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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7. Nurse Anesthetist
Nurse Anesthetist
Merrie Griffin, 52, is the division chief for nurse anesthesia at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
Best Jobs rank: 13
Median pay: $156,000
Top pay: $206,000

These nurses help anesthesiologists administer anesthesia during surgery. Because of the extensive training required and demanding nature of the job, they are the highest paid in the nursing field.

"I like the diversity of my job," says Merrie Griffin, who works at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. "I practice on many different levels and I take care of all different kinds of patients. It's challenging and provides autonomy. I've done it for over 25 years and there isn't a day I've regretted picking it up."

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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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