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The Highest Paying, Fastest Growing Jobs (Guess Which Business Gigs Pay Most)

Halah Touryalai

The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics is out with its annual occupational handbook, and the nation's top paying and fastest growing jobs may surprise you.

This year's handbook details some 580 occupations with job descriptions, required education and training, wages and future growth potential; occupations are divided among 25 segments.

This year, management analyst jobs are the highest paid in the business and financial segment. Median annual wage for management analysts was $78,600 in May 2012, and the job is expected to grow 19% over the next 10 years compared with 11% for all occupations, according to BLS.

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What does a management analyst do exactly? They're often consulting companies on how to improve profitability through cost cuts and increased revenue.

Next on the highest paid business and financial list is the financial analyst. The median pay here is $76,950, and the projected growth rate is 16%.

Here's the Top 10 for Business and Financial jobs by median pay:

  1. Management Analysts: $78,600
  2. Financial Analysts: $76,950
  3. Financial Examiners: $75,800
  4. Logisticians: $72,780
  5. Budget Analysts: $69,280
  6. Personal Financial Advisors: $67,520
  7. Accountants, Auditors: $63,550
  8. Insurance Underwriters: $62,870
  9. Purchasing Managers, Buyers: $60,550
  10. Market Research Analysts: $60,300

Financial brokers, which the BLS categorizes as "Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents", fall under the Sales segment. The job's median pay is $71,720 and growth potential is on par with the national average but behind personal financial advisors.

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Across all segments, medical jobs take most of the top spots in both fastest growing and highest paid.

The BLS says the highest paid job in the country belongs to oral and maxillofacial surgeons whose median pay in 2012 was $187,200.

They share the top spot with physicians, surgeons, obstetricians, gynecologists, internists, anesthesiologists and orthodontists all with the same $187,200 median wage.

What's the fastest growing jobs in the country? Psychologists, according to the BLS, which projects the job to grow at 53% between now and 2022. Their annual median pay: $83,580

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