Home Personal Finance These Are the Best Paying US Jobs in 2024

These Are the Best Paying US Jobs in 2024

When you purchase through our sponsored links, we may earn a commission. By using this website you agree to our T&Cs.

Career choices today play a very important role as they lay the foundations for the financial wellbeing of a family. When choosing a career you need to consider a number of factors, including salary, job satisfaction and passion. 

Financial stability, however, ends up being the top determining factor for many. Fortunately, there are many resources that help you research the best paying jobs before you embark on extensive training in your chosen career.

If you are looking for financial stability, it’s important that you have knowledge about the job market and the best paying jobs out there.

To help you with your career choice, we provide detailed information on some of the best high-paying jobs.

The best paying jobs – A quick look

Here’s an overview of the best-paying jobs in the US:

2023 Mean Salary*Study YearsWork hours per week
Cardiologist $423,2501440 to 60
Anesthesiologist$398,41712 to 1540 to 60
Surgeon$297,800At least 1350 to 60
Airline Pilot$198,1904 to 550

Best paying work from home jobs

2023 Mean Salary*Study YearsWork hours per week
Recruiter$70,0003 to 530 to 50
Marketing analyst$74,0003 to 530 to 50
Business analyst$75,000 to $113,0003 to 530 to 50

Best paying jobs without a degree

2023 Mean Salary*Study YearsWork hours per week
Executive Assistant$59,000n/a40
Patrol Officer$65,000n/a40
Flight attendant$60,000n/a30 to 40
*US Bureau of Labor Statistics

The best paying jobs – A closer look

With the advancement in technology, the US market has witnessed the emergence of many new fields that are paying well. Still, many old professions rank high in the list of highest paying jobs. Listed below are the best high paying jobs:

1. Cardiologist

Cardiologists diagnose, treat, manage and prevent diseases or conditions of the cardiovascular system.  Some cardiologists focus on procedures to treat heart conditions, while others specialize in echocardiography, i.e.: the use of electrodes to manage the heart, or electrophysiology, i.e.: examining the heart’s electrical activity.

Though the working hours of a cardiologist are usually fixed, they may change depending on the patient load and emergencies. Due to the nature of the job, a cardiologist may even have to work on weekends, holidays, and nights.

Qualification requirements

It can take 14 years on average to become a cardiologist. The following are the qualification requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree, preferably in chemistry, mathematics, engineering, or psychology.
  •  Four years of medical school.
  •  Six to eight more years of general internal medicine training and specialized cardiology training.
  • Passing a certification exam administered by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Job outlook

With an aging population and aging cardiologist workforce, the demand for new cardiologists is on the rise. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has also contributed to the increasing demand for cardiology services.

According to a recent report from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), 120,000 more cardiologists will be needed by 2030. Furthermore, 18% more cardiologists will be needed annually between 2013 and 2025, according to the report.

2. Anesthesiologist

Anesthesiologists are doctors specializing in anaesthesia, i.e.: managing all types of pain before, during and after surgery. It’s a highly specialized career, and thus, is among the highest paying jobs.

Working hours for an anesthesiologist aren’t fixed as they depend primarily on the surgery schedule. They also have to deal with emergencies outside the usual work hours.

This job can be stressful because anesthesiologists also monitor a patient’s vital signs and critical life functions during surgery, and are required to make quick decisions with limited data, if the need arises.

Qualification requirements

On average, it could take 12 to 15 years to become an anesthesiologist. The following are the qualification requirements:

  • A college degree with subjects, including biochemistry and physics
  • Four years of medical school
  • A four-year residency in anesthesiology
  • Pass a licensing exam depending on the subspecialty
  • Meet state-specific licensure requirements

Job outlook

The work scope of anesthesiologists has significantly increased over the last few years. Though they still primarily work in hospital operating rooms, their services now are needed in many departments, such as electrophysiology, invasive radiology and more.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates the employment growth for anesthesiologists at 2.6% between 2022 and 2032. About 1,000 jobs are estimated to open each year during the period.

3. Surgeon

A surgeon is a doctor who operates patients after analyzing their injuries or illnesses. Their responsibilities include preparing and performing the surgery with the help of the support staff. 

Surgeons work for long hours as surgeries can be pretty time-consuming and stressful. They can even be on call nearly 24/7 depending on the practice.

Surgeons can be of different types, depending on their specialty, such as Orthopedic Surgeons, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and more. The salary of specialized surgeons is also higher, but the average salary of a surgeon is $297,800.

