Best and Worst Paid Careers in the United States

Looking for a new career? Although ideally you want a job you can get excited about, it’s hard to get too excited when you can’t pay the bills. The following job salary information shows the highest and lowest paid careers in the United States (from both an hourly and annual perspective).

This career salary info shows little difference between the highest hourly and annual wages for careers in the US. Almost all of the highest paid careers in the US are professional in nature and require a significant amount of education. Many of the highest paid occupations in the US are related to dentistry.

The job salary info for the lowest paid occupations in the US shows a very different picture. The lowest paid careers do not require much education. Most of the lowest paid occupations are in the service field and involved in the food service industry as well.

All job salary information is in U.S. Dollars ($)

Careers with highest hourly average income

Occupation Hourly Mean
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons 104.5
Orthodontists 98.4
Chief executives 84.88
Dentists, all other specialists 80.77
Dentists, general 77.76
Petroleum engineers 66.82
Podiatrists 64.36
Prosthodontists 62.89
Lawyers 62.74
Natural sciences managers 61.65

Careers with lowest hourly average income

Occupation Hourly Mean
Cooks, fast food 9
Dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers 9.4
Shampooers 9.2
Hosts and hostesses, restaurant, lounge, and coffee shop 9.45
Counter attendants, cafeteria, food concession, and coffee shop 9.35
Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food 9.03
Dishwashers 9.06
Amusement and recreation attendants 9.6
Home health aides 10.49
Ushers, lobby attendants, and ticket takers 9.69

Careers with highest annual average salaries

Occupation Annual Mean
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons 217380
Orthodontists 204670
Chief executives 176550
Dentists, all other specialists 168000
Dentists, general 161750
Petroleum engineers 138980
Podiatrists 133870
Prosthodontists 130820
Lawyers 130490
Engineering managers 129350

Careers with lowest annual average salaries

Occupation Annual Mean
Cooks, fast food 18720
Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food 18790
Dishwashers 18840
Shampooers 19130
Counter attendants, cafeteria, food concession, and coffee shop 19450
Dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers 19540
Hosts and hostesses, restaurant, lounge, and coffee shop 19660
Amusement and recreation attendants 19960
Ushers, lobby attendants, and ticket takers 20160
Cashiers, except gaming 20230
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