbes just came out with their 2015 list of the “Best Paying Jobs in America”. Now, we don’t want to be picky here but:

  • They just took it from the Bureau of Labor Statistics published report ( and added stock photos

  • The data is from May 2014

It’s no surprise that the 9 out of the 10 jobs on this list are for various types of doctors, surgeons or dentists. These jobs take a lot of training and certification, and as we have discussed before, the demand for healthcare professionals across the board is greater than ever and continues to grow.

Importantly, you can find all these jobs on Tapwage. anesthesiologist jobs, surgeon jobs, gynecologist jobs, internist jobs, physician jobs, and family practitioner jobs. We even have custom job channels you can follow. To see this — like the one for dentists and oral surgeons.

Disclaimer — the one non-healthcare job they mentioned are CEO jobs which are typically not posted online. We do have an excellent channel for C-level jobs at non-profits that we hope you consider

The Bigger Problem with These Lists

There are quite a few problems with using these lists for any sort of career planning, including: - These lists are based on median salaries with wide ranges. They don’t account for where you live, or how good you will be at this job. Let’s take Family and General Practitioners. The median salary for this job is $180k / year. But at the low end, people make $72k / year. Thats a big gap.

  • These lists don’t take into account how much time, effort and money it takes to get there. In fact, nerd wallet did this great study, where they found that the lowest paid doctors have 11 years of training, medical students end up in $100-200k in tuition debt, and more than half the doctors wish they had chosen some other profession. Adding in opportunity cost, this could be a million dollar mistake if you don’t do your homework.

  • These lists often don’t accurately account for incentive compensation. Wall street jobs barely feature on these lists despite continuing to be some of the highest paying professions. These lists don’t account for the fact that an experienced programmer in Silicon Valley or New York can earn significantly over 6 figures, sometimes even without a college degree.

The Tapwage View?

Find a job that lies in the intersection of what you are good at, and what you are deeply interested in. You will find that with most of these careers, it is often more financially rewarding to be in the top quartile of professionals than to be the median earner at a “high paying job”.

Which is why we have designed our site to help people find their calling. Browse our channels to see what’s out there. Each channel includes a detailed description of the typical requirements and salary for those jobs. Follow them and get updated as new jobs get added in daily. We hope we can help you find a job you can be great at.

But if you do want to browse some of the other highest paying jobs, check out these channels:

Not finding what you want or not sure what you might be good at? Write in at and let us help you.

Did you find this helpful? Subscribe to our newsletter

Data Diane is a team of Tapwage data journalists who spend their time geeking out on data to help you find that perfect career