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?

12 of 20
BACKNEXT
12. Actuary
Actuary
Dale Hall, 39, is an actuary at Country Financial in Bloomington, Ill.
Best Jobs rank: 11
Median pay: $133,000
Top pay: $222,000

Responsible for weighing a company's financial risk and uncertainty, actuaries assess financial instruments, such as pricing products or securing cash reserves. The combination of education required and responsibility make it one of the country's most lucrative professions.

"A lot of what I do is help design products that will help people reduce or manage their own personal risk. I enjoy the altruistic sense of it," says Dale Hall, who works at Country Financial in Bloomington, Ill. "It's doing things that help those in the world around me."

"The typical path to actuary would be if someone majored in math or actuarial science in college. But there's a strong need to be able to convey what we do to others, so round out with other competencies, such as communication and leadership.

NEXT: Senior Sales Executive

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.
Full list: Top 100 America's best jobs offer great pay, work that's satisfying, and big growth opportunities. More
10 Booming-est jobsDemand for biomedical engineers should grow a whopping 72% between 2008 and 2018. How can you get hired for one of these fast-growing jobs? More
'I have the best job in America!' Meet 10 people lucky enough to have the top careers on our list, and see why they love their jobs. More
Special Offer

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.