20 highest-paying jobs

Anesthesiologists take home a median $290,000 salary annually. What other great careers from Money and PayScale.com's list of Best Jobs in America offer big paychecks?

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11. Dentist
Dentist
Matthew Applebaum, D.D.S., 32, is a pediatric dentist in Greensboro, N.C.
Best Jobs rank: 12
Median pay: $142,000
Top pay: $237,000

Nobody likes to go to the dentist, but everyone has to (twice a year!). That means those who put in the time to become a dentist can often bring in handsome salaries, especially if they specialize in fields like oral surgery.

"I'm a children's dentist, and by the time the kids are too old for us, not only do their teeth look great and they have healthy, beautiful smiles, almost none of them are afraid of the dentist. That way they won't go years and years without seeing a dentist," says Matthew Applebaum, who practices in Greensboro, N.C.

"What I like least is actually running a business," he adds. "You get out of dental school nobody and nobody tells you how to go run a business and succeed. We have over 30 employees, health care, retirement plans -- all kinds of things that you learn as you go."

NEXT: Actuary

Last updated October 11 2010: 8:13 AM ET
Source: All pay data from PayScale.com
Note: We looked at jobs from the top 100 with the highest top pay. Median salary is for an experienced worker (at least two to seven years in field). Top pay represents the 90th percentile.
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