Qualification requirements

It takes at least 13 years of study to become a surgeon. The following are the qualification requirements:

  • An undergraduate degree program, preferably in biology or chemistry
  • Four years of medical school
  • A three-year residency followed by a multi-year internship in the surgery department of a hospital
  • Lastly, the surgeon also requires licensing and certification

Job outlook

Overall, surgeons’ employment growth is estimated to be 3% between 2022 and 2032, according to data from the BLS.

During the same period, about 24,200 new openings for physicians and surgeons are estimated to be posted each year. Many of these openings will be due to the need to replace surgeons who take up other occupations, leave the workforce, or retire.

Employment growth of most specialized surgeons is also estimated at the same rate.

4. Psychiatrist

Psychiatrists are mental health physicians who diagnose and treat disorders relating to the mind and mental health, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc.

There are specialties under psychiatry as well, such as child and adolescent psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, addiction psychiatry and more.

Psychiatrists usually practice privately, but their services are also required in hospitals, community centers, rehabilitation centers, prisons and schools.

Their work hours are usually fixed, but they may be needed to attend emergencies.

Qualification requirements

Normally, it takes about 12 years to complete the requirements necessary to become a psychiatrist. These include:

  • Bachelor’s degree, with subjects including biochemistry and biology, for admission to a medical school
  • Clear MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) to get into a good medical school, and then complete four years of medical schooling
  • Complete a residency program, where you get on-job training under the supervision of licensed psychiatrists
  • Finally, psychiatrists need a certification from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

If a psychiatrist plans on sub-specializing, they need to complete a fellowship for that particular specialization, such as addiction psychiatry, forensic psychiatry and more.

Job outlook

Psychiatry is among the fastest-growing specialties, and employment in the area is estimated to grow by 6.7%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This growth would result in 1,900 new positions annually.

The need for psychiatrists has increased after the COVID-19 pandemic. Death of friends and family, financial worries and social isolation have escalated the mental health crisis.

Additionally, an older workforce has also magnified the shortage as most practicing psychiatrists are in their mid-50s. So, when the current psychiatrists go out of the workforce, new ones will be needed to fill the gap.

5. Airline pilot

Working in the aviation sector may mean spending a lot of time away from home, but such jobs pay well.

An airline pilot is responsible for operating a plane and oversees other members of the flight crew. They need extensive training and some of the highest level of medical fitness among professions as well.

Though there could be many types of pilots, such as a cargo pilot, government pilot, military pilot and commercial pilot, the salary of an airline pilot is usually the highest.

Qualification requirements

It usually takes about four to five years of study to become an airline pilot, including:

  • Bachelor’s degree program in aeronautical science
  • Airline Transport Pilot Certificate issued by the FAA

Though the study requirements may not be much when compared to healthcare professions, a pilot needs to acquire tons of experience in the cockpit before they can start their career as an airline pilot.

Lately, some major airlines have partnered with flight-training institutions to eliminate the requirements to possess four-year degrees and to fast-track recruitments. United Airlines, for instance, owns and operates its own flight school, called the United Aviate Academy.

Job outlook

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 16,800 openings each year for airline pilots. Similarly, Boeing Pilot Technician Outlook projects the requirement of 127,000 pilots in North America through 2042. The FAA, in its 2023-2043 Aerospace Forecast, cites airline pilot shortage as an ongoing issue that will likely persist for some time.

Many factors will drive the long-term demand for qualified pilots, such as the retirement of current pilots, market recovery and growth, etc.  Airline pilots retire at age 65, and the National Air Carrier Association estimates that more than 16,000 pilots will retire over the next five years.

Best paying work from home jobs

Previously, there weren’t many work from home opportunities available, but now, especially after the pandemic, there has been a change in the workforce landscape. Nowadays, there are no shortages of work from home opportunities, be it working remotely for a company, starting your own business, or working as a freelancer.

Work from home jobs offer many advantages as well, including a flexible work environment, comparatively cost-effective, less commuting time among others. If you are also looking for the best-paying work from home jobs, here are some examples of the best-paying remote jobs to help you decide on a career path:

1. Recruiter

Every business, be it large or small, needs help with recruitment, but not every business can afford a full-time recruiter. So, if you have experience with recruitment and have a decent network, you can help businesses with screening and hiring applicants.   

It’s a great low-cost business to start, and the pay can be great. The entry-level pay is around $18 per hour, while the pay is more than $100 per hour for the top earners. On average, the pay for an online recruiter could be more than $70,000 per year, according to the career site Glassdoor.

Moreover, the working hours are flexible as it’s an online job, but you may have to work at odd-hours if the employer demands. You will likely be paid for the extra effort you are putting in. 

You should, however, avoid this career path if you aren’t a naturally outgoing person as you will be cold-calling employers and prospective recruits to build your network.

