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The 10 Highest-Paid Jobs in America

Danielle Kurtzleben

It's college acceptance letter season, and as students prep for four years of higher education, parents would do well to give them one piece of advice: go pre-med.

[ALSO: The 10 Lowest-Paid Jobs in America]

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its latest rundown of occupational statistics, which dates to 2012,and of the 10 highest-paid positions, nine require medical training. Anesthesiologists lead the field, making slightly more money putting patients to sleep than the people cutting those patients open. The only non-medical workers that make it onto the list are chief executives, who come in at No. 10 with around $177,000 in annual wages, or around 24 percent less than the anesthesiologists.

Below, the 10 highest-paid occupations in America as of May 2012:

Occupation Average Annual Wages
1. Anesthesiologists $232,830
2. Surgeons $230,540
3. Obstetricians and Gynecologists $216,760
4. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons $216,440
5. Internists, General $191,520
6. Orthodontists $186,320
7. Physicians and Surgeons, All Other $184,820
8. Family and General Practitioners $180,850
9. Psychiatrists $177,520
10. Chief Executives $176,840

[SEE: The 10 Most Overpaid Jobs]

That's perhaps unsurprising--everyone knows doctors are handsomely compensated--but what is striking is the extent to which medical occupations dominate the top of the wage ladder. You can still make a decent living even if you are not a doctor, as the list below of 10 top-paying non-medical professions shows:

Occupation Average Annual Wages
1. Chief Executives $176,840
2. Petroleum Engineers $147,470
3. Architectural and Engineering Managers $133,240
4. Lawyers $130,880
5. Natural Sciences Managers $130,400
6. Marketing Managers $129,870
7. Computer and Information Systems Managers $129,130
8. Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers $128,760
9. Financial Managers $123,260
10. Sales Managers $119,980

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