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?

15 of 20
15. Attorney / Lawyer
Attorney / Lawyer
S. Gregory Boyd, 36, is an intellectual property attorney in New York City.
Best Jobs rank: 55
Median pay: $118,000
Top pay: $246,000

While public-interest lawyers may not rake in the big bucks, corporate litigators are still making six-figure salaries, even as the economic downturn has made competition for spots at prestigious firms more intense.

"I like helping people think through difficult problems. That's fun," says S. Gregory Boyd, an intellectual property attorney in New York City. "The hours can be longer than you'd like to work, and the time pressure can be intense."

People who want to be a lawyer "should try to be as sure as possible that this is what would make them happy," he adds. "They should not be influenced by anything other than what would make them truly happy. I think people look at the job and think I'd like to make X or have Y social perception. But then there are unhappy attorneys."

NEXT: Management Consultant

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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