What Are the Highest Paying Occupations in 2013?

by Rose Johnson

Many factors come into play for individuals when determining a career path, not the least of which is money. If a high salary is high on your list of job requirements, consider a career in health care. Based on the most recent data available, the highest paying occupations in 2013 are found primarily in the healthcare industry. If you want to pursue a career as a well-paid medical specialist, be prepared to go to school for a long time. In addition to a bachelor's degree, you will likely need to spend four years in medical school and another four years in residency. Chief executive officers across all industries also rank high on the salary list. Many CEOs also earn postgraduate degrees, though this is not a requirement.


The primary responsibility of an anesthesiologist is to administer drugs that reduce or eliminate the pain of a patient during surgery or other medical procedures. Anesthesiologists work closely with surgeons and physicians to determine a treatment plan before the surgery takes place. While a patient is in surgery, an anesthesiologist is present in the operating room to adjust the amount of anesthetic a patient needs. Other job responsibilities include monitoring a patient’s blood pressure, heart rate and other critical vitals. Anesthesiologists might also work in other units outside of the operating room, such as the labor ward and intensive care unit. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2012 average annual salary of anesthesiologists was $232,830.

Obstetrician and Gynecologist

Obstetricians and gynecologists, or OBGYNs, are physicians who provide general medical care for women and specialized care during a patient’s pregnancy or childbirth. Obstetricians and gynecologists also diagnose and treat diseases related to a woman’s reproductive system. For example, cervical cancer, hormonal disorders and infections in a woman’s reproductive organs are typically diagnosed and treated by an OBGYN. They also offer preventive care, such as examinations and screenings to help detect diseases in its earliest stages. The average annual salary for obstetricians and gynecologists in 2012 was $216,760.

General Surgeon

General surgeons perform surgical procedures to treat injury, deformity and disease. They work as a part of a medical team that might include anesthesiologists, physicians and nurses. After patients are put under anesthesia, surgeons use specialized equipment and tools to repair or remove bones, tissue or organs. Although some surgeons choose a specialty, general surgeons perform broad surgical procedures that do not require specialized treatment. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the 2012 average annual salary for surgeons was $230,540.

Chief Executive

Chief executives are usually the highest ranking officers within an organization. They work for large and small companies in just about every industry. The specific duties of a CEO depend on the needs of the organization he is leading. General responsibilities might include implementing the company’s mission and vision, developing strategic plans and analyzing the performance of the organization. CEOs often work closely with other top executives within the company, such as chief financial officers and chief operating officers. In 2012, the average annual salary for a CEO was $176,840.

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