The online recruitment market is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.4% to around $59 billion by 2032 from $34 billion in 2023.

North America leads the online recruitment market driven by the demands of a dynamic job market and strong tech infrastructure.

2. Marketing analyst

As a marketing analyst you must know how to analyze data across multiple digital channels, define market segmentation for target marketing and stay ahead of trends. You may also be required to develop and implement marketing analytics strategies.

To become a marketing analyst you need to have a bachelor’s degree, while some employers require or prefer a master’s degree. Additionally, you also need to be proficient in statistics and research methods. Courses in economics or consumer behavior can also prove helpful.

According to data from the BLS, the median annual salary for market research analysts was around $74,000 in May 2023. There is a growing demand for skilled marketing analysts, which means the pay will only increase going ahead.

The work hours are also flexible as it’s an online job, and you can work for any number of hours depending on your capacity.

3. Business analyst

A business analyst plays an important role in bridging the gap between customers and product development. Such a role is relevant in both the tech and the finance fields as they are instrumental in delivering the product that clients want.

To become a business analyst you require a bachelor’s degree in business administration, information technology, or computer science. Having a master’s degree can land you a better job with more pay.

 If you have additional certification, such as a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) qualification, or a certification in business analytics tools such as SQL, Python, R and more, it would give you an edge. The average salary of business analysts, according to BLS, rangeg from $75,000 to $113,000 per year.

A business analyst job is usually a 40-hour a week job, but you may be required to work extra hours to meet deadlines. Moreover, it’s available for both beginners and experienced candidates.

Best paying jobs without a degree

Not everyone is lucky enough to earn a university degree – time and/or money constraints could be a factor. This, however, doesn’t mean you can’t earn big. In fact, there are several jobs that don’t require a degree, but can earn you massively.

Some of these jobs might require additional training or certification, but the time or money to achieve them is much less than earning a university degree. Following are the highest paying jobs without a degree:

1. Executive assistant

Executive assistants (EA) usually support high-level executives by managing their schedules, handling mail, making travel arrangements and more. In general, it’s a 40-hour a week job that isn’t very stressful. 

Though you don’t need a bachelor’s degree to become an executive assistant, you still need some education and experience, such as a high school diploma. Additionally, having professional credentials, such as a Microsoft Office certification, can earn you a higher salary.

Executive assistants, on average, can earn around $59,000 a year, but their salary can be as high as $75,000. Though a career as an EA does offer a high income potential, it could take some time to move up to the senior level.

2. Patrol officer

If you plan to serve the nation, then you could consider joining as a patrol officer. A patrol officer is normally on patrol most of the time to respond to incident reports, but they are also responsible for writing reports and updating records.

Though a college degree isn’t needed for entry-level jobs in the police force, a college education could help you to move up in the ranks quickly. You need to pass an entrance exam and attend rigorous training at a police academy to join the police force.

The average salary of a patrol officer is around $65,000 per year, but the work is often physically demanding and stressful. With a projected law enforcement job growth of 7% over the next 10 years, you should be able to find plenty of opportunities to enter the policing profession.

3. Flight attendant

Flight attendants are part of the cabin crew that interact with the passengers and ensure their safety. Though you don’t need any specific degree to be a flight attendant, you will likely require some experience in customer service.

Also, you will have to undergo training, usually from an employer, and then get certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). You will also need on-job training, and if you plan to work on international flights, you must know more than one language.

The average salary of a flight attendant is around $60,000 per year, making it the highest-paying jobs without a degree, especially for women.

The job outlook is also great as the demand will only continue to grow with the increase in a number of passengers travelling by air.

Moreover, flight attendants also get the opportunity to get promoted to supervisory, recruiting and training roles.


What kind of job pays the most money?

Usually, the healthcare jobs, especially of doctors, pay the most money. Cardiologists, anesthesiologists, psychiatrists and surgeons have the highest salaries.

Which is the highest paid job in the world?

Cardiologist is the highest paid job in the world. You could only earn a salary higher than a cardiologist if you are the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of a reputed company.

What job pays the most without a degree?

Executive assistant, Patrol officer and Flight attendant are the jobs that pay the most without a degree.

What job pays the most an hour?

Jobs that pay the most an hour are air traffic controller, financial advisor, commercial pilot, and massage therapist.

Our Editorial Standards

At ValueWalk, we’re committed to providing accurate, research-backed information. Our editors go above and beyond to ensure our content is trustworthy and transparent.

Aman Jain
Personal Finance Writer

Want Financial Guidance Sent Straight to You?

  • Pop your email in the box, and you'll receive bi-weekly emails from ValueWalk.
  • We never send spam — only the latest financial news and guides to help you take charge of your financial future.