When choosing a career, it's important to seek out jobs that are meaningful and challenging.
But a high salary doesn't hurt, either.
US News & World Report recently released its 2017 Best Jobs rankings, which determines the best occupations in the US based on median salary, employment rate, growth, job prospects, stress level, and work-life balance. You can read more about the methodology here.
The publication then ranked these coveted positions by pay, finding that, unsurprisingly, many of America's top jobs come with six-figure salaries. Positions in the healthcare sector dominated the list, with anesthesiologists claiming the top spot, followed by surgeons and oral and maxillofacial surgeons.
Read on to see the 20 best high-paying jobs in the US, with salary data and projected job growth included from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:
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Average annual salary: $119,270
Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 3%
Imperative to the healthcare industry, pharmacists not only fill prescriptions, but also educate patients on the potential side effects of their medications, teach them how to handle side effects, and monitor which prescriptions each patient is taking to prevent mixing incompatible drugs.
19. Business-operations manager
Average annual salary: $119,460
Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 7%
Business-operations managers take care of the details that are vital to keeping a business running, including hiring new talent, negotiating contracts, making strategy decisions, and building and leading effective teams. The highest-paying cities for this job are Bridgeport, Connecticut, New York City, and Trenton, New Jersey.
18. Sales manager
Average annual salary: $130,400
Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 5%
Sales managers get their company's product into customers' hands. This requires managers to establish client relationships and sales territory, guide sales teams, develop training programs for new hires, outline team strategies, and set short- and long-term goals.
Sales managers typically hold either a bachelor's or master's degree in business administration and have expertise in marketing.
17. Financial manager
Average annual salary: $134,330
Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 7%
Financial managers are integral to their companies because they advise and control the checkbook. Individuals in this position produce profit projections, oversee the cash flow of projects, and coordinate accounting practices. The job is incredibly detail-oriented and requires finesse in handling numbers and communicating complicated financial statements to other employees.
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Average annual salary: $136,180
Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 14%
Podiatrists specialize in feet and ankles, treating conditions that range from ingrown toenails and bunions to fractures and sprains. It's no easy task to become a podiatrist, however. After completing a bachelor's degree, individuals must attend medical school, complete a three-year residency program, and pass the American Podiatric Medical Licensing Exam.
Average annual salary: $136,260
Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 6%
There are quite a few different career paths and specializations lawyers can take, from working at a private firm to a public position as a district attorney. But one thing holds across the many different iterations: Being a lawyer requires long, committed hours in the office.
Though salaries vary depending on specialty, lawyers make the most in and around San Jose, